For some of you, that means nothing. For others, that's a chance to retest a workout that you probably remember vividly.
Let's take a look at the workout and break it down to HOPEFULLY hit some new personal bests:
Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 13 minutes of:
55 wall-ball shots
55 handstand push-ups/hand release push-ups
In this type of workout, the first step is to come up with a solid plan. I know CrossFit is all about intensity and moving super fast but for this, it's calculated intensity that will lead you to success. This is especially true on the earlier movements to ensure that we not only make it to the HSPU but that we are able to execute them properly. Let's talk about some things to think about for each movement.
-Let gravity help a little here. Don't control the bar all the way back to the floor like you're performing tempo deadlifts. That additional time under tension will fatigue you much faster than letting gravity assist in the descent. (Without bouncing, of course)
-use a mixed grip from the start! Alternate hands each set as well. Even though your breathing will be elevated, having a belt to remind you to stay braced and tight may be a great idea. Play around with it in the warmup.
-Keep the medicine ball high on your chest. You should look like you're performing a front squat, not a set of 55 wall ball deadlifts.
-breathing is constant and rhythmic.
-Stay accurate. No reps are toxic.
-There are literally hundreds of faults that we go over and talk about here but I'll save you the trouble. The most common thing we saw last year in this was people push-up the row too hard. Back and forth most of you went at a 27-32 strokes a minutes and within 30 calories you turned into a sloppy, convulsing mass of a human doing something that didn't even resemble rowing. Fix that this year. Make each stroke a proud, strong stroke. No weak, choppy or short strokes. Some of you may be able to maintain that while at a higher stroke rate but don't be scared to slow up when you feel like you're getting too deep.
-Remember your breathing. Regain control on the rower.
Handstand Push-ups/HR push-ups
-Kip. If you don't have kipping, your workout will more than. Likely end here.
-when kipping, ensure that lower back and hips rest on wall as a solid base to drive from as you shoot your legs skyward.
-at the top, dorsiflex your ankles to elevate heels past taped line.
-legs together at the top.
-move closer to the wall if able.
Breaking it up
Obviously, unbroken everything is not the way to go unless of course you want to die. Then go for it! Have a set breakdown in your head before you even start the timer.
You want to break it up so that when you rest between each set, it's no longer than 10 seconds. If you find that you're resting for 20, 30 or 45 seconds, then you went a little too aggressive and it's time to make anew plan. Be adaptable.
Some numbers to think about:
5 sets of 11
11 sets of 5
...you get the idea. Use a strategy that works best for you!
Be realistic with yourself. You won't become the words beat deadlifted overnight so don't come in with a max set unbroken on Saturdaymorning.
For the wall balls, you can be a little more aggressive with larger sets like:
11 sets of 5
DO NOT go lower than sets of 5. Make that 5 reps happen NO MATTER WHAT.
A strong guy will finish 55 calories in about 2 minutes. A girl in about 4. In warmups, row 55 cals at an easy pace, imagining you've just done all that other stuff. See where you fall. Use your best judgment. Guys, if you have 2 minutes left in the workout when you climb on that rower, there is no need to pace. Go!! Finish as many calories as you can and pray that you get a shot at that handstand push-up or two.
Avoid failure like a hippie avoids gluten. That is until about the 30s left on the clock mark. Go all out at this point. Don't hold anything back.
Above all, everyone, stay safe. Take the extra second or two to set up before the deadlifts. If you've never kicked up into a handstand or have done a HS push-up, nows not the time to be flailing upside down under heavy fatigue. Leave your ego at the door and scale if it's the realistic option.
Here we are boys and girls.
CrossFit Open: What's going on?
For newcomers in CrossFit out there, here is a little background and info on the CrossFit Open.
Started in 2007, the CrossFit Games is the only true test of fitness out there. Perfect time for CrossFitters in all Levels to show others the hard earned results of their training. (Even if you are just starting out it's great fun to be a part of it too!)
