CrossFit workouts are comprised of constantly varied functional movements (like pushing, pulling, squatting, lifting, running) executed at high intensity. The workouts themselves are completely scalable, which means that a new participant and a CrossFit veteran can complete the same workout with changes in load and intensity. CrossFit workouts will deliver phenomenal fitness in and of themselves or as a compliment to your sport-specific training regime.

There are three metabolic pathways that provide the energy for all human action. These ‘metabolic engines’ are known as the phosphagen pathway, the glycolytic pathway, and the oxidative pathway. The first, the phosphagen, dominates the highest-powered activities, those that last less than about ten seconds. The second pathway, the glycolytic, dominates moderate-powered activities, those that last up to several minutes. The third pathway, the oxidative, dominates low-powered activities, those that last in excess of several minutes.

Total fitness, the fitness that CrossFit promotes and develops, requires competency and training in each of these three pathways or engines. Balancing the effects of these three pathways largely determines the how and why of the metabolic conditioning or ‘cardio’ that we do at CrossFit. Favoring one or two to the exclusion of the others and not recognizing the impact of excessive training in the oxidative pathway are arguably the two most common faults in fitness training.

CrossFit makes use of three different standards or models for evaluating fitness. The motivation for the three standards is simply to ensure the broadest and most general fitness possible. Our first model is based on ten general physical skills recognized by exercise physiologists. The second model is based on breadth and depth of performance (athletic tasks), while the third the measure is based on the three energy systems that drive all human action. It should be fairly clear that the fitness that CrossFit St. Petersburg programs advocates and develops is deliberately broad, general, and inclusive. Our specialty is not specializing. Combat, survival, many sports, and life reward this kind of fitness and, on average, punish the specialist.

As you can see, strains are the most common form of injury seen in many CrossFit participants. This is largely because of the wide-range of movements that occur during a typical CrossFit workout session. Rapid acceleration, sprinting and jumping are great ways for stimulating muscle fibers as well as burning calories. However, these movements can also place CrossFit participants at a higher risk for muscle strains and other muscle injuries when using improper form

The most important thing to do during your workouts is keep good form, even if it makes you slightly slower in the short term, you will be much faster in the long run. If you feel a strain or pain (in any portion of your body), it is a great idea to slow down or take a break. Don’t feel that just because you are in a WOD that it is 100% required to finish if you have a minor injury. This can help to give your muscles time to repair and recover. You may also want to consider using the RICE method to help promote recover and reduce pain and swelling.

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About the Author

by Alex Sanders Crossfit Tecnica is an award winning Crossfit St. Petersburg fitness gym.

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