Weight training may have its own rules and procedures, but there is no one size that fits all. What you go for in terms of weight sizes primarily depends on the fitness goals you have set before you and any previous experience you may have on weight training. The National Strength and Conditioning Association suggests that athletes should lift weights heavy enough so as to fatigue their muscles during specific repetition range when doing CrossFit exercise. This means if you work out in the CrossFit gym and you don’t feel the burn after you are done with your sets, then your lifting is not heavy enough. Beginner Lifters The recommended starting weight for beginners should be one that they can easily lift about 12 to 15 times for a set or two. The size of this dumbbell weight may range between 2 to 15 pounds depending on the target muscle group. With this dumbbell weight range, you will develop baseline musculature and strength as well as proper technique and rhythm. It is suggested that you train with this repetition and weight range for a period of about 4 weeks. The Weights The choice of weight for a dumbbell differs according to the muscle groups. For instance, when doing bicep curls, you can use weights ranging from 5 to 8 pounds. On the other hand, working out weaker triceps muscles requires weights of about 2 to 5 pounds. When performing squats, the recommended weights should be much heavier up to 45 pounds because your glutes and legs are much stronger than your arm muscles. Endurance If you are a distance athlete such as triathlete or marathon runner, your CrossFit training should have more of muscular endurance. To train for this, you should aim at using dumbbell sizes that will seriously fatigue your muscles in repetitions of about 15 to 20. Start with light weight and if you can perform up to 20 repetitions with ease, increase the weight. Your goal here is to get the maximum possible weight which you can lift through 20 repetitions and one which maxes out your endurance. Endurance training is not much about muscle mass, rather it enhances the amount of work your muscles can do over a long period. Hypertrophy When you hear of muscle hypertrophy it simply means building muscle size. The best repetition range to make this possible is 3 sets between 8 and 12 repetitions. Perform this between 2 to 3 times in a week. The dumbbells for muscle hypertrophy should be anything from 10 to 20 pounds. Strength If your target is to build strength, your CrossFit exercise should have higher intensity and weight compared to muscle hypertrophy. Make your sets around 3 to 4 and your dumbbell weight should enable you to max out at about 6 to 10 reps. The CrossFit exercise will determine the weight of dumbbell to use. For instance, when doing shoulder presses, start with 2 to 5 pounds of weight and when doing squats, aim at 45 pounds. It is advised that you get adequate rest in between the sets so that your muscles can fully recover.
KUNAL JHAVERI | 25 Jan 18
If there is one exercise you cannot ignore, it is the deadlift. This is because it stands tall among the mass-gaining CrossFit workouts. Any athlete who wants to add muscles to their upper and lower body as well as create stronger and more appealing physique, the deadlift is the exercise to concentrate on. If performed correctly, the deadlift can help you build unparalleled mass while at the same time strengthening the major muscle groups. To add to this, deadlifting helps in strengthening the back and all the surrounding muscles. For this reason, it is excellent for rehabilitative as well as preventive processes. Experts in the CrossFit industry consider deadlift as the most effective CrossFit workouts in building core strength which supports all other muscle groups. The advantages of core strength cannot be underestimated because of their role in supporting virtually every movement and position performed by the body. You may be wondering why other exceptional compound exercises such as bench press and squat are not given much airtime when discussing a deadlift. The reason behind this is that deadlift is special for a variety of reasons. It’s recommended that it should be added to every CrossFit training schedule. If you want to find out more about this exercise, then read along. Core Stability This benefit has been mentioned above, but to build more on it, I will discuss it in detail. The deadlift workout targets all the muscle groups considered major, and it is responsible for core strength and correct posture. If you are doing deadlifting correctly, you will be able to hold your back straight when doing your day-to-day activities. This is because the workout emphasizes on maintaining a relatively straighter back throughout its performance. In addition, the deadlift strengthens the surrounding supporting muscles of the backside, waist, hips, and the lower back. Core strength is critical in helping you maintain balance as well as weight transference. Minimum Equipment The beauty of deadlift is that it requires little in preparation and equipment. So, all you need is a bar and your willingness to lift. Even though athletes may include wraps, it is not mandatory and in many cases optional. Safety Compared to other workouts, the deadlift is relatively safe and risk-free to perform. Unlike the bench press and squat, the deadlift doesn’t put you at risk of getting pinned under maximum lifts. As long as it is performed in the right form, it doesn’t stress any of your joints. More Muscles Exercised Deadlift is a real compound exercise. It works more muscles than any other movement. Back muscles, leg muscles, gluteus maximus, shoulder muscles, and arms are among those heavily exercised. With the deadlift, your whole body can grow. Gripping Strength If you do deadlift without traps, it will strengthen your grip because of the weight involved. You can easily work over 300 pounds for repetitions. In addition to the above, adding deadlifting to your CrossFit gym exercise repertoire, you will experience amazing cardiorespiratory fitness, the true measure of strength, and lots of real-life applications.
