Category: Crossfit

Fix your form: How to Box Jump

Low section of athlete doing box jumping in gym. Young man in crouching on wooden box. He is in brightly lit health club.

Box jumps are a basic quintessential plyometric workout that build explosive power, strength, and stability. However, people tend to use incorrect form that could cause some serious damage to your body. Once you nail the correct form, add box jumps to your workout to target your fast-twitch muscle fibers that will ultimately improve your lifts. If you are new to box jumps, start with a box no higher than knee height and work up to a higher box.

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Seven Tips for Picking the Right Gym

Getting into shape

Sticking to your plan to regularly hit the gym can be tough. It’s even tougher if you hate the gym where you work out.

Consciously choosing to endure the sweat and labor involved with getting into shape already takes enough willpower. Don’t make it even harder by having to steel yourself to make your daily trip to a place that blasts crappy music, smells like socks, or has jerks for fellow members.

Working out is a lot easier if you look forward to visiting your gym. Follow these tips for picking the right place to get your fitness on:

  • Visit first – Take the time to visit a gym a few times before becoming a member. See if the trainer will give you a complimentary session so you can get a feel for everything the gym has to offer. If you have a friend who’s a member, see if they can take you there as a guest a few times so you can get a feel for the facility.
  • The right spot – Pick a gym that’s convenient to your home or work. Getting to the gym on a regular basis is a lot easier if it’s not in an out-of-the way spot. Make sure that parking is convenient. Also, if you plan to work out in the evening hours, be sure that the gym is in a safe neighborhood.
  • Explore options – What fitness options does the gym offer? Does it have yoga or MMA-style classes? How often can you work with a trainer? What type of exercise equipment does it have? Are childcare options available? Find a gym with options that appeal to you and your fitness goals.
  • Check reviews – Take a look at the online reviews for the gym you’re considering. A few bad reviews are to be expected anywhere, but if a location has consistently bad reviews, it may be a red flag.
  • Check the amenities – See if the gym you’re considering has convenient access to sports drinks and water, as well as healthy snacks like energy bars. Being able to refuel your body after a strenuous workout really helps.
  • Check prices – Make sure you understand the pricing structure of your gym. Many gyms have low monthly fees, but then stick it to their members with a variety of annual or quarterly fees. To avoid any unpleasant surprises, be sure to get a clear picture of how gym membership will impact your finances.
  • Understand the plan – Many a gym member has been burned by unreasonable gym membership contracts. You’re joining a gym, not selling your soul. Avoid gyms that lock you into long-term commitments, and be sure to understand how you can break your contract in case of a medical emergency or in the event you have to move to another city.

Energy bars

Signing up for a gym is just one step in your path to better fitness. Eating right is another important step. Promax Nutrition provides healthy energy bars and other snacks to help fitness enthusiasts get all-natural protein from vegetarian sources. Check out Promax Nutrition today to see all of the delicious protein bars and other natural, gluten free snacks that will help fuel your body after a workout.

CrossFit Injury Prevention

Crossfit Injury Prevention

CrossFit offers a variety of ways to tone up just about every muscle group, yet people are getting injured in high numbers while doing it. Since these sessions have trainers, why is it that so many people are getting injured? Like anything else, the issue most likely isn’t with the trainer, but with a lack of preparation. Even the best protein bar combined with determination and proper adherence to the CrossFit guidelines isn’t going to be enough if you don’t take the proper steps to prepare for a session.

Keep Hydrated

One of the fastest ways to get injured when doing any kind of exercise program is to skip out on hydration. If you want to cut down calorie consumption, simply avoid drinks with refined sugar in them. Consider relying on natural juices and water, but avoid caffeine and refined sugar. You’re going to lose electrolytes and liquids when you start sweating during CrossFit training, and that can be dangerous. Keep something to drink on hand so that you can refuel as needed.

