CrossFit is addicting. We know. It’s fun, and it gets results. But sometimes you need a break. Our workouts are much different than the traditional training methods. The level of intensity we maintain makes it even more important to make sure we’re giving ourselves a break when we need it. We’ve talked about recovery planning & tracking, sleep, and foam rolling. Now let’s talk about rest.
Rest days are your weekly days to focus on recovery. At a minimum, you need to take at least one day a week completely off. Two would probably be better. And depending on the week, you may benefit more from three. There’s no ‘one size fits all’ answer. Age, the amount of quality sleep you get, your diet, and many other factors affect how often you should take a rest day. Usually, younger folks can train 5 to 6 days a week, while the older crowd might be better off training 2 or 3 times a week.
We usually recommend training no more than three days in a row before taking a day off. We have found that the fourth day sacrifices some intensity, which makes the workout less effective. It is usually better to take a rest day and come back even stronger and ready to go the day after.
Experiment with different schedules and see where you do best. You can see great improvements from a Tuesday/Thursday schedule in the beginning. Many people continue to see huge gains from training Monday/Wednesday/Friday. For some, three days a week is the ideal schedule. For others, once you have been doing high intensity training for some time, adding a fourth and even fifth day can help you reach your goals faster. But this is all completely dependent on you, your schedule, and how much effort you take towards helping your body recover. If you neglect rest and recovery, training six days a week can do more harm than good.