5 Important CrossFit Training Tips

CrossFit training is a flexible program that consists of a daily series of short but intense routines that involve almost every part of the body. Most routines are about 10 minutes long and usually work one or two muscle groups per session. It's a tough but efficient way to exercise, and it delivers results faster than traditional strength training. If you are new to the CrossFit method, here is a starter guide to use as a road map to weight loss success.

Establish your goals.

The daily CrossFit workouts involve a range of skills and moves, such as stretches, calisthenics, weight-bearing exercises, weight training and aerobic activities. However, you may not need or be able to do all of them; it depends on your physical condition, your personal limitations and what you want to achieve. Identify a goal, such as maintaining your level of fitness, losing weight, losing body fat or training for your first 5K. This will help you concentrate on the moves or substitutions that will help you achieve it. CrossFit is tough but targeted, so you know what you're working toward; otherwise, you'll just exercise hard, get tired and become frustrated.

Focus on the skills, not the results.

It's natural to want a quick fix or a fast track to fitness, but CrossFit training is more about mastering the skills and making far-reaching lifestyle changes. The only way to learn the skills is to do them a step at a time, practicing proper form and technique until you get it right. CrossFit is about pushing yourself, but doing it incorrectly defeats the purpose and can be dangerous. Work on perfecting the moves and skills instead of measuring each tiny increment of success. Concentrate your efforts on each workout, and the results will happen.

Always rest between sets.

To succeed with CrossFit, you need to respect rest and recovery periods. Rest periods allow your body rehydrate, recoup and heal injured tissue. Furthermore, your body builds muscle during the recovery periods, not during exercise. It's good to be enthused about CrossFit, but pushing your body beyond your limits could lead to serious injuries or make you burn out altogether. Follow the break-and rest-day schedules and allow the recovery process to work.

Work with a trainer.

CrossFit is not just about exercising; it's also about maintaining or improving your health. Some advanced moves such as kip drills, deadlifts, squats and Olympic lifts can be dangerous if you do them incorrectly. A certified and experienced trainer can guide you through the moves and teach you the correct form and technique. It's safer than experimenting on your own, and a trainer can design combinations and workouts to help you reach your goals faster.

Leverage your diet.

Getting fit involves more than just working your muscles It also involves what you put into your body. The food you eat affects your ability to fight disease and provides the energy you need to support your training program, so you can't eat poorly and expect the program to work. The CrossFit Zone diet includes meat, vegetables, nuts, seeds and low-GI (glycaemic index) foods. High-GI foods, such as sugar, sweets, white bread, rice and other simple starches, raise insulin levels and don't provide the macronutrients you need. Eating the right amount of the right foods every day and avoiding empty calories will improve your endurance, enhance your health and create a supportive, "feel-good" environment for your mind and body.