Three On One Off    July 9 2011

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Shoulder Press 5-5-5-5-5 reps

Yeehaw! Jeff sends his love from the Steep Creek Kayak Race!


The Theory Behind CrossFit’s Three On One Off Programming

As many of your know, we follow the CrossFit mainsite.  The mainsite is CrossFit’s programming headquarters among other things.  From the very beginning the mainsite has always posted workouts on a 3 on 1 off basis with the idea a consistent and planned rest day is just as important as a fitness regiment.

So why the 3 on 1 off schedule?

It was designed with this thought process:

Day 1 - On day one you come in to the shop chomping at the bit.  You’re rested, ready to go, and you hit the workout HARD.

Day 2 – On day two you still feel pretty fresh but the delayed onset muscle soreness has not yet set in.  You feel almost as fresh as you did on day 1.

Day 3 – By day three you’re a little sore and a little tired BUT you know you have a rest day the following day. This in turn gives athletes a massive mental edge.  It allows them to push through, train hard, and work in a slightly compromised state by knowing that their body will have a full rest day to recover.

The phrase “earn your rest days” came out of the 3 on 1 off programming method. When athletes slog through 5 to 6 workouts in a row, their body (whether the athlete admits it or not) goes into a constant state of suboptimal performance.

It would be silly to think that this program would work perfectly for everyone.  Age, the individual, workout time, and other activities certainly play a role in determining what kind of workout routine is right for each of us.

Many athletes expressed yesterday that they find it hard to mix CrossFit and sports.  One method that has worked well for many athletes is to limit their “on” days to three in a row but let the on days consist of sport or CrossFit.

The bottom line is that YOUR BODY NEEDS REST DAYS.

On Monday we’ll discuss continuous improvement throught rest days.

  • Emily Molter

    Rad picture! Jeff did great at the Teva Games.