If you are a vegan and you are wondering how to constitute your CrossFit diet so as to include foods that fuel performance and optimize recovery, read along for some excellent ideas. There is a myth which goes; vegans can’t expect to be strong. It seems like the two are mutually exclusive, but the reality is the opposite. Vegans can do everything their non-began counterparts can do. The only point to note is that sustaining your energy and building strength on a predominantly plant-based diet can be a little bit harder. You need some master chef skills to combine the different foods that give you the most nutrition-wise to power you through your workouts. Failure to plan out your diet opens up the possibility of reaching out to the easiest foods you can find some of which may not be as nutritious as you may want them to be. Energy is basically measuring calories which come from fat, protein, and carbohydrates. Since plant-based proteins take a different digestion path to that of animal proteins, having a diet that combines the three is extremely important. Get the best quality of food added in your CrossFit diet which can range inside your budget and also are high in nutrients. B Vitamins This vitamin powerhouse group includes the likes of thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, B12, pantothenic acid, biotin, and folic acid. All these vitamins are necessary at an individual and collective level for energy processes. Folic acid, for instance, has another important role of producing red blood cells which are responsible for the transport of oxygen to the extremities of the body. Microorganisms make vitamin B12. Hence you may need to supplement or consume fortified foods. B12 plays a central role in DNA synthesis and production of red blood cells, particularly in the bone marrow. The foods to eat in order to pack all the above B vitamins are spinach, kale, bananas, avocados, sweet potatoes, asparagus, steel cut oats, and beans. Iron The top task of iron in the body is to support healthy blood flow. Foods that are rich in iron prove out to be helpful in building muscle as well as availing protein particularly to the vegans. Consider adding the iron-rich foods to your CrossFit diet to improve your workout of the day performance as well as enhance your recovery post-workout. Must-Have Foods in Your Diet Your day-to-day diet as a CrossFit vegan must include certain foods. An important note here is, these foods cut across the board from CrossFit athletes to those who visit the gym occasionally due to their busy activities. The foods include: Fresh fruits such as mangoes, papaya, bananas, apples, kiwis, berries, pineapples, melon, and satsumas Vegetables and leafy greens – Include foods such as spinach, raw leaves, watercress, pumpkin/squash, and sweetcorn. Grains – Wild rice, brown rice, millet, quinoa, barley, and oats Plant proteins such as chickpeas, edamame beans, split peas, sprouted lentils, and beans. Remember to add fermented soya foods such as tamari, tofu, and tempeh. In addition, your breakfast recipes must include most if not all the food groups so that you can have a better start to your day in the CrossFit gym. If you want to snack in between meals, go for fresh fruits and raw nuts such as cashews or almonds to boost your blood sugar levels.
Squats are a fundamental human movement, and they can help you strengthen your muscles and build the physique of your dreams. They have been termed severally as one of the key building blocks for solid lower body strength. However, you may find it difficult to do squats during your CrossFit training because your body is hurting. Physical therapists are familiar with complaints concerning hurting lower backs, hips, and knees when people squat. The pain could be coming from different sources, but the reality is, irrespective of the source, pain during squatting is an anomaly. According to experts, squat pain usually stems from sitting and not training. When you sit all day long, some physiological issues are likely to develop, and some of these may manifest themselves during squatting. Among the sources of squat pain include tight back, tight hips, weak glutes, or a weak core. Weak Glutes Particularly in women, there tends to be an overuse of their quadriceps and much lesser use of their hamstrings and glutes. The dominant use of the quad is occasioned by the sedentary lifestyle most of them live and the absence of proper education on lifting form. According to the experts from CrossFit training, in order to successfully perform a squat, your glutes, hamstrings, and quads must work together. If the glutes are not as strong so as to control both the eccentric and concentric movements or support your core in maintaining an upright torso, the other body muscles will have to work extra hard. Because of weak glutes, lifters may be forced to lean too far forward when squatting. As a result, the lower back and hip flexors are made to compensate. The overuse of hamstrings relative to glutes also makes lifters susceptible to knee injuries. A Stiff Upper Back and Tight Hips The upper back, also known as the thoracic spine as well as your hips, are meant to be very mobile. However, it is not always the matter because of the sedentary lifestyle. CrossFit training says, spending too much time in a sitting position undermines this mobility. Squatting with limited mobility in your thoracic spine or hips makes you lean forward. An excessive forward leaning may make the spine lose its natural arch. This is much more pronounced in the lower part of the spine. The coming out of the spine from its natural position makes you to feel some aches during the CrossFit exercises. Weak Core Though often overlooked, the core plays a key role during a squat. The importance of maintaining an upright neutral spine during a squat and sustaining it over the duration of the lift cannot be overemphasized. With a weak core, it becomes difficult to keep your torso upright. Failure to maintain an upright torso position will lead you again to an excessive forward lean and loss of the natural arch. Both of these results in discomfort and jeopardize your performance in the CrossFit gym when it comes to lifting. To solve the above issues, you need to perform exercises such as the glute bridge, stir the pot, and foam rolling. These exercises target the paining area and rectifies the problem.
