Aches and Pains

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One of the hardest things for any CrossFitter to do is differentiate between soreness and muscle fatigue, and muscle strain. The classic CrossFit training schedule is 3 on 1 off.  This schedule is predicated on the belief that one can still muster a high level of intensity the day after a workout and do the same the next day as well.  By the time that 4th day comes around, there is no way one is going to be able to work out with any real intensity.  All this is based on the assumption, of course, that you are really training hard.

Just about everyone, training that intensely, is going to be sore after a workout.  And that is good because that soreness is what has to happen in order to force our bodies to change.  You know the saying “no pain, no gain”?  It should really be “no soreness, no adaptation.”  After 3 workouts in 3 days, if your body isn’t sore, then you need to find a new place to train.  But, how do you know if the soreness is just that, soreness, or something worse like a muscle strain?

The first way to answer that question is to assume that it is a muscle strain and treat it.  Ice it!  Especially ice massages.  Get a bunch of small paper cups, fill them with water, and freeze them.  Then rip off an inch or so of the cup’s rim and massage the hot area with the ice.  It is better than the traditional method of icing and it only takes 5 or so minutes.  CF West has a freezer at the box full of frozen cups, so use it folks.  Ice massaging a couple of times a day is surprisingly effective.

If soreness isn’t going away, or if the pain is getting worse, then you have a strain.  Continue ice massaging and give the painful area a little rest.  Don’t stop training though.  There are few injuries that require total rest and a good coach will know how to program a workout that hits hard, but doesn’t aggravate the injury. Most strains will heal themselves with a couple days of rest.

With experience, you will learn to tell the difference between a strain or injury of some sort and good old soreness.

How do you deal with hot areas and muscle soreness?  Please post to Comments.

Workout:

5, 4, 3, 2, 1

Clean and Jerk BW

Muscle Up

Snatch 3/4 BW

20 Double Unders after each triplet

Please post WOD completed, score, and load to Comments.