Here's what you need to know
The Open (Feb 23 - Mar 27)
5 weeks 5 workouts
Workout released on Thursday every week
Submit your score before Monday
Check your rank on Leader Board!
The Regionals (May 19- June 4)
Top Ranking Athletes from the Open get invited to the Regionals
3 Days event designed to test athletes who compete for 5 qualifying spots in The CrossFit Games.
For those who make it this far, the Hong Kong region is grouped under the Pacific Regional competition.
The Games (Aug 1-6)
This is it!
Best of the best from all around the world will go to The Games.
40 Men, 40 Women, 40 Teams, 80 Teenagers, and 220 Masters will compete in the 6 days event that's designed to separate the weak from the fittest on earth!
CrossFit Open: What else should you know
No Competition would be Fair if there are no standards in place.
This is particularly important for the CrossFit Games because the difference of
a split second or a single repetition can be the deciding factor of your results!
Scoring criteria could differ from workout to workout .
However, there are standards to moves that need to be met in order for a rep to be counted.
Your form need NOT be perfect guys!
Just meet these criteria and your reps are counted :)
Whether it's Back Squat, Front Squat, Overhead Squat or Thrusters,
the same principle applies when it comes to the depth of the squat.
Here, we can see Jay's hip crease below the top of her knee. That's important because no matter how bad you think your squats are, as long as you go as low as this and stand up to a full extension, you're good.
WallBalls are counted when the ball hits the target.
Don't forget to squat below parallel too!
Make sure to Stand Straight Up and extend those hips & knees on those Box Jumps.
That goes for every Rep!
The ending position of any Overhead Lifts, such as strict press, push press, push/split jerk, require you to extend your knees and hip as shown in the picture. Also remember to straighten out those arms out too! Anything less than what Jay is showing us here will simply not do :)
So make sure you lock out those joints and crush those overhead components!
One of the most common mistakes many make in cleans is not turning the elbows out.
Make sure both elbows are well in front of the bar for each rep to be counted!
For Pullups, you need to clear your chin above the horizon of the bar!
Furthermore, your arms need to be completely straightened out before continuing onto the next rep.
PS: Don't get intimidated if you are struggling with your pull-ups just yet, there's always the scaled version and having fun is what counts! :)
Toes to Bar
After all it's been said and done, Don't forget to SIGN UP for the CrossFit Open 2017 !
Register on the Official CrossFit Web Page & Keep on WOD-ing with anticipation with the rest of us here at
The CrossFit Open. This is a special time for CrossFitters the world over. For the CrossFit newbie, seeing everyone at the box in a frenzied state is quite befuddling and sometimes intimidating. For the CrossFit veteran, it is a chance to see how the last year's training has helped you get stronger and fitter, and gauge your progress against the rest of the world. For the uninitiated, the CrossFit Open is the first stage of an online qualifying process to the CrossFit Games. Top scores from the Open move on to a regional qualifier before the Final event which is The Games. Whether you are a beginner or an elite athlete, you go through 5 workouts, spread through 5 weeks around February to March.
This year's tag line from CrossFit HQ "Where grassroots meets greatness: Compete with hundreds of thousands of athletes in five workouts over five weeks. Do it for fun, your affiliate family, fitness or to reach regionals and fight for a chance to make it to the CrossFit Games", aims to be as inclusive as possible regardless of fitness or skill level in your current fitness journey. HQ aims to make the Open as inclusive as possible with scaled workouts so that everyone from a beginner to a veteran CrossFitter can feel part of the community. The excitement and the buzz over these five weeks is indescribable. You have to be in it to really feel and understand the emotions that go with the workouts and the hoopla that come with everything from the announcement, to checking the leaderboard. We hope that each and every single one of you register and just enjoy the workouts.
On the flip side, once the Open starts, it can be quite intense. There are some of us that have recurring dreams/ #nightmares about certain workouts, and facing them again can be almost traumatic (don't be scared! we're mostly just being overly dramatic... ;D)
Some of us are inherently competitive, and these five weeks will bring out all types of competitive fire from within. Whether you are aiming to make it to regionals, or to beat your nemesis in the box or even a competing box, you should always keep it real and not take this all too seriously. The main prize is that you get better every year and hope to see your placing keep rising as you keep joining the Open.
