Winter is here, with its cold, dark mornings and cold, dark nights. But don’t give into the natural urge to hibernate or let the challenging weather steal your summer gains. There are a lot of things you can do to make sure you continue to progress during the winter months.
Focus on strength
One of my favourite things do at this time of year is eat, and with the holidays and all the get-togethers with friends and family there are so many opportunities to indulge that hobby. Instead of brooding over the extra calories you’re taking in, use them to fuel more intense workouts. Do that by focusing on developing your power lifting skills in winter. These lifts make big demands on large muscle groups, and consequently consume a lot of energy (and calories). Eat well and focus on your lifting, on getting stronger, more explosive. Then, once the winter is over, and you’ve gotten really strong you’ll be able to show off all that muscle you’ve built.
Bring your conditioning indoors
It takes a special kind of runner to head out when it’s below zero and there’s a foot of snow on the ground. Me, I’d rather stay inside and use the rowing machine or the assault bike as my wintertime cardio and conditioning. If you can’t run in the winter or want to try something new, come in during open gym hours and try this workout on the assault bike. I guarantee it’ll challenge you.
- Perform 5 mins holding 65rpm
2. Perform 3 mins holding 70 rpm
3. Perform 1 min holding 75 rpm on the bike.
*Rest as needed before each set.
Think of the Open
Need a winter motivator? Don’t forget that the CrossFit Open comes just at the tail end of it and right before the onset of Spring. This makes the winter a very important time to work on those skills that you struggle with performing. So, if you did the Open last year, or are planning to try it this year, make a list of the gymnastic skills you struggle with the most (mine is T2b) and make improving or perfecting it your wintertime goal.
Canadian winters in can be tough but do not let the snow and cold crush your desire to keep getting stronger and faster. Take the weather and use it as a motivating force. Use this time to focus on the skills that you may have been too distracted to work on during the hot, sunny days of summer.
Broder McNeill is a coach and co-owner at Alchemy CrossFit.