Xplore CrossFit believes in getting better at getting better

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The man in the horrible pants is dropping some knowledge on the XCF blog today. Enjoy this piece pulled together by Tyler Wall. 

Here is some basic info for recovery from our intense training.  As we get stronger, faster, and more explosive, we need to be able to manage the accumulated fatigue the comes with it.  I’ll start off with the most important…

1. Sleep!
Seriously, try to get 7-8 hours a night.  Here is a great article regarding a full nights rest and some methods to do so.  I can’t emphasize how important sleep is for recovery and overall health.  If you can’t get 6-10 a night, try to squeeze in a nap during the day.  Even 10-15 minutes will make a huge difference.  Not only in physical recovery, but in cognition as well.  In addition to that, when I’m trying to get shredded, I’ll make time during my day for a nap.  Lack of sleep is stressful on the whole system, and fat accumulation can occur as a result of lack of Z’s.  At this point in your life, you should know how much shut eye is good for you.  Do your best to turn off the screens before bed and prioritize your rest.
2. Nutrition
Try to always have a good meal around your training.  By “good meal”, I mean some lean protein, carbs and maybe a little fat.  Most important are carbs and protein.
Some people I’ve spoken to in class don’t eat before training.  Others don’t have an appetite right after training…Both are totally fine – a matter of personal preference.  Try to get some real food intake at least an hour after lifting.  Also, the night before training, don’t be afraid to get some carbs in.  I recommend rice or potatoes, but fruit or grains are fine as long as you tolerate them.  Don’t worry if its paleo or not – we’re athletes.  Get some fats in later during the day, preferably.  Nuts, nut butter, coconut/olive oil, animal fat are your best choices.
Also, drink plenty of water!  All day.  When in doubt – drink more.
3. Supplements
Supplements are just that – there to supplement a diet.  Not a replacement.  Your normal diet consisting of real food should be pretty solid before you start messing with supplements.  Here are a few of my favorites.  And a couple links with a small overview.  I don’t want to bog you down with too much information
 
>Protein – Whey is derived from milk protein.  Its simple to mix, quickly absorbed, and perfect to have around your training (before, during or after).  I prefer to use www.musclefeast.comwww.truenutrition.com (make your own mix!) or Optimum Nutrition.  Theres a lot of crap powders out there with a ton of filler junk.  Check the label – the ingredient list should be minimal.  Best  = protein isolate, hydrolyzed, then concentrate.  Soy = no good.  In case you can’t tolerate whey/dairy, I suggest egg protein, hemp protein, or pea protein.
>Creatine – You can buy in bulk for cheap.  Buy an unflavored container so you can mix it with whatever you want.  Excellent for physical as well as mental performance.
>Baking Soda – I know.  You’re thinking, “WTF?”  Seriously – supplement companies can’t sell it because its too cheap to mark up.  Here’s a link with a full overview.  All you need is half a teaspoon.
>Caffeine – Pills are better.  By better I mean faster absorbing and readily available.  But I like coffee.  So if I’m training early, I’ll drink coffee on the way to the gym.  Not everyone needs the jolt of caffeine and do plenty fine without it.
If you ever want to know ANYTHING about a supplement, check www.examine.com  Its the #1 source for objective research on supplements.  Not Dr. Oz.
4. Other methods
>Soft tissue work – if you have time, get in some serious foam rolling/lax ball tissue work after we’re done training.  Work on your problem areas.  Even better – get a professional massage.
>Static stretching – great before bed, really relaxes the nervous system (which is what we want before sleep)
>Contrast Showers – I use these from time to time to help calm down the nervous system after some intense training.  Hot for a minute, cold for 30s.  Repeat a few times.  Play around with different intervals – just like training.  The cold will suck the first few days but you’ll adapt.
For a much deeper analysis on recovery, check out this link.  The information I presented here should get you started in the right direction.  As always, send any questions my way.

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