There are many reasons why we come to train and do CrossFit. For most, it can be as simple as wanting to look better, and feel stronger. That is why we do all the countless WODs day in and day out, 24/7, 365. We hope that you don't lose sight of that, whatever it may be, over the course of the Open and keep focus with your own training and reaching your own goals.
P.S. - If you are truly a Type A person and love to compete, we suggest staying away from the leaderboard. It is probably the most addictive thing you can do once the Open begins.
It’s official now. The excuse, “Oh, its the holidays” is finally outdated. No longer can you clutch to those words to write off a missed session or a rough patch of workouts. This is the time that we officially start looking towards the 2017 CrossFit Games Open. The 5 week long competition will be done online and against the world.
At Cavs, we figured now is as good a time as any to really get you motivated and excited to come to the gym more often. We are thrilled to announce that we will start a “Committed Club” starting February 1st and it will go on indefinitely. What is this Club all about? We hope to answer all your questions below with this handy FAQ:
What is it?
It’s a month long attendance challenge that rewards those who simply show up (well, you have to workout too). If you come to the gym 15 times in the span of a month, you get lauded over by your peers because we will feature you on social media and, heres the kicker, you get put into a raffle for some pretty cool prizes from local businesses and membership discounts.
Do I have to track my attendance?
Not really. We just ask that you continue to sign into class as usual, MindBody (and Clare) will do the rest. Don’t forget to sign in!
What if I just come in for a Stretch Class? Or open gym hours?
That’s fine! We definitely encourage structured skill work and recovery protocols. There are limitations though! If you only pop in to say hello and drop of some baked goods, sadly, that wouldn't count as a visit. You can also only sign in one time per day, regardless of activity or class.
Do the FunFit or FitCamp Classes count?
I have a 10 class punch card membership, does that mean I can’t play?
You can still join in the fun but we encourage you to look at our monthly unlimited membership options as the 10 session punch card expires in a month and would bring you to that magic 15 number to be a part of the committed club!
Ok, I come 30 days in March. That means 15 of those days can rollover to April, right?
Wrong. As much as we love the enthusiasm, we are rewarding consistency, not a mad rush for a month and then a month off to bask in Committed Club fame.
It’s pretty simple, really. Show up, do work and be consistent. We hope to see more of your smiling happy faces as we power through 2017 and continue building a better community! Don’t forget to use some of these catchy hashtags made up by our marketing team:
#CavsCommittedClub #TeamCavs #HongKongStrong #CommittedClub
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to Jason, Clare, Pao or myself.
*ADDED BONUS: If you register for the 2017 CrossFit Games Open you get a bonus point for the month of February. Here’s another kicker: Those of you that take the online judges course will get an additional bonus day this month. That means before February even begins you have the chance to get a head start on the Committed Club.
Happy New Year everyone! 2017 is in full effect and resolutions have been set! In fact, I’ve spoken to a lot of you about goals for 2017 and nutrition changes you hope to make as we slide into the new year and I’m pleasantly encouraged. Many of you have mentioned creating good habits like more protein, less drinking and no sweets. Small simple steps that will go a long way in improving more than just fitness.
I also talked with a few people who when asked what their goals were, merely shrugged and offered up an unenthusiastic, “Mehh”. I know its not because they don't care, but because they don't know. Self assessment is vital in knowing which way to go in regards to lifestyle choices.
For this weeks blog post, I wanted to hopefully guide those of you on the fence and maybe even help those who are already instilling a few habits. While instilling good practices is great, there is a balance to be had.
It was June-July, 2015. I was working in a CrossFit gym in Florida and not making enough money. After coaching and training, I would go home and inevitably consume a few (6) Pabst Blue Ribbons. Not daily but probably more than would be considered “therapeutic’. I also wasn't aware of (Read: ignoring) the fact that alcohol had calories. It was in one of my more self deprecating moments that I realized two things. The first, I probably drink too much, the second, I work too damn hard for too little. The thinking continued well into the evening and eventually I was left with this thought; “My biggest regret with my careers is that I wasn't able to find a way to make the most amount of money doing the least amount of work.
