Train Smarter

The AM crew.

The AM crew.

The whiteboard knows all.

The whiteboard knows all.



CrossFit West Santa Cruz trainer Kyle Haynes is the guest writer for today’s post.  Kyle is one of CF West’s top athletes and a CrossFit Games hopeful.  Although he is fairly new to CrossFit and training in general, Kyle has approached his training with true dedication and discipline.  And his times and weights strongly show it.  Here he offers some some insights gained in his training.

What Are You Doing to Train Smarter?

There is no doubt that CrossFit is the most efficient and effective training methodology out there. By simply following their protocol exactly, almost to the point of obsession, I have become fitter, much fitter in fact. When I began the CrossFit protocol in April of 2008, I could maybe do a single pull-up, and couldn’t run one mile without stopping to catch my breath. It would be fair to say that I was de-conditioned, unhealthy even. Almost a year later I have seen miraculous results by simply training in the 3 on 1 off training cycle and strictly adhering to a Paleo/Zone diet, but there comes a time when that’s not enough. What are you doing to train smarter?

Recovery –

Recovery is an important part of my routine now. Not paying special attention to proper recovery not only increases chance of injury, but also decreases your potential power output, which in CrossFit is our main concern; increasing work capacity over broad time and modal domains, or moving big weights, long distances and quickly.

Don’t OVERTRAIN! Met-con workouts take a major toll on the central nervous system, you need to give your body sufficient time to recover from these types of workouts, that means doing met-cons 5 days in a row is probably not the best idea. At most, stick to the 3 on/1 off cycle for your max performance potential, then listen to your body, it will tell you if that’s too much.

The Post Workout Meal. There are many schools of thought on this topic, but I support eating a balanced meal within an hour after a workout. The important factor is restoring your glycogen stores for faster and more efficient muscle recovery, that means the one time its OK to load up on High Glycemic Index Carbs. This is only a small portion of how nutrition can be used to train smarter, more to come on that later.

Take care of your body – take a couple of minutes out of the day to use the foam roller, “stick”, tennis ball, or take a quick contrast shower (remember that unless flexibility work is to follow, always start and end with cold). I promise it will make you feel better.

Programming –

Work on what you suck at, thats the only way to get better at it. Your workouts probably only take somewhere between 2-25 minutes, so that gives you little excuse and plenty of time to work on your weaknesses. Also, scaling goes both ways, don’t be afraid to bump up the weight in a workout, even the benchmarks, that’s the only way you are gonna get stronger.

It is important to train “outside the box”, I know it sucks, but running or rowing a 5k IS a CrossFit workout too, sometimes you just gotta suck it up and put on the running shoes.  Besides, it’s perfect for those days when your schedule just doesn’t allow you to make a class. The same goes for heavy lifting days. CrossFit isn’t just about met-cons, they may make you hurt the most, and therefore feel more “worked out”, but it’s just a small part of the bigger picture.

Keep a Journal –

I can’t stress enough how important it is to keep a workout log of some type, plus it’s just plain fun to see the great strides you have achieved since beginning CrossFit. That observable, measurable, and repeatable data is at the core of the CrossFit methodology and the only way of recognizing the efficacy and efficiency of the program.

Here are two good online workout logs specifically for CrossFitters:

And here are some of my favorite nutrition sites:

Thoughts?  Please post to Comments.


5 Rounds

5 Snatch Grip Deadlift 225/155#

5 Burpee Pullups

Please post WOD completed and score to Comments.