Crossfit is a form of high intensity interval training, mixed with strength training. It’s a strength and conditioning workout, made up of functional movements performed at high intensity for short periods of time.
The majority of the movements are actions that you would perform in your day-to-day life – squatting, pulling, pushing etc. Many workouts will feature variations of these actions and will last for a predetermined amount of time in each session. This varies from a traditional workout as it’s not determined on how many reps you do but the length of time instead.
These workouts are so effective because of the focus on the load, distance and speed, which helps develop high levels of explosive power. The workouts generally utilise equipment such as – kettle bells, rowing machines, assault bikes, medicine balls, barbells, ropes, rings, plyo boxes and your own body weight.
There is a standard “workout of the day” (WOD) that all participants complete on the same day. The daily workout can be found either on their website (which is always free), or through an app (Wodify).
There will always be variations available, so if you can’t yet do the full workout, there will be easier options. For example – if you can’t yet do handstands, your coach will be able to give you progression drills to get you up to speed.
CrossFit Is Addictive!
Everyone I have ever spoken to about Crossfit says how addictive it becomes. You might start off by doing two sessions a week, however it will soon turn into 3, 4, 5 times a week before you know it!
An essential element of CrossFit is the spirit within the sport and the community. You’ll be able to see how well other people are doing which spurs you on to do better, try harder and dig deeper.
However, no one has an ego at Crossfit. It’s very much a team sport where everyone helps each other do better and learn more. You’ll quickly get to know the other people in your sessions through partner workouts, team events and purely through the love and bond of Crossfit.
Are There Risks?
As with any sport, there is some risk involved. One study found that 20% of CrossFit participants have injured themselves at some point while doing CrossFit workout.
Although this may seem high, the injuries sustained are generally only bruises, bumps and scrapes.
Reduce Your Risk Of Injury
- Check your form – start off by doing the workouts with professional coaches to teach you the correct form.
- Choose the right gym/coach – make sure your coach is qualified!
Before You Go…
Learn the lingo – You may hear a variety of weird sounding acronyms during a class, either verbally or written on a board with the workout for the day. Here are some of the most common…
WOD: Workout of the Day
EMOM: Every Minute on the Minute
AMRAP: As Many Reps as Possible
Box: A CrossFit gym with the bare necessities to perform all the WODs.
Ladder: A series of exercises where you increase the number of reps by 1 each time they are performed. (i.e. 5 squats, then 6 squats, then 7 squats …)
Zone Diet: The diet that CrossFit endorses. This diet is based on macronutrients.
PR: Personal Record. This refers to when you reach your personal best in a given exercise. For example, completing a certain number of push-ups in a minute.
Hero WOD: These workouts are named after first responders who have died in the line of duty. These workouts are especially difficult to remind CrossFitters of the sacrifices that these men and women made for their country.
Start With A Beginner’s Class
Crossfit is unlike many other sports. Due to the heavy weights being lifted and the intensity, injuries can happen very easily so it’s important you start at the very beginning and get your technique perfect before moving on.
Not only this, there are so many slight variations to the actions it can seem quite overwhelming and complicated. By doing a beginners class, you’ll be taught each of the moves correctly so it won’t seem quite so daunting when you do your first proper class.
Apply CrossFit To Your Own Workouts
Even if you aren’t quite ready to jump into CrossFit, there are elements of the workout you can incorporate into your own exercise routine – whether at home or at the gym…
- AMRAP – As many reps as possible within a specific time frame. For example – set yourself a one minute time frame to do as many burps as you can.
- EMOMS – Every minute on the minute. To do this, set a timer for one minute then, for example – try to do 30 push-ups within the minute. Using any time left over as rest, before doing the same again on the next minute. This type of workout is beneficial because it helps improve your recovery time and elevates your heart rate, all at the same time as pushing you to do as many as you can, as fast as you can.
We hope you found this article of interest. If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments below.
Fitness Focus Team.