Building big arms can either be a result of exercise or genetics. However, there are people who have gone overboard and piled on drugs so that they can grow their biceps. On average, a lifter has to work harder and a bit smarter if they have to build arms through CrossFit workouts. Understanding the basics of muscle building is important if you are to follow a path that won’t expose you to unnecessary dangers. Mechanical Tension To achieve this, you have to utilize substantial weights and perform your CrossFit exercises through a full range of motion for a given duration. The time you spend under tension brings about mechanical tension in your muscles. If this time is significant enough, the mechanical tension will be significant as well. It is therefore advisable to lift heavy and use slower eccentrics in your quest to build biceps. The interesting bit with mechanical tension is that the stronger you get, the greater your capacity to recruit more muscle fibers for growth. Metabolic Stress When you train in sets that have a longer duration and relatively shorter rest periods, your muscles will accumulate lactic acid, creatinine, hydrogen ions, and many other metabolites which are the result of muscular contractions. Since your muscles are being constantly assaulted while doing CrossFit workouts, it becomes difficult for blood to escape and this creates blood pooling effect. What You Need to Do to Build Arms There are several things you can do to build your arms. The first step is building a sufficient base of strength. A foundation of strength will allow you to create enough tension as well as make higher rep pump work much more effective. CrossFit workouts such as squats, deadlifts, bench press, and pull-ups can help you in setting the base. The second step is to train for the pump. Experts point out that the sweet spot for building muscle is working out within the 8-12 reps range with moderate weight. This brings about metabolic stress and tension. There is a suggestion to add training methods or exercises that are a bit unfamiliar so as to moderate muscular damage. The third step is to vary your grips. Do not stick to the same grip one workout after another day in day out. This leads to overstressing of the same muscle recruitment pattern and movement. Because of lack of variety, your elbow can be aggravated from overuse thereby leaving you with unbalanced arm development. The different grips you can explore include wider grip, narrow grip, neutral grip, and shoulder width grip. The last step is to control the eccentric. Achy elbows are one of the commonly cited pain points for Olympic weightlifting enthusiasts. This could be occasioned by the athletes attacking curls as they would a max deadlift. When this happens, they lose control on their way down thereby taxing their tendons instead of biceps. It is always important to have the end goal in mind to maximize the mind-muscle connection, stimulate the muscle, and get a pump.  
When starting your journey in any of the CrossFit Gyms, there are several types of equipment that you must get along the way to enable you swiftly transit into this high-intensity field and maximize your experience. It is important to note that this is not a must-have gear, but instead pieces of equipment you will find convenient and useful having if you want to work out regularly and boost your performance. Jump Rope Most CrossFit gyms just have the basic jump ropes that beginners can borrow. To make your workout worthwhile, you should consider getting your own quality jump rope. The important elements in any jump rope include the weight which you should be comfortable with and the ability to customize the length of the rope. Among the benefits of a jump rope include calorie burning, agility building and quickness, increased bone density, and brain exercise. Research indicates that jumping rope even at a moderate pace can help you burn 10 to 16 calories per minute. So, if you want to get lighter on your feet within the first 6 to 12 months of you joining CrossFit, a jump rope can help you attain that. Weightlifting Shoes This is arguably one of the single most important CrossFit gear that will push you towards increasing your strength and enhancing your Olympic weightlifting. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself spending over $200 to get that perfect shoe. There are important aspects that you should be looking for in these shoes such as: The drop – This refers to the difference between the height of the forefoot and that of the heel. Look for a 4mm drop to enable you evenly to distribute your weight across your foot. Hard sore – This gives you stability. Durable outer shoe – When doing tough exercises such as maxi lift the traction on the topside of your shoe is equally important. Weight Belt When attacking heavier weights in movements such as cleans and deadlifts, you need a decent belt which will keep you safe. There is a huge array of belts out there, but it is important to go for the right one. A good belt according to experts from CrossFit Gyms should be long-lasting and sturdy leather is a good material that can serve you for a long time. If you aim to be a competitive powerlifter, get a belt that is tapered in the front 5 to 7 cm wide and at the back 10 cm wide. The thickness should be around 10 to 13 mm so that it can give you a good starting position for deadlift. Wrist Wraps As their name suggests, wrist wraps are quite useful in ensuring your wrists are protected as you start hitting snatches, heavy cleans, and overhead squats in your CrossFit training routine. With about $25, you can get quality wrist wraps. There you go! Check again to see if you have all of the above and in case any is missing, make arrangements and have it zipped in. it is for your own benefit.  
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.
