CrossFit has been one of the most talked about sports in the last couple of years. As a result, it has yielded an explosion of gyms—known as boxes—in cities and neighborhoods all over the country and the world. Though many athletes train and compete in CrossFit exclusively, that doesn't mean there is not a place for you. Athletes from all sports can benefit tremendously from the movements and workouts performed at a CF box.
First things first: the terminology. Many CrossFit WODs (workout of the day) consist of MetCons, or metabolic conditioning. This style of training includes a series of movements in sets and/or rounds, and is perfect for conditioning the body to respond quickly without taxing energy levels. Often, the workouts are completed in AMRAPs (as many rounds [or reps] as possible), which may or may not include built-in rest periods.
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For example, the "Fight Gone Bad" WOD includes 3 rounds of max reps in one minute of work for each of the following: Wall Balls, Sumo Deadlift High-Pulls, Box Jumps, Push-Presses and Rows. Each movement has a target weight/height. After each round of the movements, athletes have one minute of rest before they begin the next round.
Tabata is another form of conditioning used in CF. Named after the Japanese physician who created this style of training, Tabata consists of 8 rounds of a 20/10 split between work and rest. WODs combine movements, rounds, reps and rest time. This type of high-intensity training conditions athletes both aerobically and anaerobically.
Below are three CF-style workouts athletes can use to generate strength, power and speed in their respective sports. These are great WODs. Use them to finish a traditional strength workout to get an additional strength and conditioning boost.
As for how much weight to use, that is for the individual athlete to decide; most of the movements include suggested weights for both men and women. You should gradually work your way up to heavier weights, but don't be afraid to challenge yourself. For example, when doing wall balls, instead of throwing a lighter medicine ball to a higher target, try using a heavier ball and aim for a lower target. Be sure to warm up properly and thoroughly before beginning any workout.
Obviously there's not a lot of heavy lifting involved here, but that's not to say this Tabata WOD is without benefits. Movements like Kettlebell Swings and Air Squats are great for stabilization, while Box Jumps are a plyometric power developer. Burpees elevate the heart rate to promote endurance, and Chin-Ups build strength in the shoulders and biceps. You can't go wrong with this one.
If joining a CrossFit gym is not possible for you at the moment, but you still want to reap the benefits that these hugely popular workout styles provide, this is your chance. As always, be sure to consult a coach or fitness professional to ensure proper technique before trying any new movements.
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