How to Prevent Injury, Improve Performance During Your CrossFit Workout
CrossFit has ranked as the top fitness trend for the last several years. It is the ultimate test of strength, endurance, will power, and fortitude as CrossFitters give their all each and every workout. Your typical CrossFit workout consists of high intensity, compound exercises that are performed in rapid succession of one another. Breaks are limited and usually accompanied by active stretching. In other words, you never have a chance to stop. This new type of high intensity workout has given birth to the annual CrossFit Games, which combines the familiar CrossFit workouts with the Summer heat and a wide audience.
Each year, the participants at the CrossFit Games have had to contend with a growing number of dangerous challenges. During the most recent 2015 Games, there were record numbers of participants leaving on an ambulance stretcher. Is there a way for CrossFitters to train their bodies to adapt to the extreme physical demands? Of course. By harnessing the power of the sauna suit, CrossFitters can avoid injury while dramatically improving their overall performance.
One of the biggest concerns with the CrossFit Games, and Crossfit in general, is the gravitation toward extreme temperature training environments. The CrossFit Games are held each year during July in southern California. Imagine performing one normal workout in the California heat in July. Now try to picture how hundreds of participants struggle through a dozen workouts based over just four days. It should be no surprise then that participants drop like flies.
Training for CrossFit requires more than just lifting weights or performing extreme cardio; you also need to force your body to acclimate to the temperatures you’ll be working out in. Since Winter and Spring can’t provide an appropriate training ground, the next best way to train is a sauna suit. A sauna suit mimics actual temperatures within a real sauna. The result is receiving all of the benefits of a sauna without paying the real sauna price.
In regards to acclimation, the sauna suit has been shown to safely raise your body temperature, promoting a number of cellular adaptation processes. Most notably is the increase in heat stress proteins. The production of these specialized proteins is triggered when wearing a sauna suit. Heat stress proteins promote a number of benefits including:
- Enhanced gains (muscle building and fat loss)
- Faster recovery
- Injury prevention
Let’s take a closer look at how these heat stress proteins and the sauna suit can make these benefits a reality.
It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been training in the world of CrossFit. It’s the results that get you the glory you’re seeking. By utilizing a sauna suit during your training, you are setting yourself up for success in a number of ways. First and foremost, wearing a sauna suit has been shown to boost the body’s natural blood flow. As a direct method of transportation for critical nutrients, increased blood flow is going to help fuel your muscles by getting nutrients to where they need to be at a faster rate. For instance, taking a pre-workout supplement before your CrossFit workout will ensure a higher level of delivery of nutrients, fueling you and resulting in a better overall performance. (1)
Use of a sauna suit also trains the body to become more energy efficient relying on ingested nutrition and not your stored glycogen. Having these glycogen stores readily available is important if you want to make it through each of the CrossFit workouts. (1)
Most importantly, the body will be accustomed to performing these intense exercises in high heat environments. Consistent use of the sauna suit will produce an increase in heat stress proteins, allowing you to acclimate to the extreme temperatures you’ll be facing during competition season. Not being phased by the heat will provide you with a huge leg up on the competition.
BOOST YOUR RECOVERY
What good is working out if your body isn’t able to recover in time for your next Workout of the Day? Recovery is where you’ll receive the biggest leaps and bounds in strength, power, and heat adaptation. Simply by wearing the sauna suit, you are promoting your own recovery, repair, and growth.
The heat stress proteins that are released from wearing the sauna suit have been shown to encourage the production of growth hormones. These hormones are very important to the body as they are support the healing process. (2)
Girls, growth hormones encourage strength gains while regulating other hormones.
Guys, growth hormones mean more muscle and a better overall mental state. (2)
As mentioned above, using the sauna suit increases blood flow, which promotes a higher level of nutrient uptake. This also applies for your recovery period. Wear the sauna suit on your off day and you’ll be amazed at your rate of recovery due to the increased availability of muscle building nutrients. (1)
PROTECT YOURSELF FROM INJURY
Arguably, one of the most important benefits of the sauna suit is its ability to help protect you from injury. In several studies, heat stress proteins have been shown to reduce the risk of injury in two primary ways. First, heat stress proteins will elevate the body’s natural temperature, preparing it for a workload. Think of it like a pre-workout warm-up. Heat stress proteins also protect you from inflammation, which is a central cause of sports-related injuries. (3)
The other method for keeping you safe is the ability to help you adjust to extreme training temperatures. Your body will be trained to utilize energy stores more efficiently while becoming accustomed to the high heat you’d expect during a California Summer. (1)
Since the sauna suit safely mimics a high heat environment, as you’d find in a real sauna, it helps prepare your body to tackle the high intensity workouts you’d expect to perform in a brutal heat training environment. Utilize the suit to prepare for a simple workout, competition, or CrossFit games and give yourself the upper hand. Take a look at our current collection of sauna suits that are ideal for CrossFit workouts.
- Crinnion, WJ. “Sauna as a valuable clinical tool for cardiovascular, autoimmune, toxicant- induced and other chronic health problems.” 2011. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. Web.
- Masaki Iguchi, PhD, Andrew E. Littmann, MA, Shuo-Hsiu Chang, PhD, Lydia A. Wester, BS, Jane S. Knipper, RN, and Richard K. Shields, PhD. Heat Stress and Cardiovascular, Hormonal, and Heat Shock Proteins in Humans. J Athl Train. 2012 Mar-Apr; 47(2): 184–190.
- W H Dillmann. Heat shock proteins and protection against ischemic injury. Infect Dis Obstet. Gynecol. 1999; 7(1-2): 55–57.