CrossFit is one of the biggest fitness trends since 80s aerobics, but with nowhere near as many fluorescent leotards and sweatbands – and less daggy. It’s taking the fitness world by storm, and making people leaner, stronger and fitter everywhere, and all just sounds too good to be true. Or is it?
As one of “those” people who hasn’t been converted or popped my CrossFit cherry just yet, I decided to do a little investigation to find out what all this ranting, raving and lifting heavy things is about. During my time dabbling in pretending to be an undercover fitness detective, this is what I discovered about CrossFit. It’ll either inspire you to get your butt to your nearest box, or have you running for the hills. You decide!
What is it, exactly?
First of all, CrossFit, Inc. is actually a company founded by Lauren and Greg Glassman, way back in 2000. Their workouts are a monster mash-up of all the best training elements: aerobic exercise, bodyweight exercise, weight lifting, with even a little bit of gymnastics thrown in there. It’s all about the functional movements, and keeping it at a high intensity to reap those endurance and conditioning benefits.
Each day, a new WOD is released (or “workout of the day,” for those newbies out there like myself), which involves half an hour of pushing your body to the limits with a variety of moves. You’d like a little sneak preview, you say? Well, in one workout, you could be sprinting, rowing, flipping tires, climbing ropes or using kettlebells and dumbbells. It’s designed for participants to work to fatigue, and give it all they’ve physically got.
Is CrossFit worth all the hype, or is it just a cult?
It’s super easy to write CrossFit off as a cult full of overenthusiastic, abnormally buff people. I know I gingerly tiptoe past my local box, glancing in nervously, as if I’m awaking a scary, albeit extremely fit, hulk-like bunch of people. CrossFit has only recently taken off, there’s still a relatively small following, so it’s still a bit unfamiliar because we don’t know a whole lot about it – hence the mysterious, almost religious, cult image. On the other hand, it’s also hard to ignore all the testimonials that I’ve come across on blogs and in magazines, and even things I’ve heard through word of mouth.
CrossFit is a program that focuses on functional training, aiming to prepare people’s bodies for life and it’s daily physical demands. So many of us spend endless hours in the gym, trying to build that physique we want or even just to improve our fitness, and CrossFit enables us to do this in a quick, intense workout that covers all fitness bases. By constantly switching up the exercises in the WODs, the participants are always engaging different muscle groups, and the combination of aerobic and conditioning exercises provides an effective full-body workout.
The awesome advantages are muscle strength, heart and lung endurance and power, as well as the little things that are important, but often overlooked: stamina, coordination, accuracy, agility and balance. All of these elements come together to create a holistic fitness program that is CrossFit.
I’m definitely keen! How do I get started?
So you’re raring to go and can’t wait to lift some heavy objects, do a few sprints and flip a few tires. The best way to go about it is to find your local CrossFit box, or affiliated gym. You can do this by visiting the CrossFit affiliates website and doing a search there. If you’re already a bit of a fitness buff and know your exercises, you can find the WOD on the homepage of the website, then you’re set to go!
CrossFit can be a scary concept, just because it’s newly popular and you may not know much about it. Hopefully now you’re a little bit more familiar with what it’s all about, and you’re considering giving it a red hot go. You’ve got nothing to lose, and a stronger, fitter you to gain!
I’d love to know: are you a total CrossFit devotee? How’d you get into it?
What’s the thing you love most about this workout?
Anyone else, like me, wanting to try it one day but haven’t got around to it (aka are a tad scared for your life)?!
Here’s a great infographic (oh how I love them) covering the benefits of CrossFit and what it’s all about. 🙂