Crossfit Workouts at Home – Stop doing hundreds of reps
If you were used to training at your local CrossFit gym before the lockdown, then I bet this “new normal” has really thrown off your training.
Maybe your local gym is hosting Zoom workouts or you’re grabbing the latest workout from youtube (one of our home workouts) or from some Instagram trainer.
Although I always say that SOME training is better than nothing, I still warn you: Beware.
More Reps is DEFINITELY Not Better
Pay attention to the programming you are doing on a daily or weekly basis with these Home CrossFit workouts.
Are you doing 100’s of burpees almost every day? Or maybe there are 300 squats and 500 sit ups in a workout (yes, I have actually seen this). If your goals are to get fitter, look better and/or get better at CrossFit – then you are more than likely actually doing yourself harm instead of good with your training.
James Fitgerald, one of the leading CrossFit programmers in the world for OPEX, discusses this in much more detail, but there are some real issues with doing hundreds of lunges, burpees and air squats for time during this quarantine time.
5 reasons your CrossFit Home Workout is hurting you
Fitzgerald lists 5 main reasons that this type of training is detrimental to both your health AND fitness:
- They don’t create sustainable results
- They lower immunity and resilience
- They lead to poor movement patterns and compensations (link to our movement blog)
- They are not functional (link to our functional fitness blog)
- They create cortisol junkies and poor behaviors around exercise.
This highlights why it’s so important to establish what your goals are, no matter what the program, duration or circumstances surrounding you are. For most of our clients, the main reason they are still training is to help with general mood, health and immunity during this crisis.
So to perform workouts which, in fact, directly conflict with those goals is an important issue to address. This pandemic is lasting much longer than many people anticipated at the outset and it is likely that many will still feel more comfortable training at home for the foreseeable future.
A program that is lowering immunity and also creating unsustainable hormonal response (cortisol release will not continue to remain high) will actually work in reverse and decrease satisfaction and happiness from working out at home.
Plus, 1000’s of reps performed for time will undoubtedly lead to a breakdown in form (I don’t even want to talk about the push-up form I see on many of these workouts) which means repeatedly drilling in poor movement patters. That is a recipe for injury.
So how do I do CrossFit at home?
With so many trainers and programs using this idea of hudreds-to-thousands of reps per day as their “at-home” program, it’s important to sift through the debris to find the good ones.
Body weight programs can still be extremely effective at hitting your fitness goals and at the minimum, maintaining strength. So just because you train at home, doesn’t mean you need to settle for sub-standard programming or results.
Studies have shown (link to study on muscle mass from body weight) that you can actually increase muscle mass with purely bodyweight movements.
Here are 5 things I suggest looking for in an at-home crossfit program:
- Clear focus on movement patterns over time or reps
- Simple progressions on a weekly basis
- Focus on tempo of movements to increase difficulty (slow on the eccentric phase)
- Intelligent distribution between pushing (horizontal and vertical), pulling (horizontal and vertical), squatting (single and double leg variations) and hip hinging throughout the week.
- Varying intensities (not every session is a hiit program).
If you are looking for some help with CrossFit workouts at home, you can also follow our youtube channel where we have a new workout posted every day. These workouts combine both strength and conditioning pieces while maintaining a training volume appropriate for many levels of fitness.
If you are a pure beginner but want to try Crossfit at home, contact us here for a free session via zoom with one of our trainers to help you get started.