CrossFit is now a very popular form of exercise because it really can help you transform your body and dramatically improve your fitness in a short space of time.
By combining elements of weightlifting, gymnastics, calisthenics, rowing, running and HIIT, for example, people engaging in a CrossFit training program can see increases in strength, power and endurance, whilst at the same time burning fat and improving their overall fitness level.
Subsequently there are now so many CrossFitters all over the world who have become devotees to this form of training.
The problem, however, is that many people become so excited by the results that they are seeing from their training that they end up working out multiple days a week with very few, if any rest days in between workouts.
This is not necessarily a good idea because everyone should have two or three rest days per week, if possible, but in the case of CrossFit, a study from earlier this year found that training for two consecutive days can impair your immune system.
It was only a small study because they only examined nine male members of the CrossFit community, but the conclusions of the study were very interesting. Here are some of the findings:
“2 consecutive days of Crossfit training elicited a significant decrease in anti-inflammatory cytokines without impairments in muscle power.”
“Whilst we observed no negative effect on muscular power, it is still recommended that caution be exercised due to the suppressive effect 2 consecutive days of CFBT had on the immune system.”
“While future research is needed to determine the significance of this result, it is recommended that the incorporation of lower intensity sessions and/or resting days would help to minimize immune disturbances.”
It is worth pointing out that there have been a few other studies that have been conducted that have found similar results with regards to a weakened immune system after consecutive training sessions.
So if you are engaging in a regular CrossFit program yourself, you might want to include more rest days between sessions because otherwise you may find that you have more illnesses and more days off work during the course of the year if you are consistently pushing your body to the limit.
Yes it’s true that many of us become addicted to exercise once we start seeing some positive results, but you do need to give your body a chance to rest and recuperate between workouts because this is just as important as the training itself.
Anyway I just thought I would discuss the findings of this study because I know that there are many readers of this site who are regular CrossFitters. It is ultimately up to each individual person to decide how often they work out, and how often they rest between workout sessions.