There is no such thing as the perfect workout frequency or training volume. But there are several ways to improve the quality of your workouts without beating yourself up. Here are some ways to elevate your training.
#1. Add More Unilateral Exercises.
Unilateral exercises are single arm or single leg movements. Outside of pistols, there isn’t a whole lot of unilateral movement in general CrossFit programming or classes. Lower body exercises like walking lunges, Bulgarian split squats, single leg deadlifts, step ups, and upper body exercises like single arm kettlebell presses, single arm dumbbell rows and single arm overhead weighted carry are great accessory exercises. It’s doubtful you’ll do a lot of these in competition, but that does not make them any less valuable to your overall fitness.
#2 Develop a Consistent Warm-up Routine.
The more advanced and older you get, the more important it is to perform high-quality warm-ups. Although sometimes it feels tedious and time-consuming, a good warm-up makes the difference between a mediocre and a great workout. Taking 10-15 minutes to mobilize, as well as performing adequate warm-up sets before starting your workouts will go a long way in both improving performance and preventing injury.
There is a reason why I refer to all of our warm-up routines as “Process Orientation.” Following our general barbell orientation before every class is both elementary and very useful.
#3. Do More Horizontal Pushing and Pulling.
Most of the training in CrossFit is primarily in the sagittal (vertical) plane. Examples of popular movements are pull-ups, clean and jerks, thrusters, etc. Typically, there is very little work being done in the transverse or frontal plane.
It’s essential to include horizontal presses like push-ups and dumbbell bench presses as well as horizontal rows like bent over rows and inverted rows into your programming at least once a week to prevent injury and muscular imbalances. This will help to strengthen supporting muscle groups and prevent nagging shoulder injuries. Sometimes we view push-ups or ring rows as scaled-down versions of HSPU and pull-ups. But that’s a dangerous way to look at things and a fast track to building holes in your game.
#4. Do More Intervals.
Doing WODs every day is taxing on both the muscular and nervous system. A great way to train with intensity without destroying your body is to do more cardiovascular interval training.
Intervals performed on a rower or assault bike can provide great conditioning stimulus without creating as much muscle soreness allowing for better recovery throughout the training week.
#5. Do More EMOMS.
Every Minute on the Minute (EMOM) is very popular and for a good reason. The EMOM is a type of interval training where you do the work at the start of the minute and then spend the remainder of the minute recovering.
This training method is an excellent way to learn how to pace yourself and to find your threshold for various movements and loads. The EMOM will also help you to manage the intensity of your training better.
Taking time to do the little things will make a world of difference. Prioritize warming up, adding accessory work to your training, and not beating yourself up every time you train. Exercise will be more enjoyable, and you’ll see better gains in the long run.