What is CrossFit?
CrossFit is a fitness method based on performing functional, full-body movements with high intensity, using elements from weightlifting, gymnastics, running and more. The concept is to maximize the amount of work in the least amount of time. Constantly working to progress in a variety of exercises is meant to lead to quick and measureable gains in an athlete’s level of fitness.
CrossFit gyms are referred to as “boxes”, and unlike standard fitness facilities, they are not filled with machines, but equipment such as gymnastics rings, turf, medicine balls, kettlebells, barbells, boxes and more that challenge core, balance, strength and power.
Why is it so Popular?
Part of what makes CrossFit popular is the culture of camaraderie, working out with a team mentality, and cheering each other on until the last person has finished. Workouts can be scaled to accommodate any level of fitness, so that anyone is welcome to try it out without intimidation. The variety, constant challenge, and team atmosphere keeps people coming back.
Goal-setting, and reaching those goals, is another key component of CrossFit – be it a faster time, lifting a heavier weight, or conquering a rope climb. For serious athletes, the ultimate goal is the CrossFit Games.
The Games is where the top athletes from gyms around the world compete in a four-day, 13-event test of fitness that includes swimming, push-ups, rope climbs, power cleans, yoke carries, deadlifts, biking, and much more. Winning the games earns an athlete the impressive title of “Fittest Man/Woman on Earth”.
Not Ready to Commit?
What if you like the idea of a CrossFit-style workout, but can’t afford a membership, don’t have a gym near you, or just aren’t quite ready to step into a box?
There are plenty of CrossFit WOD’s (workout of the day) you can do at home, outside, or at a standard gym to get started and reap many of the benefits. A few simple pieces of equipment like kettlebells, jump rope, rings, and resistance bands can provide a challenging workout that will help build muscles and improve your fitness.
Try One of These CrossFit-Style Workouts
Home or a Park: Complete the following in as little time as possible (next time you try it, attempt to beat your time)
Gym: Complete as many rounds as possible in 30 minutes
Keep in mind that any intense exercise has the potential to be a bit hard on your body. Try using things like wrist wraps for extra support and gym chalk to improve grip. Always remember to stretch and foam roll after your workouts to speed up recovery time, keep your muscles limber, and prevent injury.
Most importantly, don’t forget to have fun!