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.
KUNAL JHAVERI | 22 May 18
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.
KUNAL JHAVERI | 19 May 18
It is almost a tradition that every Memorial Day, countless gym goers and CrossFitters put themselves through an insane and brutal combination of running and calisthenics. The Murph is one of those CrossFit workouts that can be termed as utterly daunting and brutal while at the same time remarkable in the results it delivers. To do this, you just need a pair of snickers and a pull-up bar. The workout itself consists of running a mile, followed by 100 pull-ups after which you do 200 push-ups before doing 300 unweighted squats and finishing with another mile run. In its highest form, the athletes in CrossFit Gym usually compete while wearing weight vests measuring about 20 pounds. The question is, how do you execute such a WOD without completely tearing apart? Below are some tactics to keep you on the frontline. Rehearse Beforehand With practice, you can do much. When you regularly engage in high volume exercises, you develop a mindset. The benefit of practice is that it helps you to prepare your body and mind so that you can endure a large workload without becoming sore. On the day of the Murph challenge, ensure you keep your workload light and mostly mental. Hydrate Well You can’t possibly succeed in executing Murph if you are the type of person who loves hotdogs and boozing. Everyone thinks they are invincible athletes simply because they train a lot. However, hydrating your body should not be overlooked because your body system is not any better than a machine and when it runs empty on fuel, it breaks down. Hydrate at least 2 days beforehand and you will have a relatively easy time in the CrossFit gym. Get the Necessary Nutrients in the Right Volumes In the same manner, you approach a 10-kilometer marathon, think about the Murph the same way. Fueling up with electrolytes and carbohydrates will save you from the troubles of running on an empty stomach. The best approach is to prepare a shake of carbohydrate that is easily digestible and supplement it with protein powder. Scale the WOD to Your Ability Before taking on Murph, assess your ability to handle the workload. This should give you an idea of how to scale the exercises in CrossFit Gym to enable you to go through the reps without burning your system. Safety and effectiveness are key priorities in this workout and if you can’t perform a certain movement, scaling is the best option. Instead of assessing your ability on the workout day, do it a few days before. Do not feel as if you are any lesser of a CrossFitter simply because you are scaling your WOD. Every athlete is endowed differently and there is always a beginning point. On top of doing the above, ensure you focus on saving energy as you go through each rep. don’t spend every watt of power, but target at saving energy to help you power through this CrossFit WOD successfully. Remember, quality supersedes quantity and speed in CrossFit.
KUNAL JHAVERI | 17 May 18
Getting out of bed and hitting the CrossFit 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 CrossFit 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 CrossFit 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 CrossFit workout 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 CrossFitter, 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 CrossFit routine that works for you and gives you maximum energy levels.
KUNAL JHAVERI | 12 May 18
Every serious CrossFitter is either on zone diet or paleo diet or a mixture of both. That said, some CrossFitters especially beginners may not be on a diet because of lack of awareness or simply not knowing how crucial it is in their CrossFit workout regimen. The quality of food is taken seriously in zone diet as well as balancing the portions of fat, protein, and carbohydrate. Zone diet has been praised for its ability to strike the hormonal balance. By extension, this boosts your wellness, energy utilization, blood chemistry, and so much more. Zone dieters consider food as a drug, and therefore they are very careful so that they do not loosely consume food for fear of undesirable physiological changes in their body systems. What is Zone Diet All About? Most people believe that zone CrossFit diet is just about high protein or low carb. The reality is that this diet is much more than this. It balances the following food groups. • Protein – This consists of natural meats. • Carbs –Zone diet advocates for low glycemic vegetables and fruits.• Fat –This is a critical macronutrient that forms part of the zone diet. When you balance fats, carbohydrates, and protein, you can successfully control glucagon, insulin, and eicosanoids hormones which are usually generated by the human diet. Insulin is classified as a storage hormone, and excess of it accelerates inflammation and makes you fat. Glucagon, on the other hand, is a mobilization hormone which tells your body to steadily release stored carbohydrates thereby stabilizing your blood sugar levels. This is important for optimal CrossFit exercises and mental performance. The last hormone eicosanoids help in controlling inflammation. It is also a master hormone which orchestrates a wide array of hormonal systems in your body. Zone Living Zone diet consists of a block of meals. A one block meal comprises one choice from the carbohydrate list which is blue, protein list which is pink in color, and the fat list which is green in color. A two-block meal will have two choices from each of the above lists. A three-block meal will have three choices from each group, and the list goes on and on. The onus is upon you to mix and match the blocks according to your preference. For instance, when you wake up, you can go for a two-block meal then proceed to three-block meal for lunch and dinner. Athletes are different, and each one will have their block requirements. The key point in this CrossFit diet is to develop a habit where you eat at regular intervals so that your hormones are always balanced. When you wake up, an hour should not elapse before you eat. It is advisable that in 4 hours, you eat something in between and always before going to sleep you take a snack. If you have a digital food scale, it will make your work easier because then you can measure blocks in an easy and fast way. When you put your plate on the weighing scale, press the tare button. This will subtract the weight of the plate and only ensure the content. Be careful to avoid micromanaging your nutrients. Once you get used to living in the zone, it will be much easier for you to customize your lifestyle.
