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I'm a CrossFit Athlete But I Refuse to Count My Macros

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Photo: Yutthana Teerakarunkar/EyeEm/Getty Images

There's a diet filling your social media feeds with images of chocolate doughnuts with sprinkles, entire pints of HaloTop, and massive mounds of Chipotle, accompanied by the hashtag #IIFYM. It stands for "if it fits your macros" and it has become the buzzword of flexible dieting.

This Low-Impact Rowing Machine Workout Burns Cals Without Banging Up Your Body

Photo: Chris Fanning

Even though it’s low-impact, don’t let that fool you. This total-body workout will be just as fiercely sweaty and sculpting as your usual high-intensity routine, without the running, jumping, and other jolts. (Same with this at-home low-intensity workout.)

“You are still elevating your heart rate and achieving excess postexercise oxygen consumption, or EPOC, where your body continues to burn calories after your workout,” says Justin Norris, a cofounder of the LIT Method studio in Los Angeles. The difference is that Norris designed this pyramid-style circuit to have zero pounding by using a rowing machine (you can find one in any gym) for speed intervals and joint-friendly body-weight moves for resistance that correct muscle imbalances and help reduce injury. This combo, Norris says, “will build you, not break you.” (Here's how to get the 'afterburn' effect in your workout.)

Rowing is the perfect cardio for keeping your workouts low-impact because it still recruits a whopping 86 percent of your muscles, research in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise found. (Related: Rowing mistakes you're probably making.) Your power output is distributed varyingly among your legs (60 percent), core (20 percent), and arms (20 percent).

To keep yourself accountable—and your intensity through the roof—race against yourself as you do the row intervals. Try to improve your 300-meter, 200-meter, and then 100-meter rowing times throughout each circuit. Do this workout three times a week on alternate days, Norris says, and aim to crank out more reps of each body-weight move as you progress.

How it works: You’ll do three circuits that alternate between rowing sprints and body- weight moves for as many reps as possible in one-minute intervals. (With each circuit, the distance of the rowing interval decreases.)

Total Time: up to 30 minutes

1. Warm-Up

A.

Row for 200 meters at a slow and controlled tempo.

Sets:

1

2. Upper Body Circuit

A.

300-meter sprint

B.

1 minute push-ups

C.

300-meter sprint

D.

1 minute mountain climbers

E.

300-meter sprint

F.

1 minute commandos: Start on floor in plank on palms. Lower onto right forearm and then left forearm. Press into right palm and then left palm to return to start.

Sets:

1

Mistakes and Tips:

Scale Down: Lower knees to floor during push-ups and commandos.
Scale Up: Add a push-up to each high plank during commandos.

3. Lower Body Circuit

A.

200-meter sprint

B.

1 minute air squats

C.

200-meter sprint

D.

1 minute alternating reverse lunges: Start by standing with feet together, then step right foot back, lowering into a lunge, knees bent at 90 degrees. Press off right foot to return to start. Switch sides; repeat. Continue alternating.

E.

200-meter sprint

F.

1 minute glute bridge: Start lying faceup on floor, knees bent, feet flat. Press into heels to lift hips, forming a straight line from knees to shoulders. Hold for 1 minute.

Sets:

1

Mistakes and Tips:

Scale Down: Perform reverse lungs on one side for 30 seconds. Switch sides; repeat.
Scale Up: Holding bridge lift, alternate driving each knee in toward chest.

4. Core Circuit

A.

100-meter sprint

B.

1 minute roll-ups: Start lying faceup on floor, legs extended and arms behind head, biceps by ears. Lift arms to reach toward ceiling, then slowly roll torso up off floor, reaching for- ward to touch fingers to toes. Reverse movement to return to start, taking 3 seconds to reach floor.

C.

100-meter sprint

D.

1 minute leg lifts: Start lying faceup on floor, legs extended toward ceiling, palms on floor next to hips. Slowly lower straight legs to hover off floor for 3 seconds, stopping when lower back comes off floor. Lift legs to return to start.

E.

100-meter sprint

F.

1 minute forearm plank hold

Sets:

1

Mistakes and Tips:

Scale Down: Perform leg lifts with knees bent at 90-degree angles, lowering toes to tap floor.
Scale Up: Holding forearm plank, drive right knee to right elbow. Switch sides; repeat. Continue alternating.

Workout Clothes You Can Wear On a Night Out

Sukishufu The Leatherback Legging

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These leather-look leggings work with pretty much anything, from a cropped tank to a trendy off-the-shoulder top. ($135; revolve.com)

SHOP ALL WORKOUT LEGGINGS

Photo: Sukishufu

P.E Nation Man Down Jacket

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Throw this cool AF jacket over an LBD for the ultimate athleisure look. Finish it off with clean white kicks. ($189; pe-nation.com)

(If you need some new ones, here are some fancy sneakers to wear for work and play.)

SHOP ALL JACKETS

Photo: P.E Nation

Jonathan Simkhai x Carbon38 Lace Up Top

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This super-sexy crop top works well with jeans or a high-waisted skirt. ($175; carbon38.com)

SHOP ALL TANK TOPS

Photo: Carbon38

Kate Spade New York x Beyond Yoga Side Slits Bow Tank

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This easy tank is casual but fun, which makes it ideal for wearing with jeans at a house party. Wear a strappy sports bra underneath for a little something extra. ($77; beyondyoga.com)

Photo: Beyond Yoga

Nike Modal Blend Track Pants

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Elevated track pants are a thing right now, and this high-waisted version is both comfy and fashionable. ($170; net-a-porter.com)

SHOP ALL WORKOUT PANTS

Photo: Net-a-Porter

Adidas by Stella McCartney Green Yoga Tank

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Tuck this knit tank into your go-to denim or a sparkly skirt and no one will have a clue it's activewear. ($80; stellamccartney.com)

Photo: Stella McCartney

Ultracor Ultra "Silk" Knockout Leggings

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These metallic star leggings feel perfectly festive for NYE and beyond. ($196; goop.com)

(Love this look? Here are more star-themed clothing and accessories to add to your shopping cart ASAP.)

Photo: Goop

Puma Explosive Long Sleeve Top

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Velvet is one of the biggest trends of the season, which means it has made its way into activewear. Wear this sheer-sleeve crop with leggings, denim, or a flowy skirt. ($55; puma.com)

SHOP ALL LONG SLEEVE TOPS

Photo: Puma

Ivy Park Satin Hooded Tunic

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You can easily pair this satin hoodie with your pants of choice, but it's also long enough to wear as a dress with tights and boots. ($52; us.topshop.com)

Photo: Topshop

Reebok x FACE Stockholm High Rise Legging

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These liquid leggings are just the right balance of sparkle and shine. ($55; reebok.com)

(Psst... Scope more metallic workout clothes here.)

Photo: Reebok