*Note: Calories in 6 Pabst Blue Ribbon Beers: 864.
Reading that, you may think I am condoning the fact that its cool to be lazy, and if you know me, that may serve to only perpetuate that thought. Not true. I respect the hustle. Ive done the hustle, and most days, I live to hustle. Its sexy, its dirty and raw but entirely unsustainable. You can be at the upper echelon of productivity and eventually, one day, you pitter out and fade back into taking shortcuts and cutting corners. It ebbs and flows.
What I am really saying is this: There is a word used to describe doing way more work than is necessary for a desired outcome. It’s stupidity. Check out these examples:
“I want a Coca-Cola. Let me go on amazon.com…oh they only sell 24 packs. Ill order a case, have it shipped to my mom in the US and she can ship one can over to Hong Kong for me. Easy.”
“I want to make 100k a year. I see two jobs offering the same salary but at one, I will be expected to work 80 hours a week and the other is only 40. I choose 80 hours a week because I love to hustle.”
Most of my anecdotes are rife with errors from either my own personal embellishment or poor memory, but this can be applied in many other areas of life. Getting back to nutrition, it’s easy to do entirely too much when only a little will do. To put it another way, starting a diet can literally twist turn your whole life upside down.
When I first started CrossFit, the fad at that time was the “Paleo Diet.” You might have heard of it or maybe even tried it. It sounds good on paper, “Eat what our paleolithic ancestors ate” Ooh! I get to be a caveman. Well guess what, it sucked. It forced you to become a social outcast by turning down fun evenings with friends and if you did manage to make it out, you usually had to bring a special meal in a tupperware container or scoff at the waiter when he said that he had no idea what the hell gluten was. Paleo was expensive, it was difficult to maintain and it was the equivalent of working 80 hours a week when just 40 would do. Oh, and to make matters worse, you couldn't eat bread.
*Note: They do have recipes for paleo bread, but the first ingredient is “lawn trimmings”
I want to try a simplify this if possible. I have created three tiers of nutrition. See which one you fall into.
Tier 3: You have a lot of bad habits and, at times, are borderline dangerous. You have no dietary knowledge or motivation.
Tier 2: You randomly apply good eating habits but overall, you are inconsistent and occasionally display risky behavior.
Tier 1: You are dialed in. Good habits about 80-90% of the time but you're also human and occasionally have a cheat meal or two.
There is a fundamental challenge with a lot of diet programs and fads out there. They ask the user to make a lot of wholesale changes when baby steps might be the best approach. Or lets say you drink four sodas a day and eat terribly. Maybe our first step is a week without soda. Then the next week, no soda and no sugars. The next week, no sugar, soda or booze. Small steps are small victories. Use each one as a stepping stone to widespread changes over a long term, not a rapid fix that will probably fall flat in a few days time. I truly think that works as the best approach for not only dieting but any aspect of life. Think about that as we meander halfway through January and start taking those small steps towards a better you.
Our story begins one fateful night:
After careful consideration, it was decided that the Cavs would move to a brand new home, a home in a place called K Town.
After some time renovating and installing, the box was finally ready! A place for cross-fitters and fitness enthusiasts to train, to share their passion and to inspire others. January 9th was a milestone for the Cavs. It marked the grand opening of our brand new box! There were yellow and blue balloons, delicious snacks and best of all, an ass-kicking workout! Everyone was super psyched about the new location and even though it was on the other side of the island, that didn't stop those who have a love for our coaches.
