If you have been training for quite a while, it is likely that you have made some mistakes. Furthermore, the path of learning is laced with failures and successes. That said, you should aim at learning from what others have done wrong so that you can save time and energy during your CrossFit training program and put it to good use. Everyone would have wished there was a shorter way to attain their fitness goals. However, there is no simple answer or method and for those who are really after success, they must learn how to spend time under the bar as they engage their unique profile. To start you off, below are some of the things shared by experts in CrossFit gym, that you should avoid, some to think about, while others to try out. Identifying and Sticking to a Goal People with training attention deficit disorder (ADD) feel like their goals are shifting every week. In order to avoid this mistake, identify your goal and stick to it for a period of about 12 weeks and after that reassess your progress. It is very easy for you to get distracted whenever something good comes up, but with these distractions, you will never know the true value of a program and whether it is a right fit for you. Avoid a One-Size-Fits-All Approach A one-size-fits-all CrossFit workout routine would certainly make life much easier. However, this is not the case. You have to experiment and establish your weak points. Even when you are training under the best of coaches, you may struggle in figuring out the best approach for you. Some CrossFitters adopt online programs that are hyped to be working for some people. The reality is, such programs may not work for you. You need an authentic personalized workout approach to address your needs. Narrow Your Workout Choices The access to information is nearing its peak and there is a lot doing rounds. While on one side this is a blessing, looked from another angle, it can be a handicap. We tend to overthink on the type of CrossFit exercises to do instead of narrowing them down to about 4 or 5 movements and calling it a day. If we could only do this, our workouts would be so much efficient. Less is More While we appreciate that we come from backgrounds where no pain no gain is the mantra, sometimes time-capping can help. Your training sessions should be done within a certain timeframe. Training for longer in CrossFit Gym doesn’t necessarily mean that you will gain more, rather you may be stressing your system, increasing cortisol, and lowering serum testosterone levels which in the long run undermine the very goals you want to achieve. Take breaks in between. Always Be a Student No one can comfortably say they are done learning. It doesn’t matter how much you know, there will always be someone or some people who know more than you do. Look for these experts, take time to study their work, read what they have written, and if possible experiment. Successful weightlifters in the CrossFit gym are those who accept that they do not have a monopoly of knowledge.
You may have hit a level in your CrossFit training schedule, and you just want a break from the high-intensity cardio exercises. Instead of getting stranded and wondering the next best group of workouts to undertake, you can go for LISS. This is a simply a low-key style of cardio training that has gathered steam especially on social media. LISS is an acronym meaning low intensity sustained the state. It encompasses any aerobic and cardio based activity which is performed at a low intensity but for a much longer period approximately 30 to 60 minutes. Contrary to what many think, LISS is not a new type of fitness. The reason it is trending today because it has received massive support from some popular trainers such as Kayla Itsines who is an Australian trainer and Instagram star. LISS has been used by bodybuilders for decades. Research shows that this workout trend was popular as early as the 60s and 70s and its main aim is to help the body lean out. It is usually combined with low carb diets. Why LISS is Popular The popularity of this workout regime to get added to CrossFit training schedule cannot be pointed to one reason rather there are multiple reasons, and each is enticing in its own way. Below are some of these reasons. Active Rest and Recovery –LISS is an ideal regimen for active rest or recovery for athletes who regularly engage in higher intensity workouts as part of their daily CrossFit workout routine. It significantly lowers the risk of injury. It is Friendly –People who are new to fitness and exercising prefer a much softer entry point into the workout arena. LISS is one of the gateways that ushers you into the journey and helps you get stronger and perfect to be able to handle more demanding workouts later. Think of it, walking on a treadmill or simply jumping in for a casual swim is not as intimidating as enrolling into a boot camp class. The Lazy Girl Concept – LISS is one of the CrossFit training schedules that won’t demand as much effort from you but will give you excellent results. It makes a lot of sense to be attracted to a category of exercises that promise you a trimmer, leaner body with just a couple of hours doing a slow walk on a treadmill. The no pain no gain mantra tends to be intimidating. LISS Activities and Their Effectiveness One of the outstanding features of LISS is that you can undertake it either inside or outside the CrossFit gym. For instance, you could bike to work, do a brisk walk, or use the rowing machine at the gym. These are just some of the lease activities. On the question of whether it works, the answer is an absolute yes. However, for it to give you the results you expect, you should incorporate a balanced exercise schedule. LISS is effective at metabolizing fat, but not as good in accessing and breaking down fat that is stored hence the need to bring in other workouts to complement this.
