Trends will come and go, but Crossfit is here to stay for a while. When you look at its humble beginnings right up to today, it is fair to say that Crossfit is a revolutionary method to train, says Bjorn Voon, Australian Institute of Fitness Fitness Coach and eCoach for WA. Crossfit is designed to build strength and increase endurance and is set out in achievable but challenging workouts for all participants. As many people look for new and improved exercise workouts, Crossfit is one that reigns true to giving great results for all.
Crossfit was founded by Coach Greg Glassman in Santa Cruz, USA in 1995, and from what started as a small business grew into a method that was then trademarked and affiliated. From 18 affiliated gyms in 2005, it has now grown substantially over the years with over 11,000 gyms globally. It is plain to see by these numbers how far Crossfit has come over the years and how popular it is to many people.
To be put simply, Crossfit is a method. To train in the way of Crossfit is to not be training in the same as the conventional 3 sets of 12 repetitions. It is training against the clock or against a given task, which would be a combination of gym-based exercise movements. The movements range from the simplest compound exercise like the squat, to the most complex power movements like the snatch.The beauty of this method is the realm of the unknown.
You will not know what you will be doing until you get to the training session. That is essentially what is so exciting and challenging about Crossfit. It is not about lifting the heaviest weights nor running the furthest distances, but being able to lift or run half or three quarters of the distance all in one workout.
Each session contains:
Not specialising in anything will build the all round athlete who is capable of doing anything the workout throws at them. It is about your ability to work at a high intensity for a moderately long period of time, which will have great effects on sculpting your body and/or losing weight.
The workout done in each session is called a WOD or Workout of the Day. They are scalable which means that you do not have to possess a baseline strength level to participate and can be tailored to your strength levels. There is an as-prescribed version of the workout that has a weight that would challenge the fittest and strongest. Each workout has its own name, with some named after girls. Coach Glassman explained the reason behind this as, “I want to explain the workout once and then give it a name. I thought that anything that left you flat on your back, looking up at the sky asking what just happened to me deserved a female name”.
Because of the variety in the WOD, it gives people a chance to experience something new each time they go to a Crossfit session. The variety allows the participant to be challenged and excited every time and not be bored with the workout like other types of programs often do.
Do not rush into the serious RX’d’ or advanced workouts. Not being familiar with the movements will get you injured in no time. With the intensity and the rush to complete through fatigue, injuries are inevitable.
Crossfit fundamentals classes are essential and take a minimum of three months, three times per week, and are a must for all eager participants. Learning movements is one thing; understanding them takes countless repetitions.
Choose a Box’ or gym that looks after you throughout the learning phase of your Crossfit journey, and make sure you get to see the owners in action. If they do not practice what they preach, find another Box’.
Anyone can participate in Crossfit, from a trained athlete to high school kids and couch potatoes. The best part of Crossfit is that it challenges you at your current level of fitness, slowly helping you to progress through to tougher challenges.
Do not set your expectations too high when you join Crossfit; there are not too many frills. It is hard-love, out of your comfort zone training.
Injury, rehab or clients with postural anomalies need to be very careful with the Crossfit prescription work with your Allied Health Professionals to determine what will work best for your issues.
Compared to other group classes, Crossfit will push your physical and mental capacities much harder. If you are not accustomed to working hard in a short amount of time, you should choose a different class. Crossfit classes often only last around 30 minutes.
Always come prepared for your classes; bring your water bottles for hydration, tape and superglue for your skin as they may tear.
The intensity of the workouts will change your body shape so be warned, do not do it if you are not ready to change your body shape. You won’t, however, become ‘big and bulky’ like a bodybuilder. Bodybuilders train in a more isolated and specific way, but Crossfit works on movements that the body is already designed and accustomed to do.
Crossfit has become a sport that anyone can compete in, anyone from anywhere in the world. No doubt it will continue to grow through the years, with more affiliates and athletes competing to become the fittest on earth. It’s a great workout for those wanting a challenge and something they won’t get bored with straight away. The variety offered is sure to please many participants and is likely to only continue to grow into the future.
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