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Crossfit: Fitness Fad or Genuine Workout Winner?

Crossfit could get you into great shape, but make sure you have a good instructor. Crossfit could get you into great shape, but make sure you have a good instructor.

 

“It can kill you. I’ve always been completely honest about that.” — Greg Glassman, creator of CrossFit Virtuosity

Despite a quote like that from its creator, CrossFit continues to grow and shows no signs of abating. With all the fitness fads and gadgets that come and go in our give-it-to-me-now culture, especially the nonsense that preaches doing virtually nothing and getting into shape, CrossFit has become a trend that has taken hold and won’t let go.

What is so alluring to the public at large about a workout system that was designed to train the toughest people in the world — police, tactical units and Special Forces?

Greg Glassman, founder of CrossFit, opened the first CrossFit gym in 1995 in Santa Cruz, California, after working as a gymnastics coach and trainer to the stars in Southern California. He created the style after concluding that conventional fitness methodologies were inadequate for all-round conditioning that promoted strength, speed, power, agility, balance, cardio, endurance, accuracy, flexibility, stamina and coordination. He created CrossFit Inc. in 2000, and it has since become a mainstream phenomenon.

If you really want to challenge yourself with an array of movements, lifts, and styles that cover all the bases and change up day to day to promote all-round strength and fitness, CrossFit may be just the thing you are looking for.

CrossFit is a conditioning program designed to improve “general physical preparedness.” It is done through several types of workouts, including metabolic conditioning (MetCon), which is what CrossFit is famous for.

This is usually a combination of multi-joint strength moves like deadlifts, Olympic lifts, gymnastics-based moves (muscle-ups), calisthenics and cardio intervals (usually runs or rows mixed up in painful ways). These exercises are usually performed against a running stopwatch or for rounds against a countdown timer.

Another aspect is the Max Effort day, which usually consists of low-rep sets with max weights designed to increase strength.

Then there are workouts that don’t seem to fit into either format, and are all jumbled up in a randomized three-day-work and one-day-rest format.

Jesse Sibbald, a certified CrossFit instructor at Global Fitness in Kelowna, British Columbia, who holds multiple fitness certifications, enjoys a robust CrossFit membership in his club. And that membership grows daily.

Sibbald took up CrossFit training because of the all-round body workout, the intensity and the goal-oriented mindset of the “sport.” (Yes, it is referred to as a sport.) Reebok even recently announced a CrossFit Games taking place this July. The event was sold out by May.

There is a camaraderie element to CrossFit training, one that utilizes a group dynamic with a workout of the day (WOD) that everyone in the class participates in. Workouts are typically short — 20 minutes or less — but very intense.

When asked if there is a downside to CrossFit, Sibbald says that highly trained instructors are crucial, as some of the movements can be dangerous in a competitive environment where you’re always trying to better yourself by doing quicker and more intense movements as your fitness level progresses. Without proper technique, this can become a recipe for disaster.

If you really want to challenge yourself with an array of movements, lifts, and styles that cover all the bases and change up day to day to promote all-round strength and fitness, CrossFit may be just the thing you are looking for. But beware—it is not for the faint of heart!

© Copyright RosebudMag.com, 2013



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