One advantage of CrossFit training is that you never fall short of accessories. There are belts, straps, wraps, knee sleeves, and even lifting shoes. As a functional fitness athlete, you need to have access to these common pieces of CrossFit gear. The wrist wrap, though one of the common gears, ranks high among the most misused CrossFit accessories. The main function of a wrist wrap is to give support to the wrist joint when doing heavy lifting or maximum effort lifting. During some of these tough movements, the wrist may be pulled into excessive extension thus resulting in failed lifts, possible injury, and compromised mechanics. Every athlete should know how to use them correctly. Below are some of the tips to bear in mind when using wrist wraps in your training. Do Not Use Wrist Wraps during Warm Up When moving 60% of your 1-RM press, you don’t necessarily need to wrap your wrists. Athletes are advised to wear wrist wraps only during training days when working at near max loads. When you become dependent on wrist wraps, they will limit your strength development, particularly in your wrist extensors and flexors. If you are careful enough to look at some of the strongest athletes in the CrossFit gym, they rarely wear wrist wraps. Never Tie Your Wrist Wrap Too Low The chief purpose of a wrist wrap is to ensure your wrist joint has excellent support. Whenever you tie the wrap below your wrist joint, it will not function as it should, but rather work just like a forearm bracelet. When tying your wrist wrap, do so in such a way that it covers the entire wrist joint so as to create support and prevent excessive extension. Go for the Right Wrap There are two main types of wraps in the market: Velcro-bound powerlifting wraps and cotton wraps. While the powerlifting wraps give you awesome wrist support, cotton wraps are much thinner and flexible. When maxing on a movement such as a bench press, the advice is to use thicker wraps. On the other hand, if you want a max in your snatch or clean and jerk, using thinner wraps might be more advantageous. Not Every Gymnastic Movement Requires a Wrap Unless you really plan on competing in gymnastic events such as pommel horse or vault, you may not need to put on wraps. Also, when doing bodyweight CrossFit exercises such as handstand push-ups, ring dips, and pull-ups, you do not need wrist wraps. The only exception to all this is when competing or training with an injury. You may also consider having wrist wraps on to protect your skin when doing high repetitions of muscle ups with a false grip. In all you do, remember that mobility and flexibility issues should be addressed and not hidden by wearing wraps.
Pull-up bars are some of the favorite pieces of equipment for any serious CrossFitter looking to enhance his workout. You can have pull-up bars anywhere in your house, and this means you don’t have to visit the CrossFit gym to do your exercises necessarily. Some of the places you can build pull-up bars include at the doorway right outside your house, at the ceiling in your garage gym or the backyard of your house. Pull-up bars are an incredibly efficient piece of equipment and depending on how you use them; you can make the best out of them. That said, some gyms do not have this old-school piece of equipment simply because they have no idea what a pull-up bar can do. To inspire you, the following are some of the exercises you can do with just a pull-up bar and nothing else. Pull Ups These are amazing exercises for the upper body which work out your back muscles. They also strengthen your core muscles and arms, particularly as you master them and your form gets improved. Doing pull-ups is simple. With straight elbows, begin from a dead hang with your palms facing away from you. Keep your shoulders back and your chest up while your core is tightened. Gradually, pull yourself up until your chest comes into contact with the bar. There are lots of variations you can do including jumping pull-ups and flex hangs. If you feel you are not ready for pull-ups, it is advisable you go through some pull-up preparation or mastery sessions first. Burpees Pull Ups Compared to the basic pull up above, burpee pull-ups are more advanced and work on your pull up strength. They also up your heart rate so that pumping of blood to the muscles can be faster. To perform this CrossFit exercise, stand in front of the bar and then drop into a squat position. Let your hands be on the floor as you kick your back into a push-up position. Gradually, lower your body to the floor and do a full push up. Finally jump back to the squat position and up into the air as you do a pull-up. How hard burpee pull-ups are depended on the height of your pull-up bar. Chin Ups These exercises are known for working on your latissimus dorsi muscles as well as your biceps. When you perform chin-ups, your body tends to work together to pull you up to the bar. For this reason, they are categorized as all-around exercises. Like pull ups, chin ups have lots of other variations such as negatives, flex hangs, and jumping chin ups that you can do. L-Sits This exercise is often viewed as a parallette bars exercise and not necessarily as a pull-up bar CrossFit workout. When done through the pull-up bar, they can help enhance your core strength. Other workouts you may do using the pull-up bar include the muscle ups, hanging leg raises, knees to elbows, and hanging knee raises.
