How to Exercise on a Time Budget

How to Exercise on a Time Budget

When you’re limited on time, exercise is the first thing to be pushed aside. You’ve got work, and family, and friends. But you know that exercise is important. And you want to exercise, you just can’t figure out how to fit it in your schedule. And it doesn’t look like your time is going to free up anytime soon.
So what do you do?
Well the good news is that it doesn’t take a lot of time to get results. You don’t have to exercise for hours. Or five days a week. Or forever and ever. You should be able to get results with as little as 30 minutes of exercise, two times per week. One hour per week.

Here’s how we get results on a time budget with our personal training clients:

 
1. Plan ahead. A good workout shouldn’t take long at all. Our workouts generally last 8-15 minutes. That’s it. What does take time is planning out your workouts. If you don’t have someone to plan out your training days for you then you need to focus on planning ahead. Be prepared the night before. You should have a specific warmup, workout, and cool down ready to go before you even get to the gym. That way you don’t waste any time once you’re there.
 
2. Choose the right exercises. We use functional movements because they’re economical. You get more “bang-for-your-buck” as compared to isolation movements or machines. There’s nothing wrong with isolation exercises if you have hours to spend at the gym. But if you want to be efficient with your time, use exercises that train multiple muscles at once. That’s where functional movements come into play. One 10 minute workout of burpees and air squats hits more muscle groups than 10 different machines at the gym. Get more out of less.
 
3. Effort is key. One of the best things you can do for your fitness is add intensity, or effort. High-intensity, anaerobic-style training is a great way to get more results with less time because it really challenges your body. This style of training blurs the line between cardio and general strength training or conditioning. This forces your body to adapt and grow in ways that low-intensity training doesn’t allow. There’s a reason this stuff works. And it’s because of effort. 
4. Stretch. You gotta stretch. It’s the easiest thing you can do to avoid getting injured AND help relieve soreness, improve flexibility, and reduce pain. Five to 10 minutes per day that’s all it takes. At the gym. Right when you wake up. At yoga. In front of the TV. Whenever. It just takes a few minutes of your time. And some consistency.
5. Nutrition, nutrition, nutrition. This is where the real results happen. Your nutrition needs to be dialed in. Eating real food. Avoiding sugary beverages. Drinking plenty of water. Cooking lots of vegetables. Watching your carbohydrate intake. The nutrition stuff is what’s really going to make or break your results. And you always have time to watch what you eat and make the best choices. Even on a time budget.
 
Just because you’re limited on time doesn’t mean you can’t get results from exercising. It just means that you need to know what you’re doing now more than ever. Or you need to find someone who does.
Strict Pullup Drill (video)

Strict Pullup Drill (video)

Strict Pullup Drill

 

For most people, strict pullups are not something that you want to see in a workout. They’re tough and it seems like you never get better at them. But, don’t worry, there are a few ways to make pullups less miserable. And these drills will also help improve your ability to do strict pullups in the future. Here’s a simple drill we use during workouts to help make strict pullups a little less difficult and frustrating.

Tips for CrossFit Beginners

Tips for CrossFit Beginners

Tips for CrossFit Beginners

 

If there’s one thing that everyone can relate to it’s that being a beginner sucks. No matter what you’re doing. Whether you’re learning to walk or you’re the new guy at a company. Being a beginner is not fun. And we’ve all been there

When I first started CrossFit I didn’t have a Coach. So I was a beginner for a long time. What took me a year to learn takes most of our new athletes a week. Things are a little different these days.

 

Here are a few things I wish someone told me when I was a CrossFit beginner…

Don’t worry about anyone else. Everyone starts CrossFit at a different place. And the great thing about CrossFit is that it works for everyone, no matter where your fitness level is at. So don’t compare yourself to anyone else. Focus on getting better every day.

Take time to learn the fundamentals. There are fundamental movements in CrossFit that are the building blocks of all other movements. Squat. Press. Deadlift. Plus others. Don’t rush past these movements. Take time in the beginning to learn the correct technique and practice until it becomes routine.

Results come from effort. If you read into the science behind how CrossFit works one thing is apparent, results come from effort. It’s really that simple. The results you get will come from how much you challenge yourself, no matter what level you’re currently at. So if you want results you’ve got to put in the effort.

Nutrition is the biggest key to looking better. The secret to getting the “looks” is nutrition. Yes, CrossFit will build muscle, burn fat, and help you look better. But the right nutrition plan will have an even bigger impact. And when you add the two together, CrossFit AND good nutrition, that’s when you really start to see results.

Stretching is really important. There’s something funny that happens from sitting at a desk all day at work. You get really stiff and inflexible. Your hips. Your shoulders. Your lower back. And these tight areas are a really common cause for injury. Add in the intensity of the workouts and that’s how you get injured. Luckily, all it takes is a few minutes of stretching each night to open up those tight areas.

