So, you’re interested in extreme CrossFit? Oh boy. Well, okay, I would certainly not be one to discourage interest in any powerful, discipline-building exercise philosophy, as long as you’re doing it safely. But I have to warn you now (especially if you’re new to fitness as a whole), CrossFit is extreme by nature.
That said, “extreme” CrossFit is not for everybody, and honestly, beginners to fitness in general probably shouldn’t be pursuing this yet. Don’t stop reading! If you’re not ready for this stuff, go ahead and learn about it, and consider it a milestone goal to get to the point where you, in fact, can use these techniques, and thus make your ultimate goals be far more reachable.
Before we get into all of this, though, I want to list a few medical caveats, because these exercises will not be safe for some people. If you’re not suited for this due to medical conditions, take heart, we’ll be listing a beginner’s CrossFit practice that can be toned down a bit more, and still work wonders for you.
Do not attempt any kind of CrossFit training if you have joint or back problems, cardiac issues or have recently recovered from fractures, muscular injuries or are recovering from any invasive surgery. If you’re over the age of 45, not to put too fine a point on age, consult a physician to be sure you’re healthy enough for this kind of abuse.
I hate acronyms, and I’m not alone in the fitness community with this sentiment, but they’re unavoidable, and this includes CrossFit. We need to learn about three terms before we talk about the different CrossFit practices. These are important, and I’m only going to define them once for the sake of eloquence, so please earmark this section for further reference.
- AMRAP – As Many Reps as Possible. With this, you just specify a duration of time and do as many reps as you can in that time frame. This can be dangerous, so be sure you balance reps versus duration so that you’re not doing too many due to length of time, or too many too fast for a brief duration. Be reasonable, and guys, don’t let machismo get in the way of your better judgment here. We’ve all done it, and we felt it the next day.
- EMOM – Every Minute on the Minute. This is similar to EMOM, but not quite the same. This is where you prescribe yourself a fixed set of reps, and try to do them all within a minute, and rest for the remainder of that minute. Again, be sure to balance your goals here, and don’t let a desire to be a showoff get in your way. You’ll be sorry if you do.
- WOD – Workout of the Day. This is really just whatever workouts are recommended by the gym that day. Think of it as the “special”, if we’re using analogies. These have merit – experts who have serious fitness knowledge are making these recommendations.
A Beginner’s Workout
So, as a beginner, you don’t want to get carried away. You want to dip your toe in the water first, so you don’t hurt yourself, or in the very least, be overwhelmed and have to fight to not give up. Don’t worry, this is still a hell of a workout. Between each cycle of these, be sure to recover for one minute, but don’t rest between sets of reps and move sets if you can avoid doing so. If you need to for your first week or so, fair enough, but try not to.
- Barbell Deadlift, five sets of ten reps.
- Barbell Squat, five sets of ten reps.
- Kettlebell Swings, five sets of thirty seconds.
- Box jumps, five sets of twenty seconds.
- Treadmill sprints, five sets of sixty seconds.
This plan will help strengthen your joints via swings, strengthen your feet and ankles as well as knees via jumping, help build strength via squats and lifts, and overall tone your core. If the advanced cross fit techniques aren’t medically possible for you, this is a good thing to stick with if you can do it, and just intensify it, supplementing some more cardio later on.
Okay, I know how this sounds at face value, calling these “the girls”, and giving them female names. However, it’s not a “stupid guy thing”, it’s just a good way to remember these, and I’ve yet to meet a lady at the gym or elsewhere that found this offensive.
There are three of these ladies, each with about equal benefit, depending on your preference, though I recommend alternating between them.
Fran can either be AMRAP or EMOM, depending on which you prefer, though AMRAP is probably the safer approach, I should think. Fran is excellent for upper body strength and endurance training!
- Thrusters with a 43-kilogram (94-pound) barbell.
Helen can also be AMRAP or EMOM, though in this case, I would recommend EMOM as it’ll get your running speed up as a byproduct, and provide more stimulating challenge on a mental and emotional level.
- 400-meter (1312-foot) run.
- 21 KB Swings.
- 12 pull-ups.
Cindy is strictly AMRAP, though I have seen people try to adapt it to EMOM with limited success. This one is really good for endurance and your core!
- 5 pull-ups.
- 10 press-ups.
- 15 air squats.
The Workouts of Heroes
We’re not stopping at just the girls. The brave men and women of the armed forces have to be in hellacious shape to protect our freedoms and our lives. Not only must we respect their sacrifice, but we have to respect their workouts too!
Named for fallen Navy SEAL Lt. Michael Murphy. This one’s something of a staple across the armed forces now. Prepare for running two miles before it’s over. Yowza.
- One-mile run.
- 100 pull-ups.
- 200 push-ups.
- 300 squats.
- One-mile run.
Named for fallen hero Sgt. Maj. Martin “Gunny” Barreras.
- One-mile weighted run.
- 50 push-ups.
- 50 sit-ups.
- Repeat two additional times, if possible.
This one is in honor of USAF Staff Sgt. Timothy P. Davis. Rest in peace, hero to us all.
- 70kg Deadlift, twelve reps.
- 70kg hang power clean, nine reps.
- 70kg push jerk, six reps.
Don’t attempt Murph or Gunny unless you’re already advanced, and be sure to take this all one step at a time. To learn more about crossfit, please follow us on Facebook today. We’re all about health, fitness and a better way of living here at Gaspari.