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How To Design A Crossfit Workout

There are 3 major components that make up a CrossFit workout. These components are functionality, variety and intensity. When these three objectives are being met you are following the CrossFit training model. A typical CrossFit workout combines gymnastics, weight training, and cardio respiratory endurance. With this in mind, how do you properly design a CrossFit workout?

When starting a CrossFit training program there are three approaches to help you reach your goal of elite fitness.

The first way to start training CrossFit is follow the workouts on the CrossFit website (www.crossfit.com). Each day the CrossFit staff will post a workout for you to try. The unique feature about following these workouts is you can compare your results to others that completed the same workout.

The second way to start training CrossFit is, to find an affiliate in your local area. This is a great way to be surrounded by like minded individuals that you can learn from.

The third way to start training CrossFit is to design your own workouts. Designing a CrossFit workout is both, a science and an art. Be cautious when you take this route. Poor programming will lead to poor performance.

Below are some simple guidelines when you are looking to design your own CrossFit workouts.

1)Strength and power: You must start with the objective of building strength. Developing strength can be accomplished by lifting, carrying or throwing external objects. Be creative. Use as many variations as possible. Try using movements that involve medicine balls, barbells, dumb bells, kettlebells or tractor tires. Gymnastics is also a major strength builder. Throw in movements like; pull ups, pushups, lunges and squats to help develop your base of strength.

2)Cardio respiratory endurance: One of the benefits of CrossFit is an increase in your aerobic and anaerobic thresholds. You can accomplish an increase in your cardio respiratory by involving skills like running, rowing or jumping rope into every workout. Also performing weight training at high intensity gives you larger increase your metabolic conditioning. Again, be creative; implement short, medium and long distance and times into each workout.

3)Hip Explosion: All power and explosiveness comes from your hips. Integrating full body movements that require violent hip extension will create workouts that will pay big dividends. Incorporate movements like, snatch, power clean, kettlebell swings, box jumps or burpees into your workouts.

4)Skill Based: CrossFit is about achieving an elite level of fitness. Many movements you find in CrossFit workouts involve skill and training. Make sure your workouts have a skill session built in. Take time to practice the movements you are going to execute in your workouts. Practice these movements and the various skills that make up this movement. An increase in body awareness is an essential part of achieving an elite level of fitness.

5)Timing: A typical CrossFit training session is usually an hour long. Many CrossFit affiliates and top CrossFit athletes have allotted times to warm up, practice a skill, complete a workout, cool down and stretch. You may want to try this format, 10-15 minutes to warm up, 15-20 minutes to practice a skill, 15-20 minutes for the actual workout, and 10 minutes to cool down and stretch. Use your time wisely. Go heavy, hard and fast.

Designing an effective CrossFit program takes time to develop. The key to your success will be measurement. Start by completing a simple workout that will serve as your baseline, or your point of reference. This baseline should be simple and include all of the standards listed above. Create a log or journal with every workout you design and complete. Make sure you are accurate with the details of your results. Log everything. Your weights, times, movements, hydration, sleep and nutrition should all go into this log. Once you have completed a 6-8 week cycle of your workouts, go back and re-test your baseline workout. If you see progress then you are likely doing something right. Re-test your baseline every 6-8 weeks to make sure you are experiencing progress.

Vince Pacleb has been involved in the CrossFit community since early 2008. He is a CrossFit Level 1, CrossFit Football & CrossFit Endurance coach. He is the Co-Founder of CrossFit I-5, Academy of Elite Fitness, www.crossfiti5.com. CrossFit I-5 is a CrossFit affiliate located in Mission Viejo, Ca. He has had a tremendous success working with athletes of all calibers, from the grandmothers to former Olympians. Prior to CrossFit, Coach Vince was an owner of a successful boxing and kickboxing gym that also promoted amateur fight events in Orange County, California. He is committed to helping people find their inner athlete.