Carbohydrates are the backbone of sports nutrition. Endurance athletes around the world consume foods rich in carbohydrates to give them the energy to sustain their training over long periods. During CrossFit training, the muscles need fuel, and your brain needs the energy to maintain the focus throughout the training. In many types of sports, low carbohydrates intake is the major cause of fatigue and low performance. Carbohydrate Intake Patterns for Athletes The carbohydrates needs of athletes are tied closely to their muscle fuel costs imposed by the training intensity. Since the training load changes from one day to the next and at different points in the careers of the athletes, the dietary intake of carbohydrates ought to change also in response to the rise and fall in muscle fuel needs. Instead of having a fixed carbohydrate intake target, you should fine tune it to fit your energy budget. Athletes should also target days when they are training hard at high intensity to ensure they have adequate glycogen (muscle carbohydrates) store to fuel their training goals. One of the greatest suggestions to help you monitor your carbohydrate intake is to track your muscle fuel needs to include additional carbohydrate-rich foods in meals and snacks before or after a CrossFit workout. As the training needs increase, your carbohydrate intake should also increase proportionally. Carbohydrates intake targets should be provided in grams relative to the body mass of the athlete instead of a percentage of the total energy intake. The Training Load versus Carbohydrates Intake As pointed above, your training load should determine your level of carbohydrates intake. A light training load characterized by skill-based or low-intensity activities should be supported by 3 to 5 grams of carbohydrates intake per kilogram of body mass. Moderate exercise programs lasting about an hour a day should be supported by 5 to 7 grams of carbohydrates per kilogram of body mass per day. Endurance programs which include 3 to 5 hours per day of high-intensity training should be supported by 6 to 10 grams per kilogram of body mass per day. As for the very high training loads, the carbohydrates intake should be upped to 8 to 12 grams per kilogram of body mass to support the extreme commitment of high-intensity exercise. Many athletes train with low carbohydrate availability particularly when they do their training in the morning without breakfast or when they engage in a long workout without access to sports drinks or foods. When the exercise intensity is low, this may not be a problem. However, when they train more than once every day in closely spaced sessions, CrossFit diet sufficient in carbohydrates is needed to enhance the speed of recovery.
It is the time of the year when athletes change their CrossFit gear to put on sweatpants over their sports shorts and thick pullovers over their shirts. As the cold season gradually sets in, your priority as a CrossFit athlete should be to add new workouts to your program. If you are not going anywhere during the festive season, you can take advantage and build strength and toughness. That said, you will require dedication to wake up early in the morning and brave the chilly weather to get into the box for an early session. To become a tougher and disciplined athlete, ensure you train whatever the weather and keep off from excuses. The Benefit of Proper Warmups The quality of your warmup will be reflected in the quality of your workout. During winter, your body system will require additional time to ensure your heart rate is elevated to the level that gets the blood flowing to your extremities. Having the right clothing will speed up the warming up process and help preserve the heat your body creates. Ensure the fabric you get for your CrossFit clothes is breathable, has built-in insulation complete with a capacity to wick sweat away from your body. Despite the cold conditions, tough CrossFit workouts will make you sweat. If this sweat dampens your skin and clothes, it may lead to cold and sickness. This is why it is crucial to ensure your clothes have a sweat-wicking ability. Working Out in Chilly Conditions It can be very impressive dialing your training a notch higher as other people are running up and down getting ready to add more calories during the Christmas season. This is the perfect time to introduce your strongman exercises and enhance your weightlifting skills. The following workouts can help you do this. Workout 1 This consists of one squat, clean, and jerk with 125/90kg. You can also include 3 strict muscle ups and 5 burpees box jump overs. Do about 10 rounds each time. Workout 2  This comprises 4 power snatches with 60kg of weight, 8 bar muscle-ups, and 12 burpees. Aim for 7 rounds each. Workout 3 Do 3 rounds of this workout. The exercises include 5x strict weighted pull-ups and eccentric strict pull-ups. Rest for 10 seconds after each exercise and 3 minutes between rounds. Workout 4 This is a much simpler workout where you do a trail run. Choose anything from a 3, 5, or 10km distance in a scenic route to do your trail run. The countryside or hills can provide a good atmosphere laced with fresh cold air. Workout 5 Here, you do two rounds of rope climbs; bench presses with a 100kg of weight, 10kg weighted pull-ups, and 4-inch deficit HSPU. Rest for 2 minutes in between the individual exercises and 4 minutes after every round. If you get an opportunity, go for an outdoor swimming winter workout. It could be in a river, lake, or sea, but if you cant find one, you can opt for a swimming pool.
