HOW to INCREASE Your TRAINING VOLUME - for MASTERS ATHLETES
Hi guys! When I started CrossFit - I jumped in head first with a 60 minute class, 6 days a week. That's 312 hours of training a year. Fast forward 8 years and now I train around 1400 hours a year.
Today I'm going to share with you the 3 essential ingredients to increase your training volume safely and effectively so that you can take your performance to the next level - whether that is to just get really fit, compete in a local competition, or make a run for the CrossFit Games.
At age 38, I took my first step into a CrossFit class and loved it immediately. I obsessed, watched training videos, talked to anyone who would listen about the last insane workout i did - you know how it goes.
It's like that joke - how do you know if someone is a crossfitter? Just wait 2 minutes, they'll tell you.
As I progressed through though that first year I got stronger, fitter, healthier... and realized I was pretty good at this.
I got a taste of competition at round the 9 month mark as I competed in a local competition. And, if I was at a 9 on a scale of addiction, after the competition, it was an 11.
Local competitions weren't quite enough to scratch the competitive itch as I discovered that it was possible to compete at a higher level - like the CrossFit Games.
I wanted to go big time... but how?
If you find yourself asking that question, you're in luck.
I've been there and have laid out a plan to help you level up your your training without putting yourself at risk of injury and burnout. *disclaimer, I am not a doctor and don't know your specific body/risks... this is all general information based on my own journey. talk to your doctor?
Take it slow. If a friend of yours who jogged a couple miles a few times a week came to you and said they were going to increase to 100 miles per week, you'd immediately know that wasn't a good idea. (I tried this when I was 30... I got an idea that I wanted to run a marathon, and tripled my mileage in a week - and got hurt).• The same logic applies to CF. I know it's not what you want to hear, but the best way to add volume to your workout load is to do it SLOWLY. Maybe a 20-year-old can go berserk, but, dude, your 40-year-old body needs a little more TLC. You have to give your body time to acclimate to the increased demands.• if you're a 1 crossfit class a day kind of athlete, i'd recommend adding one or two zone 2 training sessions per week (40-50 minutes of easy, zone 2 work, on a bike, rower, or even walking quickly or jogging).• After 2-3 months of increased volume, it would make sense to start adding 1 or 2 second session workouts to your CrossFit Class and Zone 2 work.Those second sessions can be dedicated skill work on a weakness you have, an additional metcon, or maybe even a strength cycle.• Be smart, plan ahead, watch out for overdoing anything.• If you don't want to try to figure out what to do on your own, you can reach out to me and I can help you make a plan.
Create new habits to support the demands you're placing on your body. It's like creating scaffolding or a support structure to support your body for the increased volume.• Take recovery seriously. The increased volume will increase wear and tear on your body. A good portion of my increased hours over the last two-three years has been spent on recovery.• Mobility: Spend time every day on mobility. As you increase your volume and abilities - you'll likely find that (as a masters athlete), you'll run into mobility issues.• I like to promote mobility not only by stretching and working through full ranges of motion, but I also utilize foam rolling and a massage gun.• Sauna/hot tub if possible. Heat has incredible benefits... I'll share a video soon on the benefits of heat therapy, but trust me - if you have access to a sauna or hot tub, add it to your routine 3-4 times a week if you can.• Ice Baths - like the Ice Barrel. (Cold exposure is essential to athletic recovery and performance as it’s proven to significantly reduce muscle soreness and pain, improve blood flow, improve heart rate variability, and improve muscle endurance. All these effects stimulate the body to heal and recover faster after spending just a few short minutes in the cold water. Cold exposure is widely utilized as a therapy to improve muscle recovery and increase performance)• Plan for more rest. Make sure you're able to be well-rested before increasing your training volume. Well-rested, at the very least, means consistently getting 7+ hours/night.• If you're not getting 7 or more hours of sleep, I would recommend that increasing your sleep or adding a nap during the day would aid your performance goals more than adding addition time at the gym.• If you just cant get enough sleep, you can increase your intensity but not overdue it on the volume side of things... Really, you just need try to sneak in more time in bed.• Fuel appropriately. Eat, supplement, and hydrate your body properly before and after workouts. Without proper fuel, your body will begin to break down. Again (like sleep), I'd encourage you to spend more time dialing in your nutrition over more training. An improperly fueled body does not respond well in the long run.• For starters, cover the basics. Get at least 1g of protein per pound of bodyweight (for me, that's around 200g of protein - I get through eggs, yogurt, cottage cheese, and predominantly red meat). Make sure your remaining calories are as nutrient dense as you can.• You should hire a nutrition coach - that's what I did... and since I've combined increased volume with feeding myself ENOUGH food, I've been unstoppable.• Supplement appropriately - Creatine daily, whey protein if you're unable to eat all the protein you need in a day, magnesium, vitamin D (I get all of that from Thirdzy - a nightime recovery drink)• Hydrate - and also think of Electrolytes (like salt) as a supplement. I add salt to my first shaker of water in the morning as well as before I go to bed.• Electrolytes (like salt, magnesium, and potasium) facilitate hundreds of functions in the body, including the conduction of nerve impulses, hormonal regulation, nutrient absorption, and fluid balance can help prevent and eliminate headaches, muscle cramps, fatigue, sleeplessness, and other common symptoms of electrolyte deficiency.• LMNT has become a foundational element of my training. I drink LMNT throughout a training session (and often two packets a day with two training sessions). LMNT is offering my listeners a free sample pack with any order, That’s 8 single serving packets FREE with any LMNT order. This is a great way to try all 8 flavors DrinkLMNT.com/JASONGRUBB.• Warm up/cool down. Budget increased time for your warm up. It should increase equally as much as your workout time. The best way to avoid injury is to thoroughly warm up and cool down. An extended warm up gives you the time to recognize how your body is feeling, notice any twinges, and adjust your game-plan for the day.• My general warm up includes 5-10 minutes on a machine, the Crossover symmentry shoulder and hip warm up, banded mobilizations, a few stretches including the spiderman and couch stretch, air squats, lunges, Cossack squats, ankle and hip opening movements, and often handstands. it's not something I rush. And i do it every day!
And finally... have fun. You have to enjoy the volume you're doing because slogging through volume is obviously counterproductive. If your intensity and ability to push through hard work decreases, you're literally wasting your time.• I still love this sport...• If you find yourself hating your training everyday, pull back the volume. I made this mistake for a season in 2016 and 2017. I was so determined to get to the games I increased my volume without regard for my body, age, or capacity. I wasn't having fun... just doing the work without really doing the work.• It took me two years to pull back and train more appropriately and intentionally. And I started to have fun with it again. Then I slowly increased my volume over time to where I am now.• Don't be me. Dragging in your workouts could be an indication that you increased your volume too quickly (or that one "leg" of your scaffolding is weak.• It could also mean that you may need to adjust your goals. You can be an incredibly fit individual attending 5 1-hour CrossFit classes/week. Maybe that's what fits for your lifestyle, your season of life, your body history, or your level of enjoyment. And that's fine... you're still more fit and healthy than 95% of the population• I went from 312 hours of training a year to over 1400 hours... and I love it. I'll keep this up as long as life allows.• Now it's your turn, be smart, play the long game... get bolder, not older.
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