Day and night, passers-by would peek through our tinted windows, curious as to what went on inside. They would have seen people hanging from crossbars, lifting gigantic weights and blasting loud music. People looking like they were having the worst time of their lives -profusely sweating, hearts pounding and grunting loudly. And yet if they just stayed until the class finished, they would have seen these same people high five-ing and fist-pounding each other for a job well done, along with big smiles on their faces. (Well not always smiles but you know...inner-satisfaction)
Soon after, it was time to sign up for The CrossFit Games 2016 Open. With the strong encouragement from the coaches, and lets face it, along with a whole lot of yelling, everyone gave their best in all the Open WODs. Who could forget those overhead walking lunges? Or all the hard work getting those bar muscle ups efficiently? And my, oh my, those thrusters & burpees! Every week was a challenge. But everyone stayed strong and posted some impressive numbers, demonstrating to others that here at Cavs we are a force to be reckoned with!
Among all the participants in the Open, one individual stood out and it was obvious from the beginning who it was going to be *wink wink*. Our Head Coach, Cameron Currie, came in 1st in Hong Kong and 2nd in Asia! Cam smashed through those Open WODs and earned his place to participate in the CrossFit Games Pacific Regional 2016. A few months later, Cam was off to Australia, competing with the rest of the elite qualifiers and showed those guys down-under what we are made of in K-town.
If there was a CrossFit box that knew how to party, it was the Cavs for sure! Throughout the whole year, Cavs coaches have held various "parties". And by party I mean competition of course! What's CrossFit without a bit of friendly competition? You'll be surprised as to how much you can find out about yourself with just a barbell and a beeping timer. The In-House competitions were a huge success! Not only did participants go home feeling satisfied but the bond within the community grew stronger than ever.
Another event that would surely be remembered by many were the Beach WODs! Turning up bright and early on the beach with eager anticipation for the fun games and at times challenging WODs planned by the coaches. Everyone went home having had a great time with a tan to prove it!
Well to be fair, Cavs knew how to really party too! Who could forget our summer party celebrating the end of the summer slim challenge (it was really just an excuse to order in some catered food)? How about the Cavs Junk?
According to my source (Cam), who doesn't really remember much from the Junk party aside from a few drunken slaps across the face and people toasting "to America" while guzzling booze, it was a well catered party and loads of fun. From the photos you would never think that at one point Cam got so wasted and jumped off the top of the boat whilst wearing a life jacket due to the fear of possible drowning.
Our recent Christmas party was just as merry! Held at the Cavs first home in Happy Valley, which had been converted into a cozy restaurant; the evening was an absolute delight until the waitress got both annoyed and frankly a little angry when we hi-jacked their stereo system and started blasting "Happy Christmas songs." And soon people were getting up and dancing on the chairs -thankfully there were no damages. At the end of the evening, the Secret Santa game turned a bit risque when Cam and Fleur unboxed their gifts that were more likely from naughty Santa than nice (I think one of these gifts was actually stolen from others*wink*).
All in all, when we party at Cavs we aren't afraid of "maxing out" the fun like we do in WODs.
For many, Cavs is a place of transformation. The participants of our summer and fall challenges will confirm this to be true! Whether you were in the winner circle in either of these challenges or doing your best, the coaches and the community support throughout the duration have certainly helped many take their first steps into a healthier lifestyle. Just check out some of these incredible achievements of the guys in the 8 weeks Summer Slim-down Challenge 2016!
Looking back at 2016, it was an incredible year for the Cavs. Starting off the year in a new location, we couldnt have been able to take off with such a good start without the support of all who followed the move. Additionally, in the past year we have received generous support from our sponsors such as FitAid, The Nutter Company, Bad Food Gone Good, Joint Dynamics among others who have backed our coaches and members in their journey to greatness. We'd like to think that we have achieved a lot as a box in the past year, while many things are still works in progress such as simply getting the word out and converting more people to CrossFit and train with us at Cavs or just coming up with a better way to store med-balls neatly (yes, I am still looking for a good rack, Claire), It has been a busy and fruitful year for us. When we see someone first come to us as a beginner to train, and eventually enable CrossFit to transform their life or seeing growth in those who have been training with us for a while, it gives us tremendous joy as coaches.
