Many times, in the CrossFit gym, you will be instructed to workout up to a certain percentage of your one rep max for a given exercise. One of the problems people tend to encounter is forgetfulness of their one rep max. If such a problem is coming from a newbie, it is perfectly understandable. However, from an experienced CrossFitter, it is totally inexcusable. Not putting in your score whenever you go through a WOD can be a major let down to your performance. Tracking your workouts is extremely important because then you will know whether you are improving or you are backpedaling. To put the matter straight, below are some of the reasons why recording every bit of CrossFit Workout workout you do on the box helps you. Tracking Progress It is simple, for you to know that you are getting fitter, you must have data to back it up. Maintaining CrossFit Workout logs will help you see the far you have come and your consistency in performance. Knowing where you are, at a specific time helps you to gather up the courage to move forward and see if there is an area of improvement. Learning Fitness Program Terminology If you are new to CrossFit, one of the daunting tasks you will reckon with is the new terminology. Terms such as TTB, AMRAP, HSPU, EMOM, hang squat, muscle up, push jerk, and power clean, can be pretty confusing to the individuals who are new to CrossFit. That said, when you have a log of your scores, and you make notes about the movements you do on a day to day basis, you will remember most of these terms. Good Reference for Future Workouts While it is true that workout logs are mostly used for recording weights and time, you can take advantage of the space available to slot in some comments about your performance. For instance, you may note “I should have pushed a little bit hard on the runs” or “I could have gone heavier.” These short comments can help you change your approach and attack your CrossFit workout differently next time you do it. When it comes to benchmarks, there are certain things you should know. The most common benchmarks include: CrossFit Total – This brings together your max squat, max deadlift, and max press. Knowing your back-squat max can help you estimate your front squat max. At the same time, if you know your press max, you can almost tell your max for the jerk and push press. All this comes with putting good records. Aerobic Benchmarks, Rowing, and Running –These benchmarks will help you know your progress regarding aerobic capacity. Since the rowing and runs are the least fun to do, they are quite useful for lots of reasons. Gymnastic Benchmark –This is an excellent benchmark, and it tracks the maximum pull-ups. If you have never done even a single pull-up, you can try out a max set with a band and write down exactly the band you used. In CrossFit training, it is highly discouraged to compare yourself with others, but if you know your scores, you can put yourself on the map and see how on average you are fairly on relative to other CrossFitters.
Are you the kind of athlete who is serious about what goes into your body and the impact this has on your physique? If yes, then the chances are high that you are closely monitoring your CrossFit diet macros, that is, carbs, protein, and fat. Many athletes have become obsessed with macros, and this has eclipsed a very important sub-group known as micronutrients which are essential for immune function, health, and the overall quality of life. What many people are not aware is that micronutrients play a critical role in assisting your body system to optimize energy levels and boost exercise performance. Foods that are loaded with micronutrients include veggies and fruits. Summer may be beautiful because of the warm and lovely weather, but autumn brings with it its own tidings in the form of micronutrient-rich foods. Therefore, if you want to improve your micro intake and by extension your exercise performance, you have the opportunity to know and incorporate the rich food into your CrossFit diet. Beetroots Beets are vegetables which are crimson-colored and rich in folate, vitamin C, potassium, and fiber. Potassium, in particular, is a key electrolyte that plays a strategic role in nerve signaling and muscle contraction. Because beetroot enhances nutrient and oxygen delivery to working muscles, it beats many vegetables when it comes to exercise performance enhancement. The dietary nitrates contained in beets have a positive impact on the oxygen demand during workouts. The Journal of Applied Physiology published a study which suggested that taking approximately 16 ounces of beetroot juice daily can decrease oxygen demand significantly during moderate-intensity activity. The time to exhaustion also increases and this means you can work out more in the CrossFit gym. Winter Squash Winter squash is rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, and dietary fiber. It comes in plenty during early fall. However, the most interesting bit of winter squash is that it contains pectin which is a soluble fiber that plays such a huge role in the regulation of blood glucose levels. This is important to help you sustain your energy and as such working out for longer hours. This vegetable literally squashes any chance of fatigue that may develop in the middle of your workout session. You can eat winter squash by roasting the seeds or baking them at about 280 degrees Fahrenheit for a period of 15 to 18 minutes. Pumpkin Contrary to what some people have been claiming, pumpkin doesn’t have a single nutrient which is a magical performance booster. Instead, pumpkins contain micronutrients that combine synergistically to give you a milestone in the gym. Pumpkins contain vitamin A, B vitamins, fiber, and selenium, which is an antioxidant. You can roast the pumpkin seeds and consume them while putting the delicious flesh to good use. One of the best ways of eating the flesh is by making it into a pumpkin hummus. This is just because the ingredients you need are garlic, tahini paste, lemon juice, olive oil, fresh pumpkin cooked, chickpeas, cumin, salt, and cayenne pepper. When you combine all these ingredients in a blender and mix thoroughly for 30 to 60 seconds, and after that add a small amount of water, you will end up with pumpkin hummus. There you go! Include these three wonderful vegetables in your CrossFit diet and power through your CrossFit training sessions.
