CrossFit - one of the most recent fitness crazes that is growing in popularity all around the world. But who is it for, how can you choose the right gym, and how should you get started in general? Those are all the questions that we will try to answer today.
What is CrossFit?
CrossFit is a training system that focuses on building strength and conditioning through high intensity functional movement and strength training sessions that regularly change to keep you challenged and engaged. The beauty of CrossFit is within its unspecialised approach, as with each session you will build different muscle groups and support your overall fitness growth.
Who is CrossFit for?
CrossFit is great for any level athlete or fitness enthusiast, as all of the workouts are universal and can be adapted to any level of skill and experience. You might be completely new to weight training, a former athlete, or a total fitness enthusiast. The great thing about CrossFit is that you will never be alone in your workouts, as they are done in groups and you receive a lot of support from the coaches and your fellow workout community. However, if you are a lone-wolf and prefer to workout alone, CrossFit might not be perfect for you as the community is a very important part of the whole experience.
How to start with CrossFit?
Majority of boxes (how CrossFit gyms are often referred to) offer free classes for new prospective members, therefore do your research for gyms within your area and go see them all for yourself. It is important that you don’t base your choice only on which gym is the closest to you, but based on their schedules, who their coaches are and their qualification. Each gym is likely to be very different on many levels, from how it physically looks, to how their workouts are organised, to who goes there, so it’s important to find the right fit for you.
If you decide to join a CrossFit gym, ensure you complete a foundations course where you learn the 9 basic and essential CrossFit moves (dead lift, sumo deadlift, high pull, clean squat, front squat, overhead squat, press, push press, and jerk). You will learn the proper way to performing these moves, which ensures you won’t get injured. After your foundations course, you will be able to join in on all of the classes, workouts of the day (WOD) and indulge yourself completely into what CrossFit has to offer. Some gyms also offer open gym sessions where you can go outside of the class-time to work out on your own, but check on the schedules of your gym to see if it is on offer.
Is CrossFit safe?
Like with any sport, there is a certain risk of injury if you don’t pay attention to performing the given exercises properly. Many of the classes you will take will include either timed sections where you push yourself to do AMRAP (as many reps as possible), or complete a given number of reps as quickly as possible. You are most likely to get injured at those times, as your body begins to fatigue and your form begins to degrade. But this risk can be mitigated by taking a mature approach to training and focusing on doing as many GOOD reps as you can, instead of racking up sloppy attempts. It requires a level of maturity to do that - to slow down and focus on the details while the people around you - even your coach - are pushing you to go faster, but no one knows your body like you do. If you decide to compete, that is the time to throw caution to the wind – it’s do or die time. You can further support your joints and posture with the UNBOWND ReForm wear, but the ultimate responsibility to not get hurt lies within your own hands.
Since the nature of CrossFit is to push you to your limits and get the most out of your workouts, you might experience a feeling of nausea, or sometimes light-headedness. Make sure to take your fitness growth slowly, one step at a time and do not overwork your body all the time. The great thing about CrossFit is the variability and adaptability of classes, so you can be a complete newbie to the gym and still do the same workout as someone who’s been a member for years. Work with your coaches and slowly build your physique. It’s also a great idea to keep a log of your progress, so that you can look back after a few weeks of training and see how far you’ve come.
There obviously are going to be people who won’t like CrossFit and that’s completely fine, but we are of the opinion of trying everything to see what fits and sticks. So, whether it is CrossFit, weight lifting, general gym-going, or any other sport, try it out and see for yourself. You never know until you try.