CrossFit is a high-intensity sport that blends functional fitness including kettlebells, Olympic lifts, and calisthenics with competition, it offers you a unique way through which you can build your cardio fitness. To get the most out of this sport, you should consider joining a CrossFit gym which is alternatively referred to as a box. The daily WOD you will participate in will enhance your strength, power, and stamina. Shifting from Sedentary to Solid As you gradually shift your lifestyle from the couch to the CrossFit box, you will notice your cardio improving. A study that was done in 2013 and published in the Journal of Strength and Conditional Research revealed how the participants improved in VO2Max in just 10 weeks of training. The training involved exercises such as overhead press, squat, and clean and snatch done in quick succession. From this study, we can base our argument that a CrossFit workout program involving intense moves can significantly improve your cardiovascular ability even if the workouts are short. Within the period of training, your body will make notable adaptations at the cell level such as oxygen usage, fuel metabolism, and waste removal by multiplying the number and increasing the function of your mitochondria. Boosting Your Stamina and Fitness Levels You may not be a beginner in workouts and training, but you may want to increase your fitness levels. CrossFit Gym can help you to improve your stamina and boost your speed on the trail, track, and slopes. The strength and power CrossFit gives you means you can exercise for longer and your muscles will not fatigue. For competitive athletes whose first love is endurance sports, CrossFit can enhance their cardio. There is a temptation in CrossFit to simply settle at the WOD. This may be inappropriate particularly for your personal needs. You have to go beyond and replace your junk miles with CrossFit workouts that are targeted. The type of exercises that are best for you largely depends on what your goals are, but to start you off the following are some of the suggested workouts. Core CrossFit Workouts – In this category, exercises such as V-ups, hollow rock, and toes-to-bar are recommended. Plyometric Moves – This group of exercises brings together workouts such as single-leg hops, jump rope double unders, and burpees. Bodyweight Exercises – Here, workouts including pull-ups, dips, step-ups, and push-ups can do you a lot of good. Functional Resistance –This category of CrossFit Gym workouts brings together back squats, kettlebell swings, and push presses. Most endurance athletes pick a handful of these exercises and include them in their CrossFit workout plan. Concentrating on these moves for 20 or 30 minutes for a period of 3 to 4 times a week can bring you the transformation that you are looking for. Combine this with other targeted cardio training in your fields such as swimming, running, cycling, triathlon, and skiing for the best results.
In many training programs, the volume is often overlooked. In case you are wondering what volume is all about, simply defined, it refers to the total weight lifted during the training session. It is the weight x reps at that particular weight x sets at that respective rep scheme for each of the weights lifted during the training session of CrossFit workout. It is a total of all weights. Studies have revealed that volume is a primary concern when training for hypertrophy and strength. As the volume increases, there is a tendency to get bigger and stronger unless there is a hindrance. The more work you do, the more jacked you get. Top Three Ways You Can Jack Up Volume Because the volume equation comprises three different variables, you can enhance your volume in three different ways in your CrossFit training routine. The first way is to lift more weight at the same set and rep. For instance, in one workout, you can do biceps curls with 50 pounds at 4 x 12. In the next workout, you can top up the weight to 55 pounds at the same 4 x 12. The second way is to lift the same level of weight, but this time increasing the number of reps per set. For instance, you can do 50 pounds at 4 x 12 and 4 x 15. The third way is for you to increase the number of sets for every workout. In this instance, you can do 4 x 12 and 5 x 12 with the same 50 pounds weight. Tracking Your Volume As a general expectation, your volume should increase over time. You don’t necessarily have to lift more volume in every successive CrossFit workout, but in the long run, the expectation is to see an upward trend. If your graph is instead flattening out despite you lifting more weight, chances are you have reached your ultimate limits or something could be something wrong with your training. Because of this, it is important to track your volume on a regular basis. You can use pen and paper, a computer spreadsheet, or tap into online services that are customized to make it easier for you to do the tracking. Volume of Strength Training for strength is different from training for size. Strength training brings onboard high-intensity lifts within the range of 1 to 6 reps and over 75% of your 1RM. This is the range that gives you the muscle fiber recruitment and neurological adaptations needed to handle bulky weights. When strength training, the only way to calculate volume is to count the reps you do which are greater than 75% of 1RM. This is more accurate because any warm-up sets are eliminated as they do not contribute anything towards strength training. When you are volume training for size, you should be careful because it can get confusing. Training for size uses more than one part of the body and tracking this may not be easy. For instance, triceps pushdowns and dips are both exercises targeting the triceps. However, since they vary in terms of mechanical advantages the chances are slim that you will be able to lift the same level of weight in both. The solution here is to focus on one lift per CrossFit workout.
Research indicates that a person breathes about 20,000 times per day. However, has it occurred to you that you have been doing it all wrong? Breathing seems so natural that while eating or doing any other normal activity, we don’t seem to think about it much. The only time breathing becomes noticeable is when huffing and puffing during a CrossFit workout. Breathing is much more than oxygen coming in and carbon dioxide going out. By the mere fact that we have been breathing doesn’t mean that we have been right all the way. There are a lot of possible ways you could improve your breathing. Benefits from enhanced breathing include stress reduction, lower blood pressure, increased brain size, improved athletic performance among others. Below are the techniques to help you achieve this. Deep Breathing at Rest Proper breathing can help relieve stress by increasing the parasympathetic nervous system activity. This system works in the opposite of fight or flight response system thus giving you a more tranquil and calmer demeanor. If you can, work on your breathing while lying on the ground and your feet raised up against a wall. The advantage of this posture is that it eliminates gravity and its effects on the equation. Then, put one of your hands on your chest and the other one in the abdominal area. Take deep, focused breaths for about a minute or two ensuring that you spend much time on both inhalation and exhalation. The key to this technique is to ensure your abdominals rise before your chest. Breathing While Warming Up Breathing has an impact on your athletic performance, and this is why you should take advantage of the warm-up session in your CrossFit training schedule to refocus on your breath. Take time foam rolling your upper body especially the sections that are hindering your correct breathing ability. Then, perform the deep breathing exercise as explained above before moving into your active warm-up. Focusing on your breath before exercising ensures a reinforcement of proper breathing movements before engaging in the high-intensity interval training. Doing this will lessen your huffing and puffing leading to an effective CrossFit workout. Breathing When Working Out If you want to remember how and when to breath as you work out, you can use the Valsalva Maneuver technique which comprises taking a deep breath immediately before lifting and then holding your breath as you do the lifting. This method is important in creating an intra-abdominal pressure which in turn creates a strong foundation and allows you to handle the much greater weight. When lifting sub-maximal loads, bracing is recommended. This involves activating your core musculature thus creating a super fitness in your mid-section. This helps you to stabilize your core and as such goes a long way in reducing the risk of injury. If you have been keen on counting your macros, stretching, hydrating and foam rolling, you should also try and integrate your breathing into your CrossFit workout plan. Just one or two minutes a day can enhance your breathing and take your workouts and performance to another level.