May is Friends and Family Month at FIT!

Bring a guest for a FREE TRIAL of any single FIT service during the month of MAYMembers and guests both receive a 10% discount when they sign up!
  • CrossFIT  FIT is home to Hyper CrossFit, an official CrossFit Affiliate that provides this popular, intense training program in a safe and injury-free setting. Guaranteed by our certified coaches and Physical Therapists working side by side to give you the best workout of your life.
  • Sports Performance  – Led by a team of Orthopedic Physical Therapists and Strength and Conditioning Specialists, our Sports Performance center supports athletes of all ages and abilities from Burlington County and beyond. Whether your sport is baseball, softball, soccer, football, field hockey, or lacrosse, FIT athletes gain the extra edge against their competition while helping them stay in the game by avoiding injuries.
  • Fitness Center – Our world class facility is conveniently located right off of Exit of I-295 South and is available from 4:00 AM to midnight all year round. Take full advantage of our complete top of the line cardio and strength equipment along with our indoor sprint track, turf field and half-court basketball for a fun game of one on one. Our members enjoy keyless access control day and night.
  • Physical Therapy – We offer a variety of out-patient Physical and Occupational Therapy services and specialties under one roof provided by Certified Clinical Specialists that are true experts and among the most well-respected clinicians in the State of New Jersey.
*Certain restrictions apply. Physical Therapy consult limited to one half hour. Appointment required. Fitness Center access limited to five consecutive days. Refundable $10 deposit required for key card. CrossFit and Sports Performance free trials are limited to five days within one month from the time of registration. Class reservations required.

 

5 Ways to Break a Training Plateau Every CrossFitter Can Do

As published in CrossFit West

By Sam Radetsky
May 14, 2010

Stuck at a training plateau?  Here are five great and easy methods that every CrossFitter can do to break out of that plateau and hit new heights in your training.

1. Back squat 5×5 linear progression.
This is the big one.  Four months of back squat linear progression will give you more strength and add more numbers to all your lifts than just about anything else you can do.  So why don’t more people do it?  It’s hard, very hard.  You do the 5×5 once a week.  That’s five sets of five repetitions at the same weight. Each week add 5 pounds to the bar.  Start with a low number, such as a 10RM weight.  This will also work with any big and systemic movement, such as deadlifts or front squats, but the back squat is the classic.

2. Sled Training.
Sled work is a stunningly effective training method.  Push it, pull it, sprint with it, use your imagination as just about anything works, but the push is king.  If you don’t have access to a good sled, then push a car. For pulling, a tire with weight inside, like a couple dumbbells or kettlebells, works as well.

3. Hill Sprints.
Looking to combine leg strength, speed, conditioning and fun all into one workout? Look no further than hill sprints.  Just find a gnarly looking hill and sprint up it.  You can do all kinds of distances and intervals on a good hill.  My favorite is Miramar on the westside—about 100 yards of brutal.

4. Change Your Class Time.
Sometimes training plateaus are just about being in a rut.  A very simple fix is to change the time you go to class.  Train in the evening?  Try the morning, or vice versa.  This will often get you a different trainer who has a different style or focus and that might be all you need to boost your training. Different classes have different people and different vibes that might really click for you.

5. Dial in your nutrition.
It should go without saying that nutrition is the first place to look if you have hit a plateau.  Frustration with a plateau and lack of progress and bad nutrition is like worrying about airbags and never wearing your seat-belt. It’s just that important.

Two extra ones:

6. Recovery and Mobility.
Recovery and mobility is an often underrated field in CrossFit.  Some focus in this area will do wonders for your general muscular well being, as well as specifically improving your ability to squat, go overhead, and lift off the ground.  Stretching and myo-fascial release is the name of the game here.  Get a foam roller and a lacrosse ball and learn to be slightly masochistic.  While there is certainly technique and methods to stretching, most people need to just get down and do it.  Other important recovery techniques include getting more sleep and fish oil.

