Cool Down NOT Lay Down

Aug 11th, 2011

Category: CrossFit

Cool Down NOT Lay Down

Southie, over the past few days we have had, as always, some challenging WODs. After the WODs, many sprawled out on the floor and stared up at the ceiling; looking as if they collapsed. More than a few of the sprawled out bodies looked puzzled as to why I directed them to stand up and cool down by slowly walking around and sipping water.

The reasoning behind these directions are: 1. Physiological and 2. Psychological.

Let’s start on the physiological reasoning behind the cool down. When we CrossFit, we tackle intense workouts that elevate our heart rate and increase the volume of blood pumping through our veins towards our heart. During these workouts, we must generate enough energy to overcome gravity and bring blood flow from our extremities to our heart in order for our vital organs and tissue to receive the ample blood flow needed to support this intense work capacity. When we sprawl out on the floor after moving at 110%, our heart still beats at an elevated pace. However, since we have sprawled out and completely stopped physical activity, we no longer generate sufficient power to bring the blood needed to feed our organs and vital tissues from our extremities to heart (Molkin). This blood will then pool in our extremities and could lead to fainting or dizziness; not good for anyone.

Secondly, not properly cooling down can lead to a buildup of lactic acid in our muscles and blood; causing fatigue to set in faster and a decrease in our athletic performance (Ahmaidi). Thus, properly cooling down aids faster recovery and can help to increase our athletic performance in the long-run.

The psychological reason can be summed up in one phrase: mental toughness. CrossFit is designed to empower us; not defeat us. Sure we’re smoked after a tough WOD, but the hard work we put forth makes us stronger, not weaker. Sprawling out on the ground makes it look like we’ve been defeated rather than strengthened. Mental toughness and sheer will to succeed drive us through WODs and help us overcome our weaknesses; pure athletic ability only brings an individual so far. So finish the WOD strong, stand tall, and cool down, not lay down!


Ahmaidi, S., P. Granier, Z., Taoutaou, J., Mercier, H. Dubouchaud, and C. Prefaut. “Effects of Active Recovery on Plasma Lactate and Anaerobic Power Following Repeated Intensive Exercise.”  Medicine Science in Sports and Exercise.  28(4) 450-456.  1996.

Molkin, M. “Warming Up Cooling Down and Stretching:Preparing for a workout and recovering afterward deserve a lot more attention than manly believe.” Fitness Management (Los Angeles). Leisure Publications. 20(2) S-940749. 2004


Every minute on the minute for 12 minutes
4 Wall Balls
6 Hand Release Push Ups
8 Overhead Lunges (45/25)

L2 -4-5-6 (35/15)
L1-3-4-6 (25/10)
ADV – Clap Push-Ups, (1.5 Pood in each hand/ 26lbs)

If you can not complete the round within the minute, finish the round and start fresh on the next minute. For every round not completed there is a 10 burpee penalty at the end of the 12 minutes.

DISCUSSION 24 Comments

  1. Maze 08/12/2011 at 12:51 pm

    Thanks guys!!! Gotta cite the sources – felt like I was back in college writing that, haha.

    Frank – that’s awesome man, you guys have a great thing going on at Shoreline too. Nice work during Regionals and see you at Beast of the East.

    No burger challenge for me today Crusty, would have ended in 120 burpees after the WOD.

    Games WOD 3

    5 rope climb (15′)
    5 clean and jerk 145
    4 rope climb 4 clean and jerk 165
    3 rope climb
    3 clean and jerk 185
    2 rope climb
    2 clean and jerk 205
    1 rope climb
    1 clean and jerk 225

    11:50 RX – (for those of you who missed the games Froning did this sub 5 minutes, yes, I am wicked slow)

  2. Kelsey 08/12/2011 at 1:04 am

    215-3 rep deadlift (pr!)

    12 rounds Rx

    If anyone wants to give me a lesson in how to properly wallball, i’ll buy/make you food. I’m here until Satuday

  3. christina 08/12/2011 at 12:43 am

    deadlift: 205 x3
    wod: 12 rx
    5 rounds of 20 ghd situps

  4. John 08/12/2011 at 12:00 am

    Deadlift: 365 x 3/ 405 (2)

    WOD: 8+40 rx BRUTAL!

