CrossFit coaches from around the world have experienced instances where they are approached by athletes who desire to add something on top of their normal CrossFit classes. They believe the extra stuff outside the gym will give them more work in. There is a trend across CrossFit boxes where athletes are desiring to increase volume because they believe the increase will expedite their fitness process. This is particularly true for athletes competing actively in CrossFit games. Is CrossFit All About Volume? When CrossFit began, its popularity was mainly because of the effect the sport had on the body where within a short workout period, it had the potential of causing tremendous health benefits. The combination of gymnastics, weightlifting, and mono-structural movements proved effective in developing a rounded fitness which worked across modal domains and broad time. Initially, CrossFit classes consisted of a warm-up session, a short workout, and finally a cooldown. This was done about 5 days a week. Over the years, an idea came in which was adopted that an hour of CrossFit is hardly enough and more time needed to be pumped in so as to create a full fitness program. This is when more volume was added with more weightlifting, extra metcon, more skill sessions, and before everyone knew it, CrossFit had graduated within 2 hours of randomly designed workouts. This left many questioning whether volume was really important. The Power of Intensity Compared to volume, intensity seems to carry more weight. Many athletes believe that the original intent of CrossFit was intensity and never volume. The mentality of more is better is not necessarily effective. For an athlete going for CrossFit classes, a well-rounded program should be the first priority as this ensures continual progress. A single dose of effective and intense CrossFit workout a day is sufficient to sustain a lifetime of fitness. Different Goals for Athletes Different athletes have different needs and in CrossFit, coaches take time to understand these goals and the kind of training required to achieve them. The additional volume is usually targeted at those athletes who want to engage in competitive CrossFit. Also, athletes who have experienced weight loss but at a slower rate can go for extra volume. To determine whether the volume is appropriate, the mechanical consistency of the athlete’s movement needs to be factored in. The athlete should be able to move consistently at a higher intensity and should also be able to improve in movement using verbal cues from the coach. While the pursuit of the volume is still alive in many CrossFit gyms, experts suggest that to make real progress into your desired goals, you should blend an appropriate amount of skill work with a normal prescription of intense CrossFit workouts. Doing more CrossFit can prove more harmful than good in the long run. For a lifetime of fitness, always choose intensity.
Simply defined, a pull-ups exercise is a compound CrossFit workout which engages a wide range of muscles from the shoulders to your back and arms simultaneously. It is also easier to perform in terms of instructions because all you have to do is to grasp a bar with a firm grip and your hands kept apart by a distance equivalent to the width of your shoulders. The initial position is to allow the body to hang freely from the bar. The next movement involves pulling yourself upward to attain the final position where the chest touches the bar while your chin rests on the bar. When pulling, it is essential to concentrate on keeping your body aligned and straight, avoiding any instance of swinging or arching. While performing pull-ups, you have the option to cross your fit, bend your knees, or keep your legs straightened. What you should avoid is your feet touching the floor. Pull-Ups Variations As you have may have rightly guessed, there are a lot of different ways you can do pull-ups while doing the CrossFit workout. The section below explains some of the common ones you are likely to encounter in a gym. Wide Grip Pull-Ups This variation is mainly used to work your lats in addition to your biceps. Performing wide grip pull-ups comprises grasping a sturdy bar with a firm grip while your hands are separated from each other by a distance of approximately two times the width of your shoulders. When you separate your hands with such a distance, the emphasis on working your lats is stronger. As you perform this variation, it will do you a lot of good to focus on utilizing your lats in pulling your elbows towards your rib cage. Close Grip Pull-Ups This is one of the best CrossFit exercises for working your lower lats. Instead of a wide distance separating your hands, the distance is narrowed, and this is critical as you focus on emphasizing your lower lats. When ascending, you should concentrate on contracting your lats while at the same time being careful not to lean too far backward or swing your body. Underhand-Grip Pull-Ups As mentioned by some experts from CrossFit workout, this is for emphasizing your biceps. It is achieved by varying the degree of grip separation between wide grip and close grip. This exercise is done with an underhand reverse grip. The palms of your hands should be facing you during the workout. While in the initial position, try as much as you can not to overly relax your muscles because this can stress your shoulder joints. As always, your legs should be straight, crossed, or bent, but don’t swing back and forth. Gorilla Chin This variation targets your abdominals and biceps. The difference between this and a regular chin is that your knees are bent at an angle of 90 degrees while the distance separating your hands is about 12 inches. To perform this exercise, begin by pulling yourself using your arms as you gradually bring your knees closer to your chest. As you attain the final position, your knees will be up to your chest while your nose will be closer to the bar. Thereafter, lower yourself to the initial position. During pull-ups, your body weight provides the resistance, but as you proceed, you may have to suspend weight plates as additional CrossFit gear for more resistance.
