An Introduction to CrossFit
In a very short time, CrossFit has climbed up the popularity chart rather quickly. Started by Greg Glassman in 2000 this smart fitness program is now famous all over the globe. If you see people running in the park with sandbags and wonder what they are up to then CrossFit is the answer.
“CrossFit can be defined as a combination of several functional movements that are performed at high intensity.” With CrossFit training philosophy, people of all sizes and shapes can improve their physical well-being and cardiovascular health.
In simple terms, CrossFit training builds strength and conditioning with the help of varied and challenging workouts.
Types of Equipment used in CrossFit Workouts:
CrossFit is a multidisciplinary training program and it includes Olympic lifting, running, free weight exercises, sprints, etc. And for carrying out different exercises you need a host of equipment too.
Barbells are an integral part of several CrossFit movements like deadlifts, back squat, snatch, etc. An Olympic Bar is the standard barbell bar in CrossFit. Hex bar is the next common barbell in CrossFit. Since CrossFit is a combination of strength and cardio, the barbell bar makes the movements easier.
2. Air Bike / Assault Bike / Exercise Bike / Fan Bike
With an Air Bike, your arms and legs work out simultaneously. This equipment can help you to sweat a lot in little to no time. An LCD screen helps to track your workout and keep a record too.
3. Kettlebells & Dumbbells
Just like Barbells, gym Kettlebells and adjustable weight Dumbbells are versatile pieces of equipment and can assist you in performing many full-body exercises.
4. Jump Rope
A jump rope may be simple-looking equipment but has legitimate benefits for the body. With a jump rope, you can work on footwork, speed, endurance, and coordination.
Photo Source: Pinterest
Beginners Guide to CrossFit:
Contrary to the belief, Cross-Fit is a beginner-friendly program that is perfect for any committed individual. Cross-Fit can be intimidating for beginners as it is a completely new experience for them.
Read through the following points and you will have a fair idea of what to look for in a CrossFit program if you are a beginner.
1. Know the Basics
Before you start onto your CrossFit journey it is advisable to do some reading up and know the common lingos and educate yourself about how CrossFit works. You can take help from the huge library on CrossFit online and video tutorials too.
2. Do not get Disappointed:
It is common to get intimidated by CrossFit as you may have only seen athletes perform massive lifts using the Olympic barbell set. However, rest assured that the CrossFit world is filled with mothers, students, and older people too who all have one thing in common with you: They want to get physically fit.
3. Search for the Right CrossFit Gym
Go around and visit a few CrossFit gyms and pay close attention to a few important elements like the quality of coaching, the culture, safety, schedule, etc.
4. The Initial Assessment
For beginners, it is essential to undergo an initial assessment. Since CrossFit includes a large range of motions and explosive body movement patterns your coach will want to assess your existing cardio endurance level. This assessment will allow your coach to help you with CrossFit training.
5. Start with a Trial
Many CrossFit gyms offer free classes or memberships at reduced prices. For beginners, it is best to take advantage of these opportunities as it can help to assess if CrossFit is the right choice for them.
6. Know these Lingos before you join CrossFit
When you hear about CrossFit you may come across many terms that seem confusing and you feel as if you don’t understand a thing about it. Here is a list of the most common words used in CrossFit.
- Box- CrossFit gyms are called boxes.
- WOD- Work out of the day (the agenda/goal of the day)
- AMRAP- As Many Reps/Rounds as possible
- DL- Deadlift
- C&J- Clean & Jerk (an Olympic weight lifting movement)
- Metcon-This is an abbreviation for metabolic conditioning
- EMOM- Every minute on the minute
Benefits of CrossFit:
1. Helps to build strength
CrossFit movements are highly intense and involve multi-joint movements. They can help you to gain muscle strength and stamina. For instance, working out with kettlebells and performing kettlebell swing works out several parts of the body.
2. It torches the Fat:
CrossFit exercises have a high-intensity level and they are performed with no interval in between. HIIT workouts increase the body’s metabolic response and fat-burning ability.
3. Improves Agility & Flexibility
CrossFit functional movements like squats, overhead press, and Kettlebell swings improve your balance and flexibility. They can also reduce the risk of injury and improve the quality of life.
4. Helps you manage Weight
Since a lot of high-intensity workouts are involved, CrossFit helps you to burn more calories as compared to traditional weightlifting using machines. Thus, if you want to manage weight and shed those extra pounds, CrossFit can be an effective way.
5. You Find your cheer Squad
Performing gymnastics and throwing around weights together make way for lasting friendships and a support system. Research has pointed out that CrossFit enhances a sense of community, satisfaction, and motivation. When working at CrossFit you will make some wonderful peers who will encourage you and push you to achieve your fitness goals.
Is CrossFit Workout safe?
Just like any other form of workout, CrossFit comes with its set of risks. However, the hype created around the dangers of CrossFit is baseless. On the contrary, sitting on the couch and doing nothing can pose more risk to one’s health.
In the Orthopedic Journal of Sports Medicine, it is concluded that CrossFit is pretty safe as compared to other types of physical training.