Recovery Part 1

feet up

We are all really good at destroying ourselves on a daily basis during WOD’s at the gym, but how many of you can say that you’re awesome at crushing your recovery? We roughly train 1 hr a day so the other 23 hours should be focused on how to best recover from the WOD and allowing us to come back bigger and stronger for the next one.

I’m going to give you a few basic tips on making the most out of your recovery and share with you methods that I found have worked best for me over the years.


This at the top of the list for a reason. If you don’t get enough of this stuff, nothing else you do out there will matter, including nutrition or training. Sleep helps with hormonal regulation and secretion of cortisol, melatonin serotonin, dopamine, testosterone and growth hormone. If we don’t get enough sleep the effect can be drastic on levels of these hormones in the body. Cortisol levels can spike, testosterone and growth hormone levels can drop. Leading to increased inflammation, fat storage and muscle breakdown. This can lead to adrenal fatigue and poor immune health, which are just a few of the side effects that come along with sleep debt.

The best way to remedy this is get 8hrs sleep and always shoot for one more hour than you need. Lots of you eat Paleo but ask yourselves the question, is your sleep paleo? Ideally you want to go to bed no later than ten, sleep in a dark cool room (get black out blinds) Your room should resemble a cave.

Your post workout nutrition (PWO)

This is second on the list just after sleep and we’re 100% in control of this. Just after a workout there are increased levels are protein synthesis and increased insulin receptor sensitivity to enhance levels of glycogen repletion. Simply put our bodies are trying to get back to normal, aka repair the damage that you inflicted upon yourself with that brutal WOD. We can help with this repair process by topping up with carbs and protein within that 20 minute post workout window.

Signpost along the road to recovery.
PWO meals are aimed at people who are serious about training and performance and recovery. Now after a High intensity interval session our sympathetic nervous system is cranked up and often leaves our appetite levels low for a while after the workout. This is the one time where a liquid shake can be a good idea.

John Berardi has a simple guide for a PWO shake. Its aimed at athletic body types with a body fat percentage for guys falling between 8-14% and girls falling between 12%- 18%
0.4g of protein per kg of bodyweight and .8g of carbs per kg of bodyweight.
So if I way 90kg that would equal a shake with 36 grams of protein and 72 grams of carbs.

This is a great time to have a high number of carbs and this is probably the time where I take on the most. After a workout, especially an intense one aka crossfit cortisol levels are at a peak, by having all these carbs post WOD our bodies secrete insulin in response and insulin helps decrease cortisol levels in the body. Its all about timing!


The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) determined that women require 2 liters of liquids a day and men require 2.5 liters a day. This is the minimum you should be drinking.

It is difficult to know what your levels of hydration are. Thirst can be a poor indicator of hydration status and therefore athletes should not rely on thirst alone.

A simple way to check that you are drinking enough fluid is the pee test. Pale yellow urine is the ideal but as it gets darker it obviously a sign your dehydrated.
Staying hydrated is important for everyone, but athletes have an even greater need to maintain proper hydration. Performance can start to decline even with only 2% dehydration. It also makes your heart rate and body temperature spiral upward, concentration and coordination drop making strenuous exercise tough to carry out.

However water alone won’t be enough for your body to fully rehydrate. Oh gosh this sounds like another Lucazade commercial, and it kind of is. Many minerals such as Potassium, Sodium and Calcium as well as sugars are lost through exercise. This is where products like Nuun hydration tabs and coconut water come into play. You really should consider these over water when training for extended periods or doing multiple workouts.

The next part will cover contrast showers, active recovery and Supplementation

A: Squat and Pistol Technique

B: Modified Regionals workout
3 Rounds for time of:
25 Wall balls
25 Chest to Bar Pull-ups
25 Pistols
25 Dumbbell Snatch (32kg/24kg)
(20min time cap)