Are you across CrossFit?

2013Apr23_CrossFit_ACrossFit has the reputation for offering training sessions where you really have to roll your sleeves up and get stuck in. It’s a far cry from the delicate, studied stretching that many modern methods offer. In fact you really have to approach it as a soldier might do basic training,with its drills, circuit training and assault course regime. While this strength and conditioning program may seem to be a throw-everything-in-and-see-what-works exercise program, there is real philosophy and structure behind what CrossFit is about.

With thousands of gyms across the globe practicing CrossFit and the mega fitness brand offering its own Olympic style games, CrossFit is very much an established and growing brand. But how much do you know about what it and what it can do for you?

What is it?

In essence, CrossFit is about real fitness. This means that it aims to improve your overall fitness levels for activities in everyday life. The exercises are designed around core movements you use in your life to produce workouts that are truly functional training. CrossFit is not about specializing and this is its specialty. The ability to carry out activities safely, efficiently and effectively is at the heart of the CrossFit fitness philosophy.

What’s the history?

CrossFit was set up by trainer Greg Glassman who trained celebrities and athletes in California, as well as police officers. Through high intensity workouts he realized that there needed to be real variety and add something into the mix with strength and endurance programs. The result was a routine that was quick, challenging and constantly varied. Setting up his first CrossFit gym in 1995, Glassman then started to offer his brand of workout to affiliates in 2003. The last decade has seen CrossFit reach across the globe.

What are some of the CrossFit exercises?

CrossFit is intense but it is also scaleable. This is due to the idea that to function, people use the same muscles and motions, regardless of athletic prowess or fitness levels. It’s not what you do but the level at what you do it that is changed and adapted. This means that exercises are wide ranging, and fall into three main categories”

  • Bodyweight exercises using gymnastic movements such as air squats and box jumps.

  • Cardio exercises such as running and rowing.

  • Weight lifting exercises such as kettlebell swings and shoulder presses.

What is the Workout of the Day?

A real part of the CrossFit story success is that there is constant access to training for everyone. To top up your sessions with an expert trainer you can keep going by logging onto the official website and checking out the WOD, or workout of the day, which usually involves an easy-to-understand and simple-to-follow exercise routine, so that you can keep up your fitness levels and enjoy daily variety.

What are the benefits?

Accessibility is one of the greatest plus points of CrossFit. This is because of the belief that everyone needs to use the same muscles and perform the same type of functions. This means that while CrossFit is intense it can be really scaled to suit individual levels too. By not focusing on any one activity the benefits of CrossFit are an overall improvement in fitness levels. The variety and fun, camaraderie of class training are also big positives too. ┬áThere’s also growing evidence that it’s not necessarily how long you do something for but how intensely, with short bursts of so-called interval training offering a real boost to the body.

What are the CrossFit Games?

While the main competition in CrossFit sessions is with yourself and exceeding your own goals, the whole community is brought together by the CrossFit Games. Started in 2007, there’s nothing half-hearted about this competition, with a quarter of a million US dollars up for grabs to the top placed man and women. The Regionals are held from March to June, with the Reebox CrossFit Games 2013 held in July.

What is refreshing about CrossFit is that it doesn’t shy away from offering a full-on workout for those who want to push themselves to their fittest point. On the other hand, this varied intense training is open to all. Whether you are aiming for the CrossFit Games 2014, or simply want to be able to do more in your everyday life, CrossFit is an exciting and interesting way to train.

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