In our previous topic, we presented how our clients get on in CrossFit trainings. This time, I would like to tell you about our days beyond the training sessions. We think it’s important for people to be able to switch off from time to time, so we pay attention to this and we try to organize so-called Sports Days during the year, where participants can choose from a series of different programs. On our next Sports Day, those who are interested will also be able to meet CrossFit athletes who have participated in and won several international competitions. They can get a glimpse of how they prepare and stay in shape. Additionally, they can provide useful advice to those who seek them. At the same time, the more adventurous participants will be able to take part in a joint training session with these athletes. I think that those who will be part of the beginner group starting on the 12th September can also gain a lot of information and experience during the day. They can get a comprehensive view by seeing the work of our amateur CrossFit competitors and elite athletes participating in the program. At the same time, those wishing to join in the future can gather enough courage and determination to start their own journey. The whole-day event offers more than just CrossFit activities, so everybody can find something to their liking. This is to follow the idea by which we are trying to run our gym and motivate our visitors, which is: "Let’s keep learning and trying new sports!" Those wanting to move can try a yoga class, they can participate in our Thai Box and TRX sessions, they can sign up to our all-day Squash tournaments, and last but not least, they can watch our upcoming exhibitions which promise to be spectacular: Jiu Jitsu, Street Workout, Box and CrossFit. We didn’t forget about the children! Their entertainment is guaranteed thanks to our children’s gymnastics instructor.
In addition to organizing events, part of our every day lives is about improving ourselves and trying to deepen our existing knowledge. We are proud to have a team of coaches who regularly take part in training courses even if they have to sacrifice their free time. As a result, people always get the latest guidance for learning exercises. This means that if a technique does not produce the expected results, we can provide other alternatives that may be more favourable and effective for a particular individual. Besides striving to meet our customers’ needs, we try to challenge ourselves in various competitions as well. During these competitions, we can gain experience, create new connections, and last but not least, build up our strength for times ahead. In the near future, the author of our previous article, Gabi, who is also one of our CrossFit instructors, is preparing for a Croatian competition. At the same time, I would also like to mention Lajos Czókoly, a member of our CrossFit team, who was the only one from Slovakia to qualify for the European regional competition, which is a pre-qualifier for the US CrossFit Games – and not to mention, with a beautiful result.
I can say without exaggerating, that our days at the gym are always eventful and full of experiences. Visitors are always welcomed with a friendly service and a pleasant atmosphere. We look forward to see all those interested on our 9th September Sports Day, or on any other day!
Nowadays, we are very familiar with the concept of individual and group workouts, although only a few people can figure out which form of training is the best for achieving their goals. I think that the most significant achievement of group workouts is undoubtedly the feeling of belonging to a community. The common goals and tasks of these groups bring people in them even closer.
The acquired physical abilities and the common decisions make the group more effective, so that the individual becomes an important and integral part of the community.
Let’s just think about why we choose to train individually. I am referring to extreme cases (injury or any other physical restriction) in my article. I approach the subject from the perspective of the average person. The person who starts to train individually is following a plan that is created to fit their individual interests and needs and it's self-serving. The success from a given sport comes from own effort. In this case, people learn how to work out individually or what goals can they reach by themselves. In my opinion, this is a so-called comfortable form of exercise because we prefer practices that require less effort, so we will never really push through our limits. If a personal trainer holds the class, it is rare that he/she will try to snap us out of our daily problems that show on our face, instead of making our day better by having us do the refreshingly comfortable exercises.
Group workouts, on the other hand, are based on a workout that provides opportunities for development both for the beginners and the advanced. Plans are built on each other and periodically reach back into the past, thereby we can challenge people and see their development. In a group CrossFit training we want the participants to learn the basics exercises and body positions as precisely as possible. Of course, there are some individuals who can develop more effectively in gymnastics, others in weightlifting or there are some very good runners. It will take some time, but individuals will realize that they can reach the biggest results with the exercises that are pushing them through their limits and not their favourite ones.
The team will be able to help us to get out of our comfort zone to increase our performance and achieve the common goals and the best possible result. Besides following the trainer's instructions we can also learn from the more experienced members of the group. Group workouts are undoubtedly gaining ground thanks to the growing popularity of CrossFit and newer sports. People of different ages, genders and interests meet in our CrossFit classes. We were curious about what the group meant for them and why they chose group workouts over personal training.
