What is CrossFit All About?
Recently, a lot of people have been asking questions about CrossFit. For those who haven’t already given it a go, we have put together an overview and even included a CrossFit style workout that you can try yourself without even having to join a CrossFit gym.
What is Crossfit?
CrossFit HQ describes it best…
‘‘CrossFit is the principal strength and conditioning program for many police academies and tactical operations teams, military special operations units, champion martial artists, and hundreds of other elite and professional athletes worldwide.
Our program delivers a fitness that is, by design, broad, general, and inclusive. Our speciality is not specializing. Combat, survival, many sports, and life reward this kind of fitness and, on average, punish the specialist.
The CrossFit program 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.
The needs of Olympic athletes and our grandparents differ by degree not kind. Our terrorist hunters, skiers, mountain bike riders and housewives have found their best fitness from the same regimen.’’
What are the basic training principles of CrossFit?
All movements we perform in the gym are functional movements, there are not isolation exercises or machines which support your mid-line stability. You are the machine.
The program is varied from day to day. On most occasions you will never do the same workout again. In contrast to this, the benchmark workouts within CrossFit are cleverly designed to measure an athletes fitness in one or more principles depending on the workout. These workouts are repeated to measure your progress throughout the year, and create an awesome vibe in the gym when performed in group classes.
Most of what you perform in CrossFit will be at high intensity. Saying that thou, everyone has there personal limits. We as coaches and those who respect the time it takes to work at technique before intensity will hold you back until ready. When the form is there and you are ready the level of intensity you can take your body is unreal. What the top athletes are achieving with their bodies is jaw dropping.
Give us a typical example of a CrossFit workout?
This is a difficult one, the library is a broad spectrum ranging across and within every principle of fitness. However, if we are reaching out to the public who want to experience a CrossFit workout which they may even perform in their local gym tomorrow…well then this one we make everyone do in our gym in the basics course. We use it because everyone can perform it (some using scaled down methods), but while being simple it still leaves the fittest and most daring of athletes on the ground speechless for giving everything they’ve got. Goes like this:
- 500m Row
- 40 Air Squats (Hip crease below knee at bottom, hip locked out at the top)
- 30 Sit-Ups (Shoulders touch ground at bottom, shoulder pass hips at the top)
- 20 Push-ups (Chest touches ground at bottom, arms fully locked out at top)
- 10 Pull-ups (Chin over bar at the top, arms fully locked out at bottom)
Movement standards are key for every workout, so be strict with yourself if you want to compare yourself to other athletes.
What would you say to someone who is looking to give CrossFit a go?
What we tell everyone coming into our gym is that CrossFit isn’t for everyone. The program asks for high intensity for greater rewards, however some trainees would prefer to achieve similar goals at a pace that suits them. If your wanting to give it a go, find a gym that caters for people just starting out. At our gym we do an introduction which then follows onto a basics course, destroying any worries and doubts you have about not knowing the movements or fitting into the new environment. A lot of CrossFit gyms bypass this process and expect people off the street to catch on as they go. These gyms in my opinion should be shut down. This is due to the majority of bad press has been to do with bad movement standards and bad coaches pushing athletes too far when they aren’t ready. What most must understand is that CrossFit trainees that come 3-5 times a week perform workouts catered to general prepared fitness. It doesn’t come close to what competitors perform in a week. So when watching CrossFit on TV, see that as what a leisure swimmer would see when watching the Olympics.
How did I get into CrossFit?
I got my first lesson in HIGH INTENSITY exercise at the end of my MSc strength and conditioning. The workout rendered me speechless on the ground for 20min…safe to say it made me question the way I was training when there were athletes of 16 years old who did the workout a whole minute faster than me. The principles I had been taught all through my masters I could see within the CrossFit strength and conditioning program. From that day I haven’t looked back. The transferal I have had into my passion for sport has been far greater then a conventional gym routine. What CrossFit has done to my fitness and body has truly been an eye opener. There are a lot of haters out there, but coming from me personally, I’ve never had this much fun in a gym everyday. Taking my body to its limits and beyond with like minded people is what I know live for.
Grant Moseby – MSc Strength and Conditioning