“A season and off season”
If you understand the concept I am about to explain it can help you extend your fitness career and save yourself from countless injuries. I am a big advocate for physical fitness, especially high intensity interval training. I have been doing CrossFit for 7+ years on average of 4 days per week. It’s my favorite choice for fitness, I do it on my lunch break in a short period of time, it’s a full body workout and it gives me the results I am looking for.
I’m not here to sell CrossFit to you, I am an overall fan of fitness because of the physiological benefits plus the health and mental clarity that it brings. I believe that we all need to find the type of fitness we enjoy most so that it’s fun, we get the health benefits and it doesn’t become a chore. Exercise should be something that we enjoy and look forward to.
My goal is to be a cool grandpa
That means I would like to be as functional and self sufficient as possible for as long as I can. My grandpa was so cool, he would always hit me baseballs, play tennis, golf and keep himself in great physical shape. He didn’t need assisted care until the age of 95! To me this is a great accomplishment! So this is where periodization comes in.
Periodization is to have a fitness plan which includes times of peaking (when you train harder) and times of tapering (when you choose less pounding and punishing activities). Where most people get into trouble at CrossFit, running, orange theory, high intensity fitness programs & repetitive use sports is when they train extremely punishing for 365 days a year (especially if they are not doing things to recover well ex. nutrition, therapies, mobility, etc). I don’t mean that you should not train hard but you should choose a variety of different fitness activities so that you do not build up overuse injuries. For example, if you are a runner you should have times when you are doing other activities to avoid overuse injuries to your feet, knees and hips. Because your sport involves so much loading to these areas you should include periods in your training where you swim, use the elliptical (which is a closed chain exercise meaning that your feet never leave the ground) or weight train to reduce the loading and give these areas a chance to recover.
If you are a CrossFit athlete you can do some WOD’s at a lesser intensity or turn off the clock and focus on perfect form for each rep. Maybe you want to plan in a week of traditional weightlifting or core work to focus on your weaknesses and muscle imbalances. These are some general ideas to give you an overall picture of how to periodize training. To periodize you are not coming to a stop in your fitness, you are merely hitting the pause button and choosing a different activity to give your body fitness benefits but reduce stress on the joints and muscles that you are using the most.
Remember, all training programs should have periodization in mind. We all need to have our peaks and valleys so that we don’t accumulate a repetitive stress overuse injury. Every sport has an off season and so should high intensity training. If you need any specific ideas or would like to utilize our athlete recovery services please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I would be honored to help you.
Stay healthy my friends,
Dr. Todd Rodman, DC, CCSP
Sports Medicine Chiropractor