I must start from warnings because a mixed training is not exactly an innocent experiment. Many of these workouts can give you for example sudden rise in heart rate, blood pressure, decrease in blood sugar levels. So, first of all - I recommend preventive medical examinations (eg. blood pressure measurement, auscultation, ECG, heart rate ECG and other indicated by a specialist). Such diagnostics can be easily performed by cardiologist (or you can obtain a referral to other specialist or a sports physician).
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And it's not a joke! It would be very bad if you learnt you have had a serious heart defect or cardiovascular failure during a heavy CrossFit training. Particularly at risk are those leading "sedentary" lifestyle, smokers, the overweight and badly nourished (for instance those having high cholesterol level, low HDL, high LDL etc.).
The second important issue: if you haven't been doing dynamic exercises (such as dynamic high pulls, clean and jerk or thrusters), you must be very careful when you start experimenting with CrossFit. These exercises, even when performed separately, pose a huge challenge for your body (you can experience dizziness, blue lips and malaise, it's quite common). As part of the adaptation I suggest weight training for 3-4 weeks (according to your current scheme) with an addition in the form of dynamic exercise typical for CrossFit (best if done at the very beginning of your training, after a thorough warm-up). Once you learn it well, you will be able to perform a circuit training comprising several different exercises. Crossfit is not as simple as it seems when watching youtube movies.
Thirdly, don't try to work out with heaviest and most advanced combinations. Persons who present a given exercise have often devoted many years of intensive training to be able to perform a given set with such intensity. Start with the simplest ones, fewer repetitions and rounds. It's a good idea to equip yourself with a heart rate monitor and keep a track of it during the training. There are many ways to calculate your heart rate during exercise, but most importantly you should listen to your organism (if your condition and strength allow you to continue with the workout).
Exemplary combinations of exercises for beginners (WOD = workout of the day) – read notes in parentheses - modifications and facilitation for beginners.
Angie (beginners can slightly limit a number of repetitions, for example: for the first workout do 30 pull ups, pushups, sit ups and squats and increase a number of reps by 5 or 10 in subsequent sessions. You did 30, 30, 30, 30 - next time do 35, 35, 35, 35 etc.). You can divide 100 pull ups into any number of sets. So 10 sets × 10 pull ups is a good idea. Similarly with other exercises: push ups, sit ups and squats. You should measure your time while performing Angie and try to beat it in your next session:
- 100 pull ups
- 100 push ups
- 100 sit ups
- 100 squats
Barbara (beginners – start from 1-2 rounds; you are gradually increasing intensity for a couple of weeks of training until you are able to perform a full training).
- 20 pullups
- 30 push ups
- 40 sit ups
- 50 squats
(5 rounds for the whole training, 3 minute break between each round)
One set per minute for a total of 30 minutes (I recommend that beginners did a 8-10 minute test workout, slowly and gradually increasing intensity until they are able to perform the entire workout within 30 minutes)
- 5 pull ups
- 10 push ups
- 15 squats
As many round as you are able to do within 20 minutes (beginners – the same as in the previous examples, I suggest to shorten the workout to 8-10 minutes, and gradually add 2-3 minutes per session until you reach 20 minutes).
- 5 pull ups
- 10 push ups
- 15 squats
Annie (beginners – regular rope jumping with lessening number of reps in each set.)
- double unders
- sit ups
Nicole (beginners – pull ups with a partner or inverted rows instead)
As many rounds as possible within 20 minutes:
- run for 40 metres
- pull ups – maximum number of reps (count number of pull ups in each round).
Mix # 1 - Sprawl & swing
- Burpees/sprawl - 5 reps (do a squat from a standing position, put your hands on the floor and kick your legs to the back. Jump back to the squat position and jump up. Do the whole sequence as fast as you can)
- Dumbbell swing - 5 reps. Stand on legs wide apart, put dumbbells between your legs, grab the dumbbell and raise it dynamically to your eyes level. Then lower the dumbbell to the starting position. Your back should be straight throughout the exercise!
If the exercise is too easy, increase the weight you use in the swing (roughly to the weight of 1/3 of your body weight) and the number/speed of burpees and sprawls. Additionally, you can do for examples the sequence of 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 5 + 6 + 7 + 8 + 9 + 10 repetitions of each exercise without resting breaks - check out the work under heavy load.
How to put CrossFit in your weekly plan? I'm giving you a hint for there are many problems with this.
Variant # 1 – the easiest one: only CrossFit + running – 4 sessions a week.
Choose 2 WODs and do one for example on Monday (eg. Angie), the second on Thursday (eg. Nicole). On Tuesday and Friday run (20-30 minutes), Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday is intended for resting. I know you're superman... but remember, more is not always better!
Variant # 2 – 3 x strength traninig + 1 x CrossFit – 4 sessions a week.
If so far you have done strength training 3 times a week, you can add 1 CrossFit session on a day off training. Choose a WOD that will not interfere with your regeneration - for instance if you did an intensive legs and chest training on Monday, you cannot engage these parts in any activity on Tuesday! It will lead to overtraining! If you do a leg workout with squats, the front part of your thigh (quadriceps) works equally strong as the back of the thigh and the abdomen (including rectus abdominis) and back (including spine extensors). Similar relationships apply to any type of exercise. If on Monday you did chest and biceps - nothing stands in the way for you to do MIX # 1 on Tuesday (sprawls and swings). You treat this extra session as intervals. Over time, you can add second interval session in a week.
Variant # 3 – crossfit done at the end of a strength training.
For example a light training session on Monday - CrossFit planned at the end (in the form of intervals - more intensively, or cardio - less intensively).
Eg. Barbell squats: 3-5 sets
Bench press + barbell rowing: 3-5 sets
CrossFit - for example: MIX # 1 or Cindy.
With time, you can let yourself add 2 CrossFit sessions at the end of strength trainings.
In every case adjust the workout in accordance with your needs. As your fitness improves, you will be able to train more often and harder. Do not forget to thoroughly warm yourself up (which will prepare your body for exercising) and cooling (eg. light exercises at the end + stretching). Intriduce any changes very slowly, for instance add 1 training and do it for 2-3 weeks at the same time monitoring reactions of your body.