Power snatch a unique snatch variation commonly used in Olympic weightlifting to enhance the strength of barbell, pulling speed, as well as the finishing height. Coaches in the fitness industry use power snatch to improve overall snatch performance and allow lifters to compete with minimal squat mobility. There are lots of benefits you can reap from power snatch amongst them: Increased Barbell Terminal Height Since power snatch doesn’t allow the lifter to take a lower catch position, he is forced to pull the barbell much higher so as to allow proper fixation underneath to support a higher receiving height. Lifters with inadequate pulling or finishing strength can benefit immensely from power snatches. Enhanced Force Production and Rate of Development Compared to the snatch, the need to accelerate maximally at both the second and third pull is much higher in the power snatch. This is because the lifter cannot squat deeply so as to receive the barbell. The increased force production, as well as the rate of acceleration of the barbell particularly at the finish of the second and third pull, will spill over to improve pulling performance and snatch abilities. An Excellent Way to Teach Beginner Lifters the Snatch Technique Coaches instruct beginner lifters in the snatchCrossFit workout commonly use the top-down method. When the beginners finally master the hang or block snatches, the coaches can then gradually move the lifters to the floor with power snatches. Following satisfactory progress in the power snatch, the athlete may then combine movements such as overhead squat of snatch balance in various complexes to progress into full snatch ultimately. A Great CrossFit Workout for Lifters with Mobility Limitations Olympic weightlifters with mobility issues are highly encouraged to constantly address them as this is one of the ways to improve. However, the body may not always cooperate. A power snatch can be an excellent variation just in case you cannot manage to perform the snatch movement. Lifters who have knee issues or those who cannot assume overhead squats can benefit from power snatch. Appropriate for Technical Training of Snatch Lift on Lighter Training Days It is not always that you will engage in intensive CrossFit training. There are those days where you just want to train light and allow for recovery. Power snatches use moderate loading, pulling height, and challenge bar speed to give you technical training of snatch lift without involving the legs so much. Developing your ability to perform the snatch movement will help improve technical mastery as well as barbell velocities. There are several different means you can integrate power snatches into your CrossFit workout. You may perform full lifts for about 80% of the time, but on lighter training days, use power snatches unless you are trying to challenge pulling speed and strength where you incorporate power snatches in heavier complexes. The needs of the athlete will determine to a greater extent how you integrate power snatches. If you are already good at power snatching, you may need to devote more time to snatching at full depth.
In CrossFit, there are different modalities one of which is the bodyweight modality and the other the weightlifting modality. One thing you should know as an athlete is that during CrossFit training, you have the option of concentrating on one modality and not giving much effort to the others. However, the danger of this approach is that you will become a specialist in one and lose the ability to perform the other tasks across the board. It’s therefore important not to be persuaded that one modality is superior to another. In your CrossFit journey, fitness, and life, they are all equal. Common Weightlifting Movements There are several weightlifting movements you will encounter while attending CrossFit training sessions, each exercising a certain section of your body and a specific group of muscles. Some of the common ones include: Deadlift –This is further divided into sumo and conventional deadlift movements such as Olympic lifting or powerlifting. Squat –This is a staple in CrossFit, and it has variations which include back squat, front squat, overhead squat, and Zercher squat. Press –This is arguably one of the most common weightlifting movements. It is divided into a number of variations some of which are push jerk, push press, sprint jerk, bench press, squat jerk, and strict. Dumbbell and Kettlebell –These weightlifting movements also have their own variations. It is evident from the above list of movements that weightlifting differs to a great measure from gymnastics. While it is true that both weightlifting and gymnastics have simplistic movements such as deadlift and push-up respectively, they also have complex movements such as snatch and the butterfly pull-up. When working any of the above weightlifting movements under the CrossFit training sessions, especially the Olympic variations snatch and clean & jerk, you are preparing the body system to apply more force to your muscle groups in a proper sequence which means starting from the core to extremity. The beauty with CrossFit is that Olympic weightlifting is oftentimes done and made readily available to everyone. Instead of doing isolated movement patterns, it helps a lot to do complex movements because this is part of our human nature. Benefits of Weightlifting Movements Every time the word weightlifting is mentioned, images of people doing bench presses and curls conjure up. However, the truth is, there is more to weightlifting than curls and bench presses. There are lots of benefits associated with this modality and below are a few of them. Muscle Addition and Fat Burning –When you lift weights, you will build muscle. Everyone loves being ripped, bulky, toned, and shredded. Adding muscle involves fat burning which in the end gives you a lean body mass. Training Your Body on Correct Movements –Your body and that of other athletes naturally moves in patterns that are familiar. It is therefore upon you to train it on how to move efficiently and correctly. This is why going through those barbell drills, dip pulls, dip shrug, and other CrossFit workouts help. They engrain a specific movement pattern into the memory of your muscle. Apart from the above, there are health benefits such as improvement in coordination, activation of motor units, burning of visceral fat, as well as enhancing your VO2 max.
