Simply defined, a pull-ups exercise is a compound CrossFit workout which engages a wide range of muscles from the shoulders to your back and arms simultaneously. It is also easier to perform in terms of instructions because all you have to do is to grasp a bar with a firm grip and your hands kept apart by a distance equivalent to the width of your shoulders. The initial position is to allow the body to hang freely from the bar. The next movement involves pulling yourself upward to attain the final position where the chest touches the bar while your chin rests on the bar. When pulling, it is essential to concentrate on keeping your body aligned and straight, avoiding any instance of swinging or arching. While performing pull-ups, you have the option to cross your fit, bend your knees, or keep your legs straightened. What you should avoid is your feet touching the floor. Pull-Ups Variations As you have may have rightly guessed, there are a lot of different ways you can do pull-ups while doing the CrossFit workout. The section below explains some of the common ones you are likely to encounter in a gym. Wide Grip Pull-Ups This variation is mainly used to work your lats in addition to your biceps. Performing wide grip pull-ups comprises grasping a sturdy bar with a firm grip while your hands are separated from each other by a distance of approximately two times the width of your shoulders. When you separate your hands with such a distance, the emphasis on working your lats is stronger. As you perform this variation, it will do you a lot of good to focus on utilizing your lats in pulling your elbows towards your rib cage. Close Grip Pull-Ups This is one of the best CrossFit exercises for working your lower lats. Instead of a wide distance separating your hands, the distance is narrowed, and this is critical as you focus on emphasizing your lower lats. When ascending, you should concentrate on contracting your lats while at the same time being careful not to lean too far backward or swing your body. Underhand-Grip Pull-Ups As mentioned by some experts from CrossFit workout, this is for emphasizing your biceps. It is achieved by varying the degree of grip separation between wide grip and close grip. This exercise is done with an underhand reverse grip. The palms of your hands should be facing you during the workout. While in the initial position, try as much as you can not to overly relax your muscles because this can stress your shoulder joints. As always, your legs should be straight, crossed, or bent, but don’t swing back and forth. Gorilla Chin This variation targets your abdominals and biceps. The difference between this and a regular chin is that your knees are bent at an angle of 90 degrees while the distance separating your hands is about 12 inches. To perform this exercise, begin by pulling yourself using your arms as you gradually bring your knees closer to your chest. As you attain the final position, your knees will be up to your chest while your nose will be closer to the bar. Thereafter, lower yourself to the initial position. During pull-ups, your body weight provides the resistance, but as you proceed, you may have to suspend weight plates as additional CrossFit gear for more resistance.
When starting your journey in any of the CrossFit Gyms, there are several types of equipment that you must get along the way to enable you swiftly transit into this high-intensity field and maximize your experience. It is important to note that this is not a must-have gear, but instead pieces of equipment you will find convenient and useful having if you want to work out regularly and boost your performance. Jump Rope Most CrossFit gyms just have the basic jump ropes that beginners can borrow. To make your workout worthwhile, you should consider getting your own quality jump rope. The important elements in any jump rope include the weight which you should be comfortable with and the ability to customize the length of the rope. Among the benefits of a jump rope include calorie burning, agility building and quickness, increased bone density, and brain exercise. Research indicates that jumping rope even at a moderate pace can help you burn 10 to 16 calories per minute. So, if you want to get lighter on your feet within the first 6 to 12 months of you joining CrossFit, a jump rope can help you attain that. Weightlifting Shoes This is arguably one of the single most important CrossFit gear that will push you towards increasing your strength and enhancing your Olympic weightlifting. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself spending over $200 to get that perfect shoe. There are important aspects that you should be looking for in these shoes such as: The drop – This refers to the difference between the height of the forefoot and that of the heel. Look for a 4mm drop to enable you evenly to distribute your weight across your foot. Hard sore – This gives you stability. Durable outer shoe – When doing tough exercises such as maxi lift the traction on the topside of your shoe is equally important. Weight Belt When attacking heavier weights in movements such as cleans and deadlifts, you need a decent belt which will keep you safe. There is a huge array of belts out there, but it is important to go for the right one. A good belt according to experts from CrossFit Gyms should be long-lasting and sturdy leather is a good material that can serve you for a long time. If you aim to be a competitive powerlifter, get a belt that is tapered in the front 5 to 7 cm wide and at the back 10 cm wide. The thickness should be around 10 to 13 mm so that it can give you a good starting position for deadlift. Wrist Wraps As their name suggests, wrist wraps are quite useful in ensuring your wrists are protected as you start hitting snatches, heavy cleans, and overhead squats in your CrossFit training routine. With about $25, you can get quality wrist wraps. There you go! Check again to see if you have all of the above and in case any is missing, make arrangements and have it zipped in. it is for your own benefit.  
