CrossFit Challenges the Athlete’s Ability to Recover

CrossFit as a sport has been developed to train all areas of physical condition: strength, speed, endurance and mobility, and it includes elements from for example gymnastics and Olympic weightlifting. Since CrossFit is physically a very demanding sport, it is important to track not only training load during the workout but also the ability to recover after the exercise. By optimizing training load, it is possible to find one’s individual response to exercise in order to improve performance faster in terms of one’s current physical condition.

In addition to training, recovery also plays an important role in CrossFit competitions. In competitions, CrossFit athletes perform several events that include a wide range of tasks during one day. The ability to recover quickly between the events is beneficial for the athlete. In addition to physical condition and recovery, tactics plays a role too. Monitoring your own as well as your competitors’ training load can help evaluate your strengths and optimally divide your physical resources during the competition.

Monitoring Training Load in Battle of Jyväskylä

Firstbeat provided real-time training load monitoring for athletes in a national CrossFit competition – the Battle of Jyväskylä – in January 2015 with the Firstbeat Sports Monitor. The competition included both male and female competitors who had fought their way to the competition through qualifications.

During the competition, the athletes’ heart rate and percentage of their current heart rate compared to their maximal heart rate were presented to the athletes and also to the audience. This way the audience could see the athletes’ accumulating training load and the athletes could utilize their own and their competitors’ heart rate data in planning their tactics. In addition, the athletes were given reports that illustrated their training load and recovery during the competition.

Real-time monitoring was a success both for the audience and for the athletes. During the event, the audience could also participate in a competition where they had to guess the energy expenditure of the men’s winner during the four events. The energy expenditure was evaluated with the Firstbeat Sports solution and the right answer was 1985 kcal.

Firstbeat thanks the competition organizer, local CrossFit club CrossFit 40100, for the opportunity to participate in such a great event!

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