How many days a week can you do CrossFit
Introduction into a CrossFit Training in a Gym
I could start off with telling you that you need to train and rest alternate days as that is believed to be the safest way to go about a physically sound routine, but that is only partly true. I could also tell you that you could technically train each and every day as long as you mix things up and there is truth in that as well.
The ultimate truth is that various modes of training have a different stimulus and load on the body due to changes in frequency and levels of intensity and thus results in different levels of recovery. Just like we are all on our own journey in life, similarly we are all on our own fitness journeys and our approaches are different.
So let’s look at the proven science and tested ways of training.
Establishing your level: Are you a beginner, intermediate or advanced ?
Placing yourself in the correct group is essential to your results and stimulus and frequency of attendance.
We view any person signing up to a program in terms of exercise experience and moving confidence. We typically view these aspects in 3 categories:
- Beginner – a person who has 0-6 months experience in a well-structured and consistently used a program
- Intermediate – a person who has 6-12 months experience in a well-structured and consistently engaged in a program
- Advanced – 12 months+ experience in a well-structured and consistently engaged in a program.
If you fall into the beginner group and engage in an intermediate program setup with progressively more intense sessions, exercises and techniques you are always risking overload, injuries and burnout or even lack of motivation. Same goes the opposite way, if you are an advanced person but attend and challenged only as a beginner the stimulus won’t be enough and you’ll also lose motivation as the results just won’t be there.
From here we can look at a very basic and super helpful FITT principle to map your Frequency, Intensity, Time and Type of training that is necessary for you to create the correct amount of stimulus, enjoy your success and results and not risk overtraining. All aspects of the FITT, fit together ☺ It’s a perfect recipe to follow.
The ideal CrossFit Training recipe for your level
F- Frequency / number of sessions per week:
Beginner – 3 to 4 sessions per week
Intermediate – 4 to 5 sessions per week
Advanced – 5 to 7 sessions per week
I – Intensity of your session:
Endurance, resistance, power, mobility and speed training all have various intensity scales, but it’s generally accepted that the following intensities are good average scales for your ability level.
Beginner – 60-70% of your max ability on average per session
Intermediate – 70-80% of your max ability on average per session
Advanced – 80-90 % of your max ability on average per session
T- Time / duration per session:
Beginner – 60 min sessions at 3-4 sessions per week equals 180-240 minutes of activity per week
Intermediate – 60 min sessions at 4-5 sessions per week equals 240-300 minutes of activity per week
Advanced – 60 min sessions at 5-7 sessions per week equals 300-420 minutes of activity per week
T- Type or mode of training:
Modes or types of training is typically strength or resistance training, endurance or cardio training, mobility and stretching classes and then power or power lifting / plyometric explosive training and speed / sprinting sessions. The ideal way to train is a mix of these.
Most large fitness facilities do have group classes specific to cycle spinning (cardio / endurance), yoga (stretching + mobility) , weightlifting / typical gym session (resistance). It’s very uncommon for us normal folks to engage in a full hour class of power and speed training unless you are a serious athlete…..although it would benefit you hugely.
Different Approach in CrossFit Training
The best approach is to engage in a mix of all the above modes during the week.
Beginner – a mix of the above modes at the given intensity of 60-70% on average for 3 to 4 sessions per week is safe and ideal
Intermediate – a mix of the above modes at the given intensity of 70-80% on average for 4 to 5 sessions per week is safe and ideal
Advanced – a mix of the above modes at the given intensity of 80-90% on average for 5 to 7 sessions per week is safe and ideal
What is the next step in CrossFit Training?
Progression is the natural next step in every person’s training journey. Safe and effective progression can successfully and safely be done in 2 steps:
- Gradual and progressive loading of increasing your core and upper body stimulus by adding 2-5 % of your intensity / resistance every 4 weeks and a 5-10 % stimuli increase for the core and lower body every 4 weeks
- Follow this progressive load recipe every 4 weeks and move up in your training level from beginner after 6 months to intermediate after an additional 6 months and ultimately as an advanced able athlete as your experience, recovery and technique improves over time.
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