“I’m doing Fran today.”
This statement would sound derogatory to any normal, average human being who has never picked up a muscle mag or has ever wondered how the guys in the movie “300” trained. But to a lot of athletes out there “I’m doing Fran today,” causes fear, panic, excitement, and nervousness all at the same time. Fran is one of Crossfit’s most famous Benchmark workouts. The workout involvs doing 21-15-9 repetitions of 95lbs Thrusters and Pullups in a superset fashion.
Introduction to Crossfit Training
A benchmark workout is a workout that is repeated throughout the Crossfit programming. When a non-crossfitter looks at the main website, all they see is a collection of really high intensity workouts with no structure. Apparently there is a structure to Crossfit programming, however the structure is a closely guarded secret in founder Greg Glassman’s mind. Coach Glassman is the “genius” behind this “revolutionary” training program. He loves using the words “efficacy” and “power.” In fact, that’s all he really talks about.
Every time Coach Glassman speaks, you are either forced to listen carefully at his words, trying to decipher his SAT-ish language, or marvel at how much someone can talk without actually saying anything. Take, for example a passage from an an interview he gave in Girevik Magazine:
“First of all, what is unique about your Crossfit approach to training?
I think we are unique in both the efficacy of our regimen and our methodology. In terms of approach, I don’t know of another program utilizing gymnastics skills and drills, Olympic Weightlifting/powerlifting, and multi-mode sprint work. Our hallmark of combining these elements in single workouts may be globally unique – we’re still searching.
In terms of efficacy, of course our results are due to our methods – this is true of every program, but more to the point we have spent literally thousands of hours honing our definition of fitness. It is our definition of fitness that has refined our approach, and, in turn, forged our results. For CrossFit the specter of championing a fitness program without clearly defining what it is that the program delivers combines elements of fraud and farce. The October 2002 issue (“What is Fitness?”) of our magazine, CrossFit Journal, is an eleven-page manifesto of our view and standards of fitness.”
Here’s what that means:
- Crossfit combines gymnastics, Olympic Weight Lifting, and GPP into a single program.
- We spend countless hours defining the term “Fitness.”
You can go and read the 11-page “manifesto” of Crossfit, but it’ll probably just confuse you more. I know I had to read it at least 5 times to make sense of it. And even then I had a ton of questions. In my quest to simplify my life, Greg Glassman was just throwing random words at me that meant nothing. The purpose of this article to clear up a lot of the “hoopla” surrounding Crossfit, and to give you guys a real taste of what Crossfit really is without all the confusing jargon.
Who is Greg Glassman?
According to Girevik Magazine, Glassman started off as a gymnastic coach in 1974 at a Y.W.C.A gym in Pasadena, California. He went on to train a variety of athletes from various sports, backgrounds, and professions. Coach Glassman soon realized the drawback of traditional body building and endurance athletes when it came to the demands of law enforcement personnel and high intensity athletes. After much experimentation, he found he was able to produce better results with his clients by combining heavy fundamental movements (compound and olympic lifts) with high intensity training (sprints, circuit training).
Out of all the clients and athletes Glassman has worked with, he claims to have a special place for law enforcement and military personnel. It makes sense why this group of athletes would be so keen to make Crossfit a regular part of their training. Crossfit is randomized and challenges a broad spectrum of fitness goals – perfect for law enforcement and military personnel who need to be ready for anything at any time. Crossfit is also extremely popular with Mixed Martial Artists, however, it can be argued that Mixed Martial Artists have been performing Crossfit-esque workouts long before Coach Glassman branded the training style.
So…What is Crossfit Training?
Crossfit isn’t as complicated as Crossfiters and Greg Glassman want to make it seem. We can start with the fact that Crossfit effectively combines gymnastics, Olympic lifting, and high intensity training. Let that sink into your mind first before we continue.
Moving on, the goal of Crossfit programming is to be as general as possible. Glassman believes that the needs of athletes and every day citizens are nearly the same. We all require exercise in the following ten aspects of fitness:
- Cardiorespiratory Fitness
I have yet to figure out how Crossfit helps you with flexibility, coordination, accuracy, and balance. However, I do agree that the other six can be easily accomplished with Crossfit. However, because this is a general approach to all-around fitness, you’ll be strong – but not the strongest. You’ll be fast – but not the fast. You’ll even get bigger and leaner – but you won’t be the biggest and leanest. Get my drift? After a certain point, if you really care enough, you need to specialize for your sport.