CrossFit and weightlifting are disciplines whose popularity is on the rise. For this reason, more companies than ever before are looking at demand in this space and producing weightlifting shoes and many other variations of them. Thanks to competition, prices of these CrossFit shoes are falling. As an athlete, you may be confused by the falling prices not to concentrate on the other factors that determine what quality weightlifting shoes should be like. The performance of weightlifting shoes is affected by anything from straps to lacing to fitting and heel height. In terms of utility, weightlifting shoes are specifically designed for snatching, clean, and jerking. On the other hand, cross-training shoes are for people who may want to do snatches, clean, or squats and thereafter run for about a quarter a mile without changing shoes. Whatever the case, the following factors should inform your shoe selection. The Fit Most weightlifting shoes won’t be comfortable the first time you wear them. You will notice their stiffness and the solid, raised heel may feel a bit weird when walking. This should not distract you from picking the shoes. With time, they will be just fine. Compared to your normal shoes, weightlifting shoes should be somewhat tighter and smaller. This will give you more control during a lift which will, in turn, result in more power transfer to the bar. Stiffness This quality is more of a personal preference and does not have a clear-cut line. You will come across shoes that are flexible in the forefoot while others will be extremely stiff. For the flexible ones, you can use them for clean and jerking and the stiff ones for snatching. Heel Height Compared to other types of shoes, weightlifting shoes tend to have a higher heel. The heel should be rock solid and preferably made of plastic or wood. The advantage of such heels is that they allow for as much power transfer through the floor as possible. Typically, the height of a shoe should be 0.75 inches. However, depending on the size of the shoe, this height may vary. Lifters with less flexibility may prefer shoes with a higher heel. The best way to pick the right heel is to go for one that makes your squat feel natural and keeps your torso vertical all through the squat. The Material When CrossFit training, the tension in your feet require shoes that are durable, but not very flexible. Another property is breathability of the shoe material. Most shoes come with at least one Velcro strap to secure your feet in place. This is important for control and power transfer as you lift. Weight Ideal weightlifting shoes should make you feel like you are planted on the ground. This is important for stability. At times, you may feel as if heavier shoes slow you down and as such opt for lighter shoes. It is important to go with your preferences, but don’t comprise on the heaviness much. All said and done, you have the final say as the lifter regarding the shoes you feel comfortable doing CrossFit workouts in. You may not exactly get the perfect equipment, but keep going to master your technique.
Success in CrossFit training entails a lot of things. However, one of the most important is the kind of coaching and guidance you receive in the box. CrossFit coaches can either make you or break you. The following are some of the top coaches who will give you training tips that will make your workouts efficient and intelligent. You can follow them on Instagram and any other social handle they may have. C. J. Martin He is a Level 2 CrossFit instructor, former member of CrossFit HQ training team and USAW club coach. Over his career, he has coached and still is coaching many games level athletes including Michelle Kinney, Garret Fisher, and Josh Bridges. His training secret is to bring athletes together so that they can push one another. He believes in community and the impact of peers. According to him, CrossFit success rests on balancing training with recovery. He also coaches online. Ben Bergeron Bergeron is well known for training some of the fittest athletes in the world. Before he came into CrossFit, he was an Ironman triathlete. As a top coach in CrossFit, Bergeron is keen to achieve relationship-based leadership as he trains his athletes. His view on coaching is that it should be all about building trust and trying to achieve more than just the results. He is the founder of CrossFit New England which opened its doors in 2007 to coach some ordinary people into fitness and health. Currently, he programs for thousands of athletes on CompTrain Masters and CompTrain. John Singleton He is both an osteopath and CrossFit coach. He is a firm believer in creating an environment where every athlete keeps on getting better. According to him, training with a group of people is more beneficial compared to training alone or with one person. He founded The Progrm which is essentially a training program for CrossFit athletes. The main aim of The Progrm is to support athletes in CrossFit workouts so that they can optimize their potential. Jami Tikkanen Tikkanen is on record as having coached Annie Thorisdottir who is a two-time Games Champion. Also, he has coached many others including Jaime Gold, AzadehBoroumand, Katrin Tanja Davidsdottir among others. His disciplined approach to CrossFit which he credits to his judo training has earned him respect and influence from his trainees. He founded The Training Plan which is a program to help athletes scale their training experience. He believes that training athletes to be great and to have a bright future is more important than their success in CrossFit. Dave Durante He is a multiple time USA Gymnastic Champion at the national level and in 2008 he was part of the Beijing Olympics team. He has helped coach Stanford University which in 2009 went ahead to win the NCAA team title. He is also a lead global gymnastic expert working for Adidas Gymnastics. He has been doing CrossFit for close to 5 years as a level one coach. He is inspirational and keen on baby steps. His emphasis in CrossFit exercises is on technique and how it can help lift athletes’ standard in the sport. Other coaches worth looking for include Michelle Letendre and Christa Giordano.