When starting your journey in any of the CrossFit Gyms, there are several types of equipment that you must get along the way to enable you swiftly transit into this high-intensity field and maximize your experience. It is important to note that this is not a must-have gear, but instead pieces of equipment you will find convenient and useful having if you want to work out regularly and boost your performance. Jump Rope Most CrossFit gyms just have the basic jump ropes that beginners can borrow. To make your workout worthwhile, you should consider getting your own quality jump rope. The important elements in any jump rope include the weight which you should be comfortable with and the ability to customize the length of the rope. Among the benefits of a jump rope include calorie burning, agility building and quickness, increased bone density, and brain exercise. Research indicates that jumping rope even at a moderate pace can help you burn 10 to 16 calories per minute. So, if you want to get lighter on your feet within the first 6 to 12 months of you joining CrossFit, a jump rope can help you attain that. Weightlifting Shoes This is arguably one of the single most important CrossFit gear that will push you towards increasing your strength and enhancing your Olympic weightlifting. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself spending over $200 to get that perfect shoe. There are important aspects that you should be looking for in these shoes such as: The drop – This refers to the difference between the height of the forefoot and that of the heel. Look for a 4mm drop to enable you evenly to distribute your weight across your foot. Hard sore – This gives you stability. Durable outer shoe – When doing tough exercises such as maxi lift the traction on the topside of your shoe is equally important. Weight Belt When attacking heavier weights in movements such as cleans and deadlifts, you need a decent belt which will keep you safe. There is a huge array of belts out there, but it is important to go for the right one. A good belt according to experts from CrossFit Gyms should be long-lasting and sturdy leather is a good material that can serve you for a long time. If you aim to be a competitive powerlifter, get a belt that is tapered in the front 5 to 7 cm wide and at the back 10 cm wide. The thickness should be around 10 to 13 mm so that it can give you a good starting position for deadlift. Wrist Wraps As their name suggests, wrist wraps are quite useful in ensuring your wrists are protected as you start hitting snatches, heavy cleans, and overhead squats in your CrossFit training routine. With about $25, you can get quality wrist wraps. There you go! Check again to see if you have all of the above and in case any is missing, make arrangements and have it zipped in. it is for your own benefit.  
Getting out of bed and hitting the Cross Training Athletes gym at 6.00 a.m., needs a good level of dedication. The achievement you get from working out early enough before others wake up is awesome. The only problem most athletes face while exercising at this time is the nutrition part of it. As we all know, exercising without considering that proper dietary intake in Cross Training Athletes  Routine gives you sub-optimal results. In light of this, below is a breakdown of the three important nutritional phases and the accompanying recommended dietary intake. The Pre-Workout Phase If your training starts at 6 or 7 a.m., waking up 2 hours earlier to prepare your breakfast meal is a great idea. The type of meal should be quick to prepare and relatively easy to digest. Most people prefer shake or a liquid meal. It is because they give you a lot of nutrients and they do not have huge prep time. A coffee protein shake can suffice for your pre-workout. The night before your early morning session, you can have a large carbohydrate meal to stock up your muscle glycogen level to blast through your workout. Intra-Workout Phase If you find eating pre-workout unsuitable for you, then you may decide to capitalize on intra-workout nutrition in your Cross Training Athletes Routine to boost your performance and recovery. Your liver and muscle glycogen stores get depleted overnight, and any attempt to work out in a fasted state may prompt your body to break down your muscle tissue for energy. Whatever you are aiming at regarding your goals, this will certainly let you down. Consuming amino acids at the beginning or in the course of your Cross Training Athletesworkout can help in preserving your muscle and at the same time boost your recovery. Do not overlook hydration because even 2% of hydration can weaken your performance. Take a glass of water when you wake up and then at different intervals in your workout keep on sipping water. If you realize that you are sweating a lot, it will not harm to pop in an electrolyte tablet. Post-Workout Phase For any morning Cross Training Athletes, the post-workout phase is very crucial. At this time, your body craves to be replenished because you have just nailed a workout and your body didn’t have as much food. The post-workout rule of thumb is to get at the least 0.6 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight into your post-workout shake or meal. This means athletes who are 75 kilograms should aim at taking 45 grams of protein. There are certain factors such as your goals, the intensity of your session, and what you do with the rest of your day that determines your proper nutrition mix. For lower intensity or volume, go for lower carbohydrates while for higher intensity or volume, go for higher carbohydrates. Lower carbohydrates include foods such as salmon and avocado, omelet, Greek yogurt, berries, and nut butter. Higher carbohydrates include granola, overnight protein oats, banana smoothie, and eggs on sourdough bread. The bottom line is that you need to focus on a Cross Training Athletes routine that works for you and gives you maximum energy levels.
