KNOW YOUR STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES
We all have both of these, and it takes a lot of dedication to turn your weaknesses into strengths, but you can do it! CrossFit® tests all aspects of fitness, and is an excellent way of making your weaknesses obvious (even if you didn’t realise that they were there). If you know that you won’t do as well in a WOD because it contains an exercise that you aren’t good at, don’t ever skip it! Be humble and face any weaknesses you have head on. Work on them, train hard and turn your weaknesses into strengths.
CHOOSING EQUIPMENT TO IMPROVE PERFORMANCE AND LONG TERM HEALTH
The same is true of the equipment that you use. The right kit, used in the appropriate way, can seriously improve your WOD times, aid and support your movements, and give you feedback on how your body is performing. It can also help to improve your health in the long run, avoid injury and enable your full potential.
Logically, it makes the most sense to give yourself the highest possible chance of success by securing all possible advantages in your favour. This is especially true in competitions, where the tiniest of details can result in the differences between podium places and prizes.
5 MM: JOSH BRIDGES’ CHOICE
The former Navy Seal is renowned for his incredibly tough mental attitude, his positive outlook and the way that he never forgets the fun, enjoyment and sense of community that lies at the heart of CrossFit®. Josh is exceptionally hard working, even by CrossFit® standards and well-rounded as an athlete.
His Knee Sleeve of choice is the 5mm because of the way it is exceptionally versatile, as well as being well suited for the additional support it offers for strength work within WODs.
WHAT TYPES OF WORKOUTS ARE 5MM BEST FOR?
Sprint workouts, barbell work, short to mid length WODs with a wide range of exercises, thrusters, lighter bar complexes or general barbell work are all helped by 5mm Knee Sleeves.
The 5mm are a great “default choice” if you are unsure about which ones to use. Keep them in your bag so they are on hand if something unexpected comes along (which happens all the time in CrossFit ®).
Example WOD where 5mm Knee Sleeves are the right choice
10 minute amrap:
- 10 Front Squats (45 / 65 kg)
- 15 Thrusters (25 / 35 kg)
- 20 Double Unders
7 MM: BIG LIFTS AND STRENGTH WORK
These are perfect for big lifts and heavy WODs, offering the most significant support from the entire range.
It is worth noting that these do not restrict movement, despite the increased support and thickness that they provide. In reality, they offer feedback about the movement of your joints to the rest of your body and allow you to adjust your movements accordingly. This feedback loop can be exceptionally useful when you are operating at the outer reaches of your abilities (within 85 – 100% of your 1rm).
The 7mm Sleeves are also great to use when increasing the intensity of your training. Say you are increasing the frequency of training days from 3 to 5 days every week. Protect your joints and movements through this transition, so that they get used to the increased levels of force and stress without becoming injured. Instead your body will adapt accordingly, by growing stronger and fitter.
This is a helpful preventative tip to help promote longevity and health, and looks much further than simply improving your WOD times.
WHAT TYPES OF WORKOUTS ARE 7MM BEST FOR?
Strength EMOMs, barbell complexes or heavy Olympic lifting ladders (think the Squat Clean ladder from the 2016 CrossFit® Games or the Snatch ladder event from the Regionals). The 7mm are also perfect for using when you program separate strength cycles into your training. Progressive loading on your Front and Back Squats, Cleans, Snatches etc can easily be augmented to by the 7mm Knee Sleeves.
Also, if you are in the zone and it is time to go absolutely all out on your new Clean and Jerk PR or any other lift, then get your 7mm Sleeves on and smash out a new personal record!
Example WODs where 7mm Knee Sleeves are the right choice
- Start at 50% of your 1rm.
- One lift every minute. If you miss the lift, the workout ends.
- Increase by 5 kg for each round.
The 3, 5 and 7 mm Knee Sleeves all support lifts and movement patterns, augment your natural mobility and keep your joints warm during (and after) WODs. Knowing which ones to use, at which times, can really help to improve your short term improvements in lifts and workouts as well as your long term health and injury prevention.