Can CrossFit make you a better runner.

What is CrossFit?

First, let’s start with what it is, and how it might be different from other forms of cross-training. Many cross-training programs use stability balls, crunches and isolated movements like leg extensions and bicep curls, and the intensity of these workouts is done at an aerobic pace.

CrossFit uses Olympic lifts, power lifting, gymnastics and other training tools. The method includes throwing random exercises together performed at a high intensity called the “WOD,” or workout of the day. Workouts generally last from 5 to 25 minutes, and the main energy system used is anaerobic (without oxygen). CrossFit exercises use multiple joints, such as knees, hips and shoulders, to perform compound movements that are executed at a much higher rate than typical cross-training programs.

Can CrossFit Make You a Better Runner?

When I competed in track and cross country in high school, I always believed that strength training only made my performance better. CrossFit can make you a faster, better runner. Being a balanced athlete is the name of the game. Running fast is great, but having functional strength is equally as important in the long run. Strength training can improve your power, speed, balance, coordination, bone and tendon. Don’t limit your training to one aspect—be a complete runner.

To reach your running goals, you need specificity within your running workouts. Nothing can replace the actual skill in which you’re trying to succeed other than that skill. Bottom line: You have to run, and run hard, to improve.

 

Run-Specific CrossFit Workouts

If you’re getting ready for a 5K or 10K, here is an example of a WOD I designed that is more ballistic in nature, and will help you with your speed.

  • 20 box jumps, 10 chin-ups, 10 dumbbell thrusters, and 1 minute of kettlebell swings.
  • Rest for 1 to 2 minutes between rounds and repeat for 3 to 5 rounds.

If your goal is the half or full marathon, try the “Barbara.” This is a WOD designed by CrossFit:

  • 20 pull-ups, 30 push-ups, 40 sit-ups and 50 air squats.
  • Rest for three minutes and repeat for 5 rounds.

When doing any of these WODs, you can scale down the exercises—for example do inverted rows instead of pull-ups or chin-ups, push-ups can be done on your knees, and you can always reduce the amount of weight you are lifting.

 

*** Courtesy Erik Taylor Active.com

 

We have coaches with Sports Science degrees and years in coaching running technique. CrossFit can help you improve your running without a doubt, come and find out how.

Bacon and Avacado Sandwich

Bacon & Guacamole Sammies

Nice healthy little appetizer for a friends get together or party.

image

The ingredients:

  • 4 strips of thick-cut pastured bacon
  • Guacamole

It’s ridiculously easy to cook bacon in the microwave oven. (Clean-up is simple, too.) Just wrap a few slices between some sheets of paper towel, stick it all on a microwave-safe plate, and nuke away. I set my microwave at 70% power and zapped the bacon for about two-and-a-half minutes. If you find that your bacon’s not yet crisp, just nuke it a bit longer.  (If you don’t use a microwave, use this method to bake your bacon in the oven.)

image

The filling for these “sandwiches”? Chunky homemade guacamole.  If you’re pressed for time, simply mash up the flesh of half an avocado, and cut up the other half into half-inch cubes. Then mix both halves together in a bowl to get a nice blend of chunky ‘n creamy. Flavor it with a squirt or two of lime juice and a generous pinch of Kosher salt.

Done and done!

10 Ways to get better at CrossFit

Winston

 

1. Have fun – Whether it be in CrossFit or your favorite sport or shopping with grandma, make sure you try and have fun. Honestly, you can do CrossFit just about anywhere with anyone or by yourself.  You work hard all day, make the time at CrossFit be the one hour a day where you can be yourself and let loose.

2. Show up on time – Actually show up early and leave late. Foam roll, stretch and get rid of all that junk in your lower back and shoulders. Showing up late will only cheat you out of a sufficient warm-up. Without a good warm-up, your chance of injury increases exponentially. If you show up early you have two options, cheer on the class that is finishing or start warming up.

3. Don’t whine – It’s okay to cry, just make sure that we can’t see or hear you and remember to clean up your tears when you’re done. Maybe the song that comes on isn’t your favorite, in the immortal words of Josh Everett “If you need music to motivate you, go find something else to do”. Be careful of asking me to change the song, I might just put on Miley Cyrus’ Party in the USA on repeat. I’m your coach, not Mix Master Mike. You have a task to accomplish, so do it. Yes I know that every workout is hard and I know that you hate running and I know that the bar hurts your delicate hands, but there comes a time when we have to nut up or shut up…or both. CrossFit is constantly varied, so the odds are that you will see some workouts you hate. That’s why it’s CrossFit and not alltheshityoulikeFit. When you come to CrossFit, be ready to work. Come prepared to face all those pains and things you hate head on. Accept the suck.

