CrossFit athletes approach fitness in a way that might scare the average gymgoer.
Everyone works out differently depending on their different experience level, goals, and needs. For CrossFitters, this involves an intense regimen of HIIT, bodybuilding/strength sports practice, cardio, and even gymnastics (for flexibility.) In this exclusive video filmed for Men’s Health “Train Like” series, three-time CrossFit Games medaller Pat Vellner breaks down how he’s preparing for the 2021 Games and what has made him a champion of the sport. Vellner has qualified for the CrossFit Games five times in his career as a CrossFit athlete and has had top three finishes three times – third in 2016 and 2017 and second in 2018. Watch the video in full above for a detailed breakdown of his workout.
Probably the most interesting and CrossFit-specific part of Vellner’s workouts is that he subscribes to the “EMOM” – Every Minute On The Minute – HIIT style of working out. This involves rapid cycling between strength workouts, cardio, and other types of fitness that are brief but intense, designed to be hard on the body and require it to adapt to being used differently in split second situations. In the above video, Vellner does EMOM squats – different variations – for ten minutes, meaning he does the prescribed amount of reps when the minute starts and then rests until the next minute starts, which is when he does the next set of reps. The amount of rest time you get is then determined by how quickly you can complete your reps and not fixed ahead of time to give your body a chance to recuperate.
Another interesting takeaway from Vellner’s workout is that, aside from resistance bands and one set of reps on the rowing machine, he uses very minimal equipment. This is great news for people who don’t have access to a high tech gym with top of the line equipment. Some people really buy into the latest and greatest gadgets, but champions like Vellner remind us there are no shortcuts to success; training hard is and always has been the only way for an athlete to become great.
Vellner believes in stretching and warming up before starting his workout, which experts agree is the safest way to do it. But Vellner has an extra trick up his sleeve – he applies CBD oil to his joints before every workout. This helps minimize soreness and swelling after a tough workout and also increases the flexibility of the muscles during the workout so they’re less likely to tear. Joint injuries are common among CrossFit athletes and bodybuilders alike because they are the crucial hinges that muscle groups operate around – naturally they’re under a lot of stress when you squat, lift, or row, although most people are too focused on getting massively swole to notice.
There are lots of great tips and tricks in Vellner’s video, so make sure to watch the whole thing to get the full benefit! We’ll see him at the 2021 CrossFit Games.
*All images and media courtesy of YouTube.