- CrossFit is a workout program that combines weightlifting with aerobic exercises to provide short but intense workouts that aim to prepare you for any physical challenge you may face in life.
- CrossFit can offer health rewards such as toning different areas of your body and developing muscles faster than other workouts, but there is a high risk of injury resulting from improper training, especially when using heavy weights without practice.
- CrossFit requires minimal equipment to start with, but eventually, you may need to invest in Olympic weight sets, pull-up bars, supportive athletic shoes, and other equipment to do the exercises correctly. Starting with a class at a gym can be a good option for beginners.
What is CrossFit?
CrossFit is a workout program modeled after police, firefighter, and military training programs. Think of it as strength training and conditioning on steroids. The workouts combine weightlifting with aerobic exercises like jump roping, sprinting, and rowing. Each workout is short but very intense. Whether training at home or a gym, your average CrossFit workout will last between 20-60 minutes.
CrossFit licenses its name and workouts to affiliate gyms, which offer various classes, but CrossFit also maintains a strong online community. Daily workouts are posted to the CrossFit website, where people can also post their times and compare performances. CrossFit is designed to be competitive. Tracking personal progress is encouraged, as is setting lofty but attainable goals for yourself.
The overall goal of CrossFit is similar to functional training, although, again, on steroids. CrossFit aims to prepare you for virtually any physical challenge you come across in life. It sounds terrifying, I know, but practitioners swear by it.
What You Need to Train
If this is your first time trying CrossFit, you will need to take it slowly. Without basic familiarity with weightlifting and gymnastics, your best option is to try a class at the gym. If you’d rather go it alone, the CrossFit website recommends that you begin by learning all the basic exercises that form the core of each CrossFit workout. Those exercises are online and can be completed with minimal equipment.
Once you start getting the CrossFit fever, you will need to shell out for some equipment. Although CrossFit requires a relatively small amount of equipment, they still recommend that you have at least an Olympic weight set and a place to do pull-ups and dips.
Comfortable, supportive athletic shoes are key to performance and preventing injury. Suppose you want to follow the CrossFit Workout of the Day from your home. In that case, you’ll eventually have to find gymnastics rings, plyometric boxes, a medicine ball, dumbbells, kettlebells, a climbing rope, and a rowing machine. That’s a lot for most people to own, and you may be better off doing your CrossFit at the gym, where you’ll have the support and equipment you need.
The Ultimate Exercise to Get in Shape Faster
Health Rewards and Health Risks
So, what are the benefits of this workout? Well, for one thing, short bursts of high-intensity training (like the type you do in CrossFit) have been shown to provide many of the benefits of less vigorous, longer workouts. Essentially, you get more bang for your buck with CrossFit. CrossFit offers a great variety of exercises that will keep you from becoming bored and can help tone different areas of your body. You will develop muscles a lot faster with CrossFit than you might with other workouts.
The downside to CrossFit is the high risk of injury resulting from improper training. Muscle strain and muscle tearing can occur when people use heavy weights without practice. CrossFit also gives people much less guidance throughout their workout, particularly when they’re following the Workout of the Day from home. Training, and workouts, are not always standardized, which greatly increases the risk of injury.
The Final Word About CrossFit
When done properly, the workouts created by CrossFit can be an excellent way to boost your overall fitness and take your physical ability to the next level. As with all new exercise programs, you should start easy and build slowly.
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