A typical triathlon workout schedule includes cycling, swimming, and running. In themselves, these are a full plate for any athlete and they can easily edge out the time for strength training. That said, any person who wants to become a successful athlete can’t afford to let go strength training. This is because this type of training doesn’t just build power in your muscles, but keeps you healthy as well. CrossFit workouts give you a relatively quick way to integrate strength training into your triathlon schedule and make fun out of it. CrossFit helps you to focus on strength and power as it identifies and fixes muscular imbalances and works on your form. To reap the most out of CrossFit, you should use it intelligently in your training schedule and commit yourself to it with the help of a trained coach. The Simplicity of CrossFit One of the best thing about CrossFit is that it is simple. The exercises or movements are purely based on strength training and include deadlifts, squats, and push-ups. Due to the fact that you do these exercises explosively and with heavyweights, they can help you build strength. Swimming, running, and cycling are excellent ways of building stamina, but they are limited when it comes to building power. This missing link is provided by CrossFit workouts such as sprints and kettlebell swings. Inserting one or two WODs in your weekly triathlon regimen can enrich your training. Something you should watch out during these training is that you shouldn’t be focused on impressing others with your liftings, but rather hone your competitive nature with a clear view on your limits, weaknesses, and priorities. The reason you are at CrossFit is to maximize your triathlon training and not to display superiority. Building Function through CrossFit If you want to benefit your sport, your focus needs to be directed to the mechanics of each movement. For instance, a CrossFit coach can help you in determining if your knees are correctly positioned or they are bowing out during a squat. Weaknesses in your inner thighs and outer hips can affect your cycling and running mechanics in addition to exposing you to injury. When doing your push-ups, too wide of arms and a sagging back points toward weaker core strength. By improving your core muscles and strength, you will enjoy a spillover effect into your swimming, running, and cycling. For instance, core strength is critical in ensuring shoulder stability during swimming. Many of your body system imbalances become noticeable when you start lifting at the intensity and level of a WOD. With your coach, you can tailor your workout of the day so as to address these specific weaknesses. Building Power during Off Season Through functional moves such as pull-ups, burpees, and 400-meter sprints and kettlebell swings, you can build your ability and power to push through on the bike and run. However, you should always remember that CrossFit doesn’t replace your running, biking, and swimming, it simply augments it. When you have an event coming up, minimize on your CrossFit workouts so that you can be in the best form for the competition.
At the beginning of time, kettlebells were categorized as one of the mysterious training which nobody knew anything much. Today, it is a strength tool commonly used in CrossFit workouts. There are some CrossFit monsters who have repackaged and commercialized the exercise targeting both beginner CrossFitters and those who have been in the game for quite a while. That said, kettlebells do not change. The facts remain as well as the overall awesomeness. A Brief History of Kettlebell Training Kettlebell originated from the Russians. The use of kettlebell can be traced as early as the 1700s, but it was not used as an exercise tool, but rather a piece of equipment that helped farmers in measuring outcrops. Long ago, before the introduction of CrossFit workouts, the farmers out of boredom or unintended curiosity started swinging the kettlebells. They realized the more they did this, the stronger and healthier they become. In the late 19th century, Vladislav Kraevsky introduced kettlebell and barbell to the Russian training. One of the units of measures associated with kettlebell and weightlifting is the pood. Roughly, one pood measures about 16 kilograms or 36 pounds. The pood can also be measured in fractions. The most common weights used in kettlebell training are: 1 pood which measures about 36 pounds 5 pood which is equivalent to 54 pounds 2 pood which is 72 pounds Why Kettlebell Training Kettlebells are excellent for conditioning and strength. The studies that have been done on this strength training tool have all come to a consensus that through kettlebell swings, any athlete can develop their weightlifting and powerlifting fitness. Even if you use the kettlebell alone, it can easily whip you into shape. In a nutshell, kettlebell training will: Increase your strength and muscle mass Enhance your cardiovascular health Boost your maximal and explosive strength Increase your jumping power Improve VO2 max and conditioning It can thus be said that kettlebell is an extremely powerful tool and if you use it properly, it can give you transferable skills that you can apply in other sports. What are the Common Kettlebell Exercises There are a lot of variations of CrossFit workouts that you can do using a kettlebell. However, the following are the common ones. Kettlebell swing Windmill Snatch Clean Turkish Getup Goblet squat Double kettlebell push press There are lots of kettlebell programs, exercises, and classes out there. However, you can add a kettlebell training cycle to your current CrossFit training routine to help you develop an edge without necessarily overtaxing or overtraining your body. Remember kettlebell training primarily focuses on strength and power. It is recommended that you have at least 1 to 2 minutes of rest in between exercises and a further 2 to 3 minutes of rest in between sets. If your drive is to boost conditioning and intensity, just shorten the rest times to about 30 seconds. A typical kettlebell training cycle lasts 6 weeks where you exercise twice a week.  