At the beginning of time, kettlebells were categorized as one of the mysterious training which nobody knew anything much. Today, it is a strength tool commonly used in CrossFit workouts. There are some CrossFit monsters who have repackaged and commercialized the exercise targeting both beginner CrossFitters and those who have been in the game for quite a while. That said, kettlebells do not change. The facts remain as well as the overall awesomeness. A Brief History of Kettlebell Training Kettlebell originated from the Russians. The use of kettlebell can be traced as early as the 1700s, but it was not used as an exercise tool, but rather a piece of equipment that helped farmers in measuring outcrops. Long ago, before the introduction of CrossFit workouts, the farmers out of boredom or unintended curiosity started swinging the kettlebells. They realized the more they did this, the stronger and healthier they become. In the late 19th century, Vladislav Kraevsky introduced kettlebell and barbell to the Russian training. One of the units of measures associated with kettlebell and weightlifting is the pood. Roughly, one pood measures about 16 kilograms or 36 pounds. The pood can also be measured in fractions. The most common weights used in kettlebell training are: 1 pood which measures about 36 pounds 5 pood which is equivalent to 54 pounds 2 pood which is 72 pounds Why Kettlebell Training Kettlebells are excellent for conditioning and strength. The studies that have been done on this strength training tool have all come to a consensus that through kettlebell swings, any athlete can develop their weightlifting and powerlifting fitness. Even if you use the kettlebell alone, it can easily whip you into shape. In a nutshell, kettlebell training will: Increase your strength and muscle mass Enhance your cardiovascular health Boost your maximal and explosive strength Increase your jumping power Improve VO2 max and conditioning It can thus be said that kettlebell is an extremely powerful tool and if you use it properly, it can give you transferable skills that you can apply in other sports. What are the Common Kettlebell Exercises There are a lot of variations of CrossFit workouts that you can do using a kettlebell. However, the following are the common ones. Kettlebell swing Windmill Snatch Clean Turkish Getup Goblet squat Double kettlebell push press There are lots of kettlebell programs, exercises, and classes out there. However, you can add a kettlebell training cycle to your current CrossFit training routine to help you develop an edge without necessarily overtaxing or overtraining your body. Remember kettlebell training primarily focuses on strength and power. It is recommended that you have at least 1 to 2 minutes of rest in between exercises and a further 2 to 3 minutes of rest in between sets. If your drive is to boost conditioning and intensity, just shorten the rest times to about 30 seconds. A typical kettlebell training cycle lasts 6 weeks where you exercise twice a week.  
It is almost a tradition that every Memorial Day, countless gym goers and CrossFitters put themselves through an insane and brutal combination of running and calisthenics. The Murph is one of those CrossFit workouts that can be termed as utterly daunting and brutal while at the same time remarkable in the results it delivers. To do this, you just need a pair of snickers and a pull-up bar. The workout itself consists of running a mile, followed by 100 pull-ups after which you do 200 push-ups before doing 300 unweighted squats and finishing with another mile run. In its highest form, the athletes in CrossFit Gym usually compete while wearing weight vests measuring about 20 pounds. The question is, how do you execute such a WOD without completely tearing apart? Below are some tactics to keep you on the frontline. Rehearse Beforehand With practice, you can do much. When you regularly engage in high volume exercises, you develop a mindset. The benefit of practice is that it helps you to prepare your body and mind so that you can endure a large workload without becoming sore. On the day of the Murph challenge, ensure you keep your workload light and mostly mental. Hydrate Well You can’t possibly succeed in executing Murph if you are the type of person who loves hotdogs and boozing. Everyone thinks they are invincible athletes simply because they train a lot. However, hydrating your body should not be overlooked because your body system is not any better than a machine and when it runs empty on fuel, it breaks down. Hydrate at least 2 days beforehand and you will have a relatively easy time in the CrossFit gym. Get the Necessary Nutrients in the Right Volumes In the same manner, you approach a 10-kilometer marathon, think about the Murph the same way. Fueling up with electrolytes and carbohydrates will save you from the troubles of running on an empty stomach. The best approach is to prepare a shake of carbohydrate that is easily digestible and supplement it with protein powder. Scale the WOD to Your Ability Before taking on Murph, assess your ability to handle the workload. This should give you an idea of how to scale the exercises in CrossFit Gym to enable you to go through the reps without burning your system. Safety and effectiveness are key priorities in this workout and if you can’t perform a certain movement, scaling is the best option. Instead of assessing your ability on the workout day, do it a few days before. Do not feel as if you are any lesser of a CrossFitter simply because you are scaling your WOD. Every athlete is endowed differently and there is always a beginning point. On top of doing the above, ensure you focus on saving energy as you go through each rep. don’t spend every watt of power, but target at saving energy to help you power through this CrossFit WOD successfully. Remember, quality supersedes quantity and speed in CrossFit.
