From the efforts expended in capturing caloric expenditures, it is clear everyone would want to know how much they eat in terms of CrossFit nutrition. However, there are lots of methods and calculators developed that are meant to help in this, and to some extent, they can become confusing. When you get disparate estimates from different scales, you may wonder which category you fall into. The good thing is that they are all estimates and as such don’t define the real you. In order to determine the optimal food amount for your health and CrossFit workout performance, you should start weighing and measuring everything you eat. Caloric Estimates The total calories you burn on any day is known as total energy expenditure. It includes your thermic effect of feeding which simply means the calories you burn when eating food, what you burn when walking around say from the house to the box and the basal metabolic rate which are the calories you burn when the body is at rest. Lots of online calculators use one or the other of the various acceptable forms of basal metabolic rate equations. They depend on a conglomerate of variables such as age, height, and mass. Unfortunately, genetic factors which have been shown to result in individual variations are not factored in by these calculators hence the output is only, but an estimate. Multipliers usually calculate the exercise and non-exercise associated expenditure. For instance, moderately active may be assigned the multiplier 1.5. Alternatively, the calories expended in the various activities in a typical day may be summed up. As a rule of thumb, the thermic effect of feeding is taken to be about 10% of the total calories in CrossFit nutrition. The Best Estimate The best approach kind of ignores the above estimates. It proposes that you track your food intake for about 3 days, these days must represent an accurate composition of your typical diet. The goal for the 3 days is to record as honestly as possible what you eat on a regular basis. The consistency of the calorie totals from one day to the next will enable you to get your baseline number. If you find the numbers varying widely, say over 500 calories, it is advisable that you continue tracking for about a week so as to get a representative total for your typical day. Focus on the Macronutrients One of the reasons why CrossFit nutrition such as the zone diet is gaining popularity is because of the way it breaks down the calories. It clearly states that 40% of the calorie intake should be from carbohydrates, 30% from fat, and the remaining 30% from protein. This composition contains enough carbohydrates to sustain high-intensity activities, enough protein to support your quest for lean mass, and sufficient fat to help in body activity and recovery. In view of the foregoing discussion, the bottom line is, your caloric total should be consistent. By consistency, it is meant that it should be within 50 calories of the target goal per day.
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.
In CrossFit, there are different modalities one of which is the bodyweight modality and the other the weightlifting modality. One thing you should know as an athlete is that during CrossFit training, you have the option of concentrating on one modality and not giving much effort to the others. However, the danger of this approach is that you will become a specialist in one and lose the ability to perform the other tasks across the board. It’s therefore important not to be persuaded that one modality is superior to another. In your CrossFit journey, fitness, and life, they are all equal. Common Weightlifting Movements There are several weightlifting movements you will encounter while attending CrossFit training sessions, each exercising a certain section of your body and a specific group of muscles. Some of the common ones include: Deadlift –This is further divided into sumo and conventional deadlift movements such as Olympic lifting or powerlifting. Squat –This is a staple in CrossFit, and it has variations which include back squat, front squat, overhead squat, and Zercher squat. Press –This is arguably one of the most common weightlifting movements. It is divided into a number of variations some of which are push jerk, push press, sprint jerk, bench press, squat jerk, and strict. Dumbbell and Kettlebell –These weightlifting movements also have their own variations. It is evident from the above list of movements that weightlifting differs to a great measure from gymnastics. While it is true that both weightlifting and gymnastics have simplistic movements such as deadlift and push-up respectively, they also have complex movements such as snatch and the butterfly pull-up. When working any of the above weightlifting movements under the CrossFit training sessions, especially the Olympic variations snatch and clean & jerk, you are preparing the body system to apply more force to your muscle groups in a proper sequence which means starting from the core to extremity. The beauty with CrossFit is that Olympic weightlifting is oftentimes done and made readily available to everyone. Instead of doing isolated movement patterns, it helps a lot to do complex movements because this is part of our human nature. Benefits of Weightlifting Movements Every time the word weightlifting is mentioned, images of people doing bench presses and curls conjure up. However, the truth is, there is more to weightlifting than curls and bench presses. There are lots of benefits associated with this modality and below are a few of them. Muscle Addition and Fat Burning –When you lift weights, you will build muscle. Everyone loves being ripped, bulky, toned, and shredded. Adding muscle involves fat burning which in the end gives you a lean body mass. Training Your Body on Correct Movements –Your body and that of other athletes naturally moves in patterns that are familiar. It is therefore upon you to train it on how to move efficiently and correctly. This is why going through those barbell drills, dip pulls, dip shrug, and other CrossFit workouts help. They engrain a specific movement pattern into the memory of your muscle. Apart from the above, there are health benefits such as improvement in coordination, activation of motor units, burning of visceral fat, as well as enhancing your VO2 max.
