Your body post workout

3 Stages that our Bodies go through after a CrossFit workout

We all know the way you feel after a CrossFit workout.  Exhausted, disoriented, drained, empowered and gassed.  Your heart is up and you are breathing hard and heavy.  It takes you a few minutes before you realize what you just did, or carry on a conversation.  There are so many things our body is going through seconds, minutes, hours, and at times days after a workout! CrossFit causes stress to the body, and a process called general adaptation syndrome (GAS) forces the body to adapt to it using these three main stages.

The Alarm Stage

In the first stage, the body encounters an “unaccustomed” stressor; that is, a physical demand it doesn’t have the capability of meeting completely. Think about your first Thruster, pull up, or snatch.  This puts stress on cells (muscle cells) involved in the processes that are called on to meet that demand.  When a cell is stressed beyond its capacity, it gets damaged.  In the case of muscle tissue, cells or fibers are disrupted.  The cell membranes are degraded, which causes swelling, and you spend the next day or so moving very slowly from the resulting delayed onset muscle soreness. (DOMS)

The Resistance Stage

Within the next 36 to 48 hours, your body begins transitioning out of the alarm stage and DOMS subsides.  It has now gauged the damage, responded to it and can begin the repair process during what is known as the resistance stage.  Your body actually responds in a very logical way to this stress event.  Your body does not want to go through the alarm phase again if you ever re-encounter that stressor in the near future!  During the resistance stage, muscle cells not only repair themselves to the level they were before, but they actually complete a repair process that will ensure they will be better able to meet the demand of that stressor.  This process may take as many as three to four days, you will have more microfilaments pulling on tendons, which creates more force and increases strength.

The Exhaustion Stage

We all need the alarm and resistance stages if we are to become stronger, faster, fitter and more powerful!  However, if we don’t allow sufficient time for the body to complete the repair process, we run the risk of moving into the next stage- exhaustion.  In the exhaustion stage, cells are not fully repaired before again encountering a demand they cannot meet.  Once again, damage occurs, and the alarm process begins.  Over time, insufficient repair time (rest days), stemming from training sessions that are too intense, too frequent or too frequently intense, leads to overtraining and breakdowns.  You will notice slower WOD times, and you will find it will be harder to lift loads you use to manage easily.  Your heavy lifts will drop in weight and PR’s will come less often.

Making sure we train smart and allow our body to recover properly is important!  The intense workouts put major stress on our bodies and can cause internal injuries.  Showing up at the gym 5 or 6 days in a row and going through high intensity workouts will not make you stronger or faster.  Listen to your body and allow it to heal before hitting another hard WOD.  Your body will thank you and reward you in future workouts!

 


3,000 Push-up Challenge: Who is in?

Starting Thursday, October 1st we will be kicking off a month long push-up challenge!  This is open to anyone and can be completed by everyone.  We challenge you to complete 3,000 push-ups from October 1st through 31st. These can be done at any time during the day and they can be completed in any rep count. Bust some out during a commercial break, each time you get up from your desk, every other hour etc. (if you want to even it out, it’s about 96 push-ups a day).

Rules:

  • Sign-up for the challenge by writing your name on the whiteboard in the main gym. We have a designated spot for the challenge.
  • This is on the honor system. You are responsible for keeping track of your push-ups.  We’ll have tracking sheets at the gym for you to take with you and log your reps.
  • Push-ups are to be completed as chest to deck, with full range of motion; arms locked out at top plank position. If you’re still working on a full push-up, please challenge yourself to do elevated push-ups instead of knee push-ups. Knee push-ups are acceptable for this challenge, but for the sake of improving and getting stronger, give elevated push-ups a try!
  • Update your current status on the whiteboard every few days so we can keep track of how everyone is doing as a whole.
  • Push-ups we do in warm ups or workouts count towards the 3,000 goal.
  • 3,000 push-ups may seem like a lofty goal, but we urge you all to accept the challenge. You may feel there’s no way you can complete that many in a month, but you may surprise yourself. And even if you do 1,000 that’s a great accomplishment.
  • The person with the most push-ups at the end of the month will win a prize! We also encourage you to have fun with the challenge so we are giving a prize for the most creative place push-ups are done!  Share your photos and videos on Facebook or Instagram using the hashtag #CFMchallenge.

We look forward to seeing your progress and remember – have fun!

Push-Up Tips

Use the proper push-up technique we coach in class:

  • Situate hands about shoulder width apart, fingers pointing straight ahead or slightly out. (Screw hands into the ground)
  • Put torque on arms and point elbow pits forward.
  • Keep a neutral spine (don’t drop head or hips) and keep a tight core.
  • Squeeze glutes and belly tight and lever forward making sure your elbows are shooting back and not to the side.
  • Press out of the bottom position without any change in spine or shoulder position.

Learning has a Method

In psychology, the four stages of competence, or the “conscious competence” learning model, relates to the psychological states involved in the process of progressing from incompetence to competence in a skill.

The Four Stages of Learning provides a model for learning. It suggests that individuals are initially unaware of how little they know, or unconscious of their incompetence. As they recognize their incompetence, they consciously acquire a skill, then consciously use it. Eventually, the skill can be utilized without it being consciously thought through: the individual is said to have then acquired unconscious competence.