In the holy grail of full body workouts, kettlebell snatch comes as the final progression. Before you get to this CrossFit exercise, you have to ensure that your Swing is excellent and you have correctly mastered the Turkish GetUp. Many people understandably struggle to get the snatch right. This is principal because it involves getting a heavy weight over your head at a certain speed range. Timing is of the essence when doing the snatch because a misstep can see you banging your wrist and jerking your arm. The beauty with kettlebell snatch is that it works out your entire body starting from the toe all the way to the head. It is considered a pulling movement as well. It requires a lot of energy to take the kettlebell right from the top position, absorbing all its weight and thereafter change the momentum at the bottom. Even though it doesn’t match the high pull, kettlebell snatch is a cardiovascular exercise. Benefits of Kettlebell Snatch There are many benefits you are poised to enjoy in this kettlebell snatch named CrossFit exercise, but below are a few to just give you an idea of what is at stake in this task. Fat Loss – Hundreds of muscles are engaged in just a single snatch movement. The more the muscles you summon, the more the energy expended hence the need to burn more fats and carbohydrates. Great Cardio –If you want to push your cardio to another level, it helps to throw the snatch into your CrossFit workout routine. It will definitely elevate your heart rate without even moving your feet. During every repetition, the snatch uses so much force and energy that your heart and lungs can’t help, but work very hard and fast. Strength and Power Development –The snatch is unique in that it demands that your body absorbs and regenerates force at a certain speed range during every repetition. The ability to produce this force at the required speed is what is known as power. There are many things in which power can be beneficial amongst them martial arts and sports. Connects the Body –If there is one thing this CrossFit exercise does extremely well is to connect your body right from the body all the way to the toe. In a matter of seconds, the snatch picks up the kettlebell from overhead all the way close to the floor and then back up again. The ability to connect and coordinate movement patterns starting from the head to the toe is very helpful in natural movement skills. Enhances Stability and Mobility –For you to snatch the kettlebell successfully, your chest must open up while your shoulders must be sufficiently supple to permit the kettlebell overhead. During the snatch, any instances of poor shoulder and thoracic mobility will be brought into the light for immediate attention. Apart from shoulder mobility, there is also need for stability so that they can support the heavy overhead load. Muscles Worked Out When doing the snatch in your CrossFit WOD, lots of muscles are worked very hard. Some of these include hips, quads, glutes, hamstrings, and the core. There is more muscle activation in the upper section of your body because the kettlebell must go overhead. The grip is also one area that will be worked extremely hard the moment you start practicing the snatch.
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.
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.
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.
The back squat is one of the key CrossFit training exercises which help in increasing strength, building muscle, and burning fat at the same time. The beauty with this squat is that it targets every muscle of the body and hits it in some shape, form, or way. If you want to measure your strength, the back squat is one of the exercises that can help you do this. Athletes who squat twice their bodyweight are considered a huge success in strength training. However, it is vital to note that such lifts do not come overnight. You need to put in a lot of practice and effort. The major stumbling blocks athletes face when trying to enhance their squat are weak hamstrings, weak glutes, and limited mobility. If you think you are one of the victims of this, below are ways you can fix them at your CrossFit gym. Weak Glutes Whenever you are coming out from the bottom position of a squat, you may experience some sort of an inward buckle of the knees. This condition is referred to as valgus collapse, and it indicates weak glutes. If not addressed early enough, it may result in injuries and tears such as PCL and ACL. When this occurs, your recovery will take much longer. To fix this, you should add barbell hip thrusts into your CrossFit workout routine as this target the glutes. For the best results, perform 3 to 4 sets each of 6 to 10 reps on your lower body or leg days. Weak Hamstrings While it is true that the back squat hits the quads really hard, heavyweights require activation of the glutes and hamstrings. When you have weak hamstrings, you will spend most of your time struggling as you try to come out of the bottom position of a squat. Fixing this requires the inclusion of Romanian deadlifts which strengthen the hamstrings and teach your body the right order to fire your muscles so as to improve your squat technique. Do 3 to 4 sets each having 6 to 8 reps on your lower body or leg days. Limited Mobility A stiff and tight body in the CrossFit gym possesses a mobility challenge when going through a range of motion. If this is not sorted out, you can ass well forget about packing on weight. To fix this, engage in foam rolling to loosen the tight areas. After a thorough foam rolling session targeting areas such as the chest, shoulder, lower back, mid back, hamstrings, and glutes, do overhead squats to open up, stretch, and mobilize the major parts of the body. Begin with one or two sets each having ten to twelve reps. You start with a PV pipe and after that progress into a barbell as you increase the weight on each set.
Chest to bar pull-ups is one of the common CrossFit movements athletes should familiarize themselves with. To do them, you need some strength in place as well as technique. If you have been struggling to do chest to bar pull-ups or you want to add them to your CrossFit workout routine, here are some tips to help you improve. Explore Different Options Previously, these pull-ups have been paired with thrusters. Whether you are training for the competition or just for your personal fitness, it is good to try out different options on the chest to bar pull-ups. There are two main options worth trying, the first being palm facing towards and the other palm facing away. The first option is called regular pull-ups while the second is chin ups. Both of these options are legitimate and highly recommended in CrossFit training. Other options you may explore include kipping, butterfly, and strict. In between these options, you should know when to drop off the bar so that your energy is not wasted in failed reps. Developing Your Kipping/ Butterfly Technique Compared to the kipping chest to bar pull-ups, butterfly chest to bar pull-ups are much quicker and efficient. Try as much as you can to keep tight through your legs and torso. If you want to do butterfly chest to bar pull-ups in a more efficient way, try remaining tight throughout your torso instead of doing big circles or cycling backward. Get Enough Strength If for some reason you cannot successfully do chest to bar pull-ups CrossFit exercises, you may need to start with eccentric pull-ups. Begin practicing eccentric pull-ups on a box and gradually lower yourself to the bottom. After that, pull up back to the starting position and stick to about 5 sets. This will help you get sufficient strength to execute chest to bar pull-ups with much ease. Toes Up or Pointed If you are working out from a purist point of view, you may prefer to keep your toes pointed. However, from a physio viewpoint, people require different strategies. For instance, if your back strength is better than your abdominal strength, toes up will give you better results because it will tension your anterior muscles. On the other hand, pointed toes activate your posterior muscles which are important for CrossFitters who have stronger abs and relatively weaker back muscles. The bottom line is to find out what exactly works for you and stick with that. All through your chest to bar CrossFit training program, ensure you engage your coach to enable you to identify and rectify areas of weaknesses. Most coaches won’t have a problem to tell you what to concentrate on and the additional exercises to undertake following your workouts. For beginners, one on one coaching sessions is invaluable because they help you realize what you are doing wrong and do it right.