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The Beginner’s Guide to CrossFit: Tips to Boost Your CrossFit IQ

The Beginner’s Guide to CrossFit: Tips to Boost Your CrossFit IQ

Many people are on the look out for the perfect food or a workout that will help them stay fit and fine. But with an increase in the activities one has to perform in a regular day, and the improper and inadequate diets that are being followed, fitness has become a matter of real concern.

There are plenty foods, exercises, and supplements that are available to improve your health and fitness, and CrossFit as a workout includes vigorous and intense movements. It’s a new trend amongst workout routines. But while many may have a rough idea about this form of workout, very few people would actually know the details. So, let’s get introduced to the CrossFit basics.

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What is CrossFit?

CrossFit was originally a strength and conditioning program first introduced for military special operations units, police academies, martial arts champion training and strong athletes worldwide. It consists of different kinds of challenging workouts that will help you prepare your body to face practically anything.

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Things that you may not know about CrossFit include:

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  • CrossFit workouts can be performed easily by all ages. Only people with a history of heart attack or stroke need to be careful while doing it.
  • Although CrossFit includes intense moves, beginners need not take the intense steps at first. If an individual’s capacity is found to be only 45 pounds, they must first begin with 45 pounds and later move on to higher weights and more intense training.
  • Since CrossFit is an intense workout, you will need plenty of motivation. Thus, performing CrossFit within a group or in an environment where people will cheer you on will motivate you to perform better.

Six tips to boost your CrossFit IQ

  1. Adequately warm up: Warm up is a necessary part of any workout. You cannot begin working out without warming up your body. This helps you to prepare your muscles for the movements during a workout. CrossFit – being more intense than regular forms of workout – requires more warming up since the muscles have to get ready for a series of vigorous moves. This will help prevent muscle injury. It’s best to reach your CrossFit class well beforehand and spend extra time warming up.
  2. Consult a physician first: As already mentioned above, CrossFit is an accepted form of workout that can be performed by anyone, with very few exceptions. However, people with a history of a heart disease are usually advised to avoid intense movements. If you still think you can perform well, consult a physician to know what’s best for you.
  3. Be regular: The standard timetable for CrossFit states that it should be performed three times a week, with one rest day in between. But this is a bit much for a newbie or a beginner. You will need to make a slow start to help you workout according to your muscle needs and capacity. The muscles need enough time to recover as well. Slowly building up your intensity will ensure you don’t feel tired easily and will help you cope with the further movements involved in the process.
  4. Master the techniques: Unlike regular workouts, you can’t simply increase weights in order to demonstrate an ability to do better. CrossFit focuses on techniques rather than the weight that is lifted. Don’t concentrate on the weights that you use, but make sure you master the techniques that you are making use of. Most importantly, a coach is the best person to advise you on the next stage of your workout progression.
  5. Muscle recovery: Like warming up, this step is also necessary. CrossFit makes you perform intense workouts that may cause you muscles to work more intensively. You need to give your muscles enough time to recover. Muscles usually take anything between 24 hours to 48 hours to recover naturally. But if you want them to recover sooner, a few stretching exercises after a CrossFit session will help you loosen up your muscles and reduce the amount of pain that you may experience later.
  6. A healthy diet: We all know that diet plays an important role in everything we do. You need enough strength and motivation to perform the exercises included in your CrossFit session. Thus, a nutrient-rich diet will help in strengthening your mind and muscles too. There are also a variety of natural workout supplements available that can assist the other foods that we eat.

What are the advantages of CrossFit?

CrossFit’s intensity has impressed a lot of fitness freaks who consider it gives the best workout results. The advantages of registering yourself for a CrossFit class and attending it regularly include:

  • A great community environment: Unlike a gym where you will be left to perform your own workouts alone, at CrossFit you will meet many more people like you and this will motivate you to do better.
  • Constant support by your coach: CrossFit is performed under the constant guidance of a well-trained coach. There is no fear of any injuries being caused since you are always watched and warned before something could happen.
  • A competitive environment: CrossFit doesn’t only include weight lifting, it also needs you to master the techniques properly. Organized competitions will help you perform better and also master techniques that you may fall a bit short in.

CrossFit is an exciting way to work out and keep you fit. The only things that it requires are mental and physical strength. As mentioned above, some amount of motivation plus a proper diet will help you be prepared to face this challenging form of workout performed “in the box.”

Featured photo credit: Cross fit Workout via photopin.com

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Last Updated on September 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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