The Four Stages of Competence

Unconscious incompetence

The individual does not understand or know how to do something and does not necessarily recognize the deficit. They may deny the usefulness of the skill. The individual must recognize their own incompetence, and the value of the new skill, before moving on to the next stage. The length of time an individual spends in this stage depends on the strength of the stimulus to learn.

Conscious incompetence

Though the individual does not understand or know how to do something, he or she does recognize the deficit, as well as the value of a new skill in addressing the deficit. The making of mistakes can be integral to the learning process at this stage.

Conscious competence

The individual understands or knows how to do something. However, demonstrating the skill or knowledge requires concentration. It may be broken down into steps, and there is heavy conscious involvement in executing the new skill.

Unconscious competence

The individual has had so much practice with a skill that it has become “second nature” and can be performed easily. As a result, the skill can be performed while executing another task. The individual may be able to teach it to others, depending upon how and when it was learned.

Applying to CrossFit

This model of learning is inherent in CrossFit training. The CrossFit coach is tasked with helping the athlete ‘know what they don’t know’ and create self-awareness. Then the coach and athlete work together to progress through the model until an athlete can perform a skill with unconscious competence. Not doing it right and making mistakes are vital steps in the learning process. And the entire learning process takes time, lots of time (10,000 hours some say). Understanding the four stages of learning a skill can help keep the learning process focused on learning to do something, and not feeling bad about ourselves for not already knowing how.

Using the example of learning how to back squat, as a person new to CrossFit and weight training I thought all I had to do was put the bar on my back, sit my butt down and stand up again. This was the happy stage of unconscious incompetence.

When I began learning how to back squat (low bar specifically), I realized there was a lot more to it and it was a little overwhelming. I had moved on to the stage of conscious incompetence. There were many different things to do and think about and I had some physical and neurological re-wiring that needed to be done. In this stage I made lots of mistakes, along with judgments against myself for not already knowing how to do it. No one likes being told they aren’t doing something correctly, but judgment release can be very helpful in this second stage of learning. Making mistakes are an integral part of the learning process. They’re necessary because learning is essentially experience-based trial and error. As long as the errors are addressed and fixed.

As I practiced (every Monday for at least a year), I got better and moved into the third stage of learning, conscious competence. I could back squat decently well, but still had to really focus on my body mechanics using a relatively light weight.

Finally, after enough practice, I have gotten to a place where I don’t have to think about every little thing that goes into a technically sound back squat. Now the focus is on increasing weight to build strength.

And a cool pair of lifting shoes never hurts.

 


September Member Spotlight: Jennifer Childress

Jennifer (aka Jenn) was one of the first to join the CrossFit Mudtown family, along with her husband Clay, in April 2015. She’s Crossfit Mudtown Jennifer Childresscurrently expecting her second son and it’s so inspiring to see her continue to work hard in class. Jenn proves to us every day that CrossFit can work for anyone. Let’s get to know Jenn a little better…

How did you hear about CrossFit and what was your first experience/WOD? 3 years ago Clay and I went to a “bring a friend day” at a CrossFit box.  It was a partner WOD of wallballs, pushups, and running a 200 with a med ball overhead (don’t get any ideas, Jacki ).  It was a rough WOD and we were sore for days.  We both knew we’d love CrossFit, but didn’t completely take the plunge until after our first son, Jase, was born.

How many days do you CrossFit? What classes do you normally take? These days I’m doing good to come 3 days a week.  You’ll find me at any class except for the 6 am/pm classes depending on my work schedule.


Crossfit Mudtown Jennifer ChildressFavorite CrossFit movement? 
Squats and deadlifts for strength.  Putting lots of weight on the bar makes me feel strong .  I also enjoy any WODs that involve mostly body weight.

Least favorite CrossFit movement/workout? Wallballs & rowing.  Wallballs require too much coordination for me.  I’d rather do thrusters (I mean, they’re basically the same, right).


What motivates you/keeps you coming back to CrossFit Mudtown? The coaching and community.  I experienced a lack of coaching for my first 18 months of CrossFit.  It truly is amazing to see what all I’ve accomplished in the 4 months I’ve been at CFM with solid coaching and encouragement from others in a class!!

Favorite thing about Birmingham? The hills, trees, and close proximity to shopping (I grew up in a small town in Texas that was about 30 minutes from Ft. Worth)!

What accomplishment are you the most proud of (outside and inside of the gym)?Crossfit Mudtown Jennifer Childress Back squatting 175#!

After a hard workout, what is your favorite meal? Something bad for me, followed with a chocolaty dessert that’s equally as bad!!

What are some of your interests outside of CrossFit? Running, hiking, spending time outdoors with my husband, Clay, and our son (soon to be sons in December!!)

What do you do for a living? I’m a nurse in the Emergency Department at Children’s of AL

What is one goal that you are currently working on? Crossfitting while pregnant.  It’s a bit of a mind game and physical challenge for a competitive person like myself.  I’ve had to lower my standards of myself as my body now has a new set of limitations.