KUNAL JHAVERI | 23 Jan 18
A thruster is an extremely popular exercise you are likely to bump in when you visit a CrossFit gym. The starting point for any thruster is the front squat, and gradually you get into loading the bar on your shoulders using clean. For you to reach a rep, the bar has to finish overhead with your elbows extended and locked. This may sound easy, but when you have a nice amount of them combined with burpees or chest to bar pull-ups, they can be quite complex. Following are the tips to help you cycle through your thruster workouts more effectively. Putting in More Work on Your Front Squat The foundation for thrusters is built through front squats. When executing front squats, your torso ought to be upright so that your body along with the weight can properly balance. For you to keep the torso upright, you require sufficient degree of mobility in your hips and ankles and good core strength. This will help you to control your weight and movement better. The demand for overall mobility is higher in front squats than back squats. Front Rack Mobility A number of athletes struggle with CrossFit workout, especially with a thruster or front squat because of insufficient front rack mobility. The bar or weight should rest on your shoulders, and the position you are in should make you feel strong and put your arms in control. With an upright torso, your wrist, arms, and shoulders will be mobile enough to control the barbell position. Instead of touching the bar with your fingertips, grab it with a firm grip. In case you are having problems with this, make it manageable through mobility drills. Prevent the Bar from Slipping Off Your Shoulders Normally, if you experience limited overall mobility, inappropriate rack position, and a leaned forward torso, chances are the bar will also start slipping off your shoulders. While fixing this during the WOD is possible, it will cost you extra energy and strength and also disorient you in terms of focus in CrossFit workout. While you are in the bottom squat position, ensure your elbows always stay up irrespective of whether you are doing thrusters or front squats. Always keep the bar fixated on your shoulders and received it in this position with accuracy. Add More Work to Your Push Press After the front squat, push press takes the second position in the thruster. In terms of movement, you start from a bottom position and then you gradually engage your glutes and core as you drive up with your hips to thrust the bar overhead. It is recommended that you don’t press it because eventually, you may burn out especially when doing high volume thrusters. Your CrossFit workout movements should be efficient and use more weightless momentum. The same applies to thrusters. As you stand up from the squat, generate the power you need and utilize it in throwing the weight overhead. A thruster is a metabolic condition in exercise, and as such you need proper pacing and a smart approach especially when done in higher amounts of reps.
KUNAL JHAVERI | 22 Jan 18
Rope climbing requires you to use your entire body and helps in testing your strength. In addition to developing your upper body, this CrossFit exercise also helps in enhancing the coordination and agility of skills. Regarding complexity, rope climbing is much simpler, but it is extremely beneficial for physical development. For thousands of years, rope climbing has been an exercise undertaken by people in the military as well as combat training persons. It is recommended that you first be in decent shape before practicing this workout. Being a compound exercise targeting muscle groups such as arms, back, shoulders, and the abs, you need to build up sizeable strength for you to support this exercise. There are so many benefits that you can reap from performing this exercise. Below are some of the common ones. Intramuscular Coordination To execute a strong rope climb, your body must be functioning effectively. Through a rope climb, you can train a large number of muscle groups and allow them to communicate with one another. This is important for your general body wellness and the effectiveness of the exercise. Stronger Grip While it is expected that rope climbing will help you in gaining strength, your grip will benefit too. CrossFit athletes who have integrated rope climbing into their WOD have witnessed massive gains in grip strength as well as their forearms. Core Strength If you have ever wanted to work out your core muscles, rope climbing is the exercise to go for. As you keep your body in front of the legs and climb, your core will strengthen, and this will certainly be beneficial to your body. Mental Strength In addition to the obvious benefits in strengthening body muscles, doing rope climbing also stimulates and utilizes your mental strength. As you know, success in CrossFit training requires a good mental attitude and rope climbing can help you develop that. Muscular Endurance As long as you perform it correctly, rope climbing can be an awesome conditioning exercise. It enables you to develop endurance as well as giving you the ability to master your weight. Because of this reason, wrestlers and martial artists have made rope climbing their staple workout. Boosts Stamina If you can establish a timing circuit where you climb up, do your workouts and then climb down multiple times within a certain duration, you can build up your stamina. Your muscles will be conditioned to perform difficult tasks for a long period easily. Anyone doing CrossFit would know that stamina lengthens your training circuit. To add to the above benefits, rope climbing enhances the strength of your pull and grip. This is important if you want to develop a stronger back because the pooling strength comes from muscles in the back. Even though you may assist yourself with your legs, the greatest weight is still carried by the upper body muscles. Just like other pulling exercises in the CrossFit gym, rope climbing will build your upper body strength.