As a beginner lifter or any other CrossFit enthusiast, you may be having some questions you want to be answered in weightlifting. If there is one area in CrossFit training that can either make or break your performance success is keeping questions to yourself when there are professionals around you that can help answer them. Remember, for every question held back; you create an opportunity for misperformance in future. The following are some of the common questions in Olympic weightlifting. Why Am I Incapable of Lifting More from the Floor? In CrossFit, this is a common query, and therefore you are not alone. The reason why athletes tend to perform better from the hang relative to the floor position is that of how they execute their first pull from the ground. A poor first pull literally bars you from engaging in the same position you would achieve in the hang. A lot of people find it difficult to navigate around the knees. Hang positions are mechanically simple, particularly the higher ones. You will realize that the lower you start, the more you will need in mechanics. It is advantageous to start from the floor because you benefit immensely from the added momentum the moment you get to full extension in the second pull. Is it Wrong for the Bar to Hit My Hips During a Lift? While many CrossFit gyms do not train their athletes to hit their hips with the bar, the truth is, it is advantageous. That said, it must not be overemphasized or forced during the learning process. The main focus should be on the power position and the role it plays. When you begin to develop, you will naturally see yourself making contact with the hips without forcing. Is It okay for the Back Squat and Front Squat Loads to be Similar? Conventionally, the front and back squat numbers should be different. Newer athletes tend to record about 20 pounds in the spread between the two. Experienced athletes can clock up to 50 pounds. When you see yourself recording closer numbers between the back and front squat, chances are high you have a core issue or poor mobility. These are the areas you must focus on strengthening and improving in Olympic weightlifting. What Makes Me Catch the Snatch on My Toes Rather Than Flat Footed? There are several reasons why this may happen, but the main one is that your body shifts towards the bar at some point during the pull. The correct movement should have the bar as close as possible to your body, and the moment it passes your knees, you should sweep it back into the hip to extend. When you leave the bar in front of you and shift your weight towards it, everything will fall forward including your catch. Also, toe heavy athletes particularly those with extensive backgrounds in other sports such as gymnastics or dance, tend to have this problem. The other question commonly asked is on the mobility exercises that can help athletes improve at Olympic weightlifting. The simple answer to this is that the appropriate mobility exercises are the same as those you do for your hips, shoulders, and ankles.
Olympic weightlifting is not a sport you would naturally pick up and succeed from the word go. This doesn’t mean that you cannot transition easily into formal competition lifts. However, it takes great sacrifice and an enormous number of hours to continue progressing after the initial surge of success. Many Olympic weightlifters will tell you that the sport requires focus because disappointments will come to push you towards the quitting line. To succeed in Olympic weightlifting, below are things you should start doing. Squatting with Integrity Weightlifting places huge demands on the maximal strength of an athlete. A majority of lifters on the other hand sacrifice integrity in the squat so that they almost perform a hybrid low bar to move more weight. The main purpose of squatting in weightlifting should be to enhance your jerk, clean, and snatch. This is because squatting is the ultimate strength movement to help you build a stronger and more forceful base. Don’t Train Too Heavy Athletes who go too heavy risk impacting negatively on their power output, increase injury risks, and affect their technique. The recommendations for athletes is for them to spend most of their training in the 70-85% of maximum for about 2 to 4 reps for snatches, cleans, and jerk variations. You can also use squats in the same loading, but with higher rep schemes so as to allow for enhanced volume. To prepare you for heavier lifts, integrate lifts over 85+% into your program. Follow a Program It helps to have a set program complete with progression, loading schemes, regressions, as well as methodical tracking and analysis. For the rudimentary lifter, performing daily WODs including weightlifting movements may be sufficient. However, this may not fully address your specific concerns, needs, as well as provide you with sufficient frequency to develop psychological adaptations and skill. Learn to Exert Maximal Tension Lifters who fail to harness tension end up in unbalanced pulls and setups. This imbalance may kickstart a cascade of weightlifting faults. It is therefore important that you develop, harness, and exert tension and balance upon a loaded barbell. The best way to address this is to become highly aware of both your setups and receiving positions throughout your strength work and lifts. Mobilize Your Hips When doing overhead squat, front squat, clean, snatch, and split jerk, the hips can be a culprit for poor movement. Hips may result in poor squatting strength, health, and mechanics. Because of the importance of squatting to weightlifting, athletes should prioritize hip movement and health. Implementing static stretching routines, mobility CrossFit training, and controlled range of motion movements can help you in your overall joint development and connective tissues health. Other tips you may want to look at include varying your intensities, training every lift almost daily, recording your lifts, joining a weightlifting club, and seeking out the services of a qualified coach.