  5. Aaron 08/11/2011 at 11:16 pm

    Deadlift: 330
    WOD: 10+20 rx

  6. sarahp 08/11/2011 at 11:12 pm

    deadlift = 215. WOD = 10 rounds rx + 20 burpees. didn’t think this was going to be that hard. still sweating post shower.

  7. jaime 08/11/2011 at 10:50 pm

    oops there it is, it doesn’t show up at first 🙂

  8. Chuck Jones via Facebook 08/11/2011 at 10:29 pm

    Nice post. Ass kicked by a WOD? Walk it off.

  9. jaime 08/11/2011 at 10:06 pm

    why does my Facebook post not show up here!???
    Deadlift 245×3
    WOD 12 rounds Rx/L3 I’m not sure I missed a couple wall ball targets, crusty ass wallballs
    and I’m pretty sure I do not want to see the look on my face during that WOD, it was terrible, much worse that it looks on the white board, I hate when that happens

  10. Drew 08/11/2011 at 8:36 pm

    Great post. Laying down is a huge pet-peeve of mine. Stand yo ass up and prepare for what comes ur way next. Little things like that are habit forming.

    405# DL. I attempted the ADV. Made it about 2 full rounds, then scaled back. Humbling. Broke me. Good test of intestinal fortitude. Lots of penalty burpees for me today.

  11. Luis 08/11/2011 at 5:16 pm

    Maze – I expect this post will gain you a nomination for the Boston Globe’s All-Scholastic list, if not I’m rioting.

    DL: 365# x3 PR
    WOD: 11Rds x 10 burpees

    Go Pats!

  12. Goose 08/11/2011 at 4:02 pm

    Does this challenge include me? was planning on hitting something else today but will WOD for burgers.

  13. Kristen C 08/11/2011 at 3:45 pm

    Thanks for the post Coach Maze – I’m guilty of laying down after a tough WOD!

    In Portland, Oregon today for work, went to Crossfit Portland’s 6am WOD:
    Strength: 3×5 press (73 lbs)
    Rest 3 minutes then:
    4 Rounds of 10 Dips and 15 KB swings (1.5)
    Rest 3 minutes, then 3 200 meter rows with 3 minute rest in between (No timer for this WOD)

  14. Amy 08/11/2011 at 2:33 pm

    And the Gooseman told me this one wouldn’t be hard enough…

    Lovin the post Mazeman. And the citation. Excited to give it a go at noon.

  15. dudley 08/11/2011 at 1:54 pm

    dead lift: 295×3 (pr)
    WOD: 12 rounds (finished 5) ADV (1pood) then did 70 burpees. too difficult to understand the rules for this WOD at 530am. I’ll splurge for the cokes that accompany the burgers.

  16. Joe 08/11/2011 at 1:53 pm

    Maze: a scholar and an athlete.

  17. Crusty 08/11/2011 at 1:17 pm

    Maze – great post… even better citation
    Stadium burgers on me if anyone succesfully completes the ADV WOD w. no missed rounds.

  18. Boyson 08/11/2011 at 1:13 pm

    Well said Maze!

    405 X 3
    WOD 11 + 10 burps RX (I slammed the 45lb plate on the ground and it bounced back and drilled my shin then crushed my foot so i didnt complete a round)

    If you need some motivation before a WOD as well as some to not to lay on the ground watch this video and ask yourself “Are you a Champion”..

  19. Allison 08/11/2011 at 1:01 am

    Love this post! I feel totally wiped after the WOD and I still feel the need to have to circle around the room cheering people on, catching my breath and just thinking yeah you for doing a good job.

  20. Goose 08/11/2011 at 12:39 am

    Great post- written by Coach Masley.

    Miss you Fentondaddy!

  21. Haley Byrnes via Facebook 08/11/2011 at 12:28 am

    awesome post, goose!

  22. bfenton 08/11/2011 at 12:24 am

    Goose – Although I generally don’t do the workouts, (because I’m on Route 1’s programming) I still check the site regularly. This blog is exactly why… great motivation..great knowledge… miss ya buddy.


  23. Scott McIntyre via Facebook 08/11/2011 at 12:21 am

    I knew I loved Southie for a reason…amazing post. We NEVER lay down after a wod, and it is for these exact reasons!