CrossFit training is great for everyone. Those in the early stages of training, however, enjoy some additional challenges and rewards which should be exploited in every possible way in order to maximize the results you can see in your first two years of training with CrossFit. Let’s check out six tips to help you get more out of your CrossFit Training!
Rest your CNS
Your central nervous system, or CNS, is the collection of all of your body’s systems. There are times when no particular muscle group is sore, but you’re feeling run down from head to toe. That is your central nervous system telling you to take a break, before your immune system bends and you get sick as a result of overtraining. Some trainers will kill it in the gym, remain busy 24/7 outside of the gym, and never take time to just rest and recover. The body needs rest to heal – the improvements in size, strength, balance, and overall progression take place when you’re resting, not when you’re training. Listen to your body, and rest and recover!
Target your weak areas
One of the easiest things to do in the Box is to target the movements, the exercises, and the areas where we excel. Just like an amazing quarterback works hard on his passing every year, we want our strengths to keep getting stronger. But making them the emphasis of our workouts means we often neglect what we should be targeting first – our weak areas. Deficiencies in balance, core strength, and functional muscle in any muscle group of the body can lead to injury which will keep you out of CrossFit for weeks or even months at a time.
Breakfast comes first
When you’re taking the WOD, you are going to be pushing yourself to new limits that you’ve never before imagined. You’ll be finding new personal bests in lifts and movements, and doing thing each week in the box that you never imagined possible. To push yourself further, you’ll need more energy than you’ve previously expelled. You don’t want to fall short when you’re reaching down deep to find that energy. Eating a solid breakfast – with perhaps an additional 40-50 grams of carbohydrate more than you’re used to consuming – is the key to having these nutrients on hand when you need them most. Eat early, and eat plenty!
Remember the Grip
Your hand strength is an area which not only cannot be overlooked, but one whose importance cannot be over-emphasized as well. A strong set of hands lends to a great deal of forgiveness in many areas of CrossFit training. Use your farmers’ carries, making sure to regularly increase the amount of weight you are moving. Remember, your grip is currently only as strong as the workload you’ve demanded of it thus far. Demand more, and your forearms, hands and grip will improve to meet this demand. Demand the same, and nothing changes!
Hip and shoulder mobility are usually the most common factors in limiting how much strength you are able to show on the major CrossFit lifts. Focus upon these areas in both your stretching and other warm-up movements. Squats and presses need to become integral parts of your training, of course, but only after you’ve managed to fully warm up the area with 5 to 10 minutes of dedicated stretches to the muscle groups you’d be targeting with the workout of the day.
Personal Bests, all of the time
Early on in your training, you should be seeing new personal bests in lifts almost every workout. You’re enjoying what is known as “beginners gains” – your body is fresh and receptive and ready to grow in terms of muscle size and strength. People who have been training for a decade don’t see these results, but you will! So take advantage by training hard and always pushing yourself harder every workout. Even if you don’t believe you can grow stronger every week – you can! The only limiting factor for most people is nutrition – if you don’t eat right, then your body will not be able to recover from workouts and enjoy the amino acid needed for growth (from the protein you consume) and the energy needed to train (from the carbohydrates you consume). Eat hard, and push yourself even harder!