You’re half way through an eight-round Tabata and you’ve had enough. You’re tired, your muscles ache and your trainer’s motivational words are no longer reaching your ears.
You’ve heard the expression “no pain no gain” many times but what does it means and when should you stop? CrossFit is filled with challenges and in this article, CrossFit Valkommen is going to look at how hard you should be pushing yourself.
One of the important lessons in any form of exercise is learning to pace yourself. That requires a little forethought and strategy. For example, when you run a marathon, do you start out sprinting and giving 100% of your energy or do you hold a little back to see you through? In the CrossFit world, the same principles apply. For example, if you have a 40-minute WOD and you’re not taking breaks then this may be the reason why you’re quitting early.
Times breaks can keep you moving faster in the long run. They can also prevent injury to your body. So, try a 10-second break between movements or a 30 second breathing stop midway through. Here are some great tips for taking rest breaks during your WOD.
Pacing yourself also means taking rest days from your exercise. 3-5 WODS per week is great but you need those rest days sprinkled in to help your body to heal and grow stronger.
How Should You Feel?
Many CrossFit members don’t really know the difference between challenging themselves and pushing themselves too far. Here’s a great blog that will give you more information on this. If exercise is new to you then you may believe you have hit your physical limits earlier than you actually have. There’s usually more gas in the tank!
Here’s a helpful checklist if you’re not sure.
It’s normal that you:
- Feel that your heart rate is elevated
- Are sweating or at least feel hot
- Sometimes feel a little dizzy or sick
- Feel an ache in your muscles
- Feel a little discomfort or tiredness
When to stop
- You feel pain in a certain part of your body
- Your dizziness or sickness persists longer than a few minutes
- Your heart rate is irregular or excessively fast
- You experience any sharp or unexpected pains
Above all else, it’s important to understand the difference between discomfort and pain. Pushing through pain is not what we suggest and we need to help you to learn where your limits are.