Strength/Hypertrophy Training is the Secret to Longevity in CrossFit + Bonus: Workout

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Strength/Hypertrophy Training is the Secret to Longevity in CrossFit + Bonus: Workout

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Strength/Hypertrophy Training is the Secret to Longevity in CrossFit + Bonus: Workout

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If you train mainly CrossFit style, you most likely live with some aches and pains. With the fatiguing workouts and high-volume training, it’s par for the course in this sport. We aren’t here to dissuade you from participating, but to offer the reasons why incorporating hypertrophy training can help you become a stronger, more durable athlete for CrossFit. 

Hypertrophy refers to increasing muscle size and you do this via resistance training DONE CORRECTLY. It requires you to challenge yourself with weight, connect to the muscle group being used and take rests between sets. You do not go “for time” or  perform movements in an EMOM or AMRAP style. You want to send a signal to your body to gain strength and muscle, not to pare it down because your heart rate is continually elevated (that’s a cardio stimulus). 

Typically, you’d aim for 3 to 5 sets of 8 to 12 reps of a movement. 

What are the benefits of hypertrophy for the CrossFit athlete?

First and foremost, it strengthens muscle groups. Being a stronger athlete will benefit you in CrossFit, as you’re better able to handle loads and dynamic movements in a workout. A stronger muscle is typically a more explosive muscle. Hypertrophy work is also beneficial for tendons and ligaments. 

Hypertrophy training allows you to address weaknesses and imbalances, making your body more symmetrical. Thus, it can make you more durable.  When you are in a CrossFit workout, there is a level of overcompensation when fatigue sets in. That can further exacerbate your imbalances. Hypertrophy training can help add balance to your body, especially with unilateral movements not typically present in CrossFit. 

And because it makes you more durable and balanced, it can decrease the chances of injury. 

Hypertrophy training makes you more mobile - yes, lifting weights using full range of motion actually helps mobility. 

A big bonus may be reduced body fat - the more muscle you have, the greater your ability to burn fat at rest. 

A big point we want to make is this: there’s no disruptive effect if you take a few days per week off of CrossFit training to focus fully on strength/hypertrophy in order to get stronger and more resilient. Especially in a class setting when you only have one hour - you don’t always have to do the metcon! Again, it will only benefit your CrossFit training. 

One final word: you need to eat and sleep in order to grow. 

If you want to give a hypertrophy workout a try, here’s a good one: 

Mobility/Warm-up 

*Note: take several warm-up sets before each circuit. 

Squat 
5 sets: 
5 Back squat @ 75-85%
rest 2:00 between each set

Push and Pull (as heavy as possible) 
5 sets: 
5 Seal Row 
5 Bench Press 
rest 2:00 between each set

Shoulder Finisher  
10 L-lateral to long lever eccentric 
10 Banded pull-aparts 
rest 2:00 between each set

Midline
3 sets
:20 each side Pallof hold
50-foot each arm suitcase carry 
rest 2:00 between each set

By Wendy Shafranski

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