Take care of your hands. Hand injuries are the most common injury in CrossFit. It happens because we use our hands all of the time and we’re always using different equipment. The best way to prevent your hands from tear is to take care of your hands. Hand protection during the workout and a few simple hand-care steps at home.

Practice good technique. It’s really important to focus on practicing good technique all of the time. Because, other than choosing the appropriate scaling option, proper technique is the best thing you can do to protect yourself from injuries. And if you’ve ever gotten injured from CrossFit you know that it’s worth the effort to avoid it.

Have fun. Here’s the thing. CrossFit is supposed to be fun. Yes, it’s difficult. And yes it can get competitive. But at the end of the day it’s supposed to be a time for you to get away from the stress of life. Not create more. So don’t get too wrapped up in everything. It’s just a workout.

Hand Care Tips & Tricks (video)

Hand Care Tips & Tricks (video)

Hand Care Tips & Tricks

Proper hand care is one of the most overlooked aspects of fitness. Unfortunately, it can also have the biggest impact.

We use our hands a lot in CrossFit. Whether it’s hanging from a pullup bar, picking up dumbbells, swinging kettlebells, or crawling on our hands. One way or another, we rely on our hands every day. And if our hands are sore or in pain, that can cause an issue. Or even worse, those sore hands turn into ripped hands. And that has a huge impact on your fitness. Not to mention your every day life.

Luckily, we can avoid tearing our hands during workouts with a few simple steps.

During the Workout

The most important thing you can do during a workout is to protect your hands by using something like gloves or gymnastics grips. You can also protect your thumbs with tape or thumb grips. Especially when you’re doing a high volume of barbell work like power cleans or deadlifts.

After the Workout

The second most important part of hand care is to take care of your hands at home, in between workouts. Use a rough surface like sandpaper, a pumice stone, or a hand callus file to file down the rough parts of your hands. Then, use oil or lotion to keep your hands moisturized.

How to Watch the CrossFit Games

How to Watch the CrossFit Games

How to Watch the CrossFit Games

Over the next week, the fittest men, women, and teams in the world will converge in one place. All for a chance to compete for the title of Fittest on Earth. That’s right! It’s time for the CrossFit Games. The CrossFit Games is an annual, three-part competition dedicated to finding the fittest individuals in the world. It starts in February with the CrossFit Open, a five-week online competition. Next up is Regionals; a weekend-long competition. And, finally, the CrossFit Games; a grueling four-day test of fitness.

Photo from games.crossfit.com

The CrossFit Games is the pinnacle of the sport of CrossFit. What started as a backyard BBQ in 2007 has turned into a highly-coveted competition complete with TV coverage, endorsements, sponsorship deals, and loads of free gear. Back in 2007, the winners stood on a box and got a few pictures taken. Today, winner’s take home a check for $300,000. You could say things have changed a little… Every year the Director of the Games, Dave Castro, puts on a show. From the workouts, to the gear, to the location, and everything in between. You can expect there to be something different every single year.

Photo from games.crossfit.com

This year the 2018 CrossFit Games takes place from Aug 1 – 5 in Madison, Wisconsin. Here’s how to watch all of the events…

In Person

Since the first days, the Games have been as much for the fan as for the athlete. In fact, you can think of the Games as more like a festival than a competition. There’s tons of stuff to do. From vendors to music to food to workouts and all sorts of stuff. The CrossFit Games is an event for everyone. This year the Games are being held in Madison, Wisconsin. You’ll need tickets to get in. You can get them here. Also, be sure to check out the CrossFit Games page for tips if you’re planning to make the trip.

Online

For most of us, the trip to Madison, Wisconsin for a week is just a little too much. So we’ll have to find other ways. That’s okay though, the CrossFit Games team does an awesome job of streaming all of the events online. There are a few places to look: CrossFit Games website – this is the best spot to go to for anything Games-related. Events, scores, leaderboards, recaps. The Games website (games.crossfit.com) You will be able to watch most of the competition live as it happens. There may be some things that you miss but you can find them with the other options. Faceook – the CrossFit Games website page will have a ton of video. You will be able to watch the events live but you may struggle to watch events that have already taken place. YouTube – check out the CrossFit YouTube page. CrossFit does a great job of posting videos on YouTube and you know they will be posting all sorts of videos from the Games so check it out. CBSSports.com – CrossFit now has a deal with CBS so you can also check out the CBSSports website to see live streams of individual events.

TV

Surprisingly, the last place to look for up-to-date CrossFit Games coverage is TV. And the reason for that is because there’s just not a lot there. CBS has some live coverage but that’s mostly on Saturday and Sunday. If you’re interested you can check it out here.


Be sure to check out the Games and let us know what you think. What’s your favorite workout? Or favorite new piece of equipment?