A majority of athletes are quite familiar with the standard push-up movement. However, the same cannot be said of the many variations that have significantly enhanced the challenge of this bodyweight movement in CrossFit gyms. One of the push-up variations known as handstand push-ups or simply HSPU is very demanding both in strength and technique. Simply defined, handstand push-up is a position where an athlete holds a fully extended handstand up against a wall and then lowers his head gradually until he reaches the ground after which he pushes the body back to the wall until his arms are fully extended once more. The challenge in handstand push-up is that the CrossFit athlete is required to rely only on the core or upper body strength while at the same time attempting to push his bodyweight right in the opposite direction against the force of gravity. Benefits of Handstand Push-Ups Handstand push-ups according to experts in CrossFit gyms demand athleticism at the elite level, and this makes it a choice exercise for your training regime. Among the benefits you will get from this workout include: Strength Enhancement When you do handstand push-ups, you will realize an improvement in strength within your prime movers which are the shoulders, chest, and triceps. Typically, handstand push-ups are not designed for beginners although they can be modified to suit the needs of athletes who are less experienced. The reason this CrossFit workout places a greater demand on your muscles compared to standard push-ups is that it involves pushing up 100% of your bodyweight. Women can also benefit immensely from this workout because development of shoulder strength is not a preserve of men. Improved Balance The sort of athleticism required to hold your body upside down while performing the handstand push-up is incredible. Any sport would value such kind of athleticism. If you possess only the strength required for the exercise, but you do not have the prerequisite balance, maintaining the upside-down position may be difficult for you. You can use the wall as a spotter against which to challenge yourself without the risk of falling over. Core Conditioning In as much as exercise balls and balance boards are used to exercise and build core strength, they may be somewhat inferior to athletes who are already experienced and have well-developed cores. The core strength developed through wall-supported or freestanding handstand push-ups in CrossFit gyms exceed by far that produced by any sport or device. When your core strength is well developed, you will enjoy greater protection against injuries. To perform the handstand push-ups, you must have the ability to push much more weight than that in most shoulder press exercises. If you are a young athlete looking to build shoulder strength, handstand push-ups are such a fantastic CrossFit exercise. However, before integrating them into your CrossFit training schedule, you must prioritize safety. If you feel in any way that you can’t measure up to the full handstand push-up, begin from the pike push-up and then progress gradually.  
