Nov 13th, 2013
Author: CrossFit CDR
Category: CDR Community
Why is it important?
At CrossFit CDR we stress the importance of a cool down at the end of the WOD, whether its a 5 minute bike ride or a 1 mile run. You may think of this as just some extra work when you really just want to lay in the fetal position, but don’t brush it off that easy. Active recovery at the end of the workout is extremely important in aiding in muscle recovery by accelerating lactic acid clearance from the blood and in helping to alleviate the symptoms of DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness). Lactic acid builds up in the muscles during strenuous exercise due to the use of anaerobic (without oxygen) glycolytic pathways for energy production. These lactic acid molecules break apart in the blood and produce hydrogen ions, which decrease the pH of the blood. This decrease in pH causes metabolic acidosis, which leads to that pain you feel during intense exercise and is the primary cause of muscle fatigue. DOMS is considered a type I muscle strain and can range from slight stiffness to severe pain that is usually present 24-48 hours after you exercise. Muscle soreness can decrease performance and the ability to train intensely on a daily basis. Currently, there is no one theory that explains this muscle soreness, but most research points to acute muscle cell damage and elevated releases of various metabolites into the tissues surrounding the muscle cells. These metabolites trigger an inflammatory response from the body, which can produce swelling that peaks a day or two after the exercise and will eventually resolve depending on how severe the muscle damage. This fluid build-up around the tissues can stimulate specific nerve endings in the muscle that can result in pain. Other theories state that an increase in calcium build up as a result of the acute muscle damage can further lead to injury as it inhibits the ability of ATP generation to clear calcium from the tissues, as well as produce metabolites that increase the chemical stimulation of the muscle nerve endings.
Currently, many research projects are investigating different types of muscle recovery and determining which modality will lead to the best decrease in the severity and length of muscle soreness post-workout. In one study, active recovery exercises such as biking at a steady pace, maintained an elevated metabolic rate so that lactate clearance was increased due to lactate oxidation. This active recovery exercise also stimulated lactate clearance due to the increased uptake of lactate to the heart and skeletal muscles for fuel. In another study, active recovery also reduced the feelings of DOMS for participants within a 48 hour period better than EMS (electromagnetic stimulation) or massage alone.
So the next time you hear us coaches says, “Alright, hop on a 5 minute cool down,” you’ll be more excited to run/bike/row versus wallowing in your own sweat puddle.
Workout of the Day
Baca working hard on that barbell complex last Friday!
Next week CDR will be celebrating teamwork with a whole week of team workouts! On Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday all group classes will be partner WODs. Wednesday’s workout is “Bring a Friend” and Friday’s workout is “Bring your Sweetheart.” This is a great way to show off your CrossFit skills to your friends or significant other and get them excited about the sport you probably talk their ear off about!