CrossFit coaches from around the world have experienced instances where they are approached by athletes who desire to add something on top of their normal CrossFit classes. They believe the extra stuff outside the gym will give them more work in. There is a trend across CrossFit boxes where athletes are desiring to increase volume because they believe the increase will expedite their fitness process. This is particularly true for athletes competing actively in CrossFit games. Is CrossFit All About Volume? When CrossFit began, its popularity was mainly because of the effect the sport had on the body where within a short workout period, it had the potential of causing tremendous health benefits. The combination of gymnastics, weightlifting, and mono-structural movements proved effective in developing a rounded fitness which worked across modal domains and broad time. Initially, CrossFit classes consisted of a warm-up session, a short workout, and finally a cooldown. This was done about 5 days a week. Over the years, an idea came in which was adopted that an hour of CrossFit is hardly enough and more time needed to be pumped in so as to create a full fitness program. This is when more volume was added with more weightlifting, extra metcon, more skill sessions, and before everyone knew it, CrossFit had graduated within 2 hours of randomly designed workouts. This left many questioning whether volume was really important. The Power of Intensity Compared to volume, intensity seems to carry more weight. Many athletes believe that the original intent of CrossFit was intensity and never volume. The mentality of more is better is not necessarily effective. For an athlete going for CrossFit classes, a well-rounded program should be the first priority as this ensures continual progress. A single dose of effective and intense CrossFit workout a day is sufficient to sustain a lifetime of fitness. Different Goals for Athletes Different athletes have different needs and in CrossFit, coaches take time to understand these goals and the kind of training required to achieve them. The additional volume is usually targeted at those athletes who want to engage in competitive CrossFit. Also, athletes who have experienced weight loss but at a slower rate can go for extra volume. To determine whether the volume is appropriate, the mechanical consistency of the athlete’s movement needs to be factored in. The athlete should be able to move consistently at a higher intensity and should also be able to improve in movement using verbal cues from the coach. While the pursuit of the volume is still alive in many CrossFit gyms, experts suggest that to make real progress into your desired goals, you should blend an appropriate amount of skill work with a normal prescription of intense CrossFit workouts. Doing more CrossFit can prove more harmful than good in the long run. For a lifetime of fitness, always choose intensity.
CrossFit training has become one of the preferred disciplines for people who want to get in better shape. The range of movements incorporated in this sport is unique and you can’t find such a combination in any other strength and conditioning program. Initially, CrossFit was the preserve of tough individuals such as police academy students, military personnel, and professional athletes. However, the tide has changed and it is now done by almost anyone who is willing from all age brackets, teens and seniors included. Just like any training, there is a possibility of being injured while working out. As an athlete, it helps to know the likely injuries and their main causes so that you can avoid them and in case you get injured, you will know how to get treated. Lower Back Pain This type of injury can range from a persistent irritating pain to a dull ache. It comes as a result of excessive stress on the lumbar spine. It is common for people doing squats and deadlift exercises. In order to prevent this CrossFit injury, you have to learn how to do stretching and strengthening exercises right. In case you suffer a lower back pain injury, the recommended treatment is to first bring down the weights or to the extreme stop any type of exercise which aggravates the pain. In this way, you give the respective injured body areas time to recover and heal. As a temporal measure, you can use kinesiology tape just to ease the pain. Anterior Knee Pain  Knees are susceptible to injury during CrossFit training. This is because most of the movements are initiated from or involve the knees. Most of the knee pain incidences are usually linked with overuse and training, but knee pain can also point to a joint dislocation or to some extent a developing injury. Pain which occurs on a kneecap can indicate a condition which is referred to patella femoral joint dysfunction. In simple terms, it is the result of applying excessive pressure on a joint. One of the main symptoms of this condition is having difficulties in aligning your knee when doing a squat or lunge. To treat this injury, you can do light stretches, ice the knee, and lower physical impact. It is not advisable to apply too much pressure on your knees especially if you notice a swelling or dislocated kneecap. Tennis Elbow Even though its name is derived from tennis, this is a common CrossFit incident. Repetitive movements in CrossFit training can contribute to this injury. If you notice elbow pain developing, you should stop doing any activity until the pain subsides. When resuming training, you should start with a few stretches particularly targeting the extensor muscles. Rotator Cuff Tendonitis This is another common injury associated with CrossFit workouts. By all standards, the rotator cuff is one of most delicate joints in your body system thus susceptible to injuries. Many of the cuff injuries are associated with heavy and repetitive lifting exercises. Don’t ignore this injury. When it happens, the best approach to address it is by icing, massage, and a little bit of rest. In all the injuries discussed above, rest is very important because failure to take a break can restrict your range of motion and somehow undermine your future performance in CrossFit.
