Noah Ohlen is an 8x CrossFit Games athlete, reaching the individual men's finals every year since 2014 - placing within the top 10 in 7 of those games appearances!
Competing at an elite level requires a demanding training regime, with Noah spending up to 30 hours per week in the gym.
Recovery plays a crucial when it comes to keeping up with such a challenging training regime, preventing injuries and giving both the mind and body everything it needs to recover optimally.
We asked Noah to share his favourite ways to optimise recovery around training and competing...
So, how exactly does 8x CrossFit Games Athlete Noah Ohlsen, recover?
Noah Ohlsen's Recovery Routine
With high training loads, recovery is key to maintaining progression and improving performance. Noah Ohlsen combines a multitude of approaches to keep his body recovered and ready for the next challenge.
From ice baths and saunas to downtime with friends and family. For Noah, recovery isn't just about the physical aspects of CrossFit, but also the mental demands of competing at an elite level.
Below, Noah outlines his favourite ways to help him recover efficiently, and why:
Cold Water Therapy and Sauna
"Both provide passive recovery.
Because I spend so much time at high intensity working in the gym, it's nice to sit back and do something that helps me recover without having to do anything.
Although we sweat plenty working out here in Miami, studies have shown that exercise + sauna exposure is better for cardiovascular health and fitness than exercise alone, while the cold plunge provides a CNS reset, as well as reducing inflammation of joints and muscles. I do both a few times a week!" - Noah Ohlsen.
Other observed benefits of cold water therapy include improved sleep and immune system, increased energy levels and greater circulation - aiding the removal of waste products built up in the bloodstream, such as lactic acid.
"Since my fiancé Joann got pilates certified and started teaching classes, I've been taking a class a week for about six months!
It's a lower-intensity way to move my body that makes it feel good!
Stretching, twisting, activating all of the small muscles that we may neglect with all the big compound lifts we do in CrossFit. Allows me to slow down, breathe a little deeper and honour my body." - Noah Ohlsen.
Time With Max (Noah's dog) and Family/Friends
"As much as I love spending time in the gym training, after being there for about 30 hours a week, sometimes I can't wait to get out of there!
Being able to disconnect from the pressure of tough training and competing and just relaxing, laughing and having fun with my closest family and friends helps me feel more balance in my life." - Noah Ohlsen.
"The time that our bodies recover by producing the most hormones to help repair and rebuild is when we sleep.
Being able to rest my old bones for at least 8-9 hours every night allows me to crush my day!" - Noah Ohlsen.
Multiple studies have concluded a high correlation between sleep quality, and muscle strength and mass.
This study found a significant reduction in muscle strength amongst university athletes who achieved <6.5 hours of sleep per night, versus another study group sleeping for >7-8 hours per night.
Sufficient sleep helps our muscles repair and develop, reducing the chance of injury and aiding future performance.
Mobility and Walks
"Low-intensity movement can sometimes be better than no movement at all, even on a rest day.
Keeping blood flowing, lubricating your joints and stretching your muscles can have your body feeling recovered and ready to tackle another tough day of training!" - Noah Ohlsen
If you struggle with mobility and flexibility, utilising an app that keeps you accountable daily can help you stick to your recovery routine. In Huberman Lab's podcast, he concluded on the positive impact of multiple variations of stretching protocols, with a simple 3x 30-45sec static hold per targeted muscle several times per week showing significant benefits.
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Got your own recovery tips? We'd love to hear them! Drop a comment below and share with the community how you optimise your recovery...