The first time you come across a CrossFit workout, you may think it is a mix of jumping, bodyweight moves, gymnastics, Olympic weightlifting, and traditional weightlifting exercises. The interesting bit with CrossFit is that it doesn’t follow a set structure. There is no single type of training that dominates CrossFit. Regarding gender, both men and women can effectively compete in CrossFit, but with a different prescription of weights on their workouts. Weightlifting exercises in CrossFit can help you enhance your strength, muscular endurance, and size. The Olympic Lifts A huge part of CrossFit consists of Olympic lifts. Clean and jerk and the snatch are two Olympic moves that are common in many CrossFit workouts. For instance, Isabel comprises 30 snatches with weights measuring 134 lbs.performed in quick succession. Linda, on the other hand, consists of 55 cleans performed with weights measuring half your bodyweight. These Olympic lifts and many others help you build power and strength. There are derivatives of clean and jerk and the snatch which can also be categorized as CrossFit staples. These variations include power cleans, power snatches, push jerks, full cleans, and overhead squats. Kettlebell Workouts There is no single dumbbell used in CrossFit gyms, but in their place, there are kettlebells. Anyone who has used kettlebells can tell you for the fact that they are effective in building power, speed, and mobility in your workouts. You can perform derivatives of clean and jerk and the snatch using kettlebells or simply use them for Turkish get-ups and swings. Experts recommend that men should start with a 35-pound kettlebell while experienced CrossFitters should switch to 53-pound bell. Basic Traditional Lifting You may be surprised to walk into a CrossFit box and not see your regular, traditional lifting. This doesn’t mean that CrossFit doesn’t have those workouts, but they have been transformed into deadlifts, squats, and overhead presses. These three combined, form a workout referred to as the Total which is the CrossFit version of power lifting. Total comprises lifting one rep marks on every exercise. Total Body Training In CrossFit, you will do different sorts of training every day involving a variety of lifting exercises. You will start with basic workouts such as ring push-ups, kettlebell swings, and squat jumps. If you want a more strength-based circuit, you can combine clean, and jerks with leg raise. As a word of caution, the weightlifting exercises which form part of CrossFit won’t give you optimal results if you want to gain muscle. For bigger and stronger muscles, you are better off sticking to your traditional weight training routine.
In the world of CrossFit, there is nothing as rigidly planning of workouts. The dynamism of CrossFit owes a lot to the ever-changing workouts. CrossFit borrows from several other fitness niches such as distance running, powerlifting and gymnastics to create workouts. In any given workout, you will find an exercise touching on strength training, gymnastics, and a bike run. Because of this variety, piecing together a CrossFit workout is so much fun. The Structure of a Week When creating a CrossFit workout, one of the challenges you will face is coming up with the context. You need to think about the nature of workouts you will be performing on any given day of the week. This is important because failure to lay out a balanced context can mean overworking one muscle or movement. The good news is CrossFit already has a template in place. Typically, your training should be done three days in a row, and your workouts gradually scaled from the easiest to the hardest. When you come to day 4, you should rest and after that work out for the remaining three days. There is also a template designed for CrossFitters who workout five days in a week. This means exercising five days consecutively and then resting on Saturday and Sunday. Workout Styles Once your template is well put down, you should now begin building the workouts you will do every day. There are three workout styles to choose from: weightlifting, gymnastics, and metabolic conditioning. Weightlifting These workouts combine Olympic weightlifting and powerlifting to give you an intense strength training experience. It consists of mainly barbell exercises such as cleans, squats, deadlifts, and presses. They also include kettlebell swings and medicine ball drills which combine to give you a hybrid between metabolic conditioning and strength training. Metabolic Conditioning Here, you can choose among biking, run, rowing, and jump rope. The goal of metabolic conditioning is to enable your body to do exercises for a longer duration. For instance, you may run 6.2 miles as part of the metabolic conditioning workout. Gymnastics These workouts use ropes, gymnastic rings, pull-up bars, and bodyweight exercises to give you a cross between strength workout and metabolic workout. The exercises range from a simple push-up to muscle ups and rope climbs. Combining Workouts By themselves, strength workouts, gymnastics, and metabolic conditioning are challenging. However, CrossFit takes these workouts to a higher level by combining two or even three into a single workout. In the three days of workout and a day off the structure, you will be doing one of the three styles of workout on the first day, the second style on the second day and the third day, you will do all the three. If you are on the 5 days on and 2 days off workout plan, you will do one type of workout on day one, the second workout style on the second day, all three combined on the third day and the fourth day, you will back down to two and on the 5th and last day, you go back to one. Once you have made up your mind whether you will go for the five days on two days off or 3 days on and one day off workout structure, you can then build your CrossFit workout type and feed it into each day.
