What is CrossFit

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You’ve probably heard about CrossFit, or your friends are obsessed about it, and you are wondering what all the fuss is about. So you googled CrossFit and what you see are these girls with huge muscles lifting heavy weights and performing seemingly impossible tasks.

But that’s the misconception around what CrossFit is, people think what you see on TV or YouTube is CrossFit, but in reality, those are the professional CrossFit Game athletes. Those athletes were competing at the highest level and accounted for less than 1% of all the CrossFitter.

So what is CrossFit for everyday people like you and me

The precise meaning of CrossFit is “constantly varied, functional movements, executed at high intensity.”

Functional movements are something that helps you in almost every aspect of your daily life. For example, lifting a massive log of wood off the road, helping with moving the furniture, or simply goofing around with your kids/buddies.

In simpler terms, CrossFit is a type of workout program that integrates multiple sports and training regiments in one. It will make you stronger, fitter, tougher, more toned, and build muscle across a wide range of different exercises. It uses varying degrees of intensity and timing to test your body in different ways. 

Crossfit is perfect for individuals who love a challenge. Quickly get bored by traditional routines, and enjoy learning new skills and want to look good, feel great, and take pride in their health and fitness. It uses functional full-body exercises from weightlifting and gymnastics, alongside running, swimming and many other disciplines

These workouts are carried out in what is called boxes because they are more of a raw space than a gym organized by machine. You’ll find weights, kettlebells, medicine balls, benches, and racks, but no treadmills or ellipticals. Boxes are also devoid of mirrors, so you focus more on working out and less on how you look while you’re doing it. (Do you want to see your sweaty self anyway?)

What I like about CrossFit 

I  was a member of a traditional gym for many years, spending several hours a day in the gym going from spinning class to body combat to weightlifting. What I didn’t like about the traditional gym was that I always had to think ahead about the workout program.

With CrossFit, all you have to do is turn up and perform what is written on the whiteboard. You don’t have to worry about anything, turn up, do your workout for an hour, and you are done for the day. And with only one hour of working out at the CrossFit box, I felt more tired than spending several hours at the gym.

What differentiates a traditional gym and CrossFit is their community-centered nature. People work out in groups rather than alone. That itself would be a boost to many people and might help people to be consistent and show up at the gym. After being a member at my local gym for all those years, I hardly know other gym members and only spoken to a few. But with CrossFit, I often find myself spending hours after the work out session chit-chatting to other members.  Often members would enjoy lunch or dinner together after their workout session. 

What are CrossFit class like

A CrossFit class typically last an hour and can be separated into three parts: a warmup, skill or strength work, and work out of the day (WOD).

Warmups will get you ready for the upcoming workout; it will get your blood pumping, loosen up your muscles and joints, and your heart rate up.

The skill or strength work section concentrates typically on one exercise, and you work to improve your strength or technique by performing a certain amount of sets and reps. These exercises can vary from barbell work to gymnastics to bodyweight exercises or kettlebell movements. Even the format is varied.

Your typical Crossfit class will involve a “workout of the day,” which is likely to include a “metabolic conditioning session.” All the routines, whether they are sets or reps, will continuously change, so no one will know what’s coming up that day. For instance, one day might involve box jumps, burpees, and kettlebell swings. While on a different day, the WOD might include pull-ups, sprints, and Barbell lifts instead. Working out in the Box never feels dull or repetitive.

How do I know is CrossFit is for me

CrossFit is for everyone. It is normal to see professional boxers working out with new moms or people in their 60s and 70s. 

How is that possible? While every workout will have suggested weights and movements, the majority of people at most CrossFit boxes do something called scaling. Scaling allows anyone to complete the same exercise by merely altering the weights and movements based on the athlete’s ability to produce the same level of intensity. For example, if a workout calls for 50 reps of toes to bar.  The coach might have one person scale it down to just 25, while another person touches their knees to their elbows.

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