Today was a rest day for me. I am pretty wrecked today, so it would have been silly for me to have seriously attempted any sort of WOD and expected to come out of it feelin' like it was beneficial.
We all need those rest days! They are, in fact, just as important, if not more important, than our actual training days. Rest days serve many purposes, but to name just a few:
Days off allow the body to "catch up" to all the punishment and stress you have inflicted on it. This period is a MUST if you want to see gains and PR's. Otherwise, you will just be tearing your body down further and further, and the overall fatigue that follows will surely cause a decrease in work output.
And the other benefit of a rest day is in regards to your mental health. This may sound a little funny, but exercise is also a very stressful MENTAL game...if you're doin' right! The mind games and mental battles that go on during a crazy metcon WOD are intense! We have all been there at one time or another....Your body is sending your brain pain signals that would otherwise stop a person in their tracks, but as CrossFitters, this is the goal of each workout. We want to push that hard each and every time we hit a WOD! This is extremely stressful, as we know. Rest days give us a chance to "operate" normally.
Finally, when we love something so much that we actually do it too much, it can obviously become a bad situation. Rest days are sometimes hard for me to take because I feel like there are people out there training and getting stronger and faster while I'm resting. But, if I hold back from training just one day, the result is a excitement to get back in the gym after that rest day! This excitement keeps us motivated and keeps us coming back for more!
So, take those rest days when your body tells you to. You will come back refreshed and revived, ready to hit it hard!