There are many reasons why CrossFit athletes seem to be obsessed with protein. First and foremost, this macronutrient helps in building and repair of muscles. Additionally, it helps in revving fat burning metabolism and slows down the release of carbohydrates into the bloodstream. This, in turn, prevents the sudden spikes in blood sugar levels which are responsible for sagging energy levels and increased fat storage. It is recommended that physique minded individuals should go for at least 1 gram of protein for each pound of their body weight to build and maintain muscle. In order to get to this point which may seem lofty at first, you should ensure your grocery cart is full of varieties of high protein foods. To start you off, consider the following foods when planning your CrossFit diet. High Protein Dairy and Eggs In this category of proteins, there are foods such as Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, swiss cheese, eggs, milk, and whey protein. Greek yogurt contains twice as much protein as most of the other regular versions. It is also rich in gut-friendly probiotic bacteria as well as bone-building calcium. Cottage cheese, on the other hand, is full of casein protein which is a slow digesting protein which supplies your muscles with vital amino acids. Swiss cheese is a muscle-friendly CrossFit diet and forms a great addition to your burgers and sandwiches. The protein to fat ratio in most Swiss cheese varieties is about 8:1. You can’t possibly miss out on whey protein which should be taken in at least 24 grams per scoop. It is one of the fastest-digesting and cleanest proteins in the market. For any muscle building or fat loss CrossFit nutrition, whey protein is a perfect addition. High Protein Meat Here, options such as ground beef, steak, pork chops, chicken breast, and turkey breast are recommended to get added in a Crossfit diet. Steak provides at least 1 gram of protein per 7 calories. If you go for rib eye, you will get 1 gram of protein for 11 calories. Round steak is one of the most economical cuts. Ground beef provides you with the right amount of fat to make your meatloaf and burgers taste great. Beyond the protein they have, red meat is also an excellent source of creatine. Pork chops preferably the boneless variety has amazing muscle-sculpting protein and its far much easier to prepare. To make the chops tenderer, soak them in brine. High Protein Seafood Halibut, yellowfin tuna, octopus, and sockeye salmon are among the kinds of seafood you should incorporate into your CrossFit workout routine. Apart from the premium quality protein that yellowfin tuna delivers to your body, it is also packed with B Vitamins which have excellent antioxidant qualities. If you want to build muscle like a champ, you need to have halibut on your dinner plate. It is a white flesh species which gives you only 2 grams of fat per 3 oz serving. The Pacific halibut is considered much more sustainable than the Atlantic option. In addition to the above categories, you can also add some high protein canned foods such as corned beef, light tuna, sardines, navy beans, and dried lentils.
Whether you realize it or not, your day-to-day non-training posture has a huge impact not just on your mental and physical health, but on your athletic performance as well. You may know for sure that slouching is bad and that you should always be walking straight, but you may not know why this is important. The chances are high that you would pay much closer attention to the way you walk or sit if you knew what this may do to your mood and how limiting it is in the CrossFit gym. Understanding the Origins of Posture Sometimes, poor posture may result from injuries and accidents. However, a majority of the times sloppy posture may be the result of bad habits and environmental factors that are not within our control. For instance, if you hunch over at an angle of 60 degrees as you listen to proceedings or even read, the implications this has are similar to someone who carries 60 pounds of weight on their cervical spine.Other factors that are linked to poor posture include being overweight, poor sleep support, muscular imbalances, occupational stress, and improper shoes among others. When we stand or walk incorrectly, our muscles and bones are lined up incorrectly, and this interferes with sciatic nerve flow, the nerve connecting the leg and foot muscles with the spinal cord. Because of this blockage, pain ensues at the back of your thighs, feet, and calves. Ultimately, this results in a condition known as sciatica. Muscle and Joint Damage Sitting for extended periods of time causes stress on your lower back muscles especially the ones on your posterior chain. This has the impact of exaggerating the natural arch of the spine causing hyperlordosis. Sitting on your butts weakens your glutes thus making them inefficient in performing their role of hip extension and stabilization. This limits your range of motion. When it comes to the Crossfit workouts, the effect of weakened glutes is directly translated to poor performance. If you let poor posture dictate your CrossFit movement patterns at the gym, the damage to your joints and muscles can be exacerbated. Impact on Athletic Performance Since poor posture leads to stressed organs, damaged joints, muscles, and bones, it indirectly affects your performance on high-intensity programs such as CrossFit. It is therefore important as an athlete to ensure that your body is always healthy and operates properly for recovery and progress.The elements of good posture include: Correct sitting posture – The ideal sitting posture is when your head is neutrally positioned while looking straight ahead. Your shoulders should be relaxed, and your elbows bent at 90 degrees on your sides. When working on the computer, try positioning the keyboard and raise the monitor to eye level. Recommended standing posture – Ensure your knees are bent slightly, and your arms naturally hanging down by your body sides and your stomach tucked in. When standing for a long time, ensure you shift your weight to your heels or from one foot to the other. To achieve the above posture, there are recommended CrossFit exercises which include a downward-facing dog, hip flexor stretch, foam roller bridge, and thoracic spine opener.