Use a Nutrition Plan

Skip the fad diets and use a nutrition plan that works for you. Maybe you’re trying to lose weight and want to reduce your calorie intake. That’s fine, as long as you are still getting your nutritional needs met. For example, instead of having a sandwich for a snack, enjoy one of our tasty low carb bars.

It’s a good idea to speak with a health professional who knows your unique circumstances so you can develop an appropriate diet plan. Otherwise, you could do more damage to yourself than good when you engage in CrossFit training. It’s even important to think about when you eat as much as you think about what you eat. For example, diabetics are encouraged to eat multiple small meals throughout the day in order to keep their blood sugar from spiking at any given time.

Stretch in Advance

Before you engage in any kind of training program, make sure you take the time to stretch your muscles. This helps loosen them up and prevents a lot of the pain that you may experience if you don’t stretch. On top of that, stretching helps you develop smooth, toned muscles instead of random bulky areas.

Rely on Professionals

When it comes to specific programs like the CrossFit program, make sure the trainers are certified to teach you and aren’t just someone who happened to use the program once and then decided to start training others. Relying on someone who isn’t properly trained is an almost guaranteed direct route to a future injury. It’s also important that you speak with your trainer to discuss your current abilities and limitations. In some cases, you may need to start out with a less strenuous program in order to help your body get used to exercising on a regular basis before starting the CrossFit program.

CrossFit is an excellent way to get into shape fast, but you need to take the right steps to get there. Don’t assume you can safely go from the couch to hand-stand push-ups without expecting some kind of injury to follow. Be sure to check back here regularly for more tips on how to bring your A-Game in a way that’s both smart and safe.

What Are the Benefits of High Intensity Interval Training?

High Intensity Interval Training

What would you say if we told you there’s an exercise routine that burns fat, strengthens your heart, and builds muscle all at the same time, and only takes fifteen minutes out of your day to perform? Before you start telling us to get out of town, let us tell you straight up that this kind of training already exists. It’s called high intensity interval training (HIIT), and it’s the kind of workout for which we designed our Promax Pro Series protein bars to be a perfect match.

If the thought of a short but super-effective workout routine piques your interest, read on to learn more about the many health benefits of high intensity interval training.

What Is High Intensity Interval Training?

The concept of high intensity interval training is a simple one – alternating between short bursts of high intensity exertion and periods of rest or less strenuous exercise. The most basic version of high intensity interval training looks like this:

  • Run as fast as you can for one minute
  • Walk for two minutes afterward
  • Repeat for 15 minutes

For anyone who has trouble fitting a good workout into their daily schedule, HIIT is an efficient and quick way to get some exercise. That said, high intensity interval training isn’t just for people with busy lives who need to take workout shortcuts. In fact, doing high intensity interval training has proven to come with great perks.

The Benefits of HIIT

When studying the results of high intensity interval training, researchers discovered the following health benefits:

  • Improves cardio health
  • Burns fat and calories
  • Builds muscle
  • Increases metabolism

 In other words, short HIIT workouts can achieve more results than an hour on the treadmill or lifting weights. Because high intensity interval training is about pushing the heart and body as far as they can go, high intensity interval training kicks the body’s repair cycle into high gear, meaning that for the twenty four hours after HIIT, it is burning fat and calories while also building new muscle and promoting the creation of natural growth hormones. Add that to the cardio strengthening that comes with the bursts of extreme activity, and it’s easy to see why high intensity interval training has become a popular workout choice for many.

How to Get Started with HIIT

Creating your own HIIT routine is easy: simply find some simple exercises that you can perform intensely for one to two minutes at a time, followed by mild activity or rest before starting again. High intensity interval training can include:

  • Running
  • Stair climbing
  • Jump roping
  • Swimming
  • Skiing
  • Rowing
  • And more

One thing to keep in mind with HIIT is that the less equipment you use, the better. Interval training is all about getting the heart going as fast as possible. Equipment like weights and exercise machinery can get in the way of getting the most exercise in the shortest amount of time.

