We've all heard that rest days are how our bodies recover, repair and rebuild. I want to talk to you about a different kind of rest. The kind of rest that takes place in middle of that Constantly Varied, Functional Movement, High Intensity workout. You should be able to picture it. You are in the middle of your workout. You have your hook grip, but the bar isn't moving and you aren't even holding it. You have a hook grip on your shorts or special Lululemon pants and you are bent over wondering why the guy next to you is taking all your oxygen! Let's talk about how we can turn that rest into a productive application of strategy to reach our fitness goals. Those goals are different for each of us. You want to be a games competitor, best at your box, best at local competitions or just not get beat by your wife in workouts. Your rest strategy is another piece to the puzzle of achieving those results that you want.
A little theory review that I will summarize from the CrossFit Level 1 Seminar (all rights reserved). CrossFit's single definition is Constantly Varied, Functional Movement, executed at High Intensity. We like functional movements because they have the unique ability to express high power relative to their non-functional counterparts. We can calculate the power output with the power equation of F*d/t = average Power. We know that by definition; Intensity is defined as or equal to average power. We like intensity because that is how we get results. We know we get results from looking at our log books with lower times, heavier loads, more reps. I want you to visualize that if you did Fran, all the work you did can be calculated with (f*d=work). If I know the exact amount of work (21-15-9 of Thrusters and Pullups) and I am trying to get high power, all I need to do is make the time (t) variable faster! Less rest = Results; and it is easier said than done.
I want to talk to you about a tool/technique that may help you measure and control the amount of rest you take. The Breath Technique (Copyrighted 2016 – 15 mins ago). It is really a simple concept that allows us to put objective time frames on the amount of rest that we are taking during workouts. Here is the basic premise, You start with a certain number of breaths. For the example, we will say 4. This means that any time during your workout that you quit moving, doing reps, or drop the barbell; you are limited to 4 deep breaths during that period. That is 4 deep breaths through your nose out your mouth. Anytime that you rest during the workout for whatever reason, you get 4 deep breaths. Now we can objectively, over time, slowly progress so that we are taking less and less breaths “rest” and doing WODs with Intensity and unbroken.
It is important to have a strategy for your rest to ensure that you are getting the results you want. Talking with Margaux Alvarez, 4x CrossFit Games Athlete and co-founder of Prepare and Execute Training she says, “In competition among the fittest, decreasing my transition times, i.e. rest between movements, has always given me an edge in a sport where every second counts!”
We have all heard that God rested on the 7th day (Gen 2:2). He has also commanded us to rest and not just suggest it. It is a time for us to reconnect with our creator that wants and desires dwelling with us. We can rest physically on our own, but we can only find true eternal rest through Christ in His death and resurrection. (Matthew 11:28-30). I was told once that there is a direct correlation between our busyness, inability to disconnect, and our ability to rest in and truly know our God. For each of us, ‘resting' will take different forms. It may mean to spend time with your friends, personal one on one time with your kids, enjoy God's creation or maybe just quiet time in the scriptures. The Sabbath was wired into the creation story—a time for us to turn our attention to God and the gifts He has given, rather than focus on our materialistic objectives. ‘Rest' is a demonstration showing that God's grace is freely given, not received because of how much we accomplish. I challenge you to find out what God is leading you to do on your Sabbath. Disconnect, and learn to truly know our God.
P.S. No one is stealing your oxygen.