Finally, this might be a little corny but I'd like to ask you now to think back to the year, and tell us what you think has been your biggest achievement with Cavs! Whether it be a Personal Record in a WOD or lift, or the way you look after shedding some unwanted weight or even just feeling like a better version of yourself through Fitness & CrossFit.
Please share your 2016 story with us on Facebook! #crossfitcavaliers #crossfit #2016done #2016PR #2016story #2016braggingrights
This is not a blog about Christmas. This is not a piece on how to and what to do. This is a shameless plug to get you to try our Christmas PT Specials. This is also a guilt trip, aimed to make you assess what you think your health is worth, and essentially what your life is worth to you.
It is the last month of the year. For most, it is an opportunity to celebrate the holidays with friends and family, to look back on the year just passed, and to look forward to a new one with firmer resolutions and promises of change.
This is the time of the year, more than in any other time, when we adopt a more carefree attitude towards our diet, eating more and being less concerned with how many calories we consume. To go with the festive season, we also drink much more. And we do all these because we say we need to celebrate all that we are thankful for.
This is also the time when we become more introspective, reflecting on what the past year has brought us, and thinking of how to make things good, if not better, for the coming year. Many of us think our health is a luxury we cannot afford and so we would rather spend our time on work that always seems we need to do, or on drinking, eating and being merry. What most of us fail to realise is that in neglecting to take care of our health, we actually shorten those moments of drinking, eating and being merry in the long run. Think of it as climate change. Indulgent food are our carbon emissions that we need to find a way to offset so that we don't end up ruining the rest of the planet. Actually, maybe that logic may work the other way around, but that conversation would be best tackled in another blog.
For those of us who already think this way, our workouts are ways to prolong life so that we could enjoy those precious moments. Those moments would be empty though if we fail to bring the special people in our life to our way of thinking. If you have friends and family you care about, shouldn't you be trying to get them into thinking the same way about their own health? Shouldn't you be trying your hardest to get them to start moving, to start taking their fitness seriously so that, together, you can enjoy more moments of fun with the people you love? The time to start this conversation is now.
"Cue shameless poster"
Think about it.
All of us want to have a long happy and healthy life, and we want to spend it with the people we love. Shouldn't they be taking the same steps to stay healthy and fit the same way you are? Whether its PTs, or classes or just plain getting up and walking, we should definitely start the conversation now.
It's like high school was for me. Spend most of the year joking around, flirting with girls and putting off homework and then wait until the last week of school to cram everything in. That's probably how you feel at this moment. Asking yourself, "how can I get double unders" or saying "I don't even know if I can get 55 pounds over my head!"
To worry is normal but you've already done all the hard stuff to this point. You won't turn into a double under pro in 24 hours and you won't magically develop the strength and capacity to cycle 55 pounds consecutively overnight. No amount of cramming will make it happen. All you can do now is put your weeks, months and years of training to good use when it comes down to game time tomorrow.
Some of you will struggle. Some of you might fail but the thing to remember is your cumulative efforts help your team no matter what. Taking part in a competition is months of training that lead up to an event that will inevitably seem like it was over before it started. All you can do now is prepare and execute. How does that occur? I'm tried to consolidate my knowledge on the subject keeping in mind that you only have 24 hours to go. Again, from a physical stand point: you won't get stronger and you won't acquire new skills while you sleep but, if you make mistakes, you'll be weaker and skills might disappear overnight. Follow these steps to victory.
If it ain't broke don't fix it. Now is not the time to try some crazy carb load that you've never done before. Nor is it the time to try a new pre workout supplement guaranteed to get you pumped. Stick to basics. Eat a hearty meal before bed with some carbs, protein and fat. On the morning of, drink lots of water, minimal coffee and eat a balanced breakfast with a good balance of all three macronutrients. Drink water throughout the competition and maybe bring a banana or some other fruit to eat quickly between events that will digest well. Keep in mind, it's only an hour, it will probably few just like going through a normal class but a little on the harder end. (Think: a normal Wednesday)
2. Sleep: This is probably the easiest thing to screw up and it would possible have the biggest impact on performance. Get your ass in bed. Please. Less than 6 hours of optimal sleep has been proven to degrade performance by a significant amount. Sleep in a dark room with the AirCon on and distraction turned off.