Building big arms can either be a result of exercise or genetics. However, there are people who have gone overboard and piled on drugs so that they can grow their biceps. On average, a lifter has to work harder and a bit smarter if they have to build arms through CrossFit workouts. Understanding the basics of muscle building is important if you are to follow a path that won’t expose you to unnecessary dangers. Mechanical Tension To achieve this, you have to utilize substantial weights and perform your CrossFit exercises through a full range of motion for a given duration. The time you spend under tension brings about mechanical tension in your muscles. If this time is significant enough, the mechanical tension will be significant as well. It is therefore advisable to lift heavy and use slower eccentrics in your quest to build biceps. The interesting bit with mechanical tension is that the stronger you get, the greater your capacity to recruit more muscle fibers for growth. Metabolic Stress When you train in sets that have a longer duration and relatively shorter rest periods, your muscles will accumulate lactic acid, creatinine, hydrogen ions, and many other metabolites which are the result of muscular contractions. Since your muscles are being constantly assaulted while doing CrossFit workouts, it becomes difficult for blood to escape and this creates blood pooling effect. What You Need to Do to Build Arms There are several things you can do to build your arms. The first step is building a sufficient base of strength. A foundation of strength will allow you to create enough tension as well as make higher rep pump work much more effective. CrossFit workouts such as squats, deadlifts, bench press, and pull-ups can help you in setting the base. The second step is to train for the pump. Experts point out that the sweet spot for building muscle is working out within the 8-12 reps range with moderate weight. This brings about metabolic stress and tension. There is a suggestion to add training methods or exercises that are a bit unfamiliar so as to moderate muscular damage. The third step is to vary your grips. Do not stick to the same grip one workout after another day in day out. This leads to overstressing of the same muscle recruitment pattern and movement. Because of lack of variety, your elbow can be aggravated from overuse thereby leaving you with unbalanced arm development. The different grips you can explore include wider grip, narrow grip, neutral grip, and shoulder width grip. The last step is to control the eccentric. Achy elbows are one of the commonly cited pain points for Olympic weightlifting enthusiasts. This could be occasioned by the athletes attacking curls as they would a max deadlift. When this happens, they lose control on their way down thereby taxing their tendons instead of biceps. It is always important to have the end goal in mind to maximize the mind-muscle connection, stimulate the muscle, and get a pump.  
Eating clean is by all means recommended and highly encouraged in CrossFit nutrition. This is because the micro and macronutrients need to be put in a check for your body to benefit in enhanced performance. That said, it is almost impossible to maintain a lifestyle of high-intensity sporting if you eat clean a 100% of the time. This is because the intensity of CrossFit exercises requires a significant quantity of calorie intake to support it. Treading the thin line between eating clean and eating enough for CrossFit performance is not easy. Athletes are slowly easing into the clean eating culture to tackle their nutrition needs and thus run into the danger of minimal eating. If you are aspiring to pack on muscle, lose fat, improve your lifts, and get stronger, you need to seriously think about what goes into your mouth and how much. Balancing between Eating Enough and Eating Clean When trying to gain strength and muscle, there is a limit to eating clean. A balance has to be struck between eating what you like and eating clean so that you can stick with this CrossFit nutrition and make it part of your lifestyle without too many sacrifices. Eating Clean as a Lifestyle This is not about going for 2 weeks or 2 months on a diet just to lose weight and then embark on your old life. It is about living a life you enjoy while at the same time pursuing your health goals. When doing high-intensity CrossFit training, you are literally chasing after the numbers. This means your body system needs to be replenished with the nutrients necessary to help you fuel and recover after a workout. From experience, this is difficult to achieve when eating clean all the time. Striking the Balance There are two ways you can tackle this. The first is to eat clean 90 or 100% of the time and thereafter indulge in less clean sources so that you can get the much-needed extra food. Alternatively, you can eat clean about 75% of the time and spend the rest on eating enough. For the 25%-75% approach, how you allocate the non-clean eating (25%) will determine how sustainable your diet will be. Some athletes use cheat meals in the name of CrossFit Nutrition, but these lack long-term sustainability and may not fit well into your lifestyle. The easiest yet effective way is to restrict the 25% to non-clean eating at least on a meal per day preferably on your post-workout diet. Putting the Theory into Practice Taking homemade chicken, spinach, broccoli, and a side of peas together with potato wedges and some sour cream can give you a good balance between a satisfying meal and a clean meal. The potato wedges will spike up your calorific intake and edge your carbohydrate count closer to your target. This can be a good post-workout meal. When you are having an unhealthy day, you can use smoothies to boost your clean percentage. Avoid eating store sandwiches and instead, go for real homemade food. There are lots of foods outside there that promise a clean CrossFit diet, yet do not measure up. Beware of such foods.