It is commonplace to see gym goers using weighted balls to CrossFit exercises. These balls are versatile and often used to target certain fitness aspects such as explosive power, strength, and conditioning. Exercise balls come in 3 categories which include medicine balls, slam balls, and wall balls. For a person who regularly uses them in the CrossFit gym, telling them apart is a no-brainer. However, for a newbie, it can be quite a challenge differentiating them. If you have been wondering how each ball is suitable for your unique workout situation, read along. Wall Balls As the name suggests, wall balls are used in exercises which is some way incorporates walls. These balls have been designed in such a manner as to absorb the impact of the collision with a rigid surface. Wall balls are often larger and made of vinyl with a padded outer layer thereby making them visible and convenient to catch while exercising. Some of the activities that incorporate a wall ball include wall squats, wall throws, and wall sit-ups. The ball is often thrown at a wall, bounces back into the hands of the person exercising, and then thrown back repeatedly. The main reason why wall balls are used is to enhance the experience and effects of the particular workout. Regarding weight, the ball ranges from 2 to 50 pounds and regarding size, it varies from anything to the size of a beach ball. Wall balls can also be used to improve the result of CrossFit exercises using bodyweight by only holding the ball. If you want to increase the difficulty level of core exercises such as lunges, sit-ups, and squats, use these balls. Slam Balls Of all the balls mentioned, slam balls are considered the heaviest and the most durable. The outer layer of these balls is made of tough rubber, thereby enabling them to withstand constant throwing on all manner of ground surfaces. Being solid balls, slam balls have little if any rebound, therefore, making them efficient for workouts. The most popular workout which utilizes a slam ball is the ball slam. Here, the person exercising throws the ball to the ground while simultaneously doing a squat and after that picking it up and repeating the cycle. The reason why slam balls are included in CrossFit exercises is for the improvement of the cardiovascular fitness and the overall strength of the athlete. In numerous exercises such as lunges and squats, slam balls can also be used as free weights. However, when used in throwing exercises, they are most effective. Which is Better of the Two? Having seen what the slam ball and wall ball are designed to do and their unique features, the question remains, which is preferable to the other? When looking for a ball that is heavy-duty and which can withstand hard throws and different surfaces, then the slam ball carries the day. They are durable and best suited for activities involving ball throwing on hard surfaces. However, when it comes to workouts that require partner work or rebounding, the wall ball is the best. When enrolling in CrossFit training, the wall ball is often preferred because most of the exercises here are throwing exercises.
It is the time of the year when athletes change their CrossFit gear to put on sweatpants over their sports shorts and thick pullovers over their shirts. As the cold season gradually sets in, your priority as a CrossFit athlete should be to add new workouts to your program. If you are not going anywhere during the festive season, you can take advantage and build strength and toughness. That said, you will require dedication to wake up early in the morning and brave the chilly weather to get into the box for an early session. To become a tougher and disciplined athlete, ensure you train whatever the weather and keep off from excuses. The Benefit of Proper Warmups The quality of your warmup will be reflected in the quality of your workout. During winter, your body system will require additional time to ensure your heart rate is elevated to the level that gets the blood flowing to your extremities. Having the right clothing will speed up the warming up process and help preserve the heat your body creates. Ensure the fabric you get for your CrossFit clothes is breathable, has built-in insulation complete with a capacity to wick sweat away from your body. Despite the cold conditions, tough CrossFit workouts will make you sweat. If this sweat dampens your skin and clothes, it may lead to cold and sickness. This is why it is crucial to ensure your clothes have a sweat-wicking ability. Working Out in Chilly Conditions It can be very impressive dialing your training a notch higher as other people are running up and down getting ready to add more calories during the Christmas season. This is the perfect time to introduce your strongman exercises and enhance your weightlifting skills. The following workouts can help you do this. Workout 1 This consists of one squat, clean, and jerk with 125/90kg. You can also include 3 strict muscle ups and 5 burpees box jump overs. Do about 10 rounds each time. Workout 2  This comprises 4 power snatches with 60kg of weight, 8 bar muscle-ups, and 12 burpees. Aim for 7 rounds each. Workout 3 Do 3 rounds of this workout. The exercises include 5x strict weighted pull-ups and eccentric strict pull-ups. Rest for 10 seconds after each exercise and 3 minutes between rounds. Workout 4 This is a much simpler workout where you do a trail run. Choose anything from a 3, 5, or 10km distance in a scenic route to do your trail run. The countryside or hills can provide a good atmosphere laced with fresh cold air. Workout 5 Here, you do two rounds of rope climbs; bench presses with a 100kg of weight, 10kg weighted pull-ups, and 4-inch deficit HSPU. Rest for 2 minutes in between the individual exercises and 4 minutes after every round. If you get an opportunity, go for an outdoor swimming winter workout. It could be in a river, lake, or sea, but if you cant find one, you can opt for a swimming pool.
