Take your workouts to the next level by emulating CrossFit workouts at home. Let these CrossFit inspired expert tips help you embrace a new fit focus for the coming year with

If you’re interested in Reebok CrossFit but can’t seem to make it out to the gym as often as you’d like, converting your home gym into a CrossFit style training space is a great way to help keep up with your workout regimen. Walmart speaks with CrossFit trainer, Machiko Emoto, to get the inside scoop on her top CrossFit workout tips and home gym must-haves to help you further your CrossFit workout goals.

Machiko-EmotoMachiko Emoto is one of the founders of CrossFit Toronto. A dedicated CrossFitter, Machiko has attained the rank of CrossFit Level 2 Trainer and has been coaching since 2005. Machiko holds numerous certifications including mobility, endurance, nutrition, and weightlifting. Having a special passion for Olympic-style weightlifting, she is also an OWA-trained member of the Ontario Weightlifting Association.


Table of Contents

  • What is CrossFit training and why should I give it a try?
  • What do I need for CrossFit at home?
  • CrossFit at home must-haves
  • CrossFit for beginners
  • How many days a week should I do CrossFit?
  • What are the benefits of CrossFit training?
  • Is CrossFit good for weight loss?

What is CrossFit training and why should I give it a try?

“Depending on who you ask, the answer might change,” says Emoto when asked why people should choose CrossFit training for their workouts. “The way I describe it to people who come to our gym comes down to three things: The first point of CrossFit exercise is functional movement. Functional movement is the movement you do outside the gym, in your real life,” she explains. “During your workout, we will practice that move over and over. So for example, to practice picking up heavy groceries, in the gym what that might look like is picking up barbells—we call that the deadlift. We teach you to use your legs and keep your back straight instead of rounding your back and lifting heavy objects with your back.”

The second point, Emoto explains, is that CrossFit varies workouts every time. “Our workout is different every day; it constantly varies. Many people who go to the gym have their routine,” she says. “They’ll do their back one day, their legs another. When it comes to CrossFit, we work all the body parts, and you’re challenged every time you’re in the class. You’re doing different things in every session. So you’re less likely to hit a plateau. It’s always fun, so you don’t get bored. And even after several years, you can still improve your performance,” says Emoto.

The third point is that CrossFit workouts are high intensity. “We define intensity by how fast you go, how heavy you lift, how many repetitions you can do in a certain amount of time,” she explains. “You try to do your best in that situation. That way the intensity is high and you improve your performance.

What do I need for CrossFit at home?

“If you have dumbbells, kettlebells, skipping rope and you know how to move properly, you can do CrossFit style movements at home,” explains Emoto. “The key is that you want to keep changing your workout. Change up your speed; that gets different results. Even if you have limited equipment, depending on how you do it, you can get a good workout.”

Even though you’re working out at home, Emoto still recommends planning your workouts ahead of time. “If you want a proper training program, you need to plan,” says Emoto. “Put in something you like and something you’re not good at, so you practice that as well. Vary time and length, so you’re not doing the same exercise day after day.”

Emoto also likes to combine movements and avoid focusing on one muscle or small area. “If you do a pushup, add a pullup instead of another push movement after,” she suggests. Emoto notes you could combine a squat, a pushup, and a pull-up, 10 repetitions of each, and do three or four sets of these for a well-rounded workout. She adds that you can add weight to intensify the squat when you’re ready.

CrossFit at home must-haves

Emoto’s top must-haves include dumbbells, kettlebells and skipping rope. “If you have those three, you can do a lot of things,” she suggests, including dumbbell or kettlebell squats, presses and deadlifts.

skipping ropeWhen it comes to the skipping rope, make sure you have enough space and ceiling clearance, cautions Emoto. “It’s great for cardio training when it’s raining or snowing outside,” she says. “You can do one minute, then rest a minute.”

PlyoboxAccording to Emoto, Plyobox is another great CrossFit tool. “You can choose what height you want. You can jump on and off, or step on and off. It gets the heart rate up quickly. It’s good for hockey players in particular,” she informs. “It’s great for leg strength and gives you more power.”

pullup bar

Additionally, as per Emoto, if you’re able to add a pull-up bar or some rings to your home gym, you can do dips with rings as well as pullups with the bar.

bumper platesIf you’re ready to take your strength training to the next level, you can also outfit your home gym with a barbell and bumper plates. “I’m a big fan of strength training, so I would invest money in a barbell and bumper plates,” says Emoto. “Then you can get into more advanced strength training.”

 You might also like: How to Create the Perfect Home Gym

CrossFit for beginners

“Start with the basics,” suggests Emoto. “Run, skip. If you want to add some basic gymnastic movement, do squats, pushups, Plyobox step-ups.  Squats may seem an easy movement, but there are lots of things going on. Look for technique first. Then go from there.”

Emoto also recommends filming yourself when working out alone, so you can review the video afterward and see how you move and whether your technique is correct. “Start slow,” says Emoto. “Spend lots of time on basics. If something scares you, ask someone for help or get someone to watch you and make sure you’re moving safely.”

How many days a week should I do CrossFit?

How often you work out, and for how long, depends again on what you’re looking for, says Emoto. “The minimum we recommend to maintain your fitness level is two times a week. If you want to see [better] results, we recommend three times a week,” she says, adding that classes at her gym are one hour, including strength training, cardio, warm up and cool down. “We’ll do some strength training at the beginning, about 25 minutes, including rest time,” continues Emoto. “Then we’ll kick into a cardio workout, which is also best kept at 20 minutes. Keep in mind we’re trying to do high intensity, so it’s hard to do longer than 20 minutes at a time. There’s also a warm-up, and cool-down, which adds up to approximately 15 minutes.”

If you can’t dedicate an hour to your CrossFit workout, Emoto says that you can still do CrossFit in shorter periods. “If you only have half an hour, you can do a quick warm-up. Then do squats and pushups and maybe some ring rows—try to do as many as you can in 15 minutes,” she says. “By the end, you should be sweating because you’re working out at high intensity.”

What are the benefits of CrossFit training?

According to Emoto, results and benefits vary from person to person. “Many people come to our gym because they want to get stronger or faster,” she informs. “The majority of our athletes are 35 years old and up. Many are parents. Added benefits of doing this type of training can include an increase in your energy levels. You might find you have energy later in the day, with increasing energy levels. The high-intensity training helps with that.”

Emoto adds that CrossFit training can also help get you in a better mood as well. “After a workout, everyone feels better,” she says. “It’s good for stress management as well.”

Is CrossFit good for weight loss?

“Absolutely,” says Emoto. “CrossFit can help you lose weight and gain muscle.” However, she is quick to point out that training alone can’t control weight loss. “When you come to the gym, we teach you a better way to eat. If you follow that, then absolutely you can lose weight,” Emoto explains. She notes that one of the most important considerations for weight loss is your diet. “Even if you work out seven days a week, hardcore, if you don’t eat great, or have lots of stress, you probably won’t have the best results,” she says. “If losing weight is the focus, then we need to focus on nutrition as well.”

Emoto recommends a diet of whole foods, seafood, vegetables, some fruit, little starch, and reduced sugar to get the most out of your workouts. “Healthy fats are good. Lean meat. For people who want to lose weight, we suggest getting rid of processed carbohydrates and eating more vegetables and some fruit. Carbs are usually the first thing to go. Most of us could stand to increase our protein intake as well,” says Emoto.

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