3. Equipment: luckily tomorrow isn't too intensive as far as gear is concerned. You might need some tape for the hands, your lifters, a belt and some amino acids or something. Whatever you plan on taking into the gym, pack it tonight! Don't spend the morning thinking about what you might have forgotten.
4. Headspace: I hate negativity. "I can't" is a phrase that stings a little every time I hear it. Spend the evening before a competition in some quiet place in your home. Think about the positives. Visualize a successful performance. Put those positive thoughts out there. Tell yourself that you're an asset to your team. You can do anything you set your mind to. Make it happen and leave the doubt at the doorstep.
5. Plan-Take the final workout for example. 40-30-20-10. Cals on assault bike, cals on rower, burpees. With a 15 minute cap, that's 900 seconds of work. Divide that by 300 (the total number of reps in the workout) you get 3. That's 3 seconds per rep. If you know it takes you 5 seconds per burpee but you can row 30 cals in a minute, maybe on the rower is where you belong. Break each workout down in your head and communicate your thoughts with your team members to see if it jives with what they had in mind.
Most importantly and above all, have fun. We put these in house competitions on in order to accomplish a few things. We want you all to experience the thrill and excitement of competing that you might not have experienced in decades. We want you do push yourself more than you thought possible. We want to do these things in a safe, fun and supportive environment. So don't be surprised if you start taking it too seriously, a coach comes over and tells you to "chill, just have fun!"
Good luck to all competitors tomorrow!
I was recently asked by one of my clients to write about CrossFit and describe what it is that we actually do at CrossFit Cavaliers to a couple of Hong Kong University professors who haven't got a single clue of what CrossFit is. As I pondered and did a little research by asking around, I noticed that non-CrossFitters often correlate CrossFit to what is known as High Intensity Interval Training (HiiT). Well then, here's some insight to all Non-CrossFitters and CrossFit beginners, to better understand what CrossFit is all about.
Titled: Is CrossFit just kind of like HiiT?
To really understand the differences between CrossFit and HiiT, let's first look at the latter.
What exactly is HiiT?
HiiT is a highly customisable training strategy/ program that includes high intensity anaerobic training blocks followed by less intense rest periods.
By drifting your body from an anaerobic (high) zone of workload to an aerobic (low) zone of workload, HiiT is effective when it comes to improving glucose metabolism and building athletic efficacy within a short period of time.
#In short, these regimes have been hugely popular because of the fat burning and athletic performance improvements it provides.#
Some of the more notable HiiT programs in recent years include Tabata, Insanity and P90X. All of which follow the frame work as presented above with different variables such as movements, work time and rest time.
Now how is CrossFit different from HiiT?
Let's start with the obvious argument:
Olympic Lifts & Strength training
For those of you who haven't done CrossFit before or very little, Olympic lifts and other strength training movements are big segments in CrossFit. Movements such as the clean & jerk and snatch are seldom seen in HiiT programs. More importantly, the obvious focus of strength training is to get stronger by lifting heavier weights, which has a completely different focus compared to HiiT programming.
Now what about MetCons?
For those of you who don't know what MetCon is: MetCon stands for Metabolic Conditioning.
According to Greg Glassman, founder of CrossFit, ultimately the CrossFit position on metabolic conditioning, or “cardio”, is summed up in two points. First, anaerobic training can match endurance training for aerobic benefit. Additionally, metabolic training with varying and mixed exercise modalities avoids specificity of adaptation, allowing for additional first wave - cardiovascular/respiratory adaptations, and increased functional strength.
Too Many words? Heres the short version:
1) High intensity training also works for endurance capabilities.
2) In CrossFit, we do different movements in order to keep our bodies from adapting to certain movements for better results.