CrossFit is a mainstream sport that has attracted a huge number of people as well as big name brands whose specialty is in CrossFit gear. With this array of wears, no one would imagine that athletes would still be confused about what works and what doesn’t. Coaches are occasionally bombarded with questions from Cross Fitters on what is the appropriate wear and where they can get it. To shed light on this somewhat interesting beginner area, below are some pointers shared by the experts in CrossFit Gym, on what your workout gear should constitute. Tops Slogan tanks and box t-shirts are hugely popular. It seems everyone wants to shout out the gym they have been to while training during the holidays. These tops are mostly made of cotton which despite its lightweight and breathability, it doesn’t manage moisture as effectively. The best top you can get is one that is moisture-wicking and one which has a stretchy racerback that will move with you through each movement you execute. Going for a close-fitting top is a good idea because it means your shirt won’t flap around or flip up during handstands and pikes. In addition to the top, you should get a decent sports bra to enable your comfort while going through different exercises in CrossFit Gym such as box jumps, skipping, and running intervals.  When properly selected, tops can give you a confidence factor during your workouts. Bottoms As you probably know, CrossFit training is one of the hyper sweaty sessions. Depending on the weather, you may switch between shorts and crops. The reason why full-length leggings may not be appropriate for you is that they retain too much heat. In the crop world, there are lots of amazing patterns. The guiding factor should not just be the fitness of your bottoms, but also made from a material that can comfortably take a beating. Rolling around on the box floor requires materials that can withstand the friction. Footwear As a rule of the thumb, the footwear you choose should have a low, but hard sole. There are many brands of footwear you can sample either online or in your local sports shop. Running shoes are not the best for the CrossFit gym because when starting out, you need a solid footing. If all you have are running shoes, they may serve you in the short run, but prepare to get good shores. Training with flatter soled shoes will give you the flexibility you need to quickly change position and direction without losing balance. If you are planning to undertake WODs that mix lifts with cardio activities, go for lifting shoes. These literally glue you to the floor and help you in withstanding heavy weights without sliding. Remember to always carry a notebook or have an app for you so that you can note down your new PR lift, WOD time, or sprint interval time. Knowing your numbers is an important part of your progress and preparedness in CrossFit.
The farmer’s walk is much more than picking some heavy objects and attempting to walk with them. It is a CrossFit exercise that is a true game changer. It helps you build on the strength and improves your lifting. Simply the farmer’s walk is your one-stop-shop exercise to excellence in CrossFit Workout. It gives you the grip, enhances your glutes, abs as well as the lung capacity. Loaded Carries This is where an athlete takes up a heavyweight and carries it over a distance or an extended time period. You can use anything for the weights including sandbags, dumbbells, stones, kettlebells, and any other object which gives you the challenge to carry. Among the benefits of loaded carries include an improvement in work capacity which is simply your ability to perform physical work. On top of this, loaded carries can improve your grip strength, endurance, core strength, as well as muscle strength. Loaded carries also complement some of the major movements such as deadlift, squat, and bench press. Muscle Building The farmer’s carry is an exceptional CrossFit workout that enhances muscle building, especially in the upper back area. It creates very high levels of muscular tension and lets you sustain that for an extended time period. Research has shown that this stimulates bigger hormonal responses which aid in muscle growth. Grip Strength Improvement Your hands provide you with the base that supports lots of gymnastic movements as well as lifting movements. Without a proper grip, your path to strength will be limited in a way. Stronger grips are a pre-requisite to any form of lifting and will readily strengthen your shoulders. When doing farmer’s carry with some heavyweights, your grip strength will be your borderline into adding more weights. Enhancing Work Capacity According to the Journal on CrossFit Workout, work capacity refers to the ability to do real physical work as measured by the product of the force and distance divided by time. Alternatively, you can think of it as the overall amount of work you can do, adapt to or recover from positively. Farmer’s carry has been praised as one of the best ways through which you can improve your work capacity and strengthen your mental toughness. This can be achieved by putting the body system under a load for a longer period of time to create pressure in the abdomen and chest while challenging the breathing pattern. Increasing Core Strength There are several exercises you can throw into your CrossFit training schedule to strengthen your core amongst them sit-ups and farmer’s carry. The advantage with the latter is that it is self-correcting which means if your core is not working in the right way, you will immediately notice when you undertake this exercise. For you to have a nice and upright postural position, you need a stiff and rigid spine. By hanging on to some weight and walking, you can, therefore, improve both your posture and core strength.
