What is CrossFit?
CrossFit has been around for a number of years and is once again gaining popularity for its many benefits, with more CrossFit gyms opening up everywhere.
Although CrossFit officially became a branded company in the year 2000, this workout program has its origins in 1996 when it was developed by Greg Glassman. Glassman was a young Olympian gymnast who was looking for a training program that would give him more strength. He realized that using his bodyweight only in workouts wouldn’t do it. What did work was a combination workout method for fitness that included free weights, high-intensity interval training, calisthenics, and core training. This full-body workout is designed to improve strength, flexibility, speed, power, and endurance.
Although there are CrossFit gyms, known as the “box”, that focus entirely on the CrossFit training program the concept has been adopted and is used by many sports teams, professional athletes, and other organizations around the world, such as police academies. Studies have been done that confirm CrossFit is a beneficial and effective fitness program that’s ideal for anyone who wants a diverse workout routine.
Who Does CrossFit?
CrossFit isn’t just for professional athletes or organizations that want to get their members in top fitness condition – CrossFit is for anyone who wants to improve their fitness level and get into shape as they condition their entire body. This includes teens, women, and men. Even seniors are benefiting from this program.
No matter what fitness level you’re currently at, CrossFit allows you to work at your own intensity. CrossFit is a good program for anyone who is new to HIIT and weight training as it teaches you how to work through the basics before you advance in your speed and intensity of workouts.
For people who are already fit and experienced in a gym, CrossFit challenges them even more, helping to improve their speed, agility, strength, and endurance.
Typical CrossFit Workout
Instead of having workouts for different groups and fitness levels, each CrossFit gym has one workout every day that members adapt to their own skill and fitness level. You’ll work through the circuit that’s been outlined for the day, modifying as needed to add or decrease reps, or swap in a different exercise.
If you don’t have access to a CrossFit gym to attend a class, a WOD (workout of the day) is posted online each day through many websites. You can do the WOD at home or in any commercial gym.
Each CrossFit workout follows a specific format that includes:
- Skill or strength work of the day
- The workout of the day
- Stretch and cooldown
Warmup – Warmups are designed to get your heart working and raise your body temperature. Dynamic stretches get your entire body ready as you do some basic movements and prepare for a rigorous workout. Warmups can include lunges, squats, jumping jacks, sit-ups, and pull-ups on the bar.
Skill or Strength – Skill and strength work focuses on one exercise so you can improve your CrossFit technique and get the most out of your workouts. On skill days you concentrate on one skill, such as pistol squats or handstand push-ups. On strength days your focus may be on deadlifts or weighted pull-ups.
WOD – The workout of the day will change constantly, so you’re always being challenged. You’ll work through a list of exercises as quickly as you can, with a recommended number of ideal reps for each. Other WOD will give you a specific amount of time to do each exercise, with you doing as many as possible in that given time.
Stretch and cooling down – This is when you take the time to recover and cool down, stretching out the muscles you’ve just worked.
Here’s an example of a typical CrossFit WOD.
AMRAP (as many reps as possible) for 20 minutes:
- 3 pull-ups
- 6 push-ups
- 9 squats
AMRAP for 12 minutes:
- 5 pull-ups
- 10 push-ups
- 15 squats
AMRAP for 12 minutes:
- 1 pull-up
- 4 push-ups
- 7 squats
Tips for CrossFit Newcomers
If you’re a newcomer and beginner to CrossFit, here are a few tips to get you started:
- Take it slow and easy. There’s a lot to learn when you start doing CrossFit, and you’re not going to learn it all at once.
- Take the time to master the techniques. This is what the skill or the strength is about every day – to improve those skills every time you do a WOD.
- Go at your own pace. Don’t overdo it the first few times you do a CrossFit workout class, or you may end up with injuries. As a beginner, start with 3 workouts a week for the first month, then increase to 4 workouts per week.
- Take time for recovery. This means stretching and cooling down at the end of every workout. If you put in the recovery time, you’ll start to get more out of your workouts.
- Eat healthy. Focus on eating healthy and nutritious meals. Now that you’re working out, consume more lean protein so that muscles recover quicker after a workout.
- Supplement when required. Many athletes like to use pre workouts, post workouts, and testosterone support products like HF Labs Delta Prime.
- Drink plenty of water during and after a workout. You need to replenish the fluids you lose when exercising.
- Ask questions. It can take some time to become familiar with the CrossFit workout. Ask trainers and coaches at the gym for assistance whenever you need it.
- Adapt your workouts. There may be complex exercises included in the workout of the day that you’re not ready for. Scale it down by doing exercises that are for beginners and build up to the more intense ones.
The CrossFit workout is a good way to add fitness to your life. The program is an all-body workout that’s designed to increase your fitness level and improve your health. Here are some of the main benefits of CrossFit:
- Build muscle – After doing CrossFit workouts for 3 to 4 weeks you’ll notice that you’re building lean muscle.
- Weight loss – CrossFit uses a combination of HIIT exercises that may help you lose weight more efficiently. This is because HIIT exercises will help your body burn calories for hours after your workout.2
- Flexibility and mobility – CrossFit workout routines will help your body become more flexible, giving you more mobility in your joints.3
- Improve heart health – CrossFit will give you a good cardio workout.
- Body toning – The muscle-building and fat-burning workouts that CrossFit provides are a good way to tone all areas of your body.
- Improve confidence and self-esteem – As you become more proficient with your CrossFit technique, you’ll soon be able to make it through the WOD without having to modify exercises. This can improve your confidence and self-esteem.