The most popular question out there is how are the Crossfit workouts created? Well, I’ll let Glassman answer that question himself:
“Our view of what fitness is and isn’t creates, in effect, a theoretical template that guides the selection of exercises, their rep range, frequency of occurrence, length of workout, etc. Come to know our standards and aims and the rationale behind our workouts’ architecture becomes somewhat self-evident. The workouts themselves are a near perfect expression of our vast experience building the world’s toughest athletes. This question is great but somewhat like asking Tiger Woods, “How do you do it?”
That being said, the process is without a doubt part art. In fact, the National Strength and Conditioning Association, that august non-profit arbiter of exercise science admits in its Essentials of Strength and Conditioning that exercise programming is still more art than science. At CrossFit we call it the choreography of exertion. Our routines display balance, symmetry, theme, composition, and an aesthetic cultivated over decades of experience – including successes, and failures. The workouts are designed to maximize human physical capacity, period. That being the case, they are universally regarded as being the toughest workouts in every athlete’s experience.
Finally, I cannot discount the utility of posting workouts to the site and getting feedback from hundreds of elite athletes around the world. This would prove invaluable to any strength and conditioning coach or program.”
I have to agree with Glassman on this one, although he could have said what he said with fewer words. I have lots of articles on my site talking about program design, but I still get questions about program design. There are people who can come up with some challenging and effective programs (like me) and those that struggle with it. This is what separates the trainers from the enthusiasts.
Is Crossfit Training Safe?
I’m going to go to the Crossfit site right now and take a look at the first workout and tell you whether or not I think it’s safe:
135 pound Clean and Jerk, 30 reps
This workout is obviously not safe for a complete newbie. It’s not even safe for me since I can barely clean and jerk 135 for a single rep. Here is how I would tackle this workout:
- Drop the weight to 95lbs and perform 30 Power Clean and Jerks
- Work upto 135lbs
- Drop the weight again to 95lbs and perform 30 Clean and Jerks
- Work up to 135lbs
We just covered the first reason why Crossfit might not be safe: technical exercises performed at high repetitions. Cleans and snatches require near-precision technique. One small mistake can injure you for good.
The second reason why Crossfit might not be safe is the high intensity nature of the workouts. These workouts cause something called rhabdomyolysis (rhabdo). Rhabdo is a condition where the breakdown of muscle fibers result in the release of muscle contents into the blood stream. These contents (myoglobin) can be harmful to the kidneys and may result in kidney damage.
In a recent Crossfit Journal article , five of the first cases of rhabdo were presented. All five patients recovered fully from their condition within a few weeks, and most went right back to Crossfit. These five individuals were active athletes, but relative beginners to Crossfit. Their condition results in too much Crossfit too fast.
Rhabdo can occur with any sort of high intensity program. A mixed martial artists can get rhabdo from his training, and so can a military personnel. However, cases of rhabdo are higher in Crossfit because of the incredibly high intensity nature of Crossfit. If you underestimate it, it’ll get you.
Later in this article I will show you how to get started with Crossfit without risking rhabdo.
Is Crossfit Training for Me?
Before we get into how to follow Crossfit safely, I think it’s important to determine whether or not Crossfit is for you. Crossfit is for individuals who want to achieve a more well-rounded level of fitness. Here is a problem I’ve experienced in the past: Each time I tried to get bigger and stronger, I got slower. Once I started working on conditioning, I lost some size and power. I was always trying balance between these two ends of the fitness spectrum.
The solution to these problems is Crossfit. In my opinion, everyone should have a taste of Crossfit. However, after 3-6 months, or however long it takes you to get a real taste for it, you should modify it for your own needs. If your main goal in life is to be the biggest guy in the gym, you can probably use Crossfit to shed some fat real fast or maintain cardiovascular conditioning, however don’t deviate to far away from what ever it is that’s helping you pack on size.