KUNAL JHAVERI | 20 Jan 18
If you have been keen on CrossFit athletes, most of them have muscular forearms. This is great because the grip strength they typify is vital if you are into lifting. A stronger grip strength gives you an advantage in lifting more weight in the CrossFit gym as you do powerful moves such as deadlift and pull-ups. This is why anyone wanting to build muscle all over must start with a stronger grip. That said, not everyone visiting the CrossFit box has stronger grip strength. This is because some athletes are masking their weaknesses while others rely solely on machine-based workouts which more often than not neglect challenging the forearm. If this is you and you want some tips to build your grip strength, read along. Do not Encourage Weakness Tools such as grip aids and wrist straps are only effective in putting a band-aid on your weak grip. Instead of challenging your grip to become stronger, these tools will encourage your body to become dependent and this weakens your forearms. The best approach is to lift slightly less weight so that you can hold it without the need for assistance. When you develop your grip strength, your ability to lift more will increase, and this will stimulate your body to grow. Regularly Train Your Grip Your grip should be trained daily. Every time you are in the box lifting and pulling, remember to train your grip. When you incorporate grip in your CrossFit WOD, the repetitive stress will make your grip strength to experience a quick jump, and this will further develop your forearms. Try to include core exercises such as farmer’s walks to help you in your grip. This workout is also great as a forearm and midsection finisher. Lift Heavy Instead of training with light wrist curls for lots of sets, consolidate your workout and train the rest of your body together with your grip. Incorporating body weight rows, pull-ups, and heavy deadlifts, your entire arm will develop including your grip. Add weight to rack deadlifts to help you challenge your grip. Other exercises such as walking lunges must not be neglected, and you can combine them with dumbbells to give you an opportunity to build a stronger grip. Go for Grip Builders There are lots of grip building tools in the CrossFit industry which can stimulate your body. The beauty with grip builders is that they help in amplifying your results through an increase in active demand. An easier way to enhance the thickness of handhold is to wrap a towel around the bar or handle when doing any CrossFit exercise. Another simple, but powerful tool for building your grip strength is squeezing the bar. When you press the bar during a set, you will activate higher grip, and this gives you more gains in grip strength. Instead of allowing the bar to slide towards your fingers, lock it firmly in the palm of your hands so that you can hold it in place. When you engage your grip more, your strength numbers will gradually spiral upwards.
KUNAL JHAVERI | 19 Jan 18
The back squat is one of the key CrossFit training exercises which help in increasing strength, building muscle, and burning fat at the same time. The beauty with this squat is that it targets every muscle of the body and hits it in some shape, form, or way. If you want to measure your strength, the back squat is one of the exercises that can help you do this. Athletes who squat twice their bodyweight are considered a huge success in strength training. However, it is vital to note that such lifts do not come overnight. You need to put in a lot of practice and effort. The major stumbling blocks athletes face when trying to enhance their squat are weak hamstrings, weak glutes, and limited mobility. If you think you are one of the victims of this, below are ways you can fix them at your CrossFit gym. Weak Glutes Whenever you are coming out from the bottom position of a squat, you may experience some sort of an inward buckle of the knees. This condition is referred to as valgus collapse, and it indicates weak glutes. If not addressed early enough, it may result in injuries and tears such as PCL and ACL. When this occurs, your recovery will take much longer. To fix this, you should add barbell hip thrusts into your CrossFit workout routine as this target the glutes. For the best results, perform 3 to 4 sets each of 6 to 10 reps on your lower body or leg days. Weak Hamstrings While it is true that the back squat hits the quads really hard, heavyweights require activation of the glutes and hamstrings. When you have weak hamstrings, you will spend most of your time struggling as you try to come out of the bottom position of a squat. Fixing this requires the inclusion of Romanian deadlifts which strengthen the hamstrings and teach your body the right order to fire your muscles so as to improve your squat technique. Do 3 to 4 sets each having 6 to 8 reps on your lower body or leg days. Limited Mobility A stiff and tight body in the CrossFit gym possesses a mobility challenge when going through a range of motion. If this is not sorted out, you can ass well forget about packing on weight. To fix this, engage in foam rolling to loosen the tight areas. After a thorough foam rolling session targeting areas such as the chest, shoulder, lower back, mid back, hamstrings, and glutes, do overhead squats to open up, stretch, and mobilize the major parts of the body. Begin with one or two sets each having ten to twelve reps. You start with a PV pipe and after that progress into a barbell as you increase the weight on each set.