There is a push for athletes to master rope climbing because of the benefit it has in improving arm strength, back strength, and grip strength. With rope climbing, you can easily learn how to lift your bodyweight and build confidence in your abilities. If you have not as yet done it, it is important you incorporate this wonderful exercise into your CrossFit training routine. Among the many benefits you are likely to reap from rope climbing include: Grip Strength The grip is often a limiting factor, and this means that any lifts which involve the grip can only be done to the extent of your grip strength. For instance, you may have a strong back, but if you don’t have a great grip, then your deadlift will be limited. Rope climbing is categorized as one of the fantastic exercises that help in building grip strength. To do this, you should first hold your weight for an extended period, and secondly, you should resist gravity as you progressively climb higher and higher. This makes your grip to work unilaterally as well as stabilize your body. Arm Strength When climbing the rope, your arms are pushed to extend as they pull your body higher. The dynamic created on your arms by this movement cannot be effectively created or achieved through your regular pull-up and chin-up CrossFit exercises. Every instance you pull yourself up, you are forcing your arms to work in unison. Back Strength Adding Rope climbing into your CrossFit training routine can help out in strengthening your lats and the upper back musculature. When climbing the rope, your body is forced to pull close to the rope, and this means your lats are put to work much in the same way they move during a chin-up or pull-up exercise. The major difference between rope climbing and pull-ups is that lots of stabilization are required when climbing the rope. A Power Indicator Your ability to climb a rope fast is strongly correlated with upper body power. In 2015, there was a study done and published in Research Gate which compared the power output of a timed 5-meter rope climb with other tests for upper body power such as medicine ball throw, pull-up test, and 1-RM bench press. According to the researchers, having rope climbing in CrossFit training routine is a more reliable and valid test for the assessment of upper body power. Confidence Another difference that exists between rope climbing and other exercises you do in the CrossFit gym is the fact that a clear-cut finish line exists which is the top of the rope. Every time you climb and get to the top on your own, your confidence levels rise. As you start adding progressions including removing your feet, you can clearly see that your strength is improving. For you to engage successfully in rope climbing, your central nervous system must be in shape because the exercise draws heavily on this. For ease of climbing, you must do adequate chin-ups and pull-ups as a prerequisite so that your elbows may not experience much discomfort during the exercise.
Have you been doing CrossFit for a while or you want to start CrossFit training, and you are thinking of building yourself a home gym? Well, by all means taking your CrossFit experience to the next level by having your box right in your house is commendable. The only other factors you should consider apart from the space are the equipment and the cost. However, there is a caveat to building a home gym especially if you are a person who loves the community and the motivation that comes with group training. If you are a family person, it is important to involve the other members of your household as well because having a gym in your home affects them in a way. On the days when you are not scheduled to hit your regular CrossFit gym, you can utilize your home gym to work out a bit. The most important aspect is that you should ensure you use the gym and the equipment you bought.It doesn’t pay to go through the trouble and cost and then not use the gym. The Essential Items of a Home Gym If you are truly motivated and want to build the gym, then consider the equipment needed and the space in which to put up your gym. In terms of cost, data has it that you need approximately $4,000 to furnish your CrossFit gym completely. That said, about 80% of the workouts can be successfully completed by spending just $1,500. Most of your money will go to CrossFit staples such as weights and a bar. Surprisingly, the costliest items are used less frequently, and the less expensive items such as medicine balls and rings are the ones that are used every now and then. You will need a jump rope although it is not used as frequently. It costs about $13. Below is an analysis highlighting the frequency of use for the various pieces of CrossFit gym equipment. A weighted vest, bench, and 15-foot rope are used in less than 1% of the exercises. Dumbbells, kettlebells, GHD, concept2, 24-inch plyo box, medicine ball, jump rope, and ab mat are used in less than 5% of the e, medicine ball, jump rope, and ab mat are used in less than 5% of the excises. Only pull-up bars, squat stands, and bar weights are used frequently. Your approach when buying equipment for your gym should be less is more. You don’t need all the equipment for a classic high-end gym. The important things you need are: The space for the gym A pull-up bar A sandbag Barbell and bumpers for strength building Rubber flooring and a rack Even without a treadmill, a bench, plyo boxes, medicine balls, and a platform, you can still have a fully functioning CrossFit box. Music has been said to promote a good environment for you to exercise in. therefore, don’t forget your stereo system or iPod. What It Will Cost Considering the two ends of the spectrum, you can have a gym costing as much as $1,500 and as low as $150. Be practical and only go for the necessary and affordable equipment to start with. You can even improvise some of the equipment for CrossFit home workouts at no monetary cost.
