4318 Stress Much?


5 Rounds for Time

5 Snatch

10 Overhead Squat

15 Back Squat


As a gym, you guys are peaches on Monday! I see you well fed and rested from the weekend (though in YOUR brain it is feeling guilty for eating 'dirty' and being lazy), ready to smash! Thursday is a different story. Our attendance is low, and those of you who are here, look like zombies. 

Work 8+ hours a day. Kids' sports. Kids' school. Kids' behavior. Bicker with the spouse. Stay up late- wake up early. Some of you work when it's dark and sleep when it's light. Your life is stressful enough outside of the gym. CrossFit itself and by definition is very stressful. The intensity that changes your body, requires this high stress stimulus, which is why our workouts are so short. You just can't maintain the high intensity work for as long as you can maintain the low intensity of cruising on an elliptical. I would consider the stress of CrossFit to be good stress for the most part. It is controlled by you and by us. We take into account what you've done and what we plan to do and come up with intentional stimuli (what the wod should feel like or how we want to attack it). 

"Oh so I can mitigate the bad stress of my life with the good stress of CrossFit?" Sorry, nope. I hear people say that CrossFit is a stress release. The stress we induce in CrossFit is certainly stress, so no, you can't have a crazy stressful day and come in and "work out" all that stress, you're just lumping stress on stress.  We benefit from these short workouts when we are recovered as much as possible. There are lots of great de-stressing practices for your everyday life stress. CrossFit is not included in those. Daily de-stressing includes things like meditation or prayer, mindful breathing, low intensity movement, gratitude practices etc. De-stressing from CrossFit aka recovery, is simple (also hard) eating and sleeping. Eating to recover means two things, A. enough calories (macro-nutrients protein, fat, carb) to re-fuel from the WOD and fuel for your daily needs and B. eating the micro-nutrients (vitamins, minerals, electrolytes etc.) to support your health functioning. Sleep means sleep as much as you can. There is not a single athlete at HCF who is sleeping too much. You're an American and a neurotic CrossFitter with a job, computer, phone, and kid, you're not sleeping enough. 

Am I stressed? Check out this quick test. It's a really simple survey and I'm not completely sure about the authority of stress.org, but I am not personally a stress expert. My score was 108 out of 200 and I don't even have a job or kids. (I took it again to see what happens when you get a perfect 200 score, I wanted to see what the interventions would be and make sure I wasn't sending you to some prescription or drug company website in disguise, it's not). What I like most about it are the easy strategies to mitigate your life stress. Mindfulness, meditation, gratitude, low intensity movement.

I can already see your push-back to why you don't want to manage your recovery and or stress:

- "I can't eat more, I'm trying to loose weight"// Ok I see how eating more is making you anxious, but check it out. Loosing weight is eating less than you use. Your intake needs to be as close to your output as possible in order to recover well. If you're eating 1000 calories too few, you can't expect to consistently do the training you want to or need to do. Play the long game, don't expect to loose weight fast and your body will love you! What is wrong with loosing 1/2 pound to 1 pound a week? If you're loosing more than that, it's just water anyway and it's also unsustainable. If your intake is close to your output, you'll feel awesome and have the ambition to train hard!

- "I can't slow down to de-stress or recover, I charge hard all the time and anyone who doesn't is a weak-ass-millenial-communist!"// Good luck with that. Your crash and burn is coming faster than you think. In American culture, there's a lot of unnecessary machismo surrounding work ethic. Harder is better and weakness is frowned upon. Rest in knowing that you already work really hard, harder than most of society so you can give yourself some slack and take a bath or a nap once in a while. 

- "I can't sleep more because I'm tired and wired at the same time, and there's too much to do anyway."// This is a classic stress red-flag. If you eat more and sleep more, sleeping more gets easier. The I'll-sleep-when-I'm-dead mentality has to do with that hyper-American work ethic from above. The opposite is true though, the longer and more quality sleep you get, the more effortlessly productive your waking hours are. #backtothegrind? smh, go to bed early or take a nap, and enjoy your job. 

In short, we program 6 days a week for 120 athletes. One gym, one WOD. We only watch you for an hour a day so if we want to move away from Zombie Thursday's, you gotta do a better job of taking care of yourselves outside of the gym. 

Devin JonesComment