How to Get Started with Crossfit Training
On the main Crossfit site, they tell you to spend a month getting to know the movements. Start the program, substituting the exercises that you don’t know with the exercises that you do know. This is a pretty good approach. I’ve experimented with Crossfit in the past, and to tell you the truth, it can get really frustrating really fast. If you have the money and time, I suggest going to an affiliate. Crossfit has a list of local affiliates on their website.
I’ve never been to an affiliate. But I can tell you one thing: if you’re not familiar with Cleans, Jerks, Snatches and other complex, high intensity moves – be careful with them. I’m not an expert at these movement, but I was able to learn the “power” versions of these rather quickly. By this I mean power cleans, push press, and power snatches. You can also substitute these movements with a dumbbell or kettlebell. Using a dumbbell or kettlebell is probably safer than trying to heave a huge barbell over your head.
A few more tips to help you get started without risking rhabdo:
- Start with a lower frequency than the one recommended (3 on, 1 off). Try three days a week and steadily move up to four or five days a week.
- Be prepared to eat. After my first week of Crossfit, my metabolism was on fire. I just kept eating everything in site (this can get dangerous in the long run).
- Take longer rest periods than you think. For example, if you’re doing Fran, maybe work in a minute rest periods between each set, even if you don’t need it. This will help you get used to the idea of moving back and forth between two big, compound movements.
- Time and record everything. Without a training journal, you’ll never know if you made progress with this program.
- Don’t be afraid to deviate from the program. People on the board will yell at you, but who cares? I personally don’t follow the Crossfit programming because it does not match my needs.
Points of Review
Dog Training Tips – What You Need to Know
While kids everywhere else in the world (especially in Finland!) relax and probably enjoy their studies, the kids in India aren’t so lucky.
Everyone else already has a laptop and is well-versed with it, and yet our children continue to do things the old-fashioned way.
It’s typical of this country to lag behind in a number of departments but it’s sacrilege when it comes to hampering the future of our nation. To be honest, this has been my biggest gripe for a while now, thanks to being able to see the difference the way different education systems work.
At least, they don’t hit children anymore because this generation of kids are more than happy to stand up to their adults and rebel verbally and violently.
Speaking of disciplinary action such as this, why should we use it especially since most dog trainers have moved away from training dogs this way as well. There are certain cases, like training dogs in a city, that can make things more difficult. However, a few simple tips can help one navigate these sometimes troublesome waters.
A Few Thoughts on Dog Training
You might say that humans and animals are different but it begs the question: Is cruelty necessary?
It isn’t, truly. But that’s how dogs have been trained in the past.
The general attitude towards teaching obedience training has been harsh, to say the least. Whether it is a beating or even shock collars to keep them in check, one wonders if it is fair since we wouldn’t be allowed to treat humans that way too.
So, it is not with love and affection that the poor canines were trained but by subjugation and inculcating behaviors that were forced due to the “fear of punishment”.
Thankfully, common sense prevailed and a method known as ‘positive reinforcement’ has changed the way dog training is done now.
In other words, instead of punishing them for bad behavior, we reward them for good behavior instead.
What does happen is that when they are rewarded, they tend to do what pleases the ‘master’ if only for a few more treats.
It is how school children should be treated as well when learning manners too. One should refrain from criticizing their children but encouraging them for their achievements, however minimal.
That said, here are a few dog training tips that one can use even if the services of a dog trainer isn’t required at all.
Dog Training Tips – The Basics
The most popular commands that are taught are sit, down, heel, recall, stay and close where the right behavior is rewarded and the wrong is ignored.
While these commands are necessary, there are others that can cause problems with friends and family, and so here are a few situations that a dog must be trained for:
#1: Not to Bite
When they have the urge to bite, tug at their leash so as to divert their attention to something else that interests him or her.
#2: Fetch an object
Throw a tennis ball and walk away so that the dog gets it back for you. Then you can teach it to fetch other objects such as the newspaper too as it understand the meaning of this command.
#3: Not to bark at visitors
Since this can be scary for visitor, train them to “sit” as soon as the doorbell rings.
#4: Crate training puppies
Using a kennel crate works best as they are more likely to pee or poop when they are asleep.
So, are there any other dog training tips that you would like to add to this list? Feel free to add them in the comments section below.
Also, here is an article on the best dog foods.