The deadlift is one of the three big compound lifts and often categorized as the most challenging in CrossFit training. That said, it is also one of the workouts that is fun to do if you learn the ropes. Despite its simplicity, the deadlift is an efficient and effective exercise that helps you to build muscle fast. At the very core of it, a deadlift involves picking up of a heavyweight. If you combine a deadlift with squats, you will get one of the best WODs. This is why deadlifts are so critical despite them being challenging. If you are starting out in weightlifting or simply moving from dumbbells and machines to plates and barbells, deadlift can be understandably intimidating. The sweat, grunting, and straining makes it look so painful when you watch athletes do it. To start you off, it is important you learn the secrets so that you know where to tweak so as to get it right once and for all. It Is Everything to Do with Your Form As a beginner, you will be excused to think that deadlift is all about the weight and whether you can get it off the ground or not. However, this is not the case. According to CrossFit training, in the deadlift, the most important thing, particularly for those starting up, is getting the form down. For instance, if you develop bad form and insist that you want to continue lifting because of what you are used to, you will end up hurting yourself and experiencing a symmetrical muscle growth. If you have never seriously worked your form, you can start as early as now. There are Different Ways to Do Deadlift One thing you must appreciate is that deadlift is an extremely versatile exercise. This means you can do it in more than one way. However, in terms of variation, it is important you experiment with lots of different bars and holds so that you get what you are most comfortable with. You can start with the conventional deadlift and then throw in a trap bar or some sumo lifts. As you progress, you can include chains and bands into your CrossFit workout routine to see how well it goes. Knees, Shoulders, Hips, and Chin In the course of the lift, you have to pay attention to how your body reacts as it pulls the weight. There are certain things that according to CrossFit training must be ensured by you, such as tucking your chin to your chest and ensuring the hips and shoulders are not just working, but moving together in unity of motion. When this happens, your lift will be significantly improved, and your form will be maintained. The Mental Switch Instead of imagining that you are lifting, picture yourself using the bar simply to drive your legs across the floor. This is a mental switch which is very important in giving you a psychological advantage against the weight you are carrying. Deadlift draws so much from your mental resources, and when you are in the CrossFit gym, it is you versus the bar. Your focus should be on attempting as many reps as you can.
After you have made the decision to join CrossFit probably due to the benefits you have heard or seen others enjoying, the next step is to put your CrossFit gear in order. You may have to buy some because unfortunately, you can’t share with a friend because of convenience issues. There are various types of gear that you simply leave behind if you want to get the most from your WOD. The following will give you a quick run of what you need to put together. CrossFit Shoes This is arguably one of the most important CrossFit items. You may have a pair of running shoes with you which you may think of starting out with. The problem with this is that you may not reap the full benefits of your workouts because shoes help you maintain posture and give you a cushion underneath as well as a grip on the floor. For this reason, you need CrossFit optimal shoes. There are certain features you need to look for in these shoes and to highlight briefly; the shoes must have: Minimal or if possible zero heels to toe drop CrossFit-specific features such as a rubber rope guard on the side of the shoe to help in rope climbing as well as a sticky rubber sole to give you a good floor grip in the CrossFit gym. Durability and comfort so that your feet will not hurt and you will get value for your money. CrossFit Shorts Being another important CrossFit gear, Shorts can undermine your workouts if not well chosen. Shorts should allow for a maximum range of motion so that you can comfortably move around as you quickly as you can when running, jumping, squatting, or deadlifting. Also, the short should be made from a breathable fabric. Look for wicking or self-drying fabrics. The last property of CrossFit shorts is that if possible, they be antimicrobial. This basically means it doesn’t smell funky even if you don’t wash it every day after your WOD. Tees for CrossFitters Generally, CrossFitters love t-shirts. You could pick your t-shirts from any of the affiliates depending on your tastes and preferences. You can go for funny CrossFit t-shirts or those that are simply plain looking. Compression Tights Whenever people think about CrossFit clothing, many of them zoom into the skin or compression tights. Tights are very good in helping you recover before embarking on the next workout. After an intense workout of the day, it’s normal to feel hurt. This means any advantage you can have to accelerate the recovery process is highly welcome. Gloves for CrossFit This is the final CrossFit gear. Some athletes are still stuck in the debate of whether or not they should use CrossFit gloves. The key role played by these gloves is the fact that they give you an excellent grip and even after an intense workout your hands won’t get ripped which means no bleeding. There you go! Those are the top 5 CrossFit gear items that you must invest in if your CrossFit training is to go on smoothly.