When talking about supplements, there are natural and artificial. Most of the supplements you find in stores are a balance between the two. However, for top benefits, you should go for natural supplements which can be found in organic and healthy food sources. When you include supplements in your CrossFit diet, your body gets all the inevitable substances it requires such as antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Loading with vegetables and fruits is important, but even then, you can miss out on some components of your nutrition. Supplements help in giving your body those nutrients you can’t easily get from your ordinary foods. The following are some of the supplements you should have in your nutrition mix. Maca Maca is a plant grown in Latin America especially the mountains of Peru. Botanically, it is classified as a member of the cruciferous family from which vegetables such as broccoli and cabbage are derived. The supplement is made by drying the maca roots and then grinding them into powder form. This nutrient is also available in other forms such as liquid extract and capsules. Maca roots are known for their protein and carbs content. Their fat content is low, and they contain a fair amount of fiber. In maca, you will find some essential vitamins and minerals including copper, Vitamin C, and iron. There are numerous benefits that come with maca including support for your learning ability and memory, mood enhancement, and anti-depressive effects. Spirulina This blue-green alga has a specific taste and grows naturally around the world. You can find it in Africa, Mexico, Hawaii, in salty lakes and oceans. In terms of nutrients, spirulina has vitamin B1, B2, B3, B6, B9, A, C, D, and E. in addition, you will find lots of minerals in it such as phosphorus, manganese, selenium, zinc, and sodium. With its ability to remove toxins from the blood and bind metals in your body, this antioxidant can enhance your CrossFit gym performance by reducing muscle fatigue. If you want to last longer during training and burn fat, this magic green supplement should be on your list. Wheatgrass This grass can be found in moderate climatic zones such as the US and Europe. It is available in the form of fine green powder or liquid. In terms of nutrition, wheatgrass contains vitamin A, C, E, and chlorophyll. Minerals that play a key role in the body system such as calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, potassium, and iron can be obtained from this supplement. The role of your immune system in giving you a good gym performance cannot be underestimated. Wheatgrass improves digestion, boosts your immune system, and enhances oxygen levels in your body. This reduces fatigue. Matcha Green Tea There is no major difference between the regular green tea and matcha tea. However, the way matcha is grown is unique. The shaded environment in which matcha green tea is grown enables it to gain higher levels of beneficial compounds including EGCG and ECG antioxidants which protect the body against free radical damage. Much like other green teas, matcha powder helps in treating depression, reducing cholesterol, blood glucose, and cancer cells. During CrossFit workout, matcha tea gives you the much-needed endurance and better muscle recovery. You cannot afford to skip this natural supplement.
There is no doubt that CrossFit athletes are always looking forward and busy in laying strategies for 2018. Gym memberships are likely to skyrocket, and every treadmill occupied. Every person has their own set of goals such as weight loss and diet restrictions. However, after a few months, feelings of discouragements come in, and before you realize it, the same old habits you wanted to kick out are slowly streaming in. Bad goal setting is one of the main causes of laxity and derailment in CrossFit training. Athletes tend to focus on the byproducts such as muscle gain and weight loss instead of taking an honest look at themselves and assess where they are vis-à-vis where they want to be. Why Weight Loss/Muscle Gain Resolutions Never Work Upon a deeper analysis of the failures athletes frequently run into, there are some things that stand out as the main obstacles. Narrow Focus Unless you are a physique model or competitive bodybuilder, making your focus too narrow can lead to discouragements. Physique models and competitive bodybuilders dedicate their time as well as effort to sculpt their bodies in ways that appeal to their professions. To them, this is a career and a lifestyle. If you are not in this field, adopting such a lifestyle of diet and exercise can lead you down unhealthy paths. Mentor readiness is crucial in this type of program and lack of it can lead to unhealthy eating habits and body dysmorphia. Slow Results We are a generation that is after quick results, be it in muscle gain or weight loss. The problem comes when results take longer than expected to make people impatient. You must understand that muscle gain and weight loss take time. If you constantly monitor the scale for even the slightest movements in the needle, you can become disheartened. Lack of Adherence to Programs Most often than not athletes find themselves going over the deep end in exercise and CrossFit diet which in the end ruins their discipline with the programs they are following. If you spent a greater part of the past year not eating well, being inactive, or making poor lifestyle choices, if you go the extreme opposite the following year, you are likely to experience some undesirable effects. Even rubber bands have a stretching limit beyond which they snap. How to Make Your Resolutions Work Successful athletes understand that muscle gain, and weight loss is just but byproducts of much bigger things. Instead of directly seeking these results, these athletes look forward to new skills, improved movements, and PR lifts. They set for themselves physical challenges and constantly program their fitness. Before you get into the CrossFit gym, you must have a physical goal(s) that you want to accomplish. Over the next few weeks, refine your goals and make them tangible. The usual SMART Approach to goals applies even in CrossFit. Set specific goals that can be measured, attained, and which are realistic enough for the time duration you have. This will limit frustration and enhance your proficiency.    
