6 Things Every CrossFitter & Gym Enthusiast Need to Know

Whether we refer to our training session as WOD or anything else; if we end up feeling surrounded by Pokémons or not, after that 3 minutes strenuous metcon or 50 minutes killer Aqua-Aero-Space-Zumba, there are a few things that, as a personal trainer, I consider very important to every athlete:

1) Any Exercise Routine is Better Than None. But you can get really hurt if you start designing random workouts. Unless you know what you are doing, it would be wise paying for some personal training, at least in the beginning.

2) Brace Your Spine. Protect your back and learn how to always perform any activity holding a neutral posture, activating the muscles of the core. Stand straight, roll your shoulders backward, not upwards, keep them like this, but without over-stressing them. Keep your chest wide open, tuck your stomach in, without hyper-extending the lower back. Lightly contract your glutes.

3) Bend at the Knees. Especially when performing upper body lifting movements. By slightly flexing them, it will be easier maintaining a neutral and protected spine. Back pain tends to be the result of poor posture while exercising. Many of us spend much of the day seated in a slouch position, letting our backs rounded,  without properly activating core muscles, then when we get to do some workout, the weak muscles of the core and posterior chain do not respond as they should. Let's stop those straight leg biceps curls.

4) Assistance Exercises Are As Essential As Brushing Our Teeth. Squats, pull-ups, deadlifts, presses, several variations of abdominal exercises, plus a variety of multi-joint activities, such as running, rowing, cycling, etc. And yet we are far away from achieving a complete program. CrossFitters or Conventional Gym Athletes hardly get a program that includes specific assistance exercises aiming their personal weaknesses and goals. It does not need to take more than 10 minutes a day. Variations of planks, strict performance instead of kipping, balancing exercises, as well as isolated work, focusing on forearms, biceps, abductors, adductors, rotator cuffs, are a few movements that the should not be left aside.

5) The Real Workout Happens in the Kitchen. Do not lie to yourself. That one hour getting tortured, howling, snorting, grunting, screaming is totally useless, if you keep eating poor quality food. Not even your whey can save you from this reality.

6) Keep An Eye on The Load You Choose. If the spreadsheet says the next exercise should be done for 8, 12, 6 or 3 repetitions, it does not help you at all choosing some weight that is not suitable to the specific number of reps. You do not need to work around percentages or go through difficult calculations, but you should be aware that moving weights up and down can be a real waste of time, if they do not allow you to improve strength and conditioning. If you are lifting for twelve repetitions, be sure that you are not picking a load, that you know very well that you could be doing for 30 repetitions if you wanted. Hormonal and Nervous Adaptations, increased bone density, muscle hypertrophy, increased strength and conditioning, everything depends on adequate stimuli. Get out of your comfort zone and start getting more results from every training session.

Keep Strong.