KUNAL JHAVERI | 11 May 18
The box is not as easy space especially for beginners in CrossFit. However, with the right mastery of the unspoken laws, your life can be much easier because these laws create the right environment for your improvement and continuous progress. Below are some of the ones you should know by heart. Do Not Cheat Reps When you are in the heat of a CrossFit workout and the pain and fatigue is setting in, it becomes easy to lose count. This aside, there are some athletes who deliberately cut reps to speed their scores and beat their rivals. Since the competitive element of CrossFit workout is fun, you should never lose the fact that any workout has a primary role in making you stronger, fitter, and healthier. Don’t be obsessed with winning to cheat your reps. The Last Gets the Loudest Cheers This is one of the best aspects of CrossFit. A WOD is very competitive, but that aside, the main aim of every single workout is to improve the fitness of all involved. At every CrossFit level, this mentality rules. You will see it as a first timer in CrossFit, and you will also see it even at the CrossFit competitions. Don’t Be Selective in Your WODs It is part of humanity that each one of us has their strengths and weaknesses. There is excitement when you come across a workout you can do perfectly well because it involves everything you are good at. However, you will come across the opposite scenario in CrossFit where WODs are not as fun because they demand techniques and resilience aspects that you are not good at. Instead of avoiding such kind of CrossFit exercises, you should tackle them as doing so serves to improve your weakness. Take Care of the Equipment This is more or less a matter of simple courtesy. It shouldn’t be difficult to put the equipment, bars, and plates back in the racks. Taking care of equipment is a ritualistic element of CrossFit training and obeying this comes with its share of respect. For instance, some athletes will walk around the bar after every lift instead of walking over the barbell which is considered disrespectful. Control Your Ego Don’t kill or suppress your ego because you will need it to power you through CrossFit. It has the effect of motivating us to a higher level of competition and always getting better at what we do. However, if not controlled, egos can be a hindrance to your CrossFit performance. CrossFit exposes weaknesses in some of the places you never knew existed. As an athlete, you need to be humble and not allow your ego to lead the way in the face of disappointments and embarrassments. It takes a lot of courage to accept that at times we are not as good as we think. Working with your CrossFit training coach, you can quickly learn some of the etiquettes that will inspire you to progress and improvement.
