Training Volume and Specific Energy
March 10, 2011 Leave a comment
Training Volume and Specific Energy by Matt S @ CFE
CrossFit is intense. CrossFit + CrossFit Endurance is intense, with added volume. One of the downsides to a training regimen like CFE is that it can accelerate overtraining.
Overtraining means you have outstripped your body’s ability to recover between bouts of work. As a result you can become overly sore, have low energy, lose sleep, become moody, lose your appetite and generally fall into a downward spiral of feeling like utter crap. If left unchecked you can develop symptoms that seem similar to Mononuecleosis, and in the extreme case, become bedridden for up to several weeks (if you have ever gotten to this state, you know you don’t want to ever do it again — MattS).
We want you to be proactive with your recovery and make sure you listen to your body day to day. One concept that can help you is called: Specific Energy, i.e. – your relative ability to accomplish work in a given time, in this case, 1 day.
Now, the generic Rx for CFE is to CrossFit 4-6 times per week, and 2-3 CFE WODs per week — Max!This assumes you have to do CFE WODs on the same days as CrossFit WODs, that you get adequate rest and recovery between each WOD and also assumes that your CrossFit WODs are in the 5-15 min range. So extra Murph and Angie length WODs will start to drive up the volume just as much as any additional CFE WODs.
When you wake up in the morning and you’re staring at two WODs that day. We want you to first take account of how you feel, and your Specific Energy for training that day. Did you sleep well? Have you been eating well? Are you stressed? Any major soreness? If you have more than a few of these issues that day, more training volume may start putting you under, since your Specific Energy is lower than normal due to inadequate recovery.
…So what should I do if I’m starting to go into the Red on Specific Energy?
Reduce Your Training Volume
- Go Green or Blue level on your CF WODs (no need to beat the hell out of yourself if you’re still recovering)
- Delete your CFE WOD (remember CrossFit is the program, CFE is the supplement)
Take Rest Days
- Don’t be afraid to just ante up and delete a few days off from CrossFit when you need it
- Active rest days (with core work and stretching/foam-rolling) work wonders as well
We get better by recovering from hard efforts. We fall into overtraining with too much exercise volume, too intense a training program, or both. Stay proactive, and make sure you are recovering!
Here is another good article on Overtraining & Under-Recovery, [Link].