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BY MATT MACKEY How I do crossfit with Ultimate training Xi Xua’s Huddle entries on Crossfit (a


follow-up to his earlier article on play inter- vals in elite open Ultimate) provide an infor- mative look into what Crossfit is; however, he does not go in to much depth at all on how to go about how to incorporate it into Ultimate training. This is by design, I think; done verbatim,


Crossfit is an extremely taxing regimen to adhere to. 3 on, 1 off, learning how to do technical lifts like the squat and deadlift and the Olympic lifts too can make things over- whelming (to say nothing of the renowned intensity of the workouts). For me, there have always been two keys


to keep in mind with incorporating Crossfit: Progression and Flexibility. Progression is, I think, the oft-overlooked component. It’s easy to pop on to the homepage, eye the weights or what have you, and get discouraged (or worse, per- haps, to try at the listed weights or reps and destroy yourself right out of the gate). Like any training regimen, it’s important to prog- ress slowly to the movements and weights you’re going to be working at–in the early stages, mastering the movements takes precedence over any kind of intensity (as it should).


At its most basic, this means incorporating


the Crossfit warm-up into your routine, fo- cusing on the samson stretch and overhead squat with light weight (ideally a wooden dowel; I wind up using a 6-9lb bar as it’s the lightest I can find. If you have nothing other than a 45lb olympic bar, try substituting holding a towel, theraband, or something similar apart with your hands). I still remember my first Crossfit workout


30


back in ’06: It was my sophomore summer at Dartmouth, and I’d already spent a couple months of perusing information on Crossfit (including the forums–I was very fitness avid my sophomore year and did a ton of reading there and at sites like T-Nation in my spare time. More here). With the season finally over and my goals clear for the upcom- ing year (broken record alert: goal setting and planning are keys to success), Crossfit became a big part of my summer training plan. I scanned the archives, intimidated by workout after workout, until settling on one that was seemingly more innocuous. The workout called for 5 rounds of 21 95


lb Sumo Deadlift High Pulls, as well as 12 ring dips. I knew from reading the FAQ that I had to scale the weights down; I was not the 175 lb prototypical Crossfit guy. I figured 65 lbs was proportionately good enough to not overwhelm me, while still maintaining enough heft to be a manly amount to lift. I also diligently followed the 1 ring dip = 3 regular dips protocol, as the fitness center had no rings. I managed to survive, but only barely. By the middle of it, I’d shifted to a 1 ring = 2 dip protocol (with the assist from the machine to make it bearable), and even 65 lbs wound up being far more than I should’ve begun with. I spent the next three or four days sore beyond belief, recovering, yet somehow I’d been hooked! I made sure not to overdo it for the rest of that month, prioritizing taking the time to do the exercises well…after a few weeks I scaled the weights back up, closer to something more fitting with my 135lb phy- sique, and was good to go.


I’ll try and go in more depth on just what sorts of progressions are options for some- body just starting out in a later post, but for now know that it’s not impossible, and that you’re going to be better off if you’re doing Crossfit at half intensity (half weight, half rep, etc) than jumping in over your head, or worse, remaining sedentary. Flexibility is inherent in all of Crossfit. The


program strives to build a well-rounded, capital-A Athlete, able to excel at any en- deavor. To that end, Crossfit incorporates a wide range of modalities. Plenty of Ulti- mate players are understandably dubious about whether or not it all has applicability to Ultimate.


The short answer? Of course it ALL doesn’t, at least not directly. I don’t follow Crossfit religiously (at this point in time, I don’t even follow it regularly). On days where the site calls for a 5k or 10k run, I do something else. There are naturally certain parts of the wide range of exercises prescribed that you’re not going to want to do, or won’t be able to do for reasons of equipment or otherwise. Just because Crossfit incorporates all


of these modalities doesn’t mean that you can or should be able to cover the full spectrum, especially in the beginning phases. Crossfit strives to keep the equip- ment requirements minimal, but even so I’ve wound up making do with less-than- ideal setups plenty of times. The ideal may be to do it all, and do it all well, but realisti- cally it’s your life and your training plan, and Crossfit is not the be-all end-all of fitness; there are many routes to the same destination.


Ultimate Canada Magazine — www.canadianultimate.com


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