The most common answers to our question "Why do you love group workouts?" were the following:
In order for our improvised survey to produce the most lifelike results, we tried to get answers from almost everybody who trained with us. Their answers were similar in many cases, but we have managed to get a comprehensive picture of why they prefer group workouts.
Based on my personal insights and long years of experience, I can say that the power of the group liberates energies that would not emerge without this stimulating force. Feedback, whether positive or negative, makes our daily work at the gym easier because it makes our group work more effective.
Many articles are written about healthy lifestyle on a daily basis, but we cannot stress enough the importance of it. An essential element of this lifestyle is nutrition, the significance of which is highlighted in terms of performance improvement in my current article.
During my work, I meet frequently asked questions and remarks that are certainly familiar to many people:
I hardly eat anything, still I don’t lose weight.
My performance is not improving.
I have no time to focus on my diet.
When do I get a spectacular result?
Which nutrients should I incorporate into my diet?
How should plan my daily meals, or what should I eat before and after a workout?
We are not the same. Our needs, expectations, the degree of our determination, learning mood, and willingness vary. At the same time, there isn’t a single way that works for us all. If we change our way of life in a positive direction, we have to do it consciously. That way it’s going to work better than any miracle-promising diet or method. The inseparable elements of a healthy lifestyle are proper nutrition, physical activity and mental health. These factors are integral parts of one another and therefore the absence of any component will affect the performance negatively. Why do I think that the improvement of performance and growth is essential? As I mentioned in my previous articles, CrossFit is a complex sport. Due to its wide-ranging characteristics, people tend to focus more on the willingness to learn than just on achieving the looks. I would say that the aesthetic look is the by-product of CrossFit. We strive to be able to continually increase our performance by acquiring the best practices. Of course, ideal nutrition is an essential element within the process. We can say that this as an eternal circle that shows us the way to a healthy lifestyle.
I would like to illustrate how much energy input is needed to perform each movement. Additionally, I present the factors that influence the amount of energy needed to increase performance. With the expansion of the CrossFit society, there are countless opportunities for people to challenge themselves at domestic or international competitions. It goes without saying that during these races we subject our body to great physical and mental challenges.
Weekly physical exercise requires a continuous and thorough nutrition of the body. There are several factors influencing the amount of energy needed, such as gender, age, form, sport activity type, intensity to mention the main components. If we take part in four or more training sessions each week, daily energy needs can be up to 3000-6000 calories. In CrossFit, strength and stamina are equally important, so with the above factors (age, gender, etc.), you may need up to 70-80 calories during the day. The need for energy-intensive sports or recreational forms of exercise is, of course, much lower, as in the latter case the movement is aimed at preserving health rather than improving performance. It is 30 to 50 calories per day per body per kilogram.
Once we are aware of quantitative features and factors influencing it, it is important for us to develop a so-called knowledge base for the sake of success in which we can incorporate new information about our healthy lifestyle at any time. First of all, we must strive to ensure that eating does not become an obsession in our daily lives. We can achieve this by continually changing from one day to the next. Try to get quality, fresh, unprocessed foods. We consume quantities that support our physical activity. Following a meal plan is much easier if the entire household follows it. Break emotional attachment to food, exercise is a perfect tool for this, as during this time we can spend our time training with people who have similar aspirations. Following this path, we learn to think about the nutrients as additives that contribute to our quality life and we do not look for our happiness in them.
When designing our diet we should place more emphasis on proteins. Choose healthy carbohydrates around this, whether in the form of vegetables or fruit, and remember to consume fats, especially in the form of nuts and oily seeds. I would also like to touch on the subject of dietary supplements as they are present in sport on a continuous and increasing scale. On the basis of my personal and proven results I can argue that there is no dietary supplement that will change you by itself or cause a noticeable improvement in performance without a proper diet and a good lifestyle. However, if we use these supplements besides correct nutrition, we can surely experience their beneficial effects.
