Should I try CrossFit?
Are you bored at the gym, just running the lake, doing home exercise videos? Are you tired of the same old routine? Are you still not getting the results you’re looking for despite your best efforts?
If you answered yes to at least two of those questions, then maybe it’s time you joined the fastest-growing strength-and-conditioning-training trend known as CrossFit. The 2016 CrossFit games just ended with the naming of the “Fittest Man and Woman on Earth”. How can CrossFit make this claim? Aren’t marathon runners fit? What about cyclists?
CrossFit is unique in that we combine weight training, aerobics and gymnastics all in one so that you become better, more rounded, in every area of fitness. The goal is to be functionally fit: to push every aspect of your body to the max so that you’re healthy, strong and in shape. Not just so you can lift a ton of weight or run a 5 minute mile, but so you’re fit to do anything that life throws at you.
If your goal is optimum physical competence then all the general physical skills must be considered. This is our First Fitness Standard.
Cardiovascular/respiratory endurance – The ability of body systems to gather, process, and deliver oxygen.
Stamina – The ability of body systems to process, deliver, store, and utilize energy.
Strength – The ability of a muscular unit, or combination of muscular units, to apply force.
Flexibility – the ability to maximize the range of motion at a given joint.
Power – The ability of a muscular unit, or combination of muscular units, to apply maximum force in minimum time.
Speed – The ability to minimize the time cycle of a repeated movement.
Coordination – The ability to combine several distinct movement patterns into a singular distinct movement.
Agility – The ability to minimize transition time from one movement pattern to another.
Balance – The ability to control the placement of the bodies center of gravity in relation to its support base.
Accuracy – The ability to control movement in a given direction or at a given intensity.
(Thanks to Jim Crawley and Bruce Evans of Dynamax, www.medicineballs.com)
What is “Functional Fitness”?
Crossfit’s Second Fitness Standard is, in essence, the view that fitness is about performing well at any and every task imaginable. Picture a hopper loaded with an infinite number of physical challenges where no selective mechanism is operative, and being asked to perform fetes randomly drawn from the hopper. This model suggests that your fitness can be measured by your capacity to perform well at these tasks in relation to other individuals. The implication here is that fitness requires an ability to perform well at all tasks, even unfamiliar tasks, tasks combined in infinitely varying combinations. Nature frequently provides largely unforeseeable challenges; train for that by striving to keep the training stimulus broad and constantly varied. Will only doing kickboxing help you pick up heavy rocks or mulch so that you can build your garden? Will only doing running help you climb over a fence to avoid a dangerous situation? Limiting your fitness to one or two modalities will leave you needing more.
CrossFit Programming is rooted in science
Crossfit’s Third Fitness Standard concerns optimizing training to affect the three metabolic pathways that provide the energy for all human action. These “metabolic engines” are known as the phosphagen pathway, the glycolytic pathway, and the oxidative pathway. The first, the phosphagen, dominates the highest-powered activities, those that last less than about ten seconds. The second pathway, the glycolytic, dominates moderate-powered activities, those that last up to several minutes. The third pathway, the oxidative, dominates low-powered activities, those that last in excess of several minutes.
Total fitness, the fitness that CrossFit promotes and develops, requires competency and training in each of these three pathways or engines. Balancing the effects of these three pathways largely determines the how and why of the metabolic conditioning or “cardio” that we do at CrossFit. Favoring one or two to the exclusion of the others and not recognizing the impact of excessive training in the oxidative pathway are arguably the two most common faults in fitness training.
Often times a gym is just a collection of random people focused on doing their own thing. At a CrossFit box, which is what we refer to as our gym, it’s community. Our members become family. If you miss a workout, people are concerned and wonder where you are.
CrossFit is about competing against yourself and not others. In fact, since the exercises are done in group workouts, everyone encourages you and helps you push your boundaries. The person who finishes last often gets the loudest cheers. Going through something that is very difficult, in a group, forges bonds. The shared experience is something you have to experience to appreciate. And it is why most people stay.
Everyone has the same goal in mind: to get in the best shape possible. Because of that, everyone is on the same team and working for the same goals. The camaraderie in CrossFit is part of what makes this exercise experience so unique.
The coaching that you receive both in programming and execution, makes a huge difference. You didn’t think you were doing these intense workouts on your own, did you? Our coaches know all of our members, what they do, their spouse’s and children’s names, their goals, and their limitations.
Our coaches are trained not only to teach and motivate you, but to guide you through the workouts and help modify them around your goals, limitations, and skill level. ANYONE can do CrossFit, because our coaches want to share this with EVERYONE.
If you’ve been thinking about getting a personal trainer, your CrossFit membership basically has one included.
The workouts are sometimes hard to describe because they are so multidimensional. CrossFit includes Olympic weightlifting, calisthenics, gymnastics, sprints, plyometrics, climbing, throwing, pushing, pulling, carrying, and other exercises to challenge you along the way. When you add it all up, you’ll never be disinterested at our box and your body won’t plateau from repetition. Our specialty is in not specializing. It’s constantly changing, which keeps your mind and body from getting bored.
Weakness Can’t Hide
Since there are so many different challenging facets to CrossFit, none of your weaknesses will be able to hide. If you’re a power lifter who solely focuses on the glory muscles, your endurance, cardio and conditioning will be exposed. If you’re a marathon runner, then you’re going to grow in very different realms.
The goal of CrossFit is not to make you necessarily super-strong, super-flexible or super-fast, but pretty strong, pretty flexible, pretty fast and pretty good at a lot of other things, too. It’s the ultimate jack-of-all-trades workout and nothing gets left behind.
We like to say, “If you’d like to out-lift a runner and out-run a lifter”, come and join us.
All The Girls Are Doing It
If you thought that CrossFit was a guy thing, think again. With the goal of the workout focused around overall physical preparedness opposed to just bulk strength, women are drawn to it.
You’d be surprised to know that the male-female ratios show women as the majority participants, with splits ranging from 60-40 and even up to 70-30. And the women who can make it through a CrossFit workout are going to be FIT – you can be sure of that. And notice that how you look or how much you weigh is not a major focus of this blog post. That is because we focus on performance first. If you eat right (and we can and will help you), stay hydrated, rest and recover appropriately, you will look better than you ever have in your life.
So, come join us. The goal is to get fit, to make it the best hour of your day: Stay safe, Turn up the music, High Five some people, and blow off some steam. To get started, visit our website or contact us at email@example.com