KUNAL JHAVERI | 16 Jan 18
When growing up, most of us were admonished by our parents because of posture. If you ever heard words such as don’t slouch, sit up straight, and such like other words directed at you, there must have been a problem. While many of us didn’t like the reprimands, the truth is, our parents didn’t like the manner in which we were either sitting or standing. Poor posture has lots of implications, and whether our parents knew all of them or not, they had our best interest at heart. Understanding Good Posture Posture refers to the positioning and alignment of the body concerning the force of gravity. Whether you are standing, lying down, or sitting on a mat in the CrossFit gym, gravity exerts a force on our muscles, joints, and ligaments. Good posture enables us to distribute the force of gravity all over our body so that no single structure is overstressed. When exercising in weight training, posture will affect how you run, jump, walk, and lift weights. This, in turn, will give you good balance, flexibility, and ease of movement. Apart from that, the following are some other benefits of good posture in and out of the gym. Better and More Confident Image At times, all you need is just self-confidence. If you slump over, the image you portray to those around you whether they are your CrossFit colleagues or even the folks in your neighborhood is that of a defeated soul. At all times, you need to stand tall, and this can be achieved through a good posture. The first thing your CrossFit trainer will work on with you in the gym is posture and form. This is because they are important for your CrossFit training. Helps in Breathing The slouching position affects the depth and ease of breathing. When working out, breathing is a critical process that gives you an exchange of air and keeps you going through reps. People who are comfortable in the slouching position may have difficulty sitting up straight because when they do, their frontal muscles end up being over shortened and tightened which affects the breathing volume. Enhanced Digestion and Circulation You may not believe it, but your digestion system hugely depends on your posture. With the right posture, your internal organs assume their rightful position without any compulsion or compression. This helps in the normal flow and functioning of the gastrointestinal system. If there is one aspect you cannot forego in CrossFit is poor digestion. It doesn’t matter how healthy your CrossFit diet is, but without proper digestion, it will be countless. Helps Your Joints and Muscle Assuming the right posture aligns your bones and joints thereby allowing your muscles to work properly. Bad posture increases wearing of joint surfaces which if not checked can cause degenerative arthritis as well as joint pain. Having good posture reduces the stress meted to the ligaments which hold the spinal joints, and this minimizes chances of injury. Also, correct posture is directly related to a healthy spine. Though posture seems a simple concept, it is responsible for holding together lots of intricate structures in the spine and keeping them healthy.
KUNAL JHAVERI | 16 Jan 18
Every athlete stepping into the CrossFit gym has their goal in check. For some, their goals could be athletic while others physique. Whichever you go for, your back strength, glute, and hamstring play a crucial role. One of the most loved workouts in CrossFit is the classic barbell lifts. The reason being they are effective and do not need as much special equipment which means anyone can do them at any place. The barbell lifts are the bread and butter exercises and should form the center of your program. However, this doesn’t mean that you should sacrifice the time for other specialized work. Anyone seeing the glute-ham raise for the first time may be led to believe that it is difficult. This is expected and understandable because the glute-ham raise scotches your lower body like no other exercise. Lifters who have tried this workout have ended up experiencing an unexpected boost in their squat and deadlift. Other beneficiaries of the glute-ham raise have been sprinters and other athletes. It Focuses on Posterior Muscles Lots of weightlifting programs concentrate on the anterior muscles at the expense of the posterior or back muscles. The posterior chain consists of all the muscles you can’t possibly see in a mirror. They include the spinal erectors, rotator cuff muscles, or glutes, hamstrings, as well as rhomboids and lats. If you neglect these muscles and instead prioritize arms, chest, and quads, you will be a lot less stronger than you look which certainly is not a good thing. Imagine having a 6 pack and suffering from epic arms and back pain. The solution is to emphasize more on the muscles of the posterior chain, and nothing does this better than the glute-ham raise CrossFit workout. It’s Different from Deadlifts and Squats It is common to hear athletes commenting that the deadlifts and squats they are doing are sufficient for the posterior chain. However, the glute-ham raise if performed correctly is a different movement pattern from any of the above. It allows you to maintain a straight body down from the knees all the way up to the neck. It is one of the few known workouts that train your hip extension and knee flexion at the same time. To do this movement, you will be required to generate significant muscular tension as well as control which makes it a great athletic movement. It Doesn’t Require a Bench One of the common reasons athletes give for not including the glute-ham raise in their CrossFit training schedule is their lack of access to the right equipment. While this may be a legitimate problem, it has a simple solution. There is a version of the workout known as natural glute-ham raise which can be done virtually anywhere. For instance, you can have your training partner hold your ankles while seated on the floor. You can also use an ab bench for the workout. However, one thing you must acknowledge is that simply because it is a natural workout doesn’t mean that it is easy to do. The level of difficulty remains the same. If you have been looking for a workout to add to your program, the glute-ham raise is one of those you cannot afford to leave behind.
KUNAL JHAVERI | 15 Jan 18