CrossFit Strength Training – Some Tips for Beginners
The one thing you can always associate with CrossFit is the challenging aspect. It will see you building speed, stamina, strength and muscles you probably didn’t know you had. Everyone can agree that it’s the versatility of the sport that makes it so alluring. But in this article the focus is going to be on one specific area, namely CrossFit strength training. It’s the foundation for becoming a great overall athlete and it will serve you well to pay attention.
CrossFit strength training anchors the core
First things first. If you’re a newbie to the scene then it’s important to know what your one rep max is, so you’ll know what you’re capable of at this moment. It’s a pretty simple calculation based on the sum of the max weight lifted during three fundamental movements. They are:
- Back Squat
- Shoulder Press
Get those muscles warmed up and be sure to rest enough in-between reps, because you should take three attempts at establishing your one rep max. On the first attempt it’s best to go with a weight you know you can lift for three reps. On the second attempt, choose a weight you know you can lift for one rep. On the last attempt choose a weight you want to lift, based on the first two attempts.
Once you know what you’re capable of, it’s time to start building some muscle.
CrossFit Overhead Squat
When it comes to core strengthening, the CrossFit overhead squat is the workout to go to. Apart from being a very important part of the snatch, it requires an array of elements such as balance, flexibility and strength. It’s also serves as a type of benchmark workout where you can test your core stability and measure your athletic power. It’s for this reason we’ll go into deeper detail for the CrossFit overhead squat.
- Perfect the Technique
Before lifting actual weight, it’s best to get the technique right first. Your technique will influence how effective the workout is going to be, so pay attention to what you’re doing. With the bar raised in the air as far as possible, it should be aligned with your heels. Now you have to go into the squat, but while you’re going down, pull the bar back and don’t let it move forward. You want to keep it aligned with your heels and maintain a tight core throughout the movement.
While going down, pull your hips back and keep the bar in place above your head. Your weight should mostly be on your heels, because this provides more stability. If your hips aren’t lower than the highest point of your knees, go lower. Once you’re in the squat position, your hips should be lower than your knee caps. When you come back up, keep your core tight and the bar aligned with your heels.
Start Dating Cindy
If you haven’t heard of Cindy yet, you’re about to go on a date that’s got everything you need for base-line body strength. The three movements are basic, yet effective. In 20 minutes you want to do as many reps as possible, and they include:
Pullups – 5
Pushups – 10
Air Squats – 15
Consider Dating Linda As Well
Linda’s got a nickname, and it’s the “Three Bars of Death”. The exercise is made up of 3 classic barbell moves, starting with the deadlift. The amount you have to lift is 1.5 your body weight, which is followed by the bench press at body weight. You finish the exercise with the olympic lifting move – a squat clean at three quarters your body weight. This exercise is for time, starting at 10 reps and working your way down to one.
Deadlift at 1.5 body weight
Bench press at body weight
Olympic lift at 3/4 body weight
With the barbell complex exercise you can focus on improving you skills while moving a lot of weight around. Unlike the high volume workouts mentioned above, these will see you slowing down and placing more emphasis on endurance. The exercise consists of:
Deadlifts – 3
Hang-clean squat – 3
Shoulder to overhead – 3
CrossFit Supplements and CrossFit Gloves
Some tips for all the newbies who are getting eager to take on CrossFit strength training, you might want to think about investing in CrossFit gloves and CrossFit supplements. The former is specifically to help you with grip and protecting your hands. There’s no avoiding the pain and ripped skin, but you can minimize the discomfort substantially with added protection. Your grip is very important, especially in the weight lifting area.
As for the supplements, they serve as little helpers to get more out of your daily WOD. Among other things, supplements can keep you hydrated, energized and it substitutes for extra minerals and vitamins you might be lacking. There are many products on the market today, so you’ll have to skim through them and find one that suits your body and regime. But there’s nothing wrong with using every honest edge you can get for CrossFit strength training.