7. Explosive Training.
Take a tip from Olympian hammer thrower Kevin M and incorporate a little more explosion into your training.  Kevin always ends a workout with something fast and explosive. Med ball throws to the ceiling, jumping, some light and quick high pulls; he always primes his body for speed and power after a workout.

THE LIFE CYCLE OF A CROSSFITTER, PART 1: THE DREADED PLATEAU

As published in Breaking Muscle

By Patrick McCarty
CrossFit, Masters Athletes

The Plateau

For most people, the plateau phase is inevitable. It tends to happen around eighteen months in. There are many reasons for this, but mostly it’s due to the fact that, as Mark Rippetoe stated, you’ve picked the low-hanging fruit of your new fitness orchard. You’ve lost the weight, you’ve settled into a groove with your training routine, and you’ve gotten stronger, but your numbers have leveled off.

If you think about it, what occurred in the honeymoon phase is magical. You went from almost no stimulus to 100% stimulus overnight. Coupled with your new paleo or clean eating, anyone who gives a solid effort will undergo a tremendous response.

Now you’ve stalled. And where the plateau becomes a problem is when the gym at which you train does not have a real, progressive, periodized training protocol. If you are at a “heroes and girls” box that does daily fifteen to twenty minute metcons the majority of the time, then this plateau is going to hit you hard. If your CrossFit experience to date has been ass-whooping, puke-inducing WODS, and every day you expect to be crushed, you may begin to notice that your progress has come to a halt. You come in every day for a WOD, but you are never really getting anywhere. This, my friends, is post-adaptation mode.

At this point, one of two things may be happening. You either find that you are beginning to get soft, physically, or, you may start to notice injuries occurring. Where you could once hop up on the bar and rep out pull ups with abandon, you are now noticingsome shoulder pain. Or pain in your elbow joint, or your forearms, or your knees.

crossfit honeymoon, crossfit programming, crossfit plateau, mark rippetoe

If the injury phenomenon is occurring, you slow down and start modifying everything – overhead work, pull ups, and others all give way to substitute movements. Ring rows for pull ups, clean for snatches. Overhead squats are out of the question. Kettlebell swings set you back two days with a jacked up back.

However, if you have noticed that it is a general softness or that you are losing the edge you once felt you had, here’s what you may be tempted to do: double up on the metcons. You start doing two-a-days or supplementing the WOD with a couple of miles of running. Strength days are your enemy, and you feel you need the “Filthy 50” and “Fight Gone Bad” to make a dent in the ever-creeping softness that seems to be invading the results you once enjoyed. If CrossFit was good, then more CrossFit must be better.

The Outcome Is Certain

It’s very unlikely – not impossible, mind you, but unlikely – to continue to maintain and continue to improve your overall fitness if you continue a daily grind of fifteen to twenty minute metcons. If you are at a CrossFit box where that seems to be the programming, you may want to consider your options. To know if this is where you are, all you need to do is answer the following questions:

  • Do you do a “heroes” or “girls” WOD at least once a week?
  • Do you end up on your back nearly every workout, having been crushed?
  • Are most of the conditioning workouts fifteen minutes or longer?

If you answered “yes” to any of those, you may well be at a box that is going to program you into a hard plateau. The very thing you fell in love with is the thing that is going to be your undoing.

Make no mistake, many people fall victim to chasing a bigger and bigger fix to try to recapture that honeymoon magic. Newsflash: you won’t find it. But if (and likely when) you hit the plateau, there are three things you can do.

  1. Continue to maintain, or perhaps even continue to lose the gains you have made
  2. Become injured
  3. Begin training

Numbers two and three will be discussed in Part 2: Moving Into Real Fitness.

Photos provided by CrossFit LA.

Do Strong Girls Do Cardio? The Do’s and Don’ts of Cardio

As published in Girls Gone Strong

By Jill Coleman
September 17, 2013

CARDIO:  To do, or not to do.  That is the question…

How should you use cardio?

