You may have heard one of your friends raving about CrossFit recently, about how the squats have got them a booty, or how fit they are because of it. Or perhaps the opposite, you’ve heard it dangerous, or bad for you.
Whatever the case, you have heard of it, and you are intrigued. Why the negative feedback vs the extremely positive recommendation. CrossFit is taking the world by storm and popping up around the country. So what is exactly is CrossFit and how can it benefit you?
There are two ways to explain CrossFit – the technical definition and the ‘but how does that benefit me?’ definition.
1. Technical Definition (bear with me)
CrossFit can be described as a training style or system, which originated in the US and was created by Greg Glassman. Glassman defined fitness and devised a training system, which would give people the ultimate way to train and get fit.
CrossFit therefore relies on set workouts that are measured to check how your fitness is doing compared to everyone else. Although this may be the competitive side of CrossFit, you are actually competing with yourself trying to continually improve your fitness.
There are 10 elements combined together to measure your fitness and to see if someone is ‘fit’. These are:
- Cardiovascular endurance
Depending on how competent you are in these areas will determine your level of fitness. If for example you are very efficient at running, but have no strength or flexibility, you have a hole in your fitness you should work on.
So how does this idea translate? You may have a marathon runner. They are very fit yes – in endurance, and stamina. But how do they stack up against a weightlifter? They may not even be able to lift the bar over their head.
The weightlifter on the other hand has speed, power and strength among other elements of fitness but would probably battle to run 100m let alone 42km. The point of CrossFit though is not to be sports specific. These are athletes who have worked on the fitness elements preferable to their sports.
Fitness for the general public and CrossFit Athletes however should take a different approach. CrossFit is to build your overall fitness in every area, leaving no stone unturned. So a CrossFitter should be able to lift heavy weights and be able to run a marathon. Maybe not as well as the weightlifter or marathon runner but still well.
2. So what does that mean for me?
Well depends on who you are. For the general public, being fitter and working on all aspect of fitness bring a person into a state of wellness and then fitness. CrossFit focuses on helping the everyday person reach a high state of health and fitness, in a very short time frame.
So if you want to get fit, build your athleticism, lose weight and increase your overall wellness then CrossFit is a fantastic training system to do so. All of the workouts are measurable so you will see the results as you progress.
CrossFit identifies its fitness plan as ‘functional movement at high intensity which is constantly varied’. Lets break that down for a second because this part is important for you.
Functional movement refers to movements we use everyday which are the most efficient for our body. Movements that our body is naturally able to perform. The problem for many of us is as we get older we lose our natural movement as we stop moving. For example sitting in a chair all day tightens your hip flexors so when you struggle to for example squat (watch young children do a perfect squat. They will pick objects off the floor this way all the time).
CrossFit aims to perform these movements at high intensity as this produces the best and fastest results. Finally, keep each workout different or constantly varied, meaning the body never adapts to one workout or type of training also providing continuous results for your training and health.
3. Learn to CrossFit
You could sit here and read about CrossFit all day and try to get a grasp for it. But the best way to find if you love it or hate it is to actually do it! CrossFit gyms can have a very strong culture so it’s important to find the right one for you to get the best out of your training. Finally, to avoid injury, search for a CrossFit which has qualified coaches who are very persistent with good technique and can adequately suit the workout to your fitness level
Want more? Check out our other blogs on training:
And some of our blogs on CrossFit
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About the Author
Elle has a passion for women's fitness and helping girls improve their self-image through fitness. Her vision is to create a CrossFit gym, which allows women to learn how to move, build their strength, learn to be healthy and gain respect for their bodies showing them how amazing they really are! Find out more