4. Give it all – More than strength, speed, flexibility or endurance, effort is what matters most. I don’t care if you’re Joe Thruster with a sub 3 minute Fran, if you half-ass a workout, you’re being a wussy. Grandma doing jumping pull-ups and thrusters with a PVC kicked your ass because she gave everything she had just short of a stroke. Times and weights matter, but they fail in comparison to effort. Keep pushing yourself to your most extreme limits. I don’t care if you have a 200kg or 20kg deadlift as long as you put forth the effort and don’t give up.

5. Listen to your coach – We are here to help you get more fit and accomplish your goals. When we say things like “you’re lifting with your back, use more hips” don’t act surprised when your lower back is sore. When we tell you that the foam roll and lacrosse ball works, we aren’t just being sadistic. We tell you to rest because you need rest, just as we tell you to get in the gym more because you need to be in the gym more. If you want to get better at something, you have to practice it. Plain and simple. Yes there are some of you who are naturally good at some things, but why not get better? Why not be the best? Our goal is for you to accomplish your goals.

6. Fail sometimes – The unique thing about CrossFit is that the only way to achieve excellence is through failure. The strength portion of our workouts are designed to where you may fail at a set. If you don’t fail you aren’t trying hard enough (see #4). CrossFit is an environment where no one will laugh at you or put a permanent letter in your file for dumping an overhead squat. Don’t be afraid to fail, there’s always next time. Pushing yourself to fail is more of a mental thing than it is a physical thing. We have conditioned ourselves to think that failing is bad and therefore don’t push ourselves in fear of failure. Take that fear away and see what you can accomplish.

7. Eat good food – The short answer is eat Paleo. If you don’t want to eat Paleo, just eat meat, some fruit, vegetables, little startch, no sugar, no grains no dairy. If you’re low on energy, then you’re not eating enough. I remember a lot of people starting off on Paleo complain of low energy then proceed to tell me that they didn’t eat anything all day because they didn’t know what to eat. Is it that hard to eat meat and vegetables these days? I ate ice cream every day and pizza every other day. If I can do it, you can too.

8. Count it – Tracking your workouts matters. That’s why we printed the log books for you. When you don’t count the reps on your workout, you lose valuable information that will keep you accountable for your progress. Make sure to record as much information as you can. Write down what you ate for the day. Everyone has those days where they ate like crap and had a crappy workout. Those are the hardest days to write down, but those will provide you with the best motivation to get better.

9. Be nice – People achieve their personal fitness goals in their own ways. Some may like the pace of a spin or pilates class and some may like the intensity of CrossFit. You’ll get a better reaction and won’t come off like a jerk. You were once that guy on the hacksquat machine or that girl on the eliptical. If someone made fun of you and then said CrossFit was the way to superior fitness, you would tell them to go F themselves.

10. Get involved – CrossFit is more than just an hour of working out. We are a family and you can get as involved as you like. Just like anything else, you get out what you put in.  There are many opportunities for you to get involved and if you have any suggestions, we would love to hear them!

 

** Courtesy http://crossfithuntley.com/10-ways-to-be-a-better-crossfitter.html

BANANAS WITH ALMOND BUTTER AND COCONUT

banna

 

Ingredients

1 large banana(s)
2 tablespoon(s) almond butter
2 tablespoon(s) coconut milk, full fat

Instructions

  1. Slice banana and divide into small bowls.
  2. Top each banana half with half of the almond butter and coconut milk.

The Squat

Squat_frequence_picture_5

How to perform a back squat for crossfit for beginners

The squat is one of the core exercises in weightlifting and powerlifting. There are two variations of the squat, front squat and back squat. The back squat is the most commonly performed lift and relevant to the programs you will find out there so we will stick with it for this article to get you started the fastest. The squat can be divided in three phases, the setup, the squat and the phase where you put the bar back into rack. For all of the phases you should establish a routine which stays the same for each of your squats so that you can minimize thinking once you get to high load. Your squat should always be the same and practiced in that matter.

The setup

When you imagine that you are attacking the bar when setting up for your back squat it will help you to get the needed muscle tension in place to perform the lift. No matter if it is your warm up set, work set or other think of it as a one rep maximum test and take it serious. This way you will get more out of every repetition and avoid injury due to messing about with the barbell or losing control midway through the lift.

Your hands should be positioned as close to your body as possible without being uncomfortable whilst keeping tension in your upper body. You want to lock that bar in close to your upper body so that there can be no movement during the lift. For me this is one thumb width from the beginning of the outer knurl, for others this can be wider depending on your physique. Remember to be symmetrical and in the middle of the bar to avoid imbalances. The knurling is your best guidance to secure this.

Once your hands are in position squeeze the bar as hard as you can. Keep this tension through the entire lift. This technique is also known as white knuckling and applies to all lifts to get the most bang for the buck.

