Returning to CrossFit Training After Taking a Break

return to crossfit after break

As the weather gets warmer, and the days get longer, many are thinking about summer holidays but some of us are already dreading the inevitable return to training after a break.  and even so 

Sometimes, life gets in the way, and you may need to take a break from training. Whether it's due to an injury, illness, or personal reasons, taking time off from CrossFit training can be beneficial in many ways but daunting in others. Here we'll have a look at some strategies to deal with getting back into the swing of things.

Gimme a break!

Humans are a creature of habit and even though sometimes life can feel too busy,  interrupting your regular routine can feel very uncomfortable.  if you're used to training several times a week and then suddenly you are required to stop, it may stir up some mixed feelings. On one hand it would be nice to free up some extra time but on the other, what about your gains?!  Well fret not! Taking a break from CrossFit training can help you recover physically and mentally. It can give your body a chance to heal and reduce the risk of injury. Moreover, it can prevent burnout and help you stay motivated in the long run.

Avoiding Injury

If you've had to stop training consistently for several weeks or months, think twice before you jump back into your previous routine. Going from 0 to 100 is one of the quickest ways to injury.  If your training was very vigorous, or you're coming back from a break of a month or more, be very careful easing back into the training intensity, frequency, and loads that you were using before. When you return to CrossFit training after taking a break, it's important to avoid injury by adapting gradually. Start with light workouts that focus on mobility, flexibility, and aerobic capacity. As far as weights go, don't push yourself too hard, too soon. Remember, your body needs time to adapt and regain its strength and endurance.

Progressive Training Volume

Gradually increase your training volume as your body gets accustomed to the workouts. Listen to your body and don't overdo it. Start with short and low-intensity workouts and gradually increase the duration and intensity of the workouts. Depending on your proficiency level before the break, you may need to go back to some progressions until you feel comfortable performing exercises under fatigue again. 

Don't be afraid to scale, in fact this is also a good time to clean up your technique in certain skills like bar gymnastics. You can scale exercises for reps, or load, or change the movement until you are able to work up to the volume of a longer workout.

Dealing with Soreness

After taking a break from CrossFit training, it's common to experience soreness when you start working out again. Avoid the shock debilitating soreness and inflammation by preparing your body to exercise but also preparing for recovery. A good warm-up does wonders, but a cool down can really save you from a few hard days of DOMS ( delayed onset muscle soreness).  Additionally, you can use foam rollers, massage therapy, and hot/cold therapy to alleviate soreness.

See our blog on mastering your warm-ups here.

How Long Will It Take to Feel Back to Normal?

The time it takes to feel back to normal after returning to CrossFit training depends on several factors, such as how long you took a break, the reason for the break (like coming back after an injury), and your fitness level before the break. Generally, it takes about two to four weeks to get back into the swing of things. Don't forget to take into account factors outside of the gym. Adopting (or re-adopting) a regular sleep schedule, nutritious diet, and recovery routine can really speed up the process of “getting back to normal”.

Check out our vlog to see out how The Progrm’s founder, John Singleton started his journey back into training.

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Returning to CrossFit training after taking a break can be challenging, but it's not impossible. Take it slow and listen to your body. Gradually increase your training volume and intensity, and don't forget to stretch properly and deal with muscle soreness. With time and dedication, you'll be back to your pre-break fitness level in no time.