Another thing to keep in mind with high intensity interval training: it’s hard work. Even though most routines only last for ten to fifteen minutes, the point is to push your body into the anaerobic respiration, where your body needs more oxygen than breathing is providing, so it starts relying on energy sources stored in the body to keep going. Don’t let the short timeframe fool you: This is real exercise and it will feel like it.

Promax Pro Series Helps Power High Intensity Interval Training

If you’re using high intensity interval training to get in shape, then you need to start paying extra attention to the amount of nutrients you’re putting into your body. Promax Pro Series energy bars have been precisely designed to provide the exact blend of macronutrients needed to power high intensity workouts, while leaving out all the preservatives, trans fats, and other fillers. When you need to know you’re getting just the right servings of carbs and proteins to fuel your training, you can trust Promax Pro Series to provide you with just that.

For more information about Promax or the Promax Pro Series, check out our product page or our blog.

What to Expect from your Crossfit Workout

Instructor doing pushups

Just as trends with clothing styles and fad diets go in and out of style, so do popular workouts. We’re sure that by now you’ve heard of crossfit. But crossfit isn’t just a workout, it’s also a mindset and way of life. Those who choose to do crossfit workouts are committed, mentally strong individuals. But don’t be intimated! We’re here to tell you what to expect if you decide to venture out of your gym and into a crossfit gym or “box.”

You’ll be coached in a group

Unlike when you’re in your regular gym or training space, you will not be alone. Rather than working on a one-on-one basis with your trainer, you will be sweating alongside others. Many crossfit boxes operate on a ten-to-one ratio of trainees to trainer. This helps to foster the social ties within the box.

Whether you’re in top shape or just getting started and terribly out of shape, crossfitters always unite for the greater good of the box. Most boxes operate on the mentality that “all can play.” In other words, no one is picked last for a team and when finishing a drill, the last person to complete a task is cheered on just as mightily as the first. The camaraderie is outstanding and well-needed to push people to their limits.

You’ll need more rest in between workouts

Crossfit workouts are high intensity. This means that they get your heart rate soaring and your muscles working hard. That’s a good thing, but unlike a lot of other workouts, they require rest. If you’re just starting crossfit, we do not recommend working out 5 or 6 days a week as you normally would with other workouts. Give your body time to adjust to the workouts and rest more often between sessions at the box. If this means only doing crossfit 4, 3, or only 2 times a week, then that’s okay. Pay special attention to your body and its needs during this time. Resting does not equate to weakness.

Nutrition is key for recovery and fuel

Just like you’ll have to pay better attention to your rest time when first trying crossfit, you’ll also have to pay close attention to your nutrition. Make sure to properly fuel before and after you hit the box. This means paying close attention to you your carbohydrate and protein intake. Remember: this does not only help to fuel you for your workouts but also aids in recovery between sweat sessions.

You will need to closely monitor form

If you’ve ever observed a crossfit workout, you’ll notice a couple things right off the bat: weight and speed. Participants are handling a lot of weight at an increased speed, which in turn raises the heart rate. A high heart rate is great, but be careful to watch your form. One of the mistakes mainly new crossfit athletes make is to sacrifice quality of their form for speed of the movement. This often results in injury which can severely set back your progress. To prevent injuries from occurring, take the time with your coach to perfect movements of a drill before running through it. If you feel you’re off center, then slow down.

So now what?

No reason to psych yourself out. Now that you know a little bit more about what to expect when trying out crossfit, we have no doubt that you’ll be a rock star. Like we said, the moral in the box is high and you’ll be around a supportive group of people. Above all, listen to your body about what it tells you is needed regarding rest and fuel. Have fun!

If you have more questions about fitness and nutrition in the future, stop by our blog for more tips, tricks, and news.

Sources:

http://www.muscleforlife.com/does-crossfit-work/
http://www.shape.com/fitness/workouts/12-biggest-myths-about-crossfit
http://www.self.com/fitness/2014/02/what-to-know-before-starting-crossfit/
http://thereformedbroker.com/2012/10/21/the-ten-things-that-happen-when-you-begin-crossfit/