WOD Wisdom: 5 tips for training in the winter time

Chris Fischer at the Garage Games One in 2012. It was about 25 degrees outside.

We’ve reached that time of the year when the gym is no longer smothering hot. Now it’s just blistering cold.

Some days the ground feels hard from the cold and the barbells are frigid. That’s OK. We’re CrossFitters. We adapt.

There’s a few things we can do to help be prepared to WOD in the cold. Remember, the cold isn’t so cold when you’re warm.

Wear layers of clothes

Several people show up to the gym in just a T-shirt and shorts. That’s fine when it’s July and it’s hot as Hades. But in December that’s not good. Instead of shivering during the WOD briefing bring layers of clothes to wear.

Wear a sweatshirt, long sleeve shirt, sweatpants or hat until you get warmed and then take it as you go through the warm-up or WOD.

Get warmed up

The last thing you want to do is begin a WOD cold. Your body should feel warm and ideally have broken a slight sweat. If you’ve been sitting at a desk all day and then come to the gym cold, you are susceptible to getting injured without a proper warm-up. The coaches warm you up before class (that’s one of the reasons it’s important to be on-time), but some people need a little bit longer to get warmed up. If that’s the case, go for a short run, row 500 meters, practice jump roping or do some burpees before class. If there’s some down time before 3,2,1, Go and the WOD starts, then do some air squats or run in place to stay warm.

Put clothes back on after WOD

After a WOD you’re hot and sweaty. The last thing you want to do is put on a sweatshirt or hat. But that could be the difference in getting sick or not. You want to avoid going outside with wet hair or a wet shirt to go to your car. You think ‘Oh, I’ll just be outside for a second.’ but in that short time you may catch a cold. Be sure to put your layers back on before you go outside.

Stay hydrated

In the summertime it’s a little easier to remember to stay hydrated when it’s so hot. It’s a lot more difficult in the winter when it’s cold. Hydration is key no matter what time of year. Try to drink as much water in the winter as you would in the summer. Ideally it would be your body weight in ounces.

Stay home if you’re sick

We want everyone to be in the gym as much as possible. We don’t want everyone sick. If you have an illness, take a rest day. The rest, sleep and recovery will do more good for your body than beating it down through a WOD.