As you get used to your way around the CrossFit gym, you will discover that the kettlebell is the best equipment piece. If you can only use it right, you can enjoy huge benefits out of it. Long ago, kettlebells were only reserved for the toughest and seasoned CrossFitters, a category that included very few women. Today, there are lots of changes and women are quickly taking up kettlebell training in such a big way. Irrespective of whether you want to gain muscle mass, gain strength, or simply enhance your aerobic capacity, kettlebells can take you there. You don’t need to visit a gym for you to exercise. As long as you have the handful of kettlebells and about a half an hour at your disposal, you can do a killer workout right in your garage or living room. Exercising with kettlebells fires up compound muscle groups all at once particularly core muscles which are used for balance. One other aspect of kettlebells that makes workouts even more interesting is that they allow you to add variations and work different movement patterns. Many CrossFitters mix workouts with kettlebells, thereby deriving more fun, motivation, and an all-around engagement. As a CrossFit woman, your approach to kettlebell should be towards safe and effective workouts. The following are some of the mistakes you should avoid. Going Too Light Typically, women go for kettlebells that underestimate their strength. When doing CrossFit exercises such as goblet squat or kettlebell swing, women should capitalize on their legs and not shy away from using heavier weights. The problem with going too light is that it shortchanges your results and encourages poor form which may end up in overuse injuries. The best way to select the right weight is to go for a kettlebell with which you can comfortably do sets of 5 to about 15 reps with good form. Treating Kettlebell Swing as a Back Exercise Technically, the kettlebell swing is not a back exercise, but rather a hip exercise. Therefore, when you swing the kettlebell too low, it takes you into a position where your chest becomes parallel to the floor. You should know that the lower your chest gets; the more force is exerted on the low back. Try keeping a neutral spine over the range of motion. The kettlebell, when done properly, should pass through your legs at knee height. Bending Over as You Unrack and Rack the Kettlebell When women pick up the kettlebell and put it down, most of them don’t consider this as part of the exercise. So, they hunch over and carry the bells across the floor in an improper manner. This can overly stress your spine as well as the surrounding muscles. The best way to pick up any load including the kettlebell is to keep it directly in line with the center of your body mass. In this way, you will also keep it in line with the feet. The last mistake is wearing cushy running shoes. When you come into CrossFit, one of the things you need to change or invest in is CrossFit shoes. Cushy shoes reduce the force transfer and affect the performance of your exercises.
Whether consciously or unconsciously, we spend most of our days in doing activities with terrible posture. At work, we crouch over keyboards as our hips shorten and chests cave in from sitting. While driving, our arms are right in front of us, and our hip flexors are shortened by the sitting. As the body adjusts into this bad posture, it becomes very difficult to undo it. The good news is that kettlebell swing can help you correct your posture and prevent overuse of muscles. People who are not doing this exercise are destined to stay tight, weak, and fat for the most of their lives. Kettlebell swings when done properly work your posterior chain muscles which include the hamstrings, butt, abs, and back and combat all the ill effects of your body posture. The following verbal cues sum up the kettlebell CrossFit workout. Hike When swinging a kettlebell, every rep counts. From rep one all the way to rep 20, you should look as powerful and fluid. It is at this point that the hike pass is essential. The hike pass allows you to pre-stretch your lats. The lats are a powerful muscle found in your upper body and have a direct relationship with your glutes. For the hike, set your kettlebell at a distance of about 12 to 18 inches right in front of you. Then, push your hips back as you bend your knees slightly and keep your butt high. Grip the kettlebell using both hands and pull your shoulders into their sockets as you fire your lats. Hinge The hinge movement, unlike a squat, is dominated by the hips. As you push your hips back and keep your butt high and shins vertical, you are basically hingeing. The advantage with hingeing is that it overloads your glute and hamstring muscles thereby creating a natural balance between back and front. This, in turn, helps in preventing hip and knee issues. The hinge is fondly referred to as the foundation of the kettlebell swing. If you experience difficulties in hingeing, even swinging will be a problem. By the fact that the hinge loads the hamstrings, it is billed as one of the most powerful movement. Root This movement can best be summed as a standing plank where each of your muscles is tightened from shoulders downwards. Try to imagine you are growing roots through your feet, and the entire foot grabs the ground. Then, pull your kneecaps all the way up into your crotch. This flexes your quads. Then, squeeze your glutes and pull your shoulders as far as you can away from your ears. This is the true definition of root position. The kettlebell swing is basically a series of roots and hinges.  Float When you swing the kettlebell during CrossFit training, the float is what results. The advantage of this movement is that it ensures all your energies are focused not on trying to muscle the kettlebell to a given height, but on your glutes. As you go from the hinge movement to root, the kettlebell will float higher as you contract your glutes harder. Regardless of your CrossFit workout goal, mastering the kettlebell swing is the best thing that can ever happen to you. It will not only give you strength but also help you add pounds to your squat and deadlift.