By David Wilson
High school athletes know no off-season. Whether it be skill work, or strength, those who want to be successful are driven to constantly put in time. That’s probably why CrossFit workouts are gaining popularity around the country and Ketchikan is no exception.
CrossFit methodology is used throughout Kayhi such as in boys conditioning and during wrestling practice.
CrossFit methods are used for training during practices instead of traditional, muscle isolation exercises, or weight training. While a traditional “leg day” workout might feature leg presses and squats, a CrossFit workout would include squats before a Workout of the Day (WOD) which might include running, squats and box jumps all in immediate succession done as fast as possible while maintaining good form.
Wrestling coach Rick Collins uses CrossFit methods in his class and has his wrestling team do them also.
“I really like the philosophy,” said Collins. “It combines both strength and cardio training. It really falls in line nicely with wrestling.”
Collins also uses CrossFit methodology in his boy’s conditioning class.
“We do do a few more CrossFit workouts for the class, for the wrestlers we do a few that we rotate. I did CrossFit fit at the local gym for a while, I did notice a great improvement.” said Collins. “CrossFit is definitely is great, it works different muscle groups that might be skipped.”
For a better health improvement, Collins also does traditional weightlifting and cardio runs, such as running to the Carlanna Lake and back. He believes that exercise is the fountain of youth, that it will keep you young looking and healthy.
CrossFit is the focus on specific areas in short amounts of time, which engages multiple muscle systems.
“I believe to get into the best shape is (CrossFit, which is) weight training and cardiovascular (in the same workout.)” former football coach Steven McLaren said. “Don’t over do it. Online is a great place (to find certain or daily workouts) that you can adjust.” said McLaren
Danny Lehr is a co-owner of CrossFit Excel in Manteca, California. He said the intensity of the workouts is not something people can jump right in to and that certain people might be better fit for the workouts.
“As far as CrossFit as a sport, certain body types excel over others,” said Lehr. “Generally someone around 5-foot-9, 185 pounds has certain advantages. Light enough to be good at bodyweight exercises, but big enough to have a certain level of absolute strength.”
It is also a very effective way to get results with intense and stressed workouts.
“Once I graduated from high school, my workouts were much more like a standard body building workout. chest one day, legs the next, etc,” said Lehr. “Once I started CrossFit I lost about 20 lbs, and at the same time got stronger.”
Lehr said CrossFit can help train your body in many real-life ways and isn’t just for weight lifters.
“For example, back-squats, which translates to athletics and hiking, etc. However, leg curls of leg extensions on a machine work the same muscle groups, but not in a way that mimics real life in any way,” said Lehr.
But can also be dangerous.
“Exercise is inherently a dangerous activity,” said Lehr. “The most important thing is to stress technique first, and then layer in intensity along the way.”
There has been a great leap from the amount of CrossFit-affiliated gyms in the US. In 2010 there were 1,700 gyms, up from 18 in 2005. It also went up by 40% by 2011, then up by 43% by 2012. The amount of affiliated gyms have crossed over 5,000 worldwide recently, about 72.7% being in the US alone in 2012.
CrossFit can help in all athletics Lehr said. “The way CrossFit works, one will get stronger as well as more flexible and mobile. That will help with staying injury free. Additionally, the midline strength developed in CrossFit is extremely useful.”
That strength is what Collins had in mind when he adopted it as part of his training.
“It helps simulate how the wrestlers will feel after a match,” said Collins.
After finishing first at the Petersburg Invitational last weekend, the wrestlers have been feeling good.