Thursday, December 13, 2007
Crossfitting Your Big Box
A question that clients often ask is, "What do I do when I can't make it to class?"
This question is most often posed by folks new to Crossfit style workouts who are still grappling with the idea that you don't have to spend 2 hours in the gym to get the results you desire. But, a valid question nonetheless.
The answer is simple: Crossfit your gym.
Think of your fitness program like a recipe; one part gymnastics, one part weight lifting and one part mono-structural aerobic activity (running, rowing, jumping, cycling). Mix equally demanding parts of all three, pour over ice and serve. You will not be disappointed.
If you are new to Crossfit or are unable to attend class, here are some rules to live by when working out (on those 'off days') to insure your fitness improves:
1. Think Functional: movements you do in the gym should transfer to real world situations and applicability. While this canon is short, it is potent: dead lift, squat, press, push press, swing, jerk, lunge, clean, snatch. Your coaches will teach you the basics, try to replicate these movements at your gym. Remember: If it's attached to a cable, walk past it and pick something up you can throw.
2. Think Full Body: As much as I would love to curl and do calf raises for time, you will never see that workout pulled out of the hopper. Crossfit is functional (point 1), we seek to engage the entire body as much as possible. If you are not utilizing upper and lower body than you are probably not doing something useful. Bicep curls, calf raises, leg extensions, lateral raises and the such are useful for rehab and the uneducated, but not for Crossfit. They isolate muscles. They are body building exercises and do not treat the body as a whole. Avoid them. Avoid machines that train them.
3. Break-up your "Kardio": DO NOT THINK OF WORKING OUT AS CARDIO AND WEIGHTS. BAD IDEA. Crossfit blends the two in workouts, as does every REAL WORLD situation demand. Moving into a new house? Carrying the dresser on your back up 4 flights of stairs isn't classic cardio but I bet your lungs are feeling it. Take your 45 minutes of cardio and ramp up the intensity by making your runs shorter and adding the "weights" in-between runs.
Something the Big Box gyms of the world have that is of value is space. Grab a jump rope, grab a medicine ball or set of dumbbells and set-up camp. Be within striking distance of the pull-up bar and the rower. Pick 2-3 exercises you feel comfortable performing on your own, add a 500m row or 400m run to your plan and get moving. You will be in and out of the gym in under 45.
There you have it, some guidelines to Crossfit on your own. Although you might workout in a Big Box, you don't have to act like an ignorant fool. Keep it short. Keep it simple. Keep it intense.
at 9:25 PM