What You Need for the Perfect Gym Storage Solution
If you operate your own professional gym or are looking to create a home setup, it’s crucial that you carefully consider your storage solutions. A tidy gym is without doubt a happy environment for people to work out in!
Good storage will help protect equipment from scratches and other damage, make it easy to find where equipment has been left, and prevent hazards such as trips.
It can also help the gym to feel more of a clean and organised environment that can keep members motivated while working out, which typically leads to a higher retention rate.
When it comes to gym storage, there are not many companies around that share the same expert knowledge as PowerGym Fitness. PowerGym is a supplier of commercial gym equipment, from weights and barbells to high-end strength training machines, with clients throughout the world.
They are also experienced in providing gyms with advice and support for installing the perfect setup.
PowerGym Fitness have provided us with some pointers on how you can create the perfect gym storage solution for your commercial facility or home setup.
The type of storage you will require can depend on the type of equipment that your gym provides. For example, some gyms may specialize in cardio equipment as opposed to strength training, or vice versa. That said, most gyms will typically include dumbbells.
Dumbbells are a popular form of free weights that can help users to build muscle mass. Dumbbell racks are one of the best ways that you can keep your gym tidy and free of hazards.
Without a rack, there would be no designated place for members to collect and return a dumbbell. Dumbbells left on the floor can cause damage and can be hazardous for other members when walking around the gym space.
These racks are designed to securely hold a certain amount of dumbbells when they are not in use. All round, it adds a safer and more organised structure to your environment and increases the longevity of the dumbbells.
Weight Plates Holders
As with dumbbells, most gyms typically include some type of weight plates. Tri grip and bumper weight plates are two examples that are available for purchase at PowerGym Fitness.
The plates can be attached to a barbell which can be used for effective and flexible weightlifting routines. One type of weight plate holder includes a storage tree.
This provides the option of a simple vertical holder where the plates can just slide on to a storage horn. Another option is a wall weight plate storage, allowing easy access to plates from a wall position – plus, it saves up space and improves the aesthetic design of your gym!
Gym mats are essential for exercises that require closer physical contact with the floor. This can include press-up exercises as well as Yoga, Pilates and studio workouts. Mats provide an extra level of comfort so that you don’t encounter discomfort when encountering the floor.
Mats can be used by a lot of people each day, so naturally there’s a lot of wear and tear. Mats that aren’t stored properly can lead to greater damage which will result in you needing to replace the mats sooner than should be required. With a mat hanger, when the mats are not in use, they can be stored safely to prevent unnecessary damage.
Whether you use a barbell freely or with a weight plate attached, it’s important that you store the bar appropriately when it’s not in use. Bars can be very heavy which can lead to floor damage and potentially serious injury if it drops to the floor or is left unsecured.
Like with weight plates, there are options for horizontal and vertical storage. These storage products can either be attached to the wall or the floor. They provide an organised and safe place for barbells to rest when not in use.
Cable Attachment Racks
Cable attachments are additional products that can help athletes take their strength training to the next level with varied workouts. With several types of attachments available, from revolving bars to handles and ropes, they expand the options that are available on a cable machine.
Most of these attachments are quite small, so it can be easy for them to become lost or get muddled in with other pieces of equipment. A cable attachment rack is a great way to store the attachments so that gym members can easily see where the attachments they require are placed.
Power Rack Storage Horns
Power racks are fantastic pieces of equipment to have in your gym. They are premium products that often act as the centerpiece of the gym. Power racks provide a safe space to perform a wide range of exercises, with freedom of choice left to the user.
Alongside the power rack, it’s widely recommended that you get storage horns that will seamlessly attach to the power rack. These horns can then be used as a storage option for weight plates. It will allow you to free up space around the gym and provides users with a quick and easy way to access the plates they need.
The storage options that we have talked about so far clearly relate to products that have been specifically designed for certain gym equipment. To improve the tidiness, safety and structure of your facility event further, you can get a storage cage that will hold the rest of your smaller items.
This can include things such as medicine balls and bags, as well as boxing equipment. The cage can usually be locked for added security and with lockable wheels, it’s easy to transport the equipment from place to place.