CrossFit is a relatively fast-growing sport. This is mainly due to the uniqueness and variety of workouts athletes are exposed to during CrossFit training. Compared to some years back, CrossFit facilities have improved with gyms spread across streets as people embrace the culture and modalities of CrossFit. Even with such popularity, there are always good and bad apples, and it is important if you know what to look for in a gym. The following are some of the pointers to consider when looking for a CrossFit box. Layout or Appearance This is the first attribute you see when you visit a gym. Take note of how neat and organized it is and even the cleanliness of the floor. Even though CrossFit training does not constitute a formal class, you need whiteboards, leather boards, and timers to take care of the time conscious workouts. The layout should also include clear markings and labeling of important areas such as restrooms and the places where you can leave your belongings. In short, when looking at layout or appearance, you need to determine how comfortable and inviting the space is. Equipment There are two main aspects to look out for when assessing Crossfit gym equipment. The first is to check the sufficiency of the equipment and the second bit is to look at the organization. If you find plenty of equipment to go around or the instructor can organize the available equipment such that there is no limitation, then it is a good CrossFit gym. If the equipment in the gym is well taken care of, the chances are high that you will also be looked well after. Cleanliness Because of the activities that go on in gyms, it is hard to find a squeaky-clean facility. However, there is a seriously a huge difference between a Crossfit gym that is dirty and one that has the appearance of a hardcore box. Look at the floors, kettlebells, and bars for chalk remnants and dust. Also, check whether the restrooms are clean. The Profile of the Coach While considering any CrossFit facility, one of the people you cannot afford to ignore is the coach. This is because he provides direction and above all determines to a greater extent what you get out of the gym facility. Check the kind of work the coach has done outside CrossFit, the other certifications they have, and if truly CrossFit has transformed their life. The fitness industry also has an opinion concerning certain coaches and therefore tapping into this can help you in deciding whether the person you are considering to be your coach has what it takes. Class Structure CrossFits are different in organization, but at least they must have a structure. The advantage with well-structured CrossFit classes is that they allow for the flow of events and expectations, which are critical in the learning process. For instance, there should be dedicated times for beginners, different CrossFit exercises, and time for competition teams to train. The last, but certainly not the least aspect to look at is the CrossFit community. Training in a gym is all about the experience, and this is determined by the kind of community you are training around. Every community is different, but you should look at a mixture of people who have the drive to push you on as you interact with the box.
In the CrossFit repertoire, the overhead squat is upheld as one of the most vexing movements. It puts to test your balance, flexibility, coordination, and strength. Because of this, many athletes avoid spending hours developing the tools they need for a stronger overhead squat. There is a wrong perception that as long as an athlete has a good deadlift or back squat form, there is nothing else to worry about. The truth is an overhead squat is much more important and can help you reap the most from your CrossFit workout of the day.Getting better at overhead squats has an overflow effect on the skills you develop and are transferred to other movements such as the snatch. If you are keen on developing your overhead squat, below are tips to start you off. Identify and Work on Your Mobility Deficiencies In order to progress and perform an overhead squat, you must first have a solid squat foundation. The overhead squat places huge demands regarding mobility and flexibility in the hips, shoulders, glutes, hamstrings, and adductors. Chances are low that you are highly mobile in each of these areas. The task, therefore, is to sufficiently mobilize the muscle groups mentioned above so that you can become comfortable as you squat with a bar overhead. Develop Your Midline Stability In order to perform an overhead squat, you require a high degree of midline stability. Because this CrossFit workout movement involves holding a weighted bar overhead, you will also require a high amount of core stability. Much of the stability work in the overhead squat goes to the core which is predominantly the lower back. This means if you don’t have a stable midline, you may be vulnerable to hyperextending your lower back which may further result in unfavorable overhead position and injuries. Don’t Start with a PVC Pipe Instead Pick the Right Weight One of the difficulties associated with an overhead squat is in keeping the weighted bar over your base. When you use a PVC pipe, you can easily lock it out in all places some of which may be incorrect without realizing it. It is important for you to feel the bar so that you can develop the right position. A barbell or training bar can help you do this. Press into the Bar When doing the overhead squat, your focus should be on lifting and pushing the weight not just holding it. The body wants to move as a unit as you execute the dynamics of physics. This means as you descend, your muscle groups will relax and depress. The scapular group switches from elevation to depression while the upper traps switch to bigger balance with eccentric from concentric contraction. The last thing you want is for your muscles to be depressed and relaxed during this CrossFit exercise. Instead, they should be flexed so that they can form a solid support base for the overhead weight.As you descend into the bottom of your squat, do not rush out of it rather stabilize in the hole. Doing this reduces the chance of losing control of the bar path as you rise out of your squat.