Mar 29, 2011

Functional Movements: Movements we execute every day!

There are four defining themes that make Crossfit . . . well, Crossfit!  A quick review of the themes:  Neuroendocrine Adaptation, Power and Cross-Training . . . the fourth defining theme for crossfit programming is Functional Training.

Everyone Squats just to sit and stand out of a chair

Is your current workout program providing you with functional training?  Well, let's find out what this type of training involves . . .

Functional movements (FM's) mimic motor recruitment patterns found in everyday life.  For example, squatting (crossfit) is basically standing from a seated position (everyday life); deadlifting (crossfit) is picking up an object off the ground and standing up (everyday life); a sit-up (crossfit) is lifting yourself up from a lying position to a seated position (everyday life).  So, take a look at your current strength training/workout program for a minute . . . do you incorporate multi-joint movements (FM's) OR is your regimen consist of leg extensions, leg curls, bicep curls?  When was the last time you had to isolate your hamstring to do a leg curl in everyday life?  Maybe playing hackie-sack or soccer, but these isolated movements do not make up our natural movements in everyday living very often.

Deadlift (crossfit)

Picking something of ground and standing up (everyday life)
The importance of functional (multi-joint) movements or functional training is two-fold.  First of all the FM's are safe, as our body is made to move that way; secondly, FM's are movements that elicit a high neuroendocrine response (as discussed in previous blog).

According to crossfit, the soundness and outcome of FM's is so profound that exercising without them is by comparison a colossal waste of time.  That's a pretty strong statement . . . is it true?  You will only know if you give it a try . . . Aren't you curious?

~ Coach Heather

Mar 24, 2011

I've heard of this before . . . Cross-training

We've already shared the first two defining themes in Crossfit programming:  Neuroendocrine Adaptation and Power.  Let's move onto the third one:  Cross-training.

Cross-training is typically defined as participating in multiple sports.  Crossfit takes it a step farther and defines cross-training as going above and beyond the normal parameters of the regular demands of your sport or current exercise program.  This means that you will be training past your normal motions, metabolic pathways, sports or regular exercise routine.

If you only run between 5-7 miles at each training session, you will have weak performance running less than 5 and greater than 7 miles.  Same is true for ROM (range of motion), load, rest, intensity, power, etc.  The Crossfit workouts are strategically engineered to expand our current limits.

Crossfit places many different challenges on the body to make you GOOD at EVERYTHING, instead of GOOD at only ONE thing.

 A quick review:  So far we've learned that the Crossfit way of training improves our minds and bodies deeper than just the muscles.  This method affects our hormones and the way our body responds; it put's the "Pop & Oomph" behind our strength; and, helps us achieve the ability to be good at everything we do.

This all sounds good to me!  How about you?  Come visit us and see for yourself.

~ Coach Heather

Mar 17, 2011

Power: the king of performance

Power is defined as the "time rate of doing work".  

 According to Crossfit, "power" is the undisputed 'king of performance'.  In the simplest of terms, power means "hard and fast."  Jumping, punching, throwing, and sprinting are all measures of power.
Increasing your ability to produce power is necessary for elite athletes.  But more importantly for you and me, power is the definition of intensity, which has been linked to nearly every positive aspect of fitness.  Increases in strength, performance, muscle mass and bone density correspond to the increase in the intensity of exercise.  And again, intensity is defined as power.
In the prior blog, we explain the importance of the crossfit programming on Neuroendocrine Adaptation.  Power is in the same category as "NA", both are included in the defining themes of crossfit programming and are included in each Crossfit Daily Workout.

Mar 8, 2011

Let's get a little more scientific: "Neuroendocrine Adaptation & Crossfit"

What the heck is this long, unpronounceable word:  Neuroendocrine Adaptation (NA)?  NA is "a change in the body that affects you either neurologically or hormonally.  Neurology relates to the nerves or the nervous system:  the functions of the brain, the spinal column and the peripheral nervous system (responsible for coordinating body movements and for receiving external stimuli).  Hormones are chemical substances that act like messenger molecules in the body.  Hormones travel through the body, helping to control how cells and organs work.

So, how do Crossfit workouts and this NA word go hand in hand?

Research done by Dr. William Kraemer, Penn State University, has shown which exercises maximize the NA responses.  It was found that isolation movements, such as dumbell curls, hamstring curls, leg extensions, etc. have essentially no effect on the NA response.  (Crossfit website, article, "Foundations")

Crossfit emphasizes the importance of NA by making it one of the four defining themes of their programming.  Heavy load weight training, short rest between sets, high heart rates, high intensity training and short rest intervals, found in Crossfit programming, are all associated with a high NA response.

In laymen's terms?  Well, it means that working with the Crossfit programming, you are improving your 'self' in a much deeper way than just strong muscles and bones.  You are improving the health of your cells, tissues, nerves, hormones . . . essentially building a strong MIND & BODY!

Crossfit programming goes deeper than just the surface . . . try it and see!

~ Coach Heather

Mar 3, 2011

Routine, routine, routine . . . blah, blah, blah!

Are you stuck in a rut?  The same workout routine each week which might make you more fit than when you started, but will it make you the FITTEST you can possibly be?  How do you know that the routine you do in the gym is the most ideal workout for you, or anyone for that matter?

The Crossfit philosophy doesn't rely on routine.  They best say it like this, "the chief value of any routine lies in abandoning it for another."  Crossfit workouts are tremendously varied and random, to provide quality stimuli for the body.  The workouts contain short, middle, long distance cardiovascular conditioning, low, moderate, and heavy load movements.  Crossfit workouts challenge physiological functions against every realistic combination of stressors.  Developing a fitness that is varied yet complete defines the very art of strength and conditioning coaching . . . which is Crossfit.

*** For more information on the components of Crossfit, please resort back to our blog post, "Crossfit, what is it?"

To be the best you can be, whether your goal is to excel at your sport or enjoy a winter season skiing with your kids . . . no routine will take you there!  Crossfit will . . . 

 Heather Herbeck