Many athletes in the CrossFit gym acknowledge that adding mass is synonymous with moving the weight a lot easier. Furthermore, people who have packed on size look stronger. Resistance training using weights gives you a solid foundation that you can build on. That said, you need some serious work especially in the kitchen if you are to realize optimal results.You have to take proper CrossFit diet to improve your performance.  Eating for Size Doing compound lifts and exercises which engage more than a single joint such as squats trigger your body to release 3 critical hormones that aid in muscle growth. The hormones include human growth hormone (HGH), testosterone, and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1). These hormones work in unison to help you build muscle size and strength. For them to properly synthesize, you have to get the right combination of nutrients into your body. The question is, how do you go about that? Increasing Your Food Intake It doesn’t matter how relentlessly you attack the gym; if you don’t eat more than what is required to sustain your energy for the next workout, you may never see any positive gains. It’s always recommended that you eat the right quantity of calories and other macronutrients to help you recover and promote muscle growth. The total daily caloric intake is derived from protein, fat, and carbohydrate. However, if you want to increase in size, you should up your caloric intake. In short, you need to include more in your CrossFit diet. Eating more than what your body needs will keep your metabolism running. The best starting point for athletes serious in gaining body mass is to eat about 20 calories per pound of bodyweight on a daily basis. Your meals should be spread throughout the day making a total of about 6 to 8 meals. The reason you are taking so many meals is that your body is designed to take in small amounts of foods, but frequently throughout the day. This keeps the digestive function working normally without the threat of it being overburdened. It is also an exceptional way to maintain stability in your sugar and fatty acid levels. Protein Consumption It’s recommended that you take 1 gram of protein for every pound of your bodyweight. As you may know, protein is a must-have macronutrient in your CrossFit diet because it forms the foundation for muscle growth. The amino acids in protein help in repairing muscle tissue after a hard workout. One thing to note though is, the quality of protein you take should be high. Go for grass-fed lean meat, wild fish, and pasture-raised eggs. Get Good Fats Fats help your brain and give you the energy to work right. Monounsaturated and saturated fats are considered good fats because they stall insulin secretion. Too much of insulin injected into your bloodstream may lead to diabetes, fat gain, and other cardiac problems. Good fats can be found in avocados, flaxseeds, fatty fish, leafy vegetables, and coconut oil. Remember, the leaner the meat, the lesser the fat. Carbohydrates For you to gain mass, the ratio of carbohydrates must be the highest of all macronutrients. Athletes regularly doing resistance-based CrossFit workouts should eat about 2.3 to 3.6 grams of carbohydrates for every pound of their body weight daily. Since carbohydrates are the prime fuel source for your body, you must never underestimate their power. Low carbohydrate intake causes the body to turn to your muscles for fuel and instead of gaining muscle, you will lose muscle. Get the right type of carbs and stay away from overly processed carbs.