Traveling is often associated with minimal activities, and no one can imagine that you can realistically train on the go. Time limits and other activities override the need for training, and you may find yourself through with your trip without a single workout. This can be concerning especially where you spend most of your time traveling either for work or other reasons. The secret to success in training on the go is to plan adequately. The following are some workable tips to enable you to do some CrossFit workouts on your trip. Preparations before Leaving A few things you should do before starting your trip include: Packing Your Gear Having your training gear is in itself an incentive to workout. In case you are wondering what exactly to pack in your bag, think about the following: • Shoes and Workout Clothes – Have at least a set of shoes, bottom, and top. Travel plans are not 100% predictable, and you can take advantage of those opportunities to train. • Jump Rope –This is a bit lightweight and small in size which means you can carry it wherever you go. • Protein and Shaker – The danger of buying your own protein supplements while traveling is that you may be forced to pay more. To avoid such cases, carry your own from home. • Download a Tabata Timer App –The beauty with tabatas is that they are short duration workouts which you can do at any point. The apps are free, and you can download one before you leave for your trip. Training at a Hotel If the hotel you are in has a fitness center, you can easily put together a CrossFit training schedule and get working. This is not as difficult as it may sound especially if you have been in the habit of planning your workouts. CrossFit by its nature is a varied, functional movement done at high intensity. It is all about getting more work done within a short duration. Your exercises do not have to be complicated. Utilize to the max, whatever workout equipment the hotel provides. Some hotel fitness centers may not have pull-up bars or kettlebells, but they may have bumper plates and barbells. Dumbbells These can give you one of the toughest workouts. You may find yourself in a hotel fitness center with poorly designed afterthoughts such as ceiling height and ergonomic features. If you are confronted with such a situation, you can decide to exercise outside. Pool You can use a pool for a WOD. Access to this facility is almost guaranteed in many hotels. The only caution you should exercise is that pool decks can be slippery and using a wet towel as a mat is recommended. This will give you a much better grip on your bare feet. Stairwell The hotel’s stairwell is a piece of equipment you are not likely to see in a CrossFit gym. You can take advantage of this and do interval training. However, because some stairwells are grimy, it is suggested that you put on gloves for your workouts. Irrespective of your options, training while traveling boils down to the personal determination. There are lots of options, and your planning will go a long way into making your workouts worthwhile.
When you join CrossFit as a beginner, you will be introduced to a wide range of exercises amongst them crunches, deadlifts, and burpees. Not all the CrossFit workouts will appeal to you, but if you can fall in love with burpees and include them in your daily routine, the benefits will be worth it. The origin of burpees dates back to 1939, and the name is derived from a gentleman called Royal H. Burpee. The reason this workout was created was to determine the physical fitness of the participants. Back in the days, burpees did not include a push-up in the middle and at the end didn’t have a jump. That notwithstanding, this move was still dreaded then. Working on Your Form The first thing you should do when you step into the box is to ensure your form is on point. There is the option of the modern burpee and the old school version carried forward from the 1930s. If you want to do a proper burpee, you should start from a standing position and then gradually squat and place your hands on the floor right in front of you. Stretching your feet behind you and assume a push-up position. Do one push-up and bring your legs forward back into the squatting position and then launch into a jump. To a beginner, burpees are somewhat awkward; they mimic a frog-like movement. However, the challenge is worth it. For 15 days, you can just complete 3 sets of 10 burpees each. In between your sets, you can slot in a one-minute rest. Going forward, you can reduce the time of rest by 15 seconds every 3 days until you can comfortably do 30 burpees all at one with no rest in between. Timing is important because it brings in the element of discipline. Try and stick to the same time daily. You could wake up at 7.30 a.m. if that works well for you. Get a convenient timing. What Will Happen to You If you can follow the above CrossFit training routine for 15 days straight, you will experience tremendous improvements in various areas of your physique. Some of the likely improvements include: Running Faster for Longer If you do about 9 minutes per mile on a typical day, 15 days of burpees will boost up this speed. You will feel your lungs clear, giving you the space to go on for longer. You may even find yourself running 5 miles and more which is awesome bearing in mind where you started. More Energy Burpees release endorphins which boost your system giving you the impetus to carry through your day. It is established that endorphins remaining in your system long after your workout, make you feel good. Starting your day with extreme physical exercise helps in waking up your system without relying on stimulants such as caffeine. The other benefit of burpees is that it will give you a sense of strength and power. In the CrossFit gym, mental strength will push you through even when your body doesn’t feel like it. There are days you will struggle, but on the overall, the progress will be commendable.