There is no doubt that CrossFit athletes are always looking forward and busy in laying strategies for 2018. Gym memberships are likely to skyrocket, and every treadmill occupied. Every person has their own set of goals such as weight loss and diet restrictions. However, after a few months, feelings of discouragements come in, and before you realize it, the same old habits you wanted to kick out are slowly streaming in. Bad goal setting is one of the main causes of laxity and derailment in CrossFit training. Athletes tend to focus on the byproducts such as muscle gain and weight loss instead of taking an honest look at themselves and assess where they are vis-à-vis where they want to be. Why Weight Loss/Muscle Gain Resolutions Never Work Upon a deeper analysis of the failures athletes frequently run into, there are some things that stand out as the main obstacles. Narrow Focus Unless you are a physique model or competitive bodybuilder, making your focus too narrow can lead to discouragements. Physique models and competitive bodybuilders dedicate their time as well as effort to sculpt their bodies in ways that appeal to their professions. To them, this is a career and a lifestyle. If you are not in this field, adopting such a lifestyle of diet and exercise can lead you down unhealthy paths. Mentor readiness is crucial in this type of program and lack of it can lead to unhealthy eating habits and body dysmorphia. Slow Results We are a generation that is after quick results, be it in muscle gain or weight loss. The problem comes when results take longer than expected to make people impatient. You must understand that muscle gain and weight loss take time. If you constantly monitor the scale for even the slightest movements in the needle, you can become disheartened. Lack of Adherence to Programs Most often than not athletes find themselves going over the deep end in exercise and CrossFit diet which in the end ruins their discipline with the programs they are following. If you spent a greater part of the past year not eating well, being inactive, or making poor lifestyle choices, if you go the extreme opposite the following year, you are likely to experience some undesirable effects. Even rubber bands have a stretching limit beyond which they snap. How to Make Your Resolutions Work Successful athletes understand that muscle gain, and weight loss is just but byproducts of much bigger things. Instead of directly seeking these results, these athletes look forward to new skills, improved movements, and PR lifts. They set for themselves physical challenges and constantly program their fitness. Before you get into the CrossFit gym, you must have a physical goal(s) that you want to accomplish. Over the next few weeks, refine your goals and make them tangible. The usual SMART Approach to goals applies even in CrossFit. Set specific goals that can be measured, attained, and which are realistic enough for the time duration you have. This will limit frustration and enhance your proficiency.    
Traveling is often associated with minimal activities, and no one can imagine that you can realistically train on the go. Time limits and other activities override the need for training, and you may find yourself through with your trip without a single workout. This can be concerning especially where you spend most of your time traveling either for work or other reasons. The secret to success in training on the go is to plan adequately. The following are some workable tips to enable you to do some CrossFit workouts on your trip. Preparations before Leaving A few things you should do before starting your trip include: Packing Your Gear Having your training gear is in itself an incentive to workout. In case you are wondering what exactly to pack in your bag, think about the following: • Shoes and Workout Clothes – Have at least a set of shoes, bottom, and top. Travel plans are not 100% predictable, and you can take advantage of those opportunities to train. • Jump Rope –This is a bit lightweight and small in size which means you can carry it wherever you go. • Protein and Shaker – The danger of buying your own protein supplements while traveling is that you may be forced to pay more. To avoid such cases, carry your own from home. • Download a Tabata Timer App –The beauty with tabatas is that they are short duration workouts which you can do at any point. The apps are free, and you can download one before you leave for your trip. Training at a Hotel If the hotel you are in has a fitness center, you can easily put together a CrossFit training schedule and get working. This is not as difficult as it may sound especially if you have been in the habit of planning your workouts. CrossFit by its nature is a varied, functional movement done at high intensity. It is all about getting more work done within a short duration. Your exercises do not have to be complicated. Utilize to the max, whatever workout equipment the hotel provides. Some hotel fitness centers may not have pull-up bars or kettlebells, but they may have bumper plates and barbells. Dumbbells These can give you one of the toughest workouts. You may find yourself in a hotel fitness center with poorly designed afterthoughts such as ceiling height and ergonomic features. If you are confronted with such a situation, you can decide to exercise outside. Pool You can use a pool for a WOD. Access to this facility is almost guaranteed in many hotels. The only caution you should exercise is that pool decks can be slippery and using a wet towel as a mat is recommended. This will give you a much better grip on your bare feet. Stairwell The hotel’s stairwell is a piece of equipment you are not likely to see in a CrossFit gym. You can take advantage of this and do interval training. However, because some stairwells are grimy, it is suggested that you put on gloves for your workouts. Irrespective of your options, training while traveling boils down to the personal determination. There are lots of options, and your planning will go a long way into making your workouts worthwhile.