Free radicals can cause cell damage if not monitored. Basically, radicals originate from the body’s oxidation processes and are commonly associated with inflammation of the muscles, joints, and tendons. Antioxidants form the first line defense against free radicals. They literally hunt for the radicals with the aim of stabilizing them thus giving you the advantage of working out for long in the CrossFit gym without feeling the burning sensation in your joints and muscles. In case of injured tissues, antioxidants initiate and accelerate the healing process. Below is a discussion of some of the top antioxidants and how they can help you maximize your training. Vitamin C Vitamin C is a vital nutrient involved in collagen synthesis. Where it is lacking, blood vessels become fragile, wounds take longer to heal, and lesions result. Free radicals lead to muscle fatigue, muscular damage, and inflammation. This is where vitamin C comes in to neutralize all these effects and flush out the free radicals by making them stable compounds. Collagen is the connective tissue in ligaments, tendons, and bones which helps in strengthening the body thus giving you flexibility in your workouts.You must consume the sources such a oranges, papayas, dark leafy vegetables etc as they have a rich amount of Vitamin C. Coenzyme Q10 This is an electron carrier in the respiratory chain in the mitochondria. Coenzyme Q10 is a lipid-soluble antioxidant that scavenges free radicals which are generated through chemical processes in the liposomal membranes. The process of lipid peroxidation of the free radicals contributes to delayed tissue damage hence more workout power. So make sure you consume the sources such a cauliflower, broccoli, free-range chicken, grass-fed beef etc as they have a good amount of CoQ10. Zinc Zinc contains more than 100 important enzymes hence its deficiency can have a widespread negative effect on almost every body function. Zinc deficiency in your CrossFit diet affects protein synthesis which is an important process in muscle building. It boosts the secretion of insulin-like growth factor 1, testosterone and growth hormone. These help in the building of muscle mass and giving you the vitality to power through your training. So, add oysters, cashews, shrimp, beef, flax seeds, spinach etc in your diet. Calcium Calcium allows myosin and actin filaments which are the contractile filaments of muscle cells to associate and produce the force that translates into movement. Whenever the nerve cell is innervating a particular muscle cell signals it to contract, calcium is released into the region of the contracted filament hence causing the contraction to occur. A study done showed the effectiveness of calcium in prolonging the onset of fatigue in striated muscles. Calcium also helps in bodyweight regulation particularly in fat metabolism hence enabling you to shed excess fat and build lean muscles.Thus, you must include calcium sources such as whey protein, raw milk, beans, lentils, yogurt, okra, almonds etc in your CrossFit diet. Chromium Chromium demand increases with exercise and hence the need for supplementation in active people including the athletes. Insufficient chromium in diets has been linked to the onset of diabetes and heart diseases. Chromium helps in enhancing insulin sensitivity and therefore boosting the ability of your body to burn fat as the preferred source of fuel. When combined with a conjugated linoleic acid, chromium helps in lowering body weight, visceral fat mass, and total body fat mass. Thus, adding chromium-rich foods such as cheese, bread, whole grains, fish, corn etc in your diet will be very beneficial.  There are other crucial antioxidants such as magnesium, potassium, and alpha lipoic acid which contribute immensely in fighting off inflammation during CrossFit training, which in turn enables your body to recover well, delay fatigue and prevent injuries. This is important in maximizing the effect of training and improving performance. So make sure you include more antioxidants sources in your CrossFit diet.