We meet a lot of people in our CrossFit premises who are not sure about the composition and timing of pre and post-meal meals. Everyone has a different metabolism, someone needs only thirty minutes before the workout to digest and not to get sick, others need two to three hours to digest a given meal. The time factor would thus be a question of experience, but knowing the intensive nature of the CrossFit lessons, I would recommend to have the pre-workout meal one our before the class. With regard to the what it should comprise of, we focus our attention on the consumption of quality, unprocessed food, since our body uses this energy during the workout, and it might be a good basis for performance improvement. If you choose early morning workouts, prepare at least one banana, a smaller amount of berries, or an energy bar that fills the energy stores used during training.
After finishing the workout, do not forget about protein, carbohydrates and fat-rich breakfasts. If we are planning exercise around noon, the generous breakfast should only be followed by a small meal that is rich in carbohydrates. Evening training should be preceded by a nutrition-rich lunch, or perhaps a smaller meal half an hour before the workout. Fast-absorbing carbohydrates (fruit, potatoes, rice, sugar, etc.) and fast-absorbing protein are to be consumed after training, whether in the form of eggs or protein. The importance of fluid intake should not be underestimated during training and during the day. You should drink isotonic drinks when working out and generally buy quality, carbonated and flavor-free water.
Finally I would like to add, that we have to make the changes, because our beliefs from the past only bring the results of the past to which we have been victims to date. The right meal is not about dieting. For any sport, the body needs energy that can only be fed by the proper intake of proteins, carbohydrates and fats. With the aforementioned, our performance can be definitely increased.
In the last 10-20 years, the development of computer technology has radically changed our lifestyle. Most people have sedentary jobs and do the same thing at home, usually with a negligent posture. The use of smartphones and tablets with excessive and inappropriate posture caused the SMS neck to appear. We are inactive, we barely move, and more and more people are struggling with being overweight. Over the years, this will only get worse. Our muscles waste away, our ligaments loosen, and our condition declines. This causes merely an aesthetic discomfort at the beginning, but later, this condition becomes a health problem.
We have an effective remedy for health problems. Don't look for it in the form of tablets, injections or creams. This medicine is movement itself. To be more precise: the correct movement.
The dilemma follows: what kind of physical activity should I choose?
There are several aspects to consider before making our decision:
I can choose on an emotional basis: What kind of exercise am I familiar with? What kind of sport brings pleasure to me?, or Which sports do I like? I would compare this type of choice to the case when I'm in pain but I don't visit the doctor, I just look for some medication at the pharmacy. It will either help or not. Some things might be entertaining for me but they might not be useful or suitable.
Another aspect I can take into consideration is: What sports facilities are close to where I live? Our region offers a lot of possibilities: there are cycling routes, street workout parks, fitness centres, functional gyms, martial arts clubs, artificial grass courts, tennis courts, squash courts and much more.
The abundance of options may make my decision even more difficult. This type of choice resembles to the situation when let's say the nearest pharmacy doesn't have the medicine prescribed by the doctor, but they have a similar one. Since I don't want to travel, I will compromise and buy it.
I can also decide on the size of my wallet: the most economical solutions are running, street workout, outdoor sports, or exercising at home. This is no worse solution than the previous two, but it's not better either. Let's add that we often throw money out of the window unnecessarily, so why save on our health?
To help you choose, I will ask a few questions: If you are lifting heavy objects 8 hours a day, is weightlifting recommended for you? If you are a teenager with a bad posture, should you go to a spinning class? Should a middle-aged, overweight woman start with running? Is it ok to attend a class with a lot of jumping 3-4 times a week after 5 years of inactive lifestyle? Can I expect to get fit from doing sedentary exercises on machines after a sedentary workday?
All of our choices may be right, depending on our health condition, what kind of shape we are in, and what kind of daily activity we do. Last but not least, a very important aspect: it is very important to choose a good instructor!
To sum up these reflections, I would like to prescribe a recipe for people with sedentary lifestyles: Your workout should include exercises to improve posture and movement, increase strength and muscle mass, improve fitness, and skills. Additionally, your workout should counterweigh the harmful effects of everyday life. The chosen sport should differ from the strain at work. Our training should be varied and versatile. If you choose any form of exercise, continue doing it at least for half a year on a regular basis. During this time, we will find out whether it is effective and if it is fulfilling our goals.
Attention - this prescription was issed by an instructor. While taking health issues into consideration, it is general and not personalized! Before you redeem it, please consult your GP or your qualified and experienced trainer.