Strategists will tell you that it is much easier to make a plan than to stick to it. People make excuses whenever they are inconsistent with their training and all this affects their outcome in CrossFit training. It all starts with a goal which most people tend to have. The next step is to have a plan that joins the dots from where you are to where your goal is. The third and final step is to work towards attaining the goal through the plan that you have set. This is where most people fail. There will always be athletes who are successful and others who are not. The separator is almost always consistency. Experts say believe that you are what you consistently do on a regular basis. Lack of consistency means you may reach your goals, but it will take a little longer. Applying this approach to CrossFit, there are 3 crucial areas that the spotlight of inconsistency shines on: training, recovery, and nutrition. Training There are two main dimensions of training. The first is the quality of training and the second is the volume of training. The quality of training is all about your approach and mentality. If you do not push yourself hard enough during CrossFit workouts, your peers who challenge themselves will certainly be better than you one day. The nature of human beings is that we do not want to step out of our comfort zones, but the whole essence of CrossFit is to make you uncomfortable so that you can achieve great goals. The second aspect of the volume of training is about decision making. How you prioritize your time will determine the hours you put into the box. Approach each day with a clear focus and plan on what you want to achieve. Recovery Recovery touches on rest as well as active recovery. If you train hard, it is important you plan your day so that you get enough sleep. If you are such person who doesn’t really care, the hours you sleep, and you still want to get up and train in the morning, you may experience inconsistencies in your performance. Target 7 to 8 hours of sleep. Active recovery, on the other hand, is about mobility work and stretching. This part of recovery is important because it enhances your performance and reduces instances of injury. Good functional movements require that you have a consistent warmup and cooldown schedule even if it lasts 10 minutes. Nutrition Having a consistent CrossFit nutrition is not as difficult as training. This is because we all love food and are clear on what we want. You need strict guidelines on your macros, and as you prepare your meals, you must be conscious about muscle building and fat loss. It all boils down to your plan and the commitment you put into it. Go for long-term solutions that you can comfortably stick to. Consistency and excuses cannot coexist. You always have to do your best because this will set you apart as a successful athlete in CrossFit.
When you join CrossFit as a beginner, you will be introduced to a wide range of exercises amongst them crunches, deadlifts, and burpees. Not all the CrossFit workouts will appeal to you, but if you can fall in love with burpees and include them in your daily routine, the benefits will be worth it. The origin of burpees dates back to 1939, and the name is derived from a gentleman called Royal H. Burpee. The reason this workout was created was to determine the physical fitness of the participants. Back in the days, burpees did not include a push-up in the middle and at the end didn’t have a jump. That notwithstanding, this move was still dreaded then. Working on Your Form The first thing you should do when you step into the box is to ensure your form is on point. There is the option of the modern burpee and the old school version carried forward from the 1930s. If you want to do a proper burpee, you should start from a standing position and then gradually squat and place your hands on the floor right in front of you. Stretching your feet behind you and assume a push-up position. Do one push-up and bring your legs forward back into the squatting position and then launch into a jump. To a beginner, burpees are somewhat awkward; they mimic a frog-like movement. However, the challenge is worth it. For 15 days, you can just complete 3 sets of 10 burpees each. In between your sets, you can slot in a one-minute rest. Going forward, you can reduce the time of rest by 15 seconds every 3 days until you can comfortably do 30 burpees all at one with no rest in between. Timing is important because it brings in the element of discipline. Try and stick to the same time daily. You could wake up at 7.30 a.m. if that works well for you. Get a convenient timing. What Will Happen to You If you can follow the above CrossFit training routine for 15 days straight, you will experience tremendous improvements in various areas of your physique. Some of the likely improvements include: Running Faster for Longer If you do about 9 minutes per mile on a typical day, 15 days of burpees will boost up this speed. You will feel your lungs clear, giving you the space to go on for longer. You may even find yourself running 5 miles and more which is awesome bearing in mind where you started. More Energy Burpees release endorphins which boost your system giving you the impetus to carry through your day. It is established that endorphins remaining in your system long after your workout, make you feel good. Starting your day with extreme physical exercise helps in waking up your system without relying on stimulants such as caffeine. The other benefit of burpees is that it will give you a sense of strength and power. In the CrossFit gym, mental strength will push you through even when your body doesn’t feel like it. There are days you will struggle, but on the overall, the progress will be commendable.