Your carbohydrates should majorly be composed of unrefined complex starchy as well as fibrous carbohydrates. It is advisable that you limit your intake of simple carbohydrates as much as you possibly can and also cut down or eliminate refined carbs from your CrossFit diet. There are three main types of carbohydrate groups as discussed below. Simple Starchy Carbohydrates These include foods such as fruit juice, honey, sugar, and fruit. Simple carbohydrates are referred as such due to their simple molecular structure which comprises one to two sugar molecules. Glucose is the simplest of the carbohydrates. Contrary to what some people may believe, not all simple carbs are detrimental to your health. There are simple natural carbs such as those found in milk and fruit which are perfectly healthy. Non-fat or low-fat dairy including milk, yogurt, and cottage cheese are rich sources of calcium. Although fresh fruit juices and fruits are packed with minerals and vitamins, it is recommended by CrossFit diet to eat them in moderation because if weight loss is your goal and you are carbohydrate sensitive, these foods are superior. The best time to take food is before and after your workout. Complex Starchy Carbohydrates These carbohydrates consist of simple sugars whose molecules are strung together to form complex and longer chains. The complex starchy carbohydrates include foods such as beans, peas, and grains which are super rich in minerals, vitamins, and fiber. The problem is that most complex starch carbs are often refined. Refined carbohydrates, according to CrossFit diet, basically refer to foods whose high fiber parts have been removed through processing. When a complex carb is refined, it loses the properties that make it healthy which include its complex structure. Examples of refined carbohydrates are white flour, white rice, sugary cereals, white bread, noodles, and anything that is made from white flour. The best form of carbs that will give you the ingredients to power through a CrossFit training routine is the unrefined complex carbohydrates. They contain whole grain which includes the germ and the bran. This makes them be high in fiber thereby keeping you fuller for longer. Look for foods such as wholemeal bread, whole grain rice, whole wheat pasta, and porridge oats. Complex Fibrous Carbohydrates This third category of carbohydrates is praised for its rich content of minerals, vitamins, phytochemicals, as well as other nutrients found in green vegetables. They are also rich in fiber, the portion of plant material that is indigestible. What this means for you is that as the food passes through the gut, much of it is not absorbed therefore acting as the great colon cleanser. Fibrous carbohydrates are also low in calories, and this means you can never overeat on green vegetables. There are some vegetables such as celery which is so low in carbohydrates that it takes many calories to eat them than you can get from them. When it comes to carbohydrates, the rule of thumb is, green or brown is good while white is bad. The only exception to this rule is the cauliflower which you should fight to get it into your CrossFit nutrition plan.  
As a beginner lifter or any other CrossFit enthusiast, you may be having some questions you want to be answered in weightlifting. If there is one area in CrossFit training that can either make or break your performance success is keeping questions to yourself when there are professionals around you that can help answer them. Remember, for every question held back; you create an opportunity for misperformance in future. The following are some of the common questions in Olympic weightlifting. Why Am I Incapable of Lifting More from the Floor? In CrossFit, this is a common query, and therefore you are not alone. The reason why athletes tend to perform better from the hang relative to the floor position is that of how they execute their first pull from the ground. A poor first pull literally bars you from engaging in the same position you would achieve in the hang. A lot of people find it difficult to navigate around the knees. Hang positions are mechanically simple, particularly the higher ones. You will realize that the lower you start, the more you will need in mechanics. It is advantageous to start from the floor because you benefit immensely from the added momentum the moment you get to full extension in the second pull. Is it Wrong for the Bar to Hit My Hips During a Lift? While many CrossFit gyms do not train their athletes to hit their hips with the bar, the truth is, it is advantageous. That said, it must not be overemphasized or forced during the learning process. The main focus should be on the power position and the role it plays. When you begin to develop, you will naturally see yourself making contact with the hips without forcing. Is It okay for the Back Squat and Front Squat Loads to be Similar? Conventionally, the front and back squat numbers should be different. Newer athletes tend to record about 20 pounds in the spread between the two. Experienced athletes can clock up to 50 pounds. When you see yourself recording closer numbers between the back and front squat, chances are high you have a core issue or poor mobility. These are the areas you must focus on strengthening and improving in Olympic weightlifting. What Makes Me Catch the Snatch on My Toes Rather Than Flat Footed? There are several reasons why this may happen, but the main one is that your body shifts towards the bar at some point during the pull. The correct movement should have the bar as close as possible to your body, and the moment it passes your knees, you should sweep it back into the hip to extend. When you leave the bar in front of you and shift your weight towards it, everything will fall forward including your catch. Also, toe heavy athletes particularly those with extensive backgrounds in other sports such as gymnastics or dance, tend to have this problem. The other question commonly asked is on the mobility exercises that can help athletes improve at Olympic weightlifting. The simple answer to this is that the appropriate mobility exercises are the same as those you do for your hips, shoulders, and ankles.
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.