When you hear of macros and calories and the tracking that needs to go into it, you may feel as if you are being taken through a torturous journey of CrossFit Diet into achieving your fitness goals. The reality is, your attitude and approach will determine how easy and boring these exercises can be. Remember, CrossFit nutrition is not just what you eat and when rather it is an important tool to help you boost your CrossFit performance as you integrate the essential workouts. Macros are simply macronutrients. If you have heard about protein, fat, and carbohydrate, then you already have a foundational knowledge of what macros are. Each of these nutrients has a specific number of calories per gram. For instance, protein has 4 calories per gram, fat has 9 calories per gram, and carbohydrate has 4 calories per gram. Determining Your Goal The first step in the macro counting and calorie tracking business is to set up a goal. The goal usually has 2 components, the first being losing weight and the second gaining muscle. In order to achieve these goals, you must find out as the baseline the much you are eating currently. You can know this by tracking your food intake continuously for 2 to 4 weeks. Always take your weight measurements before and after. If you find that you lost weight, then it means you are not eating as much, if you gained weight then you are eating more than your system needs. Add the calories you have consumed and then divide them by the number of days to get the daily average of your CrossFit diet. Total Daily Energy Expenditure and the Basic Metabolic Rate The BMR refers to the energy your body needs in order to function each day. For your heart to beat, nails to grow, your system to digest, and even for you to breath, you need energy. To add to this foundational energy requirement, you need more energy to support activities such as walking, running, and weightlifting. This is taken care of by the total daily energy expenditure. There are several tools you can use to calculate your BMR and total daily energy expenditure. Calculating Your Macros Depending on whether your goal is to lose weight or gain muscle, your CrossFit diet needs to adapt to this. Having put your goal into context, you need to establish the percentage of energy that you either need to add or subtract from your total daily energy expenditure so as to meet your goal. For gaining muscle, you will go through the gradual process of lean massing while for losing fat you will gradually experience weight loss. Keeping Track and Measuring Progress After you input the desired protein, carbohydrate, fats, and targeted calories, it is now your responsibility to keep check of whatever meal you take including snacks. It may be difficult at first, but just like CrossFit workouts, with time it becomes a habit. A kitchen scale is an important tool to make this tracking as accurate as possible. Keep on tweaking your food intake as you progress. Measuring progress is important and should be determined from the word go what specific indicators will be used. In as much as the scale is a logical instrument to check progress, before and after pictures as well as muscle tissue measurements can tell you how well you are doing. You can also measure body fat using calipers.
Every serious Cross Training Athletes is either on zone diet or paleo diet or a mixture of both. That said, some Cross Training Athletes especially beginners may not be on a diet because of lack of awareness or simply not knowing how crucial it is in their Cross Training Athletes workout regimen. The quality of food is taken seriously in zone diet as well as balancing the portions of fat, protein, and carbohydrate. Zone diet has been praised for its ability to strike the hormonal balance. By extension, this boosts your wellness, energy utilization, blood chemistry, and so much more. Zone dieters consider food as a drug, and therefore they are very careful so that they do not loosely consume food for fear of undesirable physiological changes in their body systems. What is Zone Diet All About? Most people believe that zone Cross Training Athletes diet is just about high protein or low carb. The reality is that this diet is much more than this. It balances the following food groups. • Protein – This consists of natural meats. • Carbs –Zone diet advocates for low glycemic vegetables and fruits.• Fat –This is a critical macronutrient that forms part of the zone diet. When you balance fats, carbohydrates, and protein, you can successfully control glucagon, insulin, and eicosanoids hormones which are usually generated by the human diet. Insulin is classified as a storage hormone, and excess of it accelerates inflammation and makes you fat. Glucagon, on the other hand, is a mobilization hormone which tells your body to steadily release stored carbohydrates thereby stabilizing your blood sugar levels. This is important for optimal Cross Training Athletes exercises and mental performance. The last hormone eicosanoids help in controlling inflammation. It is also a master hormone which orchestrates a wide array of hormonal systems in your body. Zone Living Zone diet consists of a block of meals. A one block meal comprises one choice from the carbohydrate list which is blue, protein list which is pink in color, and the fat list which is green in color. A two-block meal will have two choices from each of the above lists. A three-block meal will have three choices from each group, and the list goes on and on. The onus is upon you to mix and match the blocks according to your preference. For instance, when you wake up, you can go for a two-block meal then proceed to three-block meal for lunch and dinner. Athletes are different, and each one will have their block requirements. The key point in this Cross Training Athletes diet is to develop a habit where you eat at regular intervals so that your hormones are always balanced. When you wake up, an hour should not elapse before you eat. It is advisable that in 4 hours, you eat something in between and always before going to sleep you take a snack. If you have a digital food scale, it will make your work easier because then you can measure blocks in an easy and fast way. When you put your plate on the weighing scale, press the tare button. This will subtract the weight of the plate and only ensure the content. Be careful to avoid micromanaging your nutrients. Once you get used to living in the zone, it will be much easier for you to customize your lifestyle.