Top Five Supplement Reviews To Check Out
In this modern world, we are so used to having a lot of “instant”. Most of us are not used to the long and arduous processes, even though we think we do. You may have noticed the impatience of most people especially when it comes to services. They want to have what they want right now, and this is why most companies adapt to the situation.
You can see it in their products and services; they want to deliver it fast enough to save more time. The same reason applies to humans who want them all as soon as they can. Even the food industry has to go with this notion, but this has also led to a new trend: obesity.
This may not be a problem in most countries. In the West though, it is considered a major health issue. There has been an increase in the overall weight of the US population for example; at least 40% of the people over 20 are overweight as this article reveals.
It has been such a serious problem due to the prevalence of fast-food chains. There is nothing wrong with consuming them, but many depend on them for their daily diet. With all of its sugars and salt, it can be quite detrimental to your health in the long run.
New Horizons in Medicine
Fortunately, there have been advances in the field of medicine as well. Weight loss has become way different compared to the way it was in the previous century. People did not know anything about it. There was a time when fat is considered as the devil’s advocate of being overweight, and sugar was thought to be the healthier option. Even though this has already changed in recent times, there is still a prevalence of this kind of thought in many circles. If you want to lose weight, you need to read and learn more about the proper way of doing it.
There might be a lot of factors that can contribute to this goal but we are just going to narrow it down to three: diet, exercise, and genetics. There is nothing that we can do with the last one though since this is already in our system. Some people might be lucky enough that they do not need to control their diet or even exercise. Their bodies have already reached their full potential, so all they need to do is to maintain it.
Unfortunately, others are not that lucky. It is either they need to have a rigorous diet plan, more exercise, or both. It is a lot of effort to lose the mass, but it can be worth it in the end. You may visit Supplement Smarts website and other similar sites to learn more info regarding this.
If you are experiencing difficulties or you want to have the results faster, then you might need to take a supplement for that. There are many options in the market these days, so choosing just one can be quite confusing. You also need to understand that not all of these supplements may work for you. Below are some of the best substances that can certainly help you with weight loss.
Options for Cutting Those Flabs
Everyone knows what this is; it is just the main ingredient in the most popular beverage in the world besides water. Aside from being the universal pick-me-up in the mornings, it has also been found that caffeine can assist in weight loss.
It speeds up metabolism moderately, which also helps in the faster absorption of calorie intake and fat burning process. However, you do need to take it in conjunction with other substances for it to take on full effects. You also need to be careful as it can still cause dependence.
Green tea Extract
Another common beverage that has some medicinal properties, green tea has been around for ages. It has its origins in China, but the rest of the world is already enjoying it. However, green tea is the fresher version and it has little to no added processing in its consumption.
It is rich in antioxidants, as well as having the ability to burn fat. It is more focused on the stomach area though, where most of our extra fat goes anyway. If you want to reduce your waistline, then having this a part of your daily supplement may help with that. Check this link https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/269538 to know more.
Garcinia cambogia Extract
This might seem to be unfamiliar to most people, but it has been gaining some popularity in the previous decade due to its mainstream exposure. It is a green fruit with pale flesh, and it is native to Indonesia although other countries have started cultivating it as well.
Garcinia cambogia contains hydroxycitric acid, also known as citric acid lyase. This is said to help in losing weight by also removing excess fat from the body. There are still ongoing studies about this as there is unclear evidence of how it works. However, it is safe to consume as long as you control your dose.
This is another form of supplement, but this time it is a combination of other substances including caffeine, wild mint extract, and cumin extract among others. It was developed by MuscleTech Research and Development, and it aims to help you lose those extra pounds.
It has been rather popular for the first ten years of its existence due to these various extracts. Even though it is under one name, there are many kinds of it available in the market. Some of them even exclude some ingredients like caffeine for those who have adverse effects from taking them.
Lastly, this is a diet supplement made from a root vegetable called konjac or elephant yam. It is full of fiber amongst other nutrients, which make them great for controlling your eating habits. Once you eat or drink a supplement, it will make you feel full because of all the fiber.
It will also help with digestion and excretion of wastes in your stomach. However, you will need to drink a lot of water when using this as it can promote too much hydration loss. You will also need to check on your doctor if you can use this safely and follow the dosage always.
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