It’s easy to become addicted to the awesome feeling you get from your CrossFit routine. With more energy, better sleep, and an overall sense of well-being, who wouldn’t want to do CrossFit as often as possible? However, there are a few caveats to doing your routine too frequently and overtraining can cause problems and the question quickly becomes, can I CrossFit every day? Here’s what you need to know about CrossFit, how to schedule your training, and the issues you’ll likely run into if you train too hard or too frequently.

CrossFit Intensity

CrossFit is well known to be a very intense workout. The exercises you’ll do could include rowing as fast as you can, kettlebell rows, and push presses with as much weight as you are able to take on. You’ll be switching exercises every 60 seconds throughout the workout, taking your heart rate to the maximum level. CrossFit burns quite a few calories and strengthens the muscles, but can be tiring very quickly without adequate hydration and rest in between workouts.

CrossFit Training Schedule

Your muscles need time to rest in between every few workouts. While the most common workout schedule is 3 “on” days and one “off,” you have the option to play around with the days to suit your own personal schedule and workout goals. Any of the following workout schedules would be appropriate for CrossFit training and would allow the body to have enough rest to keep up intensity and to continue growing muscle and burning fat at a desired rate.

Schedule 1: 3 days “on,” 1 day “off”

Schedule 2: 3 days “on,” 1 day “off,” 2 days “on,” 1 day off

Schedule 3: 1 day “on,” 1 day “off,” 1 day “on,” 1 day off, 2 days “on,” 1 day “off”

Schedule 4: 2 days “on,” 1 day “off,” 2 days “on,” 2 days “off,” 1 day “on”

No matter what your individual schedule looks like, you’re aiming for at least 4 days a week where you are training, but really no more than 5. You also want to avoid training for more than three days in a row. Feel free to adjust your CrossFit schedule from week to week, depending on how you are feeling and what your fitness goals are. You should never try to train through pain, so even if you’re on Schedule 1, if you experience pain after the second day, don’t try to push through the third day to stay on schedule. Instead, switch to Schedule 4 to see if it accommodates your body’s needs better.

Problems Associated with Over Training

CrossFit is an extreme, high intensity workout. This is generally why it is so successful and results are seen so quickly with the program. However, the human body cannot sustain that type of high intensity exercise for an extended period of time. If you’re a beginner, it is even more challenging to complete 3 days of high intensity exercise in a row. Beginners may want to start with a shorter training schedule, such as Schedule 3, where the workouts are broken up more with “off” days.

When you work out too heavily and don’t give your muscles a chance to recuperate in between training days, the muscle tissue will break down faster than it is repaired, making you extremely sore. This leads to the loss of muscle mass, which goes directly against your training goals. Additionally, excessive exercise can cause the abundance of neurotransmitters in the brain, which can lead to tiredness and fatigue or even depression. Although exercise is an excellent antidepressant, when done in excess, it may have the opposite effect.

Remember your long term fitness goals when training and don’t focus so much on the short term goals. Follow the recommended CrossFit schedules and know that overtraining will hinder your progress more than it will help. CrossFit is an excellent way to get healthy, strengthen your muscles, and build your endurance.