Pull-up is one of the common CrossFit workouts in the gym that is included in almost every regimen. Based on the hand position, you can classify pull-ups into three. The first one is the traditional pull-up where your hands are in a pronated position and facing away from you. The second type of pull-up is known as chin up, and here your hands are supinated and the palms facing you. The third one is referred to as a neutral grip pull-up where your palms face each other. Each of the above grips gives your system a slightly different stimulus. If well executed, a pull-up achieves many things amongst them shoulder extension, elbow flexion, stabilization of lumbopelvic positioning, and scapular retraction. It achieves this by working out the big gun muscles such as the biceps, rhomboids, lats, obliques, mid and lower traps, abdominis, rectus among others. When you do a pull-up, you should feel it in your biceps, the muscles around, below and between your scalps as well as the core. On the other hand, if you feel your pull-ups on the neck, upper traps, and the front section of your shoulders, just know that you are doing it wrong. The pull-up movement is, therefore, one of the amazing CrossFit workouts that teaches you how to use your core and builds tremendous upper body power, size, and strength. This is because it enables you to move a large load over a much wider range of motion while most of the time is spent under tension. This sounds in every sense a winning combo. The Technique The best place to start is to look at the common flaws committed in pull-ups. The following are the major flaws that any athlete in a CrossFit gym must keenly focus on. Driving into Extension –Extension is important particularly for power development, but in pull-ups, you must always maintain a neutral lumbopelvic position. Since the lats play a big role, to counteract the drive into extension, you need to fire your rectus, obliques, and transverse abdominis. Scapular Anterior Tilt and Humeral Anterior Glide –In order to keep your shoulders strong and healthy with CrossFit workouts, you have to maintain the position of the humeral head within the socket. If you make the mistake of pulling your elbows way past your body, you will not accomplish this goal. What you are simply doing is cranking on the front of your shoulder and circumventing the very muscles the pull-up exercise is meant to use. Flailing – Waving or swinging as you go up doesn’t help you in your workout. To do it right, you have to maintain an impressively strong lumbopelvic position and initiate the movement by first pulling up your scalps in the direction of their opposite butt cheeks. After the scalps are set, pull your elbows straight all the way down to your hips and simultaneously pull your chin over to the bar. After you reach the top, reverse everything you have done and gradually descend your body to the bottom where it started. In your CrossFit workout routine, you may also throw in exercises such as isometric holds, eccentrics, and band assisted pull-ups to help you build strength.
Nutrition is the cornerstone of the results that manifest in your fitness endeavor. If you get the nutrition wrong, you will experience difficulties shifting your body fat and enhancing muscle mass. It doesn’t matter if you never miss your workout of the day, the bottom line is your performance will feel stalled. There are athletes out there who are getting amazing results from the zone, paleo, or other forms of clean eating. In the same vein, some athletes get results from measuring their macronutrient intake while there are those who don’t measure and yet get results. In light of these huge variations in nutrition plans and approaches, it is important to know what separates those that work from the rest that simply crashes and burn. There are certain things you shouldn’t do in a training plan because they will never yield any results. The experts from CrossFit nutrition here discuss some of the top nutritional mistakes that unfortunately athletes continue committing. Unclear Priorities Take an instance where you want to improve your snatch. Most certainly, there are steps you will have to take in your training plan so as to make it happen. The approach will be different from that designed to achieve fitness in another workout. In the same way, when thinking about CrossFit nutrition, you should program it in such a way that it meets your fitness goals. If you don’t have clear priorities, it becomes very difficult to link your plan to the priorities. Decide on your priorities and ensure your diet plan works to drive you there and not act as an obstacle. Abusing the Off Day Rest days are very critical and should form part of every CrossFit training routine. Days off enhance your recovery and are important to keep you balanced and sane. However, the biggest problem is that some CrossFit athletes do not plan these off days in their diets. Instead, they are seen more as days in which the athletes may indulge as they rebel from their saintly kitchen behaviors. When you have this mindset, a single cheat day will turn into many cheat days and this will ruin your nutrition plan. Make your cheat day part of your plan. Failure to Evaluate and Adjust Tracking results is important in any project, training program, and just about anything that you do. Since nutrition accounts for a higher percentage of the changes you experience, it is crazy not to evaluate and reevaluate your nutrition on a regular basis. On average, people think that their diet is healthy, but in a real sense, it is not. According to CrossFit nutrition, you can start off by tracking every food and drink that goes into your body system for at least a fortnight. This will give you an idea of the calories you are packing into your system or simply how healthy your meals are. Following the Hype Going with the flow is the most dangerous approach to training and CrossFit nutrition. Just like the fact that you cannot go high-fiving everyone during your bench press sessions simply because the other person is doing their thing, in nutrition, it works the same way. Don’t go with the hype in terms of supplements, trends, and what everyone is talking about. Have a solid plan informed by the foods that work. In nutrition, there is no fairness and equality. Even if you eat the same way as another person, you cant expect to get the same results. Therefore, design your own plan, tweak it, and make it truly yours.