Yoga too slow? Spin class too routine? Zumba too weird? We’ve all fallen prey to the cycles of fitness fads. We’re gung-ho the first week, but quickly grow bored with the repetition and lack of results. Fortunately, the newest fitness craze sweeping the world defies both of these fitness fad conventions.
What is CrossFit?
CrossFit is a class-based fitness method currently practiced by 3,400 CrossFit affiliated gyms around the world.
The theory behind CrossFit supports achieving the highest level of fitness in the following ten categories:
- cardiovascular/respiratory endurance,
- agility balance, and
How Does CrossFit Work?
This type of functional fitness is achieved by explosive movements, using barbells, dumbbells, kettle bells, medicine balls, gymnastic rings, pull-up rigs, and bodyweight exercises (like handstand push-ups and wall walk ups).
CrossFit challenges typical fitness routines by offering a completely different workout every day. These high-intensity “Workouts of the Day,” endearingly referred to as WODs by loyal CrossFitters, last about 10-30 minutes, typically without any breaks (hardcore CrossFitters don’t even stop for water!). For those who are driven by competition, WODS are usually scored or ranked to drive progress.
CrossFit Pros (Advantages)
The best part of CrossFit is the community element to its methodology. While at most gyms, you can workout with the same people every day and never even say hello to them, CrossFit gyms encourage members to get to know one another by promoting out-of-gym events, like parties, pot lucks, weekend hikes, and team 5Ks. Saturday WODs are typically partner-based, promoting membership camaraderie. If you’re sick of those friends, who count on you to eat fattening foods and drink every time you get together, CrossFit can introduce you to new friends with similar health goals.
While most fitness routines promote weight loss and thin-as-a-pin physiques, CrossFit encourages strength and strong bodies. Body fat loss is encouraged over scale weight loss, and nutritionally-dense diets are encouraged over low calorie. Most CrossFitters follow the Paleo or Primal diet, which includes meats, vegetables, eggs, nuts, and fruits, while eliminating dairy, gluten, sugar, and processed/packaged foods.
CrossFit at Home
If you’re too intimidated by the fit bodies at your local CrossFit gym, you can start getting in shape at home. While total body workout videos such as P90X, Insanity, and Tai Cheng will pump up your level of fitness, doing at home WODS (which you can find on CrossFit.com) will get you into CrossFit shape in no time.
Plenty of celebrities admit to drinking the CrossFit Kool-Aid, including Matt Damon, Jessica Biel, and Max Greenfield. But devoted CrossFitters are more inspired by Rich Froning, Jr., Anníe Mist Thórisdóttir, Graham Holmberg, Kristan Clever, and Andrea Ager – CrossFit champions from around the world. These elite CrossFit competitors perform yearly at the “CrossFit Games,” a certified sports open, sponsored by Reebok. Prize money for top athletes can range anywhere from $1,000,000-$250,000.
Participants of CrossFit not only discover muscles on their bodies they never knew existed, but admit to feeling happier and more energized in their day-to-day lives. CrossFit teaches its followers to step out of their comfort zones and maximize the potentials of their bodies. Contact your local CrossFit affiliate to get started today!
Article written by Lynn Maleh, a health and fitness enthusiast.