Workout of the Week.
The overhead squat is not a beach body move like the bench press and you probably won’t be pushing big weights like the back squat. You might find that you can barely do the lift at all, even with just the bar or a plastic pipe or broom handle. It illuminates your deficiencies in mobility like very few exercises. Its a real core to extremity exercise in that you have to have your core tight, neutral spine (not over flexed or extended)and all your basic squatting cues nailed. If you don’t get the basics right you’ll get inexplicably stuck half way down or drop the bar off forward or back. It’s really worth spending some time on this as it carries over into the snatch movements as well improving core strength and squatting form. Google for correct form first and strive to adhere to it. Film yourself, review and try again.
Overhead squat 3-3-3-3-3 reps
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Ideally, each set will be as heavy as possible for 3 reps, but newer athletes should start light and slowly add weight as they are comfortable.
Wisdom of the week – Diet/nutrition.
EAT THE RAINBOW
The fact is that the majority of people underestimate the impact that eating enough vegetables has on health and performance. The intensity of CrossFit means that your body requires more support than the average joe. You need to be supplying it with a variety of nutrients. In addition to this a recent meta-analysis concluded that a higher consumption of fruit and vegetables is associated with a lower risk of all causes of mortality, particularly cardiovascular mortality. There is no supplement that has this kind of effect!! Adding more vegetables (particularly green veg) into most meals is where you need to start. Add kale/spirulina into your morning smoothie, spinach to your omelette and a variety to your lunches and dinner. Bottom line is to eat vegetables at every meal.
INDIVIDUALISE YOUR NUTRITION
Finding what works for you is so important. One man’s meat is another man’s poison. This takes a little bit of awareness. Do you have those days when you feel superhuman?! Just note down what you ate in the meals leading up to this. Additionally note down what foods you ate when you feel like death and everything feels like 200kg!
MINIMISE THE STRESS OF DECISION
Deciding what to eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, pre workout, post workout etc etc etc…it can become overwhelming. The sheer number of decisions we have to make regarding food is staggering. Employing some simple strategies to minimise the stress of making these type of decisions can help you focus on other areas like training, work and your social life.
•Meal prep – you don’t have to prep every meal for a whole week but maybe just cook extra from dinner or roast some meat and veg a couple of times.
•Get some go to meals in your locker – this could be a good smoothie recipe, a quick tasty superfood salad lunch or a spicy stir fry. Having these quick go to meals allows you to stay on point with your Crossfit nutrition regardless of the situation.
EAT THE BEST QUALITY PRODUCE THAT YOUR BUDGET ALLOWS FOR
You don’t have to buy everything organic from expensive health food shops, but one basic thing to do is to buy the best you can afford. Do a little bit of research to find a local producer that does amazing eggs for a fraction of the supermarket prices, or buy up superior cuts of meat and fish when they are on sale and freeze them. Another tip is to buy larger cuts of meat and cook for a few meals at a time, this is always cheaper than buying the pre cut fillets, allowing you to spend more on better quality veg!
EAT SOME FORM OF PROTEIN AT BREAKFAST
Now this is something that I believe will make a huge difference to your health and performance regardless of your goal. Breakfast can be one of the meals that people eat a solely carbohydrate based meal. Cornflakes and milk? Does anyone still eat this?!?! Some people can go until 1.30pm before eating any form of protein (and even then its is usually only a small amount). Want to build muscle, lose fat and be awesome at work?? Then get SOME PROTEIN IN YOUR BREAKFAST!
So why is having protein at breakfast is so crucial?
•Boost neurotransmitter production – boosts memory, attention and drive for the day ahead.
•It is linked to eating less throughout the day
•Stabilises energy levels – no mid morning energy dips
•Provides amino acids to build muscle and recover from training.
It doesn’t matter whether you do the 6am conditioning class or the 8pm weightlifting class you need protein at breakfast.
Here are some great breakfast ideas:
•Eggs – anyway you like – Omelettes, baked eggs, scrambled, poached, boiled……add veggies, add meat, add fish – be creative.
•Greek yoghurt – add nuts, seeds, berries, protein powder – done!
•Meat and nuts – Charles Poliquin championed this and I have had some awesome results using this method. Try it. Trust me.
•Chia seed puddings – google them. So versatile and can be used for snacks and desserts also.
•Smoothies – get yourself a nutribullet and start creating masterpieces! Great way to add in lots of different superfoods and nutrients. Add spirulina, maca and tyrosine into a morning smoothie.
Crossfit Nutrition: The Take home message.
Nutrition is for life. Remember that everything you put in your mouth, in either solid or liquid form, is either helping you achieve your goal or hindering your progress. Make sure you understand the basics and make them a habit.