The box is not as easy space especially for beginners in CrossFit. However, with the right mastery of the unspoken laws, your life can be much easier because these laws create the right environment for your improvement and continuous progress. Below are some of the ones you should know by heart. Do Not Cheat Reps When you are in the heat of a CrossFit workout and the pain and fatigue is setting in, it becomes easy to lose count. This aside, there are some athletes who deliberately cut reps to speed their scores and beat their rivals. Since the competitive element of CrossFit workout is fun, you should never lose the fact that any workout has a primary role in making you stronger, fitter, and healthier. Don’t be obsessed with winning to cheat your reps. The Last Gets the Loudest Cheers This is one of the best aspects of CrossFit. A WOD is very competitive, but that aside, the main aim of every single workout is to improve the fitness of all involved. At every CrossFit level, this mentality rules. You will see it as a first timer in CrossFit, and you will also see it even at the CrossFit competitions. Don’t Be Selective in Your WODs It is part of humanity that each one of us has their strengths and weaknesses. There is excitement when you come across a workout you can do perfectly well because it involves everything you are good at. However, you will come across the opposite scenario in CrossFit where WODs are not as fun because they demand techniques and resilience aspects that you are not good at. Instead of avoiding such kind of CrossFit exercises, you should tackle them as doing so serves to improve your weakness. Take Care of the Equipment This is more or less a matter of simple courtesy. It shouldn’t be difficult to put the equipment, bars, and plates back in the racks. Taking care of equipment is a ritualistic element of CrossFit training and obeying this comes with its share of respect. For instance, some athletes will walk around the bar after every lift instead of walking over the barbell which is considered disrespectful. Control Your Ego Don’t kill or suppress your ego because you will need it to power you through CrossFit. It has the effect of motivating us to a higher level of competition and always getting better at what we do. However, if not controlled, egos can be a hindrance to your CrossFit performance. CrossFit exposes weaknesses in some of the places you never knew existed. As an athlete, you need to be humble and not allow your ego to lead the way in the face of disappointments and embarrassments. It takes a lot of courage to accept that at times we are not as good as we think. Working with your CrossFit training coach, you can quickly learn some of the etiquettes that will inspire you to progress and improvement.
A bad knee is a disappointment to any athlete, but unfortunately, it happens to most people without preamble. Depending on its degree, it can be life-altering and prevent you from exercising. If you have knee pain, there are two possible paths you may take. The first one is that of a physician who may tell you to stop exercising and the second path is to ignore the warning signs of pain and continue pushing through until injuries stop you. There is something you can do to prevent knee pain from grounding you and thus continue with your normal CrossFit workouts. The following are the major causes of knee pain and ways of addressing them. Poor Foot Stability Most athletes who complain of knee pain coincidentally have a history of pains somewhere on their arch right on the same foot. The link between poor foot stability and arch pain is a dysfunctional foot. The job of the arch is to roll across the surface transferring the forces of impact to the rest of the body. A flat foot is the same as a car with bad breaks and as such can’t effectively slow down as it rolls inward. If the foot rolls to a greater degree, it will pull the knee with it. The result of this is stress on the ligaments which hold your knee together. Poor Ankle Mobility This is one of the leading postural deviation experienced by many CrossFit athletes. The limitations in ankle mobility are mostly caused by our choice of CrossFit training shoes or the types of CrossFit workouts we choose to do. This problem affects our workout generally because there are a lot of squatting exercises we must do that depend on ankle mobility. If you lack ankle dorsiflexion, you will experience problems when decelerating your body and therefore end up with your knee traveling to a bad position. Posterior Weakness While it is true that your knee is such a hard worker, it isn’t very smart. Its operation is influenced by the foot and the posterior muscles. The muscles generate force through the rubber band effect and because of this, glutes which can’t properly lengthen and accommodate the load during deceleration into a squat causes the knee to fall out of track and cave inwards. Your posterior connects to the leg and knee region through glute Maximus which attach through the IT band into the lower leg. Poor Core Stability Our body systems are organized as a series of alternating sections of stabile and mobile parts. Most of the CrossFit exercises comprise extension and flexion of the hips. To operationalize this, the spine works as the muscle anchor to flex and contract the hip by way of pulling the quadratus lumborum or femur to maintain pelvic stability as you transfer weight from one leg to the other. If this stability is lacking in your core, the origin and insertion points for your muscles change ultimately preventing you from maintaining proper control of your joints during motion. As a CrossFit enthusiast, you should not just stop because of pains and aches, but rather pursue alternatives to address the problem. You may want to regress to some other activity as you give your body a chance to recover and build stronger fitness levels.