With a history of over 15 years, Crossfit was born in California, by Greg Glassman, ex Olympic gymnast, and is a hybrid formula by combining training and the most efficient exercises using the body’s own weight, exercises with added weights, and powerlifting techniques, which have the goal of developing a broad range of abilities.
If you’re tired of not having any direction when you go to the gym, wandering around wondering which pieces of equipment to use, or if you feel like you’ve hit a plateau and can’t seem to take things to the next level, CrossFit might be the program for you. New gyms are popping up in strategic locations in select cities, which is causing a buzz about whether it can work or not.
CrossFit is supposed to work out the following characteristics of overall fitness:
- Resistance – the ability of the body to gather, process, store and use energy
- Force – the capacity of the muscular unit to apply force
- Flexibility – the capacity of maximizing the rate of extension for a certain articulation
- Power – the capacity of the muscles to apply force fast
- Speed – the capacity of the body to minimize the time needed for an exercise
- Coordination – the capacity to combine several types of moves in a distinct move
- Agility – the ability of minimizing the time needed to get from one move to another
- Equilibrium – the ability to control the position and the center of weight of the body in relationship with a support
- Precision – the capacity to control the move in a certain direction, or with a certain intensity
The fitness training can be adapted to a group or for any individual, for any previous level of fitness, by modifying the exercises for the stage of the participant. The idea is that you are always in a competition with yourself, and this is why you need to get better, stronger and more resistant than your prior self.
The cost of CrossFit varies depending on the location, and how many sessions you sign up for. Most are in unison that it’s expensive, and compared to a standard gym membership it’s easy to see that this is a premium fitness program.
Anybody can practice CrossFit, but it is not recommended for some. The intensity of the training is high, adapted to the individual levels, and the goal is to obtain maximum effect in a short time. It is addressed for people that are looking for consistency, people that want to get better on all the sides of fitness. It is not for “weekend fitness fans”, or for people that train only during the summer.
The ideal frequency for training schedule is 3 days of practice, with one break. This means about 5-6 training sessions a week, with a duration of 4-45 minutes, depending on the complexity of training.
The idea of incorporating such complex training methods, and all so different, is to maintain the body in a “confusion state”, so it will not have the occasion to adapt to a certain move. This way, the body is trained for “unforeseen” events.
In other words, CrossFit is an activity that develops the body as a whole, without specializing on one or two functions, which is the case with other sports: endurance for marathoners, speed for sprinters, and so on. The purpose is to get better on all planes. By using a large number of functional exercises, the level of fitness would be highly developed for the individual.
The interesting thing about CrossFit is that within the community a new training is displayed on the website every day. You practically never know what to expect on a certain day. This is where the idea “train for the unknown” comes from. The philosophy is a healthy one, perfect for our modern society, starting with the idea that “the most successful members of the society are not those that are resistant, but are those that have the capacity to adapt to any situation”.
The training is varied, incorporating elements from gymnastics, climbing, throwing, jumping, sprinting, and sustained effort requires aerobic and anaerobic systems. The training is based on natural moves, complex and functional, which are usually used for the whole duration of the day in question.
While power training is based on repeating the same exercises with many repetitions and sets, it isn’t so great for developing agility. Speed running is perfect for gaining stamina, but it won’t develop the force of the trainee too much. There are advantages and disadvantages for any type of training. With CrossFit they really do cross train you so that you’ve got well rounded fitness and are ready for whatever life dishes out.
Final CrossFit Review
Overall, CrossFit seems to work for most people that try it and are able to stick with it, so it’s getting our Thumbs Up rating. Of course it does entail sticking with it, so you have to have the will power to show up and put your body through the wringer. But those that make it through the other side have said that it gives amazing results and total body turnarounds.
In addition to working out at the gym you’ll also want to watch what you’re eating, and get on board with the meal plans that are recommended by your trainers. This will give you the best results and help you recover quickly from your grueling workouts.