Next step is to bring your body under the bar. I personally like to think of it as sucking the bar into your back and keep it in place. You will find a natural resting place where you feel the strongest. Go with that.

Get your feet parallel under the bar and bring your hip forward to unrack the weight. This is the easiest way to unrack the bar when using a power rack. If you use a monolift station just get in position and let your spotter unrack the bar for you.

Walk three steps back to get into squatting position. The first step is to get some distance from the J-Cups on which the weight rested. The second step plants your first foot in final position. The second step brings your second foot into position to start to squat. You might not get it perfect with three steps every time, but this should be your aim. You want to have the least possible steps to get into position to save energy for the actual squat.

Your feet should point slightly outwards at this stage.  Have your feet pointed slightly outwards before you squat. A good way to determine have far they should point outwards is to squeeze your lower cheeks together whilst standing feet shoulder width apart without any weight on your shoulders. Your feet will travel outwards. Where they end up is the position you want for your squat.

Take a deep breath in. It is up to you whether you prefer to suck in air through your nose or your mouth. Ed Coan, hall of fame powerlifting member recommends breathing in through the nose, whilst Layne Norton, also a powerlift record holder, recommends breathing through the mouth. Based on this I would say go with whatever makes you feel stronger. I take a deep breath through the mouth.

How to Break through a weight loss Plateau

You’ve worked hard to improve your diet and exercise habits, and your reward has been watching your weight go down and feeling better. Now, however, for no reason you can identify, the scale has stopped budging, despite your healthy, low-calorie diet and regular exercise. You’ve hit a weight-loss plateau.

Don’t get discouraged. It’s normal for weight loss to slow and even stall. By understanding what causes a weight-loss plateau, you can decide how to respond and avoid backsliding on your new healthy habits.

What is a weight-loss plateau?

Being stuck at a weight-loss plateau for days or possibly weeks eventually happens to everyone who tries to lose weight. Even so, most people are surprised when it happens to them because they’re still eating carefully and exercising regularly. The frustrating reality is that even well-planned weight-loss efforts can stall.

What causes a weight-loss plateau?

During the first few weeks of losing weight, a rapid drop is normal. In part, this is because when you cut calories, the body gets needed energy initially by releasing its stores of glycogen, a type of carbohydrate found in the muscles and liver. Glycogen is partly made of water, so when glycogen is burned for energy, it releases water, resulting in weight loss that’s mostly water. This effect is temporary, however.

As you lose weight, you lose some muscle along with fat. Muscle helps keep the rate at which you burn calories (metabolism) up. So as you lose weight, your metabolism declines, causing you to burn fewer calories than you did at your heavier weight.

Your slower metabolism will slow your weight loss, even if you eat the same number of calories that helped you lose weight. When the calories you burn equal the calories you eat, you reach a plateau.

To lose more weight, you need to either increase your physical activity or decrease the calories you eat. Using the same approach that worked initially may maintain your weight loss, but it won’t lead to more weight loss.

 

How can you overcome a weight-loss plateau?

When you reach a plateau, you may have lost all of the weight you will on your current diet and exercise plan. Ask yourself if you’re satisfied with your current weight or if you want to lose more, in which case you’ll need to adjust your weight-loss program.

If you’re committed to losing more weight, try these tips for getting past the plateau:

  • Reassess your habits. Look back at your food and activity records. Make sure you haven’t loosened the rules, letting yourself get by with larger portions or less exercise. One study found that off-and-on loosening of rules contributed to plateaus.
  • Cut more calories. Further cut your daily calories by 200 — provided this doesn’t put you below 1,200 calories. Fewer than 1,200 calories a day may not be enough to keep you from constant hunger, which increases your risk of overeating.
  • Rev up your workout. Increase the amount of time you come to CrossFit and the intensity of your exercise to burn more calories. Adding exercises such as weightlifting to increase your muscle mass will help you burn more calories.
  • Pack more activity into your day. Think outside the gym. Increase your general physical activity throughout the day by walking more and using your car less, or try doing more yardwork or vigorous spring cleaning.

Don’t let a weight-loss plateau lead to an avalanche

If your efforts to get past a weight-loss plateau aren’t working, talk with your coach about other tactics to try. If you can’t further decrease the calories you eat or increase your physical activity, you may want to revisit your weight-loss goal. Appreciate the weight you’ve lost. Maybe the number you’re striving for is unrealistic for you.

Because you’ve already improved your diet and increased your exercise, you’ve already improved your health. If you’re overweight or obese, even modest weight loss improves chronic health conditions related to being overweight.

Whatever you do, don’t give up and revert to your old eating and exercise habits. That may cause you to regain the weight you’ve lost. Celebrate your success and continue your efforts to maintain your weight loss.

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