KUNAL JHAVERI | 08 May 18
It’s possible to boost satiety and burn calories while simultaneously preserving your lean muscle mass. Smoothies are packed with the essential nutrients which help in keeping your hair, skin, heart, and bones in good health. Unfortunately, some of the protein sips athletes take in local CrossFit gyms have lots of added sugar. Having these on your CrossFit diet every time makes it extremely difficult to achieve that lean summer body. There is delicious weight loss protein shakes that can satisfy your craving and still push your body towards weight loss. Below are some of them: Jelly Protein and Peanut Butter Smoothie Regarding nutrition, this can give you 16 grams of protein, 228 calories, 23 grams of carbs, 5 grams of fiber, 7.5 grams of fat, and 1.3 grams of saturated fat. If you love classic childhood sandwich, this recipe is a must try. You simply blend frozen berries with vanilla protein, soy milk, rolled oats, and peanut butter to create a delicious protein-packed smoothie. If you don’t like soy milk, you can substitute it with any unsweetened milk of your choice. Spinach Flax Protein Shake The source of protein in this shake comes from flax meal, almond milk, optional protein powder, chia seeds, and the spinach. If you don’t like spinach, but would want it to form part of your CrossFit diet, you can add pineapple, banana, and mango to make the smoothie delicious and still reap the benefits. This smoothie gives you up to 33% of your daily vitamin A requirements while the flax and chia seeds give you satiating fiber. Dark Chocolate Peppermint Smoothie The source of protein here comes from Greek yogurt and protein powder. This shake doesn’t have sugars and fats and tastes more or less like dessert. Fortunately, it doesn’t have any waste expanding effects.Topping the smoothie with Greek yogurt helps in taking your protein count higher. Almond Butter Protein Shake This smoothie is made with four ingredients, almond milk, nut butter, chia seeds, and cinnamon. The nut butter and almond milk will give you natural protein, and the chia seeds will boost your level of antioxidants and omega 3s. You can enjoy this smoothie as an afternoon snack or a healthy breakfast. Cinnamon heightens the taste of your drink and helps in zapping stubborn belly fat to stabilize your blood sugar. Grape and Blueberry Smoothie This is a creative recipe for any CrossFitter who may not be into the idea of packing nutrition powders. In the place of plant or whey protein, this smoothie calls for blended eggs. This helps in burning fat. The protein in the eggs helps in muscle recovery while the choline in the yolk helps in fighting fat cells to give you a lean look. The grapes and berries give you vitamin C which helps in further trimming down cortisol levels which are responsible for fat storage. Other smoothies you may find delicious and nutritionally-viable as your CrossFit workout diet include berry oat smoothie, blueberry almond butter shake, and a raw chocolate smoothie.
KUNAL JHAVERI | 06 May 18
CrossFit warmups play an integral role in your overall success in the CrossFit gym. It is therefore important that every warmup you do be time efficient and targeted for the purpose ahead. There should be a general portion of the warmup and a session that is skill specific. Lastly, every warmup should help you establish an optimal body temperature. As a winning athlete, you undoubtedly are focused on performing at your best any given day while trying the much you can to prevent injury. If not put in a proper perspective, warmups can become a monster leading to some performing excessive protocols which in the end harm them more than benefit. Preparing for the Task to Come By design, a warmup prepares you for what is to follow. For you to be effective, you must identify what you are preparing for. When you understand what is required, you can then structure a warmup that is targeted for that purpose. Major fitness competitions including CrossFit require athletes to perform at a very high intensity regarding work rate or load. Some of the CrossFit workouts are relatively short which means athletes must be prepared to execute the task right from the start. For this reason, CrossFitters ought to pay particular attention to the warmup format so that they can perform immediately following its completion. Among the things athletes should consider include: Body Temperature This is a primary priority during warmup. By enhancing muscle and core temperature, an athlete can elicit a wide array of responses which help in improving performance. For instance, an increase of 1-degree Celsius in muscle temperature is associated with about 4% increase in power output. The ideal temperature revolves around 37.5 degrees Celsius and anything beyond this can have detrimental effects. Cardiovascular Immediately you begin exercising, your cardiovascular system will start reacting. This reaction consists of constricting and dilating blood vessels to channel more blood to the muscles involved in the workout and lesser to the inactive muscles and organs. Through increases in heart rate, your blood supply, and cardiac output also improves. Joint Mobility and Flexibility Through activity and movement, the viscosity of the synovial fluid found in the joints reduces. To add to this, the stretching done during warmups promotes elasticity in your muscle fibers. Some people theorize that this helps in preparing the body muscles for rapid loading and enhanced ranges of motion during CrossFit workout. In turn, this lowers the possibilities of injuries. Post-Activation Potentiation An effective warmup will give you some post-activation potentiation (PAP) response. This is usually achieved through dynamic stretching and ballistic style movements. PAP refers to a theory where the contractile history of a body muscle largely influences its mechanical performance in the subsequent contractions. Before engaging in the movements and stretching, it is advisable to first do a basic temperature increase warmup which comprise jump type or progressive bounding movements. In turn, this increases the activity level in the nervous system which then allows for a better contractile function for your muscle.
KUNAL JHAVERI | 04 May 18