What is CrossFit?
CrossFit is possibly the biggest fitness phenomenon in the world right now. There are over 15,000 plus affiliated gyms worldwide. But more importantly, CrossFit is changing many people’s lives for the better through improved fitness and health.
What is the CrossFit Training Program?
CrossFit is a fitness training program that builds strength and conditioning through varied and challenging workouts. The workouts use movements which the body was designed to do and are used in daily life. It takes these movements from a range of exercise disciplines including gymnastics, weightlifting and aerobic movements.
Fitness Benefits of doing CrossFit?
In the West, we have an expression that the proof of the pudding is in the eating. With over 10 million people worldwide training in CrossFit affiliates – from New York to London, from Paris to Sydney, from Dubai to Cairo – I think that CrossFit has shown it works in delivering fitness results. Otherwise, it would not be enjoying this success.
What differs CrossFit from Other Training Programs?
Previous research has shown high-intensity interval training to significantly improve cardiovascular fitness, blood pressure, and body fat after just ten weeks of a workout regimen composed of 25-minute workouts conducted three times per week. CrossFit now takes those results to the next level.
A new study has demonstrated this. Researchers at Ohio State University assigned 54 healthy participants to a five-day per week CrossFit-based exercise program that lasted ten weeks. The 43 participants that completed the program saw incredible improvements in measures of aerobic fitness and body composition.
Maximum aerobic capacity of the men grew by 13.6%, and at the same time, their body fat decreased from 22.2% to 18%. The men enjoyed significant increases in lean muscle mass. What’s more, the improvements in aerobic fitness and body composition were significant when broken down across the men’s initial fitness levels. In other words, the men of all shapes and sizes saw tremendous physical improvements. The women who participated in the study also experienced similar improvements.
A US Army study confirmed these results in an average 20 per cent increase in fitness of its study participants over an eight week period – training four times a week.
Why is CrossFit better than just Bodybuilding?
Well – we have a lot more fun. No seriously, you do your workout in the company of likeminded people – in a supportive environment – with a bit of friendly competition. And you are always doing something different – not a highly regimented training program. Then in terms of outcomes – over the 10 fitness criteria – a bodybuilder might challenge a CrosFitter in one solidary area – strength. No really, we have had former bodybuilders noting our workouts are an eye-opener in terms of overall fitness.
How did CrossFit Start and where?
Greg Glassman kicked off the CrossFit revolution of the fitness industry from a humble beginning in the late 90s. He says his biggest contribution was noting that doing lateral raises and curls while eating pretzels was dumb. Fitness professionals for many years had ignored the importance of diet and had been happy to watch their members fall into a trance on treadmills. Many people were getting sweaty but were much closer to doing nothing than they perhaps recognized. They weren’t really getting a workout.
CrossFit training as the names suggests gives you a workout for the whole body.
How do we teach the movements?
The movements aren’t really taught – we already know how to do them – it is just a matter of teaching the body how to move in a correct pattern safely. Of course, there might be mobility issues ie a person might have lost certain functions through lack of use – but we can help them regain that mobility. We have a special program to assist people through this process so that they can join a CrossFit class with confidence.
Is it appropriate for all ages?
Most definitely. We have people of all ages and fitness levels joining our classes. A seventy-year-old man can do a deadlift like a man in his prime. If you drop a pen on the ground, are you going to pick it up – then it’s a deadlift. And I presume that a seventy-year-old who drops a pen on the ground picks it up.
Most certainly we scale the exercises. And you may not realize it but the demands of elite athletes and our elderly citizens are the same – only differing in degree.
We are all the same in our fitness requirements.