Sometimes, the most effective impact you can have on your workouts comes from the simplest changes you make. We all know the value of exercising daily, of mobility sectors correct and del active recovery for our development as CrossFitters.
However, there are things you can do throughout the day that can translate into a successful WOD when you finally leave work and go to the garage.
Some of these actions may seem obvious to many of you, but as human beings we tend to forget about it, especially due to the rush of daily life.
Consider then the following list as a checklist to tick off every day, to ensure you are as prepared as possible when you arrive at the box for a workout.
Do it often and it will become a healthy habit and you will be able to wodd better!
1. Hydrate throughout the day
Our body is made up for the 60% from water. Specifically, water makes up 75% of all muscle tissue and about 10% of fat tissue.
According to some studiesi, hydration is the major factor determining strength. A 1,5% drop in water levels results in a 10% drop in maximum strength.
Furthermore, proper hydration can reduce joint and muscle pain and help increase flexibility, since the cartilage of the joints is composed of 65-80% water.
Adequate hydration also helps boost mental play before a workout, as it helps maintain a positive electrolyte balance in the body, which in turn allows electrical signals to be sent to the brain quickly and efficiently, resulting in shorter reaction times and increased mental performance.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, staying hydrated avoids dehydration, which can cost you a 30% drop in performance, preventing you from performing better.
But how much should I drink a day?
Are you curious about how much you should drink to stay hydrated every day? L'Institute of Sports Medicine established that the adequate intake (AI) for men is about 3 liters (about 13 glasses) of total beverages per day. AI for women is 2,2 liters (about 9 glasses) of total drinks per day.
2. Eat a good meal (or several meals) before exercising
Obviously this does not apply if you prefer to train early in the morning, before even having breakfast.
However, many people prefer to train at "empty stomach“. Training on an empty stomach does not necessarily mean that you shouldn't eat anything during the day: it could simply mean that you have given your body time to properly digest your food before you hit the gym.
An general rule is to eat a meal two or three hours before physical activity, to allow time for food to be digested and absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract.
However, when it comes to training, it is advisable to reduce the portions and eat something that can be digested easily, such as some fruit.
So, what should (and shouldn't) be eaten?
Try to introduce into your body a good amount of protein, fat (good) and fiber.
It helps to prepare food the night before, but try to Incorporate things like lean meats (chicken, beef, etc.), fish, avocados, peppers, and sweet potatoes into your meals (as a source of carbohydrates to provide energy).
Try to stay away from sugar as much as possible, but don't feel guilty about having your own cup (or two) of coffee, as it has been proven to caffeine it has some benefits for athletes!
3. Put all negative thoughts on paper (and leave them there)
Every athlete faces personal problems outside the box. Your mental state plays a huge role in the quality of your training, not to mention the experience of the workout itself.
You should never leave the floor feeling worse than you entered.
Of course, that's easier said than done: how do you put aside all the stresses and hassles of everyday life and focus on the WOD ahead?
Un method is to write on a sheet of paper all the things that worry you and leave it (or throw it in the trash) before going to the box.
An Ohio University study found that when people wrote down their thoughts on a piece of paper and then threw it away, they also mentally discarded them.
Now, this mental trick may not work for everyone, but taking the time to list the things that worry you and then putting them aside or throwing them away, could disengage you from those problems, at least for that hour you are in the box: away from the eyes, away from the heart.
4. Visualize what you want to achieve
If you know your workout in advance, you are in an advantageous position. You can come up with your plan of attack for the WOD: how to break up the rep sequence, what weight to target in the strength portion of the workout, what time to target for the metcon, and so on.
Knowing what the WOD entails gives you the opportunity to visualize success, which will have a positive impact when it comes to performing the workout itself.
Of course, you can visualize success even if you don't know what the WOD will be. In fact, not knowing it gives you an opportunity to build your self-confidence.
By repeating to yourself that you will dominate whatever your coach proposes to you in the WOD, you will be able to enter the box with the right emotional charge!
5. Find a motivation
Whether it's a song, a YouTube video, an inspirational quote, a picture, or anything else, it's crucial to find something that motivates and energizes you before class, so you can write better.
You should have one source motivation that ignites a spark within you, something that reminds you why you love CrossFit or why you started the sport.
Whatever it is, make sure it gets you excited about working out not just today, but EVERY DAY.