Is it time to break up?
What you should do when you hit a lull in your training.
I’ve heard it many times before (and even experienced it myself): You start CrossFit and after your first or second workout, you are hooked. As a newcomer, you’re experiencing PRs all over the place. You’re crossing new skills off the list right and left. You’re at the box 5 or 6 days a week and when you’re not there, you’re either thinking or talking about it. Some might say you’re obsessed and you’re totally ok with that.
Fast-forward to maybe a year or so down the road – the PRs aren’t as frequent and maybe you’re experiencing a plateau. Maybe you’ve lost a bit of the passion you used to have for it and while you still go 5-6 times a week, sometimes it’s with a lot less enthusiasm. What does that mean? Have you fallen out of love with CrossFit? Is it time for a break up?
Short answer: Heck no!
But like any relationship, there could be a number of reasons you are feeling a little “meh” about it and maybe all you need is a little break to help you get out of your funk:
The honeymoon is over. As a newcomer to CrossFit, it’s exciting to hit PRs almost every time you pick up a barbell or do a benchmark WOD. But this honeymoon period won’t last forever. As you become a more seasoned CrossFitter, you’ll find growth happens at a slower pace than when you were a newb and that’s TOTALLY NORMAL! Remember, progress is not linear, and you should even expect to encounter some plateaus throughout your journey. It can certainly be discouraging, but it’s perfectly normal and shouldn’t have you walking away from CrossFit for good.
It feels like a chore. If you are a recreational CrossFitter (which is the majority of us) and lately only find yourself going to the gym because you feel like you SHOULD, not because you WANT to, you’ve officially made CrossFit a chore, rather than an activity you enjoy. That hour in the gym with your friends should be one of the best parts of your day, not an obligation motivated by guilt.
You’re bored. You might simply be bored with your routine. Have you tried changing things up? A new class time or coach? Maybe it’s time to set some new or different goals so you have something to work towards. Maybe encourage some non-CrossFit friend or family to drop in for a trial to see what it’s all about. Sometimes having someone new to share it with can revitalize your love for the sport.
Your body is tired. If you have been going hard, sometimes your body just needs a rest. Simple as that. It might be time to give it a chance to recover and rebuild. This could also be because your diet doesn't support your activity needs or you aren't sleeping enough. Being tired sucks, so looking into these areas for help are the places we would recommend you start.
You’re burnt out. Sometimes we simply need a mental break too. Stepping away from CrossFit for a moment can give you the opportunity to actually miss it (and give other areas of your life attention). Just like romantic relationships, sometimes you just need a little space. Maybe come just 2 or 3 days (instead of 5 or 6) for a week or 2. Use the other days to go for a walk or go run some trails. Go do something outside and fun.
So, no, you don’t need to breakup. But perhaps a short break would help. I know that sounds sacrilegious. I am not suggesting you go on a 6-month hiatus, just maybe take a few days off. Maybe a week. Maybe even… (GASP!) two weeks! I’d say most importantly, listen to your body and what your inner voice is telling you. Do what feels right for YOU and give yourself the permission to take the time off you need. After a short break, chances are you’ll find your passion for CrossFit renewed and your body refreshed.
- Coach Rachelle