Single-leg squats are excellent for any outdoor CrossFit athlete looking to getting faster and stronger while staying injury free. For a long time, the two-legged squat has been the talk of strength training in the CrossFit gym. Endurance athletes have been incorporating it into their weight training routine because of its ability to engage virtually every single muscle. The squat also builds power as well as durability right from the legs all the way to the core. That said, single-leg squats are slowly gaining ground as the go-to workouts for athletes who want to become stronger. Through these squats, you can generate power one leg at a time in the same way you do when cross-country skiing, trail running or climbing. Research has proven that athletes who add single-leg squats to their training regimens gained strength and speed just like those who added barbell back squats. A unique advantage of single-leg squat is that it mimics real movements which means you are training your body directly for sport. Another advantage of single-leg moves is that they are much safer to perform because they require less mobility and technique. If you are looking at firing up smaller muscles, single-leg squats are the go-to workouts. Normally, injuries stemming from imbalances have their origin in improperly worked out lateral muscles. Metabolically, this type of workout is intense, which you do in CrossFit exercise. This means insofar as it will take you longer to work both sides of your body, you will get a bigger and better burn.The following are some of the common single-leg squats you can do. Single-Leg Goblet Squat This squat works out your stabilizing muscles. For you to lower on one leg, you need some serious control as well as stability. Because of this, you will build excellent lower body strength. The single goblet squat fires up your smaller muscles to balance your body, and this will help you to avoid injury. Bowler Squat This CrossFit exercise trains you to generate power right from your hips while at the same time staying stable, strong, and balanced. When engaging in outdoor sports, it goes beyond the forward and backward movements. At times, you may have to move diagonally to prevent a twist or to reach out and grab a jug. The moment you master the first variation, you can now comfortably scale up with anyone of these progressions. Plyometric Single-Leg Hip Thrust This is a good workout to help you build explosiveness. It really doesn’t matter whether you are cruising along the flats or bounding uphill when skiing, athleticism, and power comes from your hips. Therefore, with stronger hips, you become more efficient and stable thus protecting yourself from injuries. Try these squats one at a time in your WOD and add in your CrossFit exercise and you are bound to experience spectacular improvements.
In most elementary CrossFit gym classes, physical fitness is equated with strength challenges such as pull-ups and push-ups. As a matter of fact, push-ups have been one of the standards against which CrossFitters have tested their strength. There are various types of push-ups which even the most seasoned weightlifters find difficult to execute. Below are the top 4 and if you can do a set of 10 for each of these, you are a monstrous powerlifter. Superman Push-Up This push-up may also be known as LaLanne fingertip push-up after its founder Jack LaLanne. It is considered one of the hardest push-up variations in the CrossFit industry. To do it, you lie on the ground with your arms and legs fully extended. To start the push-up, press your toes and fingertips into the ground and use your toes to keep you grounded as you push through your fingertips to raise your body off the ground. To do this workout successfully, you need great chest strength, powerful shoulders, a strong core, as well as muscular arms to enable you to push your body off the ground. One-Arm Push-Up This is another challenging workout even for the most seasoned weightlifters. You start by getting yourself into the normal push-up position. After that, widen your feet so that their width surpasses that of your shoulder. With one hand pressed behind your back, gradually lower yourself to the ground. Aztec Push-Up This push-up variation utilizes the concept of plyometrics. They involve an explosive push from the floor with your chest and hands flying off the floor. If you feel you want to add an element to make this variation even more difficult, then attempt to clap before coming back down. The starting position is similar to that of other push-ups, but the difference comes as you explode up from the bottom. In the Aztec push-up, you drive your entire body straight into the air with a goal of touching your toes. After that, you straighten your hands to break your fall as you return to the standard position. Planche Push-Up This is the toughest of all push-up CrossFit workouts you will find you will find at the CrossFit gym. It requires a tremendous amount of chest strength as well as stronger forearms, hands, wrists, and shoulders. The reason why planche push-up is an incredibly difficult push-up variation to undertake is due to the need to first master the planche position. In the planche position, the center of your body gravity rests over your hands. With your arms, shoulders, and hands supporting your entire weight and your legs off the ground, you will need lots of strength to execute or perform this push-up.  When done regularly as part of your CrossFit training regime, push-ups, though challenging, will strengthen your shoulders, chest, arms, and your back. You will enjoy impressive stability, and you will always maintain a proper form. So, you can do these different types of push up in your CrossFit gym.
