It is with great pleasure that I introduce to you the amazing Rachael over at Moms Who Crossfit! Rachael is doing a guest post for today all about Crossfit training from home. She is providing us with an overview of crossfit, some sample WOD (work-outs of the day) and the equipment that is helpful to have on hand. I am so excited to start these workouts from home. I plan to blog on my progress. I will keep you posted on my workouts, and how it works for a busy mama!
It seems to me (given your interest in all things Primal), that unless you have gone waaaayyy Caveman and are currently living Flintstone Styles, that you must have heard of CrossFit. The sport of fitness that utilises constantly varied, high intensity, functional movements to achieve some fairly impressive results.
First and foremost what drew me to CrossFit and become a CrossFit L1 Trainer is that as a Health Coach, I feel CrossFit prioritises Health in a way many other fitness entities fail to (not all there are some decent ones out there if you really search). In addition WOD’s (Workout Of the Day) are entirely scale-able, meaning you can participate no matter your fitness or strength (or lack thereof), and injuries can be accommodated (don’t be letting anyone tell you a jump assisted pull-up isn’t perfectly legit’!).
However, it is as a single Momma that my full appreciation of this training methodology is realized (and is also the reason I am a remote trainer). Because I know that it is in between wiping snotty noses, cooking delish primal meals, working, and washing other peoples gruts that a girl needs to get in some exercise (apologies if you are a boy), meaning we can’t always get our backsides along to a Box (the CF equivalent of a gym).
Plus this girl does not want to take six months of working on some godawfulgymmachineycontraption (that does nothing to imitate how we move in real life) to achieve a fitness goal, when it really only need take half that, with some awesome CrossFit workouts (even if you do them at home!). And if you are of the married variety, most of the workouts can be done in the time it takes ‘him indoors’ to get the dishes squared away – BONUS!
The variation aspect of CrossFit means individual WODs may involve strength (lifting heavy stuff), fitness (doing things at varying speeds across differing time-frames to improve all metabolic pathways) and agility (think body weight exercises and gymnastics) aspects.
Don’t freak out about the gymnastic thing, I’ve often said the most ‘agility’ I did prior to CrossFit, was fighting my way back into skinny jeans too soon after baby (don’t be picturing that struggle for too long now will you!). All it takes is practicing a few things you haven’t done since you were a youngin’ and you’ll be walking hand-stand styles in no time.
Now, while I won’t bore you with the nerd-ology behind CrossFit programming, like anything worth its salt, there is solid science behind the way the elements need to be put together, for the athlete (that’s you boys and girls) to achieve best results. However, what I have done is put together a couple of WODs to get you started, that you can do anywhere and that will challenge your body in different ways.
So even if you don’t think you are fit, strong or agile, pull on your big girl knickers (even if you are a boy) and train your heart out anyway, because this isn’t about competing against others, it’s simply about bettering yourself day by day.
Warm up: (demo http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-azpnTj5X5Y )
Every minute on the minute, for a total of 20 minutes do:
15 Air Squats (demo http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UDktkAg8aEo )
10 Press Ups (demo http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M1IfJmVjKW0 )
5 Sit Ups (demo http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EhG_x1bLHwE you can use a pillow in lieu of an ab-mat)
Obviously the quicker you get through each round, the longer rest you have before each 60 second time-frame rolls around.
Scaling would be to drop the time frame back to 10 or 15 minutes depending on fitness levels, and if required dropping a couple of reps off of each element.
5 rounds for time:
1 min hold at bottom point of an overhead squat (demo of full sauat – bottom position around 1.43min http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L38N3DHmlyc you can use a broom handle for the ‘bar’)
20 travelling burpees (demo http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TX60BcsO_wE
. . . instead of jumping up in the burpee as is shown in the demo, do a long jump forward)
This WOD is done with a continually running clock and you record the total time it takes you to complete the five rounds. You may only be able to hold the bottom position of the squat in good form for a count of 20 before you have to stand up and rest, simply keep continuing the squat/rest process until you have a total count of 60sec at the bottom of the squat, then move onto your first round of burpees (repeat 5 rounds then record your total time).
I have included the squat hold because it will highlight flexibility issues, strengthens the core and is good for the plumbing (especially for the ladies). If you feel five rounds is too much for you to start at, do three.
Your Warm Down should incorporate static stretching of the muscles and you can also practise a gymnastics element. Don’t worry if your handstand looks like a halfcartwheelpikeythingy to start with, you will eventually get there! (YouTube: ‘CrossFit – Handstand Progressions’ there are a few good tutorials there)
Now while these WODs are good ‘starters’, purchasing a few ‘toys’ can add significantly to the variety, as well as the fitness and strength aspects of your workouts. What is preferable to get first, depends entirely on your budget and space. So I would choose the following pieces of equipment if you want things that are
1) at the cheap end of the scale,
2) are portable
3) have multiple uses or
4) are fantastic for ‘getting the puff going’ (especially if you need to exercise at home while the kids are in bed).
. . . can be utilized for beginner through to highly complicated movements (check out ‘Muscle Ups’ on YouTube). Looped over a beam in your garage or even a sturdy branch, the rings add ‘instability’ to exercises, forcing you to recruit lots of muscles. Ring rows are often utilized when an athlete is not strong enough for pull-ups, and are great for encouraging back musculature to work as well as shoulders, arms and core.
. . . are great for cardio, strength and flexibility elements, often all in the one movement. They are highly versatile having a whole set of exercises all of their own (eg. Russian or American KB Swings) or as added weight in exercises you may be more familiar with (eg a walking lunge or static squats).
. . . the ultra-fast version of the skipping rope you had when you were a kid. Because it is made of cable it turns faster, allowing two passes under with each jump (when you get proficient at it). With this piece of equipment you can greatly improve both your aerobic and anaerobic fitness and stimulate your nervous system, all in a few feet of space!
www.againfaster.com can hook you up with all of this equipment as well as anything else you might want for home WODs. You are also likely to have plenty of things around the house you can utilise for equipment, and other items you can make very cheaply. Who knows eventually you may build an entire ‘garage gym’ of your very own!
These kinds of work-outs may seem difficult at first, but if you stick with them you are likely to astound yourself with the improvements you make and I’d love for y’all to keep in touch and let me know how you are progressing, and if you are really keen on slowly getting a home gym set up and want advice or programming, feel free to get in touch.
Various ways of stalking me:
PS – Big thanks to Kathryn (world famous Primal Bliss momma) for having me ‘at her place’ – her stuff is rock-star! And high-5s, fist bumps and joyful bootay dances to you luurvalies for being here. Love that you care enough about yourself, your family and our world to take the time.