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Tips for Becoming a Successful CrossFit Athlete

CrossFit is increasingly popular and a constant in the world of fitness.

Do you practice this sport, or do you want to start practicing?

Would you like to know more about CrossFit and what can you do to succeed in this sport?

In this article, you will be able to learn more about this type of sport and you can see some training, nutrition and supplementation tips that will help you to be more successful.

What is the CrossFit?

CrossFit is featured for being a functional workout, constantly varied and performed in high intensity.

CrossFit was the name given by Greg Glassman to a set of already existing movements that crossed (cross) giving rise to this sport, in which one of its main premises is the improvement of the fitness capacity (FIT).

What its creator did was to put together three training strands that were performed separately, such as gymnastics, weightlifting or bodybuilding and align them to monostructural movements (or cardio), as is the case with rowing, running, or swimming. The conjugation of these exercises/modalities forms the basis of a CrossFit workout.

CrossFit: evolution

CrossFit competition

Although CrossFit is a registered trademark, the effectiveness of this training method, which already has 18 years of age, has caused thousands of spaces to open over the years to practice this type of sport.

In addition to the affiliated spaces (which are directly linked to the CrossFit brand), there are non-affiliated boxes that also adopt the CrossFit methodology, increasing the number of followers of this methodology further.

In recent years, we have seen a boom in this sport, due to the CrossFit Games, a competition created by Dave Castro in the year 2007.

Since then, the number of participants has been increasing from year to year.

Other factors that caused this modality to evolve greatly were:

  • Effectiveness of this training method, as an alternative to conventional gyms;
  • Its spirit of Community;
  • Be constantly varied, escaping the four series of ten usual repetitions in gyms.

The sport grew so much that, in 2000, there were 13 affiliated spaces and, 16 years later, the number rose to 12400. Currently, there are over 13000.

Just as a curiosity, and to demonstrate the growth of the modality, it is important to mention that in 2007, the first prize of the CrossFit Games was 500 dollars.

A few years later, this prize was multiplied by 500, making a total of 250,000 dollars.

CrossFit: Diversity

It should be noted that CrossFit can be used as a day-to-day preparation method or as a complement to other sports.

CrossFit is a modality that can be done by people of any age and gender, since there are always adjustments for each level of training.

It is a modality that can be practiced on the six continents, and Europe and America are the continents with the greatest number of practitioners.

You can see more information about this modality in this article.

After explaining a little the story of the modality and framing it, see what you need to do to become an athlete in this modality and succeed.

Tips for being a successful CrossFit athlete

CrossFit athlete – Tiago Sousa

First of all, we should be on the lookout for the CrossFit pyramid. In this, there are the most important points for the practice of this modality, something that will facilitate the definition of priorities: training, nutrition and supplementation.

As it is such a complete sport and with so many strands, it is common to neglect either point if planning is poorly done.

Training: planning

planning

There are three major pillars for the creation of the training plan of this sport. They are:

  • Monostructural, cyclical exercises, or more commonly known as cardio. Running, rowing or swimming are some examples.
  • Weightlifting, all exercises performed with auxiliary materials such as barbells or dumbbells. As an example, we have the cleans, snatches or jerks.

Training planning should contain exercises of these three groups, combined with each other.

I’ll let you with an example of planning for a week.

Example of training planning for one week

Monday Monostructural
Tuesday Gymnastics + Weightlifting
Wednesday Gymnastics + Weightlifting + Monostructural
Thursday Rest
Friday Weightlifting
Saturday Weightlifting + Monostructural
Sunday Weightlifting + Monostructural + Gymnastics

Normally, it is advised at least one day of rest, because as this is an intense sport, you may want to recover to avoid getting into overtraining.

This planning must be adapted according to the level of the practitioner.

In the case of more experienced practitioners, the planning can contain exercises of the three groups daily, as long as the intensity and volume of the training are switched.

Nutrition and CrossFit

nutrition and CrossFit

Looking at the base of the CrossFit pyramid we find nutrition.

For its founder this is the most important variable in the training of this modality.

However, there is no CrossFit diet.

Although for a few years the sport recommended the Paleo diet, over the years, athletes have been adopting other diets such as the “diet of the zone”, or the “diet by boxes”, there are even athletes who prefer a diet almost ketogenic (which basically consists in the drastic reduction of carbohydrates and the increase in the consumption of fats and protein, to allow the body to use body fat as energy).

In general traits for this sport, my suggestion is that there is greater caloric intake, taking into account that it is an intense sport and in which there is a great energy wear, paying special attention to the protein intake, to speed up the recovery and to enhance the muscular development.

Suplementation and CrossFit

supplements for crossfit

Creatine

As the CrossFit is a sport of great intensity and explosion- of power – creatine is the king supplement.

Creatine is responsible for the replacement of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), a molecule responsible for providing explosive energy to the muscles.

After exercises that involve strength and speed, as happens in CrossFit’s workouts and competitions, creatine levels need to be replaced.

Higher levels of ATP will help you to more easily support the intensity of the workouts.

Check Zumub‘s creatine selection.

Beta-alanine

Beta-alanine is widely used because of its tamponade effect (slowing down the onset of lactic acid, which may result from intense exercise and which, in turn, can enhance the onset of muscular fatigue).

Beta-alanine is one of the components that stimulates the production of carnosine. On the other hand, the carnosine will act as a buffer and is released to help balance the pH levels in the body

Studies show that beta-alanine can improve physical performance:

“Beta-alanine has been shown to enhance muscular endurance. (…) Beta-alanine supplementation can also improve moderate to high-intensity cardiovascular exercise performance, like rowing or sprinting.”

Glucosamine

The exercises and some of the techniques used, exert some pressure on the joints so currently athletes have opted to take glucosamine, to preserve their joints, after stronger trainings.

Glucosamine is a compound that can be found in cartilage and helps reduce the degradation of the articular tissue.

According to the article “Chondroitin Sulfate and Glucosamine Supplements in Osteoarthritis”:

“Glucosamine showed anti-inflammatory properties and even appeared to help cartilage regeneration.”

Pre-workout

As a pre-workout, caffeine is the favorite among athletes.

Caffeine is used in several pre-workout supplements, but can be consumed individually, with or without recourse to supplementation.

It will help you to have energy and to stay focused to withstand the intensity of the workouts or competitions.

See these and other supplements here.

Conclusion

CrossFit is an increasingly popular sport around the world. It is an individual modality with very specific characteristics and, as such, must be adapted to each person.

In general traits, it is a very effective training method for improving body composition, strength gains and endurance.

As such, it is advisable to all people who want to be healthier and fit.

In its competitive aspect, there are no rules for success. It is important to realize the athlete that we have in front of us and adapt their nutritional plan, their training and their supplementation.

All these adaptations serve to optimize the performance of the athlete. It is always important to follow appropriate planning and to respect the rest periods.

Comments

The information included in this article concerns the authors opinion only.

About Tiago Sousa

Tiago Sousa
Tiago Sousa has a degree in Sports & Physical Education, he is a Personal Trainer and also a Crossfit L1 Trainer. He is a former competition swimmer with his own outdoor training business. He aims to bring more science to his area, helping people to achieve their goals in a safe way.

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