DO: Do use cardio to boost mood, feel invigorated and accomplished. Finishing a run outside run through the trails or toughing out a crazy-ass spin class is something to feel happy about. It’s even been shown in research to boost mood and help with depression. So enjoy those highs. But…

DON’T: Don’t rely on it for your self-worth. I think it’s easy to get caught up in the “Can I run farther today?” or “Let me see if I can get in an extra 60 minutes of cardio this week!” trap. I used to wear my cardio minutes like a badge of honor—proof of how hardcore I was. When in reality, I looked the exact same (or even slightly puffy) and eventually became miserable and felt like a failure if I didn’t get in all my minutes each week. Talk about a game you can’t win.

DO: Do incorporate interval or sprint training a couple times a week, and keep it short and intense. Alternating high-intensity “pushing” bouts with low-intensity “resting” periods helps train heart rate recovery, builds cardio fitness superior to that of steady-state cardio and also create the perfect hormonal soup to maximize muscle maintenance while burning more fat. Longer bouts (40 mins+) can increase stress hormones past the point of benefit. I put together a collection of my favorite intense cardio routines in my Cardio Acceleration Workout Workbookwhich contains 50 different cardio workouts for all experience levels.

DON’T: Don’t make the mistake of thinking more is better. When it comes to cardio, intensity trumps. And if you want your workout to be intense, it will automatically need to be shorter. More is not better, better quality is better.

DO: Do think sustainability. If you find yourself having to clock more and more minutes to simply maintain your weight, you’re in a cardio cycle and can potentially be damaging your metabolism long term (not to mention be miserable!).
So instead, ask yourself, “Could I do this regimen forever?” and if the answer is no, then let’s head back to the drawing board. Sustainable exercise will be:

a) time-conscious (not take hours)
b) fun or enjoyable (you don’t dread it)
c) it will get results (remember those??).

If you’re logging time on the tread, don’t forget to measure! The right amount of cardio, in my opinion, will be the least amount you can get away with and still maintain your physique.

DON’T: Don’t use it as your #1 way to lose fat. You’ve heard it a million times (and yet, you still don’t believe it!)—you cannot out-train a bad diet. Nutrition will always trump cardio when it comes to fat loss. And the more physical and mental energy you spend in the gym, the less energy is available to make the best choices in the kitchen. So with that in mind, it might even be beneficial to cut back on cardio and spend that time prepping clean eats instead. Another point: in terms of attainment, several studies demonstrate that groups who only made dietary changes lost nearly as much weight as those who dieted and exercised. The difference is a few mere pounds. Nutrition is the gross control for weight loss, while exercise is the fine control.

Jill_spinbike

Cardio can be fun, but remember, it is NOT your best fat loss tool. In fact, too much can be detrimental to your fat loss goals.

DO: Do monitor your hunger and cravings. Too much cardio can lead to insatiable hunger and ravenous cravings, due to increases in stress hormones, particularly cortisol. And doesn’t this just create the perfect negative feedback loop? “I do more cardio, so then I’m hungrier, so then I eat more so then I need to do more cardio.” Kill me now. My advice to you if you’re caught up in this loop is so sloooowly pull back your exercise volume and monitor hunger and cravings along the way. I promise you don’t blow up like the whale you think you will if you cut back over weeks and months. Stay mindful of nutrition and you’ll be just fine.

DON’T: Don’t forget to put weight training first when it comes to exercise. The mode of exercise has varying impacts on the physique via hormones.
 When we assume the body is a calories in vs. calories out furnace, we assume that the mode of exercise is irrelevant, so long as we are burning calories. However, the missing piece to this is that weight training impacts hormones differently than cardio, and can create a different “look.” Intense weight training increases testosterone, growth hormone and lactate, all of which impact muscle synthesis and fat burning. Doing cardio alone to burn cals can impact weight loss, but it takes some muscle along with it. Weight training trumps cardio for fat loss. Intensity trumps duration for fat loss.

I hope these insights help you develop your own plan that will not only get results, but will make you happier and freer in terms of feeling chained to the elliptical. Cardio can be a trap, but if you are implementing intelligent, sustainable practices then you’ll be just fine in the long run.