If you are an athlete who frequents the CrossFit gym, then probably you are familiar with a stage known as a plateau where irrespective of how hard you work, the gains are just minimal or even absent altogether. This may be caused by some factors with the main one being nutrition. Normally, your body breaks down muscle protein and glycogen during workouts making your body require carbs and proteins for replenishing the energy stores as well as repairing muscle tissue. There are foods which are recommended for athletes during their post-workout recovery period because they help avail the necessary energy and the amino acids necessary for the repair process. A general rule of thumb indicates that you should consume about 20 to 40 grams of proteins after a workout. Below are foods to include in your CrossFit diet. Chicken Stir-Fry This is an excellent source of proteins and other critical nutrients such as vitamin B and niacin which play an important role in the metabolism of carbs. Pairing chicken stir-fry with white rice which has a high glycemic index enables your body to replenish your muscles with the necessary glucose for energy. So, you must include it in your CrossFit diet. Chocolate Milk Chocolate milk brings in a good combination of carbs, proteins, fats as well as branched chain amino acids. The proteins and the carbs are for tissue repair and energy replenishment while the branched chain amino acids bypass the gut and liver to head directly to the bloodstream where they play a key role in muscle building and muscle maintenance hence a great option to include in your CrossFit diet. Fruit Smoothie Fruit smoothie joins the category of liquid meals which are preferred post-workout foods because they are easily digested as well as quickly absorbed into the body system giving you a ready source of nutrients. To enrich your smoothie, blend yogurt, whey protein, soy milk or skim with high glycemic fruits such as melons and mangoes. Bananas are also excellent because of their potassium content. Egg White and Spinach Omelet Eggs are among the top foods in the provision of protein. Egg protein contains readily utilizable protein meaning it is used efficiently by the body for growth. Spinach, on the other hand, is loaded with phytoecdysteroids and iron. According to research, phytoecdysteroids is a plant steroid which helps in speeding up muscle growth. Toasted Whole Wheat Bagel with Almond Butter Wheat bagels are rich in complex carbs as well as calories. These help in the provision of energy for the body. On the other hand, almond butter is rich in essential minerals including potassium which is responsible for the maintenance of muscle contractions. The monounsaturated fats contained in almond are important in maintaining testosterone, an essential hormone for protein synthesis.  Other foods you may consider to be part of your CrossFit nutrition include salmon, Greek yogurt, and walnuts.
It is understandable that walking into a CrossFit gym full of muscular fitness fantastic may intimidate you. The mere thought of tossing around huge weights which in CrossFit is part of your lifestyle may send shrills down your spine. However, this should not be it because, with the right tips, you don’t have to start with the bigger weights, you can start small and still make it. The first step for rookie weightlifters is to set up a session with their coaches or better still find a workout program that will help them learn proper training. Do not walk into the CrossFit gym without a plan because this won’t get you anywhere. Secondly, you should master the technique of picking the right weight so that your workout can be moderate and always on the uptrend. The following are tips on how you should go about this. Test Your Strength You may have properly warmed up with mobility exercises and foam rolling; the next step should be deciding between dumbbells and barbells. Whichever you pick entirely depends on the lifts you are doing. In your workouts, try to include both pieces of equipment. However, if you have had incidents of shoulder injuries, the general recommendation is to use dumbbells more for your chest and shoulders. For deadlifts or squats, CrossFit exercises use a barbell. During your workouts in the CrossFit gym, you should alternate between the heavier and lighter set of dumbbells. The heavier weights will enable you to build muscle mass while the lighter ones will help in stabilizing the muscle supporting tendons and joints. To help you to figure out the right size of dumbbells, you can do the dumbbell test. For this test, men should start with a set of 2 weights measuring anything between 10 and 20 pounds. For women, they can still go for the 2 sets of weights but measure 5 to 10 pounds. Doing it is simple, stand with a weight in both of your hands, palms forward. Your elbows and shoulders should be pinned up against the wall and gradually curl weights up until the dumbbells are shoulder level without moving your upper arms. After that, lower to the beginning position. Target between 14 and 22 reps while maintaining good form. This test fatigues the muscles, and you will get to a point where the biceps are really straining. If your muscles fail before the 14 reps, try again, but this time with a weight about 5 pounds lighter. If you find yourself doing the 22 reps easily, add another set of 5 pounds and see how it goes. Master Your Moves The secret to safely and efficiently building muscle is always a proper and a solid form. When you find yourself getting out of form in your CrossFit workouts, make the necessary adjustments which could be either stopping or dropping weight. The four fundamental movements that will help you in lifting include: Squat Glute bridge chest press Dumbbell triceps extension Single arm dumbbell row As you continue working out, you will gradually feel that some of the weights which seemed heavier at the beginning, will start becoming lighter as you build muscle and master your lifts. Go for progressive overload instead of abrupt addition of weights.