CrossFit has become a strange word. It has garnered an almost cult-like quality, especially for people on the outside, looking in. When Greg Glassman and Lauren Jenai conceived Cross-Fit in 1996, they couldn’t have imagined what sort of a world-wide phenomenon they’ve conceived.
If you are intrigued to learn more about this fitness regiment and even contemplate trying it, here are things to know before starting.
What is CrossFit? (Broad outline)
Let’s start with the basics. Cross fit is a branded regiment of exercising that includes a mix of highly intense exercises that entail a constant variety of functional movements. See, that wasn’t so bad, right? Now, let’s get into the nitty-gritty of it.
The types of exercises are extremely broad. They include aerobic exercises, high-intensity interval training, Olympic weightlifting, calisthenics, plyometrics, and even gymnastics. High-intensity interval training is a typical example of diverse anaerobic exercises (non-cardio, hard physical exercises that lead to lactate forming) combined with less intense recovery periods.
In other words, CrossFit is all about building strength and conditioning by ‘bombarding’ your body with extremely varying and challenging workouts. The point is to test a different group of muscles every day and keep it as eclectic as possible.
Tools are ready! (Enter the box)
Since keeping up the pace is a crucial part of the endeavor, you’ll want to set up your crossfit equipment right before you start your daily workout. This is what it means to enter the box.
A box is a denomination for an outlined space that holds the barebones necessities to complete a CrossFit workout. In a way, they are a rent-a-gym real estate in CrossFit dens, but what’s so appealing about them is that you can even create your box at home if you have the necessary space. This is your playground - a safe place where your CrossFit workout will take place.
The structure of a CrossFit class (bare bones)
A Cross-Fit class - or a daily workout, if you will - typically contains several elements, in the following order:
It begins with a dynamic warm-up. It’s not so much about jogging or running on a treadmill as it is about, as it has been mentioned, functional movements: pushups, pull-ups, squats, lunges, jumps, etc.
Then you proceed to participate in a skill-strength portion of the training. Whether you’ll work on one aspect or the other wholly depends on the program, but keep in mind that ultimate versatility is the goal.
Then, it is time for a WOD - which is an often-overused abbreviation among the CrossFit practitioners which means, quite simply, the workout of the day. The goal of this part is to do as many repetitions of a specific exercise as quickly as possible.
Also, just for the heads up, AMRAP means as many reps-rounds as possible, though this is far from the only expression that you’ll need to learn as a future crossfitter.
Everyone can do it (a regimen for beginners)
CrossFit is touted as a workout regime designed for universal scalability. This means that pretty much any individual, no matter the age, level of prowess or strength, can complete a workout of the day in the box. One of the biggest advantages of CrossFit is that it is all about providing a safe environment for people that want to become stronger.
Many individuals that have had previous chronic health conditions - for example, elderly people with heart disease - could easily stick to the program. It is all about altering intensity and scale load according to one’s capabilities.
This also means that CrossFit represents an excellent regiment of exercises for complete beginners!
Your body is a perfectly engineered machine to move. Nature has given you an elegant set of tools to become physically efficient. All you need to do is apply some effort and garner results. Naturally, the old alchemical saying goes, to get something, you have to give out something of equal value or in equal measure.