What is it?
CrossFit advocates a mix of aerobic exercise, gymnastics (body weight exercises), and Olympic weight lifting. CrossFit describes its strength and conditioning program as “constantly varied, high intensity, functional movement,”with the stated goal of improving fitness, which it defines as “work capacity across broad time and modal domains.” Workouts are typically short—30 minutes or less—and intense, demanding all-out physical exertion. They combine movements such as sprinting, rowing, jumping rope, climbing rope, flipping tires, weightlifting, carrying heavy objects, and many bodyweight exercises; equipment used includes barbells, dumbbells, gymnastics rings, pull-up bars, kettlebells, medicine balls, and boxes for box jumps. These elements are mixed in numerous combinations to form prescribed “Workouts of the Day” or “WODs”. Hour-long classes at affiliated gyms, or “boxes”, typically include a warm-up, a skill development segment, the high-intensity WOD, and a period of individual or group stretching. Performance on each WOD is often scored and/or ranked to encourage competition and to track individual progress.
That sounds ridiculous, why would I do that?
The following is an excerpt of 12 reasons from nerdfitness. This is what convinced me to give it a try so I am unceremoniously nicking the text because I simply cant put it any better;
- GREAT community aspect. Unlike a commercial gym, you actually get to know the people at your box. Most gyms will have outings that a LOT of people show up to. There’s always that feeling of team work and camaraderie.
- Constant coaching and support – in a commercial gym you have no clue if you’re doing an exercise right or not. While it’s not 1:1 training, you have a coach with you during every workout to help out.
- If you don’t show up, not only do people notice, but they call you and ask where you’ve been. The only time that happens in a commercial gym is when you miss a session with your overpaid trainer.
- Leveling up – Because you get to keep track of how much you’re lifting, and you know how many reps and sets you’re doing…you get to see constant improvement. You also get to advance at your own pace, slowly working your way up towards doing the workouts as prescribed.
- Humbling yet encouraging – yeah, you might end your workout lying on your back, but you have a sense of accomplishment when you finish a workout faster than last time.
- Competition - it’s amazing how much further you’ll push yourself when surrounded by other people cheering you on and competing with them.
- It introduces SO MANY people to weight lifting, especially women who would have never ever attempted to get off the treadmill and strength train. It’s like a gateway workout – you learn what you love and can specialize further from there.
- It’s a good outlet for former athletes who like to compete. After playing competitive sports through high school and college, all of a sudden there’s nothing left to compete in…CrossFit gives people that outlet
- You get to find out what you’re made of. CrossFit can be miserable, but it can also teach you how to push through mental barriers, build mental toughness and more.
- It builds hot bodies. While every woman says they want that “toned” look and try to get it with hours of cardio, those bodies are being built every day in CrossFit gyms. Seriously, take a look at any serious CrossFit female and tell me she doesn’t have a rockin’ bod!
- It builds good muscular endurance and all around fitness – your body is prepared for pretty much any athletic situation after a few months of CrossFit.
Original article here and full credit goes to Steve the author for those 12 great observations.
Apparently you can sum the whole thing up in 100 words
Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar. Keep intake to levels that will support exercise but not body fat. Practice and train major lifts: Deadlift, clean, squat, presses, C&J, and snatch. Similarly, master the basics of gymnastics: pull-ups, dips, rope climb, push-ups, sit-ups, presses to handstand, pirouettes, flips, splits, and holds. Bike, run, swim, row, etc, hard and fast. Five or six days per week mix these elements in as many combinations and patterns as creativity will allow. Routine is the enemy. Keep workouts short and intense. Regularly learn and play new sports.
Yeah but they dont mention this
You can now watch the CrossFit games on ESPN. Reebok have become a huge advocate of Crossfit and even where I am (in Ireland) I see their advertising. There are CrossFit magazines popping up. Even my mum has heard of Crossfit. What I really like about Crossfit though is that it keeps you honest. I’ve met plenty of snake oil salesmen in the fitness industry over the years and iCrossFit changes the rules. You have to have good form or it doesn’t count. You are encouraged to complete the workout. there is no getting around this as its the ethos of CrossFit. There is no half burpee or modified pointless situp. It just is. Go hard. go fast. go strong.