What is CrossFit?

Monday 6 February 2017 by

CrossFit, Gym, Fitness, Health, Workout

There are jokes and memes about people who do CrossFit wherever you look. But no matter what people say, CrossFit is still one of the most popular forms of exercise around. But what, exactly, is it?

CrossFit was developed by Greg Glassman as an intense form of exercise that combines strength and cardiovascular in bursts of varied exercises. The idea is to have an increased work capacity across “broad time and modal domains”. So the more you do in less time, or the higher the power output, the more intense the effort. Sounds straightforward, right?

It’s the combinations that are the tough bits – taking movements from things like weightlifting, running, rowing, martial arts, and gymnastics, the workouts are tough because of their variety. CrossFit boasts that anyone can do these workouts – it’s not the complexity of them that is hard, it’s the goals. Therefore, you can start lower down the scale of weight and intensity, and build it up according to your fitness. Everything is measurable in CrossFit, and so it’s easy to see your progress.

These workouts are designed to be done either at a commercial gym, CrossFit gym, or at home. But most CrossFit gyms also have introductory classes too, so are great for beginners. The gyms will also hold you accountable (at their price, it should be expected), giving you encouragement, and even calling you if you don’t turn up to a class. CrossFit is a very particular kind of workout – it builds incredible strength and fitness, and is a great way to introduce yourself to weightlifting – but it’s not great for specialists. Runners, triathletes, or any kind of specialised training must be done separate to CrossFit, as it doesn’t work your body in the same way.

CrossFit has a huge success rate, and is still very popular, but it can be polarising – you either love it, or hate it. I have no particular opinion on it as a whole; I’ve done similar workouts in the past through BodyAttack and HIIT sessions, using a combination of strength and cardio, but nothing on this scale. It certainly takes a special kind of commitment that I don’t have!

If this sounds like your kind of thing, you can find out more at CrossFit.com (where they post daily workouts), and you can hunt down your nearest CrossFit gym here.

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