CrossFit MetCons are usually the reason why CrossFit is commonly viewed as similar to HiiT and I will tell you why they are very different:
Take what we did at CrossFit Cavaliers last Wednesday for example:
To strategise for Karen, Coach Cam wrote down tips for us to complete these Wallballs as fast as possible according to each individual's capacity.
Here's one of them:
Complete 25 per minute and try to rest 15s within that minute x repeat 6 times
This particular strategy is actually a good example of HiiT - high intensity working blocks and rest in between.
However, since the goal of this workout is for time (as fast as possible), everyone can divide the workload in anyway they want. For elite CrossFit athletes, they can even do these without stopping - all 150 of them!
The argument here is that at a higher level of CrossFit, this workout is no longer consistent with the framework of HiiT since there's no mandatory scheduled rest time, only strategic ones.
Furthermore, CrossFit Metcon's variability and its broad modal & time domains make it very different from HiiT programming.
If you look up the official definition of CrossFit you will find the following statement:
"Constantly varied functional movements executed at high intensity across broad time and modal domains"
HiiT programming is simply far too narrow to fit all that is CrossFit into its definition. In other words, HiiT can be a part of what we do in CrossFit but CrossFit is definitely not just another form of HiiT.
CrossFitters strive for building athletic efficacy through all physical domains. In CrossFit we dip our toes in a vast amount of fitness categories such as gymnastics, metabolic conditioning, Olympic lifting and strength training.
Being constantly varied in programming, CrossFit is ever changing.
Universal scalability means CrossFit is always evolving to each individual's training age.
CrossFit is a holistic prescription for health and fitness, and it would be unfair to consider it "just like HiiT." It doesn’t mean we avoid it and it doesn’t mean that it’s not beneficial. CrossFit is simply much more profound than just high-intensity intervals.
In light of the new classes on the timetable, I thought it best to write about the importance of our new addition -- Mobility and Flexibility. Two entirely different things but definitely related.
Mobility is about being able to move a joint in its complete range of motion with purpose, strength and stability. It's the ability to lengthen safely and support the joint in a proper ROM. Flexibility, on the other hand, pertains to the pliability of a muscle and how long your muscles can extend.
The main drawback of training is that we do so many repetitive patterns that it renders the range we are working on so much tighter. If we don't work the opposing range equally, we create imbalances. We create these same imbalances if we neglect mobility and flexibility work. Worse, when things are out of alignment, injury and pain often manifest.
What to do? Apart from the obvious and shameless plug for our new stretch and mobility classes, you need to put your recovery and mobility on equal footing for the rest of your training.
Most times we neglect using the foam roller or taking the time to stretch post-work out because it's not as sexy as doing a PR on an Olympic lift or getting your muscle ups. Also, doing these takes time... lots of it … before we see any real progress in terms of improving both flexibility and mobility. To be honest, not everyone has the luxury of time.
Personally, the best approach would be to use that competitive mindset that most of us have as motivation to go through the man hours of holding still and either rolling or stretching or smashing some muscles. Think of this time as a way to enhance your performance. Majority of the time, lifts fail or succeed due to someone's mobility or lack thereof. So if we know this for a fact, would we not then set aside the time to practice the way we do when we are trying to learn a new skill?
Just in case you haven't noticed, there is a corner in the box where you can find foam rollers, mats, spiky balls, lacrosse balls and other tools to help you stretch. Just try to find Nayef stretching, post class, and you'll know you've found that treasure chest of mobility tools.
There are apps for this as well, so there really is no excuse!
At the end of the day, you can always come on Wednesday evenings and Sunday mornings and spend some time with us. Maybe some company while you sit and wish your muscles some length would help you get into a better habit of thinking about mobility for enhanced performance.
Here are the top 3 reasons why people skip stretching and mobility:
“I get bored”
“I don’t have the time”
“Its not as fun as lifting or conditioning”
Now, here are the top 3 reasons why you definitely should prioritise mobility work and add this to your training:
It will enhance your performance with your lifts.
It will possibly resolve certain imbalances in your body.
It will help keep you injury-free.
Now, go get a lacrosse ball and start kneading!
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.