CrossFit is King - at least when it comes to popular training systems that work. It incorporates various forms of strength and conditioning to prepare you for any physical challenge. Trouble is, the equipment CrossFit requires is often not what you'd find in a public facility, and the exercises are too intense to be done with an old lady on a nearby treadmill. Leave it to M&F to step up. We designed a CrossFit routine you can do in your gym, however limited it may be, on your terms - and it's still tough enough to burn fat while improving power, endurance and overall performance.
CrossFit began with Greg Glassman,
a trainer and gymnast
who started training
clients in his garage in
the 1970s. Over the past
decade, CrossFit has swelled to a
subculture of gyms with more than
1,500 locations worldwide.
Participants train in groups to complete
a "Workout of the Day" (WOD), and
although the workouts change daily, they usually contain some combination of bodyweight exercises, plyometrics, Olympic lifts, sprinting and use of implements like kettlebells. The training is intense and done for a time - workouts rarely last more than 20-to-30 minutes.
While CrossFit followers typically join to improve performance, they inevitably build muscle and get leaner, too.
CrossFit, however, isn't compatible with most big-box gyms. They don't have bumper plates, to facilitate performing the Olympic lifts, or kettlebells. They won't let you throw medicine balls into the wall, and forget about setting up a circuit and going back to a piece of equipment before someone takes it.
Our workout preempts those problems. You'll do the push jerk, which isn't hard to learn and builds explosiveness. It won't set off any alarms with the gym's management either. You can throw a medicine ball into the floor to work your abs explosively without endangering fellow gym goers, and use combo lifts like the renegade row to train multiple muscle groups all at once in a functional, athletic fashion. In less than 30 minutes, you'll build a body you can use for anything.
Split: Perform the routine once or twice per week. Go to mhpx-fit.com for other sample CrossFit workouts.
How To Do It: Perform the exercise as a circuit, completing one set of each without rest. Between circuits, rest as little as possible. Do seven reps of each move and repeat for seven total circuits. Time yourself; try to beat your time each session.
Hold a dumbbell or kettlebell and get into push-up position while balancing on the weights. Keeping your shoulders squared, press one dumbbell into the floor while rowing the other bell to your ribs. Lower the weight and repeat on the other side. Use 15 pounds in your first round and adjust from there.
Stand with feet at shoulder width and hold the bar at shoulder level. Quickly dip your hips and use the resulting stretch reflex to reverse momentum.
Come back up and press the bar powerfully overhead. As you're about to lock out the press, bend your hips to absorb the force and then extend them so you return to an upright position. Lower the bar back to shoulder level. If you can, use 135 pounds in your first round and adjust the weight from there.
Stand with feet at hip width and arms at your sides. Dip your hips and knees and swing your arms back to gather momentum. Jump as high as you can and then land with control. Immediately lower your body into a squat. Then touch the floor in front of you and shoot your legs back so you end up in push-up position. Perform a push-up. Then jump your legs back under your chest and stand up.
Stand with your legs wider than shoulder width and turn your feet out 45 degrees. Hold the bar at shoulder width. Keep your lower back arched, drive with your legs to lift the bar off the floor. Explosively extend your hips and use momentum to pull the bar up to chest height. If you can, use 95 pounds in your first round and adjust from there.
Hold a medicine ball (use one that bounces) with both hands. Push your hips back and bend forward, lowering the ball almost to the floor between your legs with arms extended. Then explosively, swing the ball overhead, extending your legs and back so you come up onto the balls of your feet.
Push your weight back into your hips and throw the ball down toward the floor as hard as you can. Catch the ball as it bounces back up. Use a 15-pound ball in your first round and adjust from there.
24-Hour Muscle Growth
CrossFit training is so intense that simply recovering from it in time for your next blitz session may be your biggest challenge. Taking the right supplements before and after training can help you make the most of the workout and replenish your muscles properly. Try these two products from MHP before and after every session:
When: 30 minutes pre-workout
How Much: 1 scoop
Why: Clinical doses of beta-alanine, creatine, and the exclusive cortisol-lowering compound CortiFit have been shown to increase energy levels and reduce cortisol by 24%. By reducing your body's stress response, you can significantly improve muscle and strength gains.
When: Take one serving immediately post-workout
How Much: 3 tablets three times per day
Why: A clinical dose of HICA, a product of leucine metabolism, significantly reduces delayed-onset muscle soreness. Power also contains DAA, which has been shown to boost testosterone up to 42% in 12 days. For more information in MHP's X-Fit product line, go to mhpx-fit.com.