April 11, 2012

What is CrossFit?


There is a revolution going on in fitness, people are turning their backs on the globo gym’s and their lacklustre customer service and non effective training programmes… they are seeking a new way to get fit, with like-minded people, a community called CrossFit.com

The HQ definition is ‘constantly varied, high-intensity, functional movement’.

So let’s break it down…

Constantly Varied : This means that the workout changes every day, the purpose of this is so we can hit all the different elements of fitness: cardio vascular endurance, strength, stamina, flexibility, power, balance, accuracy, co-ordination, speed and agility. This will prepare you for the unexpected (as is life), unlike the predictable fixed routines common in most gyms.

The things we vary are….

  • Modalities – Weight lifting/ Gymnastics/ Metabolic conditioning and any variation of these 3.
  • Weights – Don’t stick with the same weight all the time, drop the weight and increase constantly.
  • The workout structure– 3 rounds for time/ 5 rounds for time/ as many rounds as possible in a set time (AMRAP)/ Once through a number of movements (Chipper).
  • Where you train – Inside, outside, altitude, heat, terrain.
  • Who you train with – Go out of the comfort zone, friendly competition drives improved performance.

In a nutshell, if you train the same you stay the same, before your body gets used to the same stimulus we change it, keeping your body constantly challenged, forcing it to adapt to the tasks at hand.

High-Intensity: This is the independent variable most commonly associated with maximising favourable adaptions to exercise. In other words intensity is the fastest way to get results.

However, intensity is relative, what is intense for one person, will not be for someone else. Intensity comes after first perfecting the movement, before stepping it up this in order to keep it safe. It’s about stepping out you comfort zone going that little bit harder, its not just about the physical but your mental ability to cope with pain. Naturally you will reach a point where you will feel the desire to quit, however over time you will adjust to working at a higher level of your usual work capacity, then you will see noticeable gains.

Functional movements: These are natural movements that are built into our DNA, practical movements we use every day. They are multi-joint, effective, and efficient locomotors of the body and external object. They have the capacity to move large loads over long distances quickly and safely.

Pushing, pulling, jumping, throwing, running, squatting, lunging etc…. the human body was never designed to sit on a machine and be forced into unnatural movement paths… nor was it designed to sit at desks or sit in cars for hour on end. So we counter balance this technological wave of inactivity with reverting back to our roots, which we do in the form of CrossFit.

CrossFit incorporates three different modalities of exercise….

1) Weight Lifting: that is lifting any kind of weight: barbell, kettle bell, dumbbell,    sandbag etc.

2) Metabolic conditioning (METCON): for example running, rowing, cycling

3) Gymnastics: that is any body weight exercise like pull ups, pushups, handstands.

CrossFit is a complete workout, and with a mix of these three modalities the combinations are endless and rarely the same. The workouts will improve all the elements of your fitness and improve all the three main energy systems of the body that is the aerobic and the two anaerobic (phosphagen and lactic acid) systems.

CrossFits Community is as diverse as our workouts: CrossFitters include members of our military services, full-time mothers, doctors, lawyers, police officers, fire fighters, business executives, elite athletes, and retired grandparents. Regardless of your “day job” or your current fitness level, you will benefit from the coaching the CrossFit way at CrossFit Leicester.

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