Off-Day Options

Hey Everyone,

One of the most frequent questions I get regarding training is what people should do on their days off from the Zone.  Although it can vary a lot from person to person (in terms of goals) there are a few options that I think will lead to better health and performance both inside and outside the gym.

As most of you already know, our WODs tend to be pretty intense and are characterized by high heart and breathing rates, along with acute muscle fatigue and micro-damage.  This represents a high stressor for your body, which is great for fast improvements in fitness but needs to be balanced by some lower intensity activity.

Off-days are a good opportunity to accumulate some easier exercise while still keeping moving.  Staying inactive on days that you don’t visit the Zone will accentuate soreness and slow recovery versus doing some movement. Here are my top 5 activities for off-day recovery and regeneration

  • Easy trail running (choose a soft trail and run at a very relaxed pace so that you are breathing heavily and can enjoy the surroundings) – 20-40 min, depending on your base level of fitness.
  • Easy swimming – 20-40 min, variety of strokes, focusing on lengthening limbs and fluidity of motion.  The pool also has the benefit of de-loading all of your body’s joints which is very relaxing.
  • Hill walking – find a good hill (Mt Doug or Mt Tolmie work well) and stroll up, taking your time.  Your heart rate should be elevated but maintain a pace that isn’t a physical struggle.  20-30 min
  • Yoga – even though I don’t practice it myself, I feel it has great benefits for CrossFitters.  Just be sure to go slow and not to force positions, especially in hot yoga where you get a false sense of your flexibility!
  • Trail riding – difficulty is up to you but undulating terrain will be best.  Riding a bike enhances circulation to your legs without the stress of running. 30-60 min+

Days off from intensity are a necessity but keep moving and doing easy work – this is a great opportunity to involve members of your family or friends who aren’t into CrossFit but could use a bit of exercise and fresh air!

Post to comments if you have a favorite off day activity (non-exercise options will also be accepted ;).


Today’s Workout

Buy-in: Row technique review and demo by coach then 8 min warmup and practice

WOD:  3, 2, 1… Row!

This is a partner workout and you will alternate work and rest with your partner.  Ideally you will both be using the same scaling but it isn’t mandatory!

Team theme:  Nautical

This is a 20 min amrap for total reps of:

  • 300m row
  • 20 kettlebell swings (35/55)
  • 10 burpees
  • all exercises must be alternated (partner 1 rows then partner 2 rows, partner 1 kbs, partner 2 kbs etc)
  • cannot start next row until all burpees are finished
  • ergs set to 300m intervals with 10s rest
  • 120 reps per team per round (30 each for row, 40 each for kbs, 20 each for burpees)
  • partial rounds count to the meter or rep

Zone 2 – scale kbs as needed

Zone 1 – scale wod as needed

Cash-Out: spray down ergs, pick up your chalk and relax!


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