CrossFit is a fitness routine that was developed by Greg Glassman. The programme he created was specifically designed to improve health and fitness. CrossFit involves constantly varied functional movements performed at a high intensity and the workouts are based on functional movements. These movements are a combination of weightlifting, gymnastics, rowing, running and more. Glassman focused on these as they are the core movements of life.
High intensity workouts are essential for results. Intensity can be measured as work divided by time or power. The greater the work done in less time, the higher the intensity. E.g. performing 6 sets of a particular exercise in 20 minutes is more intense than the same 6 sets in 30 minutes. Alternatively, the higher the power output of your workout, the higher the intensity. E.g. performing 6 sets of a particular exercise in 20 minutes is more intense than performing only 5 sets of that exercise in 20 minutes.
Advantages of CrossFit
• Increase weight loss – the high intensity nature of CrossFit helps to promote weight loss in the same way as a high intensity interval training (HIIT) session.
• Improve strength and conditioning – the varied CrossFit WODs (workout of the day) allows you to work on different parts of your body to ensure every muscle is being strengthened over a period of time.
• Improve mobility – most of the CrossFit workout routines are based around normal body movements and as a result you will become far more mobile and also improve functionality.
• Improve functionality – the full body nature of CrossFit workouts will help to develop multiple body parts and muscles.
Is CrossFit for me?
According to the CrossFit website, their programme “is designed for universal scalability making it the perfect application for any committed individual regardless of experience. We’ve used our same routines for elderly individuals with heart disease and cage fighters one month out from televised bouts. We scale load and intensity; we don’t change programs.”
This translates as; the only difference between differing ability levels is the intensity of the workout. E.g. those struggling with the WOD should decrease the stated weight of the workout, reduce the number of reps or both.
If you’re a fitness fanatic, then CrossFit is certainly for you. The 3 days on, 1 day off practice ensures you get consistency throughout the week.
If you’ve never lifted weights or are new to weightlifting, then CrossFit is a great place to start. With a coach to ensure your form is correct and the support of the group, you have all you need to smash your goals out of the park.
Find your local CrossFit gym and let us know how you get on!
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