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The Basics

Posted by Zach Brown on

CrossFit seemed to come out of nowhere recently and has taken the work out world by storm. While this new workout can be seen by many as a fad that is sure to fade, the community that has built up around it shows that it is here to stay. CrossFit is a community led classroom work out, similar to Yoga, but much more intense with a focus on a few core elements.

The Official Statement

From the official CrossFit site, the work out is – in summary – a strength and conditioning program that is used by a wide variety of high level individuals worldwide. These can include police academies, tac ops teams, martial artists, special operations units and other elite or professional athletes.

The program is designed to be broad, general and inclusive. They stay away from specialization and the workout can often punish someone looking for more specialized training. The ten general physical skills they focus on include: accuracy, coordination, balance, agility, speed, flexibility, stamina, cardiovascular and respiratory endurance, power, and strength. 

Typical Classes 

CrossFit is not meant to be a work out that you meander through. You won’t be on a treadmill moving at an easy pace for two hours, or riding a bike for thirty minutes. Instead, you will be focused on going through workouts at the fastest pace possible.

A simple example of a sample CrossFit workout you can do at home is this: set a timer for 20 minutes and rotate between 5 pull-ups, 5 pushups and 10 squats as fast as possible over the course of that 20 minutes.

A beginner will likely accomplish a few rounds total – maybe three to five – and then feel beat down and sick. The next day, they will do it again. Then again, as they start to see results. It is an intense workout, taught in a classroom setting that generally lasts 45 minutes to an hour.

CrossFit Equipment Needs

There is a wide variety of equipment you need to enhance your CrossFit training. An AbMat for example, is a simple wedge that fits under the base of your back for sit ups. It makes your sit ups more effective and protects you as you move faster through them.

Other equipment includes, but is not limited to, pull-up rigs which are self-explanatory, kettle bells, which are heavy weights you carry between your knees for a certain distance, squat-stands, which are used to hold weights in place, rings, which can be used for upper body conditioning and balance training, and rowers, which are used to build up endurance and full body strength.

Starting CrossFit

Getting started with CrossFit is a choice that only you can make. Fortunately, most gyms offer a free class so you can see if it fits with your goals. You will go through specialized training which will ensure you are prepared for the intense workout. But know, right now, that this is a workout that will be painful and push you to your limits for the foreseeable future. At some point though, depending on how aggressive you are with the work out, you will reach a point that you up the intensity just to get those feelings of pushing yourself to the limit again and you will look in the mirror and wonder who is looking back at you.

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