What Is CrossFit and Is It Right For You? Here’s What You Need To Know!

It is almost certain that you have seen a selfie of a CrossFit friend, colleague, or high school classmate sweating. CrossFit was a very popular sport when there were many box gyms across the country. CrossFit can be practiced in over 13,000 affiliated gyms across 120 countries. Over 7,000 gyms offer the CrossFit program in the United States alone. CrossFitters are estimated to number around 4 million. CrossFitters are so committed to their competitive approach to fitness that they have been called a cult.

You may be wondering if this program is right for you after all the publicity. Before you leap into the CrossFit “box” (ahem, that’s CrossFit for gym), here are the basics of the CrossFit workout craze and how you can determine if it is right for you.

What Is CrossFit?

CrossFit, a form of high-intensity interval training, is a strength- and conditioning program that consists of functional movement at high-intensity levels. These are movements you do every day, such as pushing, squatting, and pulling. To help build muscle, many workouts include variations of push-ups and squats. This is different from traditional workouts that tell you how many reps you should do in a given time.

CrossFit Journal states that these workouts are very effective due to their emphasis on speed, distance, and load. This helps participants build high levels of power. This workout can use a variety of equipment, such as kettlebells and rowers, bikes and medicine balls, speed ropes and rings, plyo boxes, and rowers and bikes.

CrossFit Is for Everyone

There may be a preconceived idea of who is best suited to CrossFit. Tony Caravajal is a certified L-2 CrossFit coach. He strongly believes that CrossFit can be beneficial for all ages and abilities, beginning with teenagers. “CrossFit Kids classes can be a great way to help a kid develop balance, coordination as well as proper motor skill.” He believes that this is a great way to get a child to love CrossFit and to inspire a healthy lifestyle.

CrossFit gym owner Patrick Zeiher says that CrossFit is beneficial for everyone because the physical needs of each person are different. He says that a 60-year-old athlete can do the same workout as a 25-year-old competitive athlete. Their needs are not different. In other words, both must be able to get up from the ground, use the toilet and pick up something. Zeiher says that the 25-year-old should be able to do it all quicker.

CrossFit’s spirit of competition and sports is another important element. CrossFit gyms often use strategic actions such as keeping scoreboards and posting winners to social networks as motivation, rather than a reward system. CrossFit is a great exercise for anyone who likes to be challenged and push themselves physically.

CrossFit is Not for Everyone

There is always a risk when doing intense workouts. CrossFit workouts endorsed by CrossFit were a popular choice for many CrossFit members. One study showed that 20% of CrossFit participants had suffered injuries. Cuyler Hudson is a physical therapist. “The CrossFit injury rate is approximately 20 percent. This means that 20 percent of CrossFit-branded workouts will be injured at one point. I see CrossFitters in my physical therapy practice. Athletes often get injured when they fatigue. This causes the athlete’s form to fatigue as well, shifting the stress from the area it is supposed to go to the other areas.”

How to Lower Your Injury Risk

  • Make sure your form is proper. Hudson believes that proper form is crucial in avoiding injury. Rounding of the low back (low back) and increased forward translation of your knees when performing exercises such as deadlifts and squats are two things to be aware of. Rounding the lower back can place a tremendous load on the ligaments and muscles in the lower spine, which is not what it was designed to handle. Similar holds true for your knees. If the knees are protruding forward from the toes when you squat or if the knees are moving in the opposite direction, the load on your knees becomes enormous and many knees simply can’t take it. This is most often caused by a loss of mobility or stability in the hips and ankles.
  • Select the right coach/gym. When done correctly, these are all great exercises. Inexperienced coaches can increase the exercise volume too quickly and force athletes to fatigue in order to complete as many repetitions as possible. CrossFitters, especially new CrossFitters, must learn proper form and not push athletes into fatigue.

Learn CrossFit Lingo

You might hear a variety of acronyms and words being used during class. These are the most popular:

  • WOD: Workout Of The Day.
  • EMOM: Every Minute of the Minute.
  • AMRAP: As Many Reps As Possible.
  • Box: CrossFit gym that provides all you need to do all of the WODs.
  • Ladder: A series that increases the number of reps per exercise by one each time it is performed. (i.e., 5 squats, then 6 squats then 7 squats).
  • SQ: Squat.
  • PR: Personal Record. This is when you achieve your personal best in an exercise. This could be, for example, performing a set number of push-ups per minute.
  • Hero WOD: These workouts were named after first responders who died in the line of duty. CrossFitters will remember the sacrifices these soldiers made for their country.

How to Start

Begin with a beginner’s class, and then make adjustments. It is recommended that you discuss any restrictions or limitations you may have with your coach, particularly if you are just starting to get back into a routine or are a beginner. After a person completes their initial assessment, a coach can help them make any adjustments, such as modifying the movements or training volume for a specific workout.

For newcomers, it is strongly recommended to take a beginner or foundations class. They’ll be able to learn the basics and increase their fitness at their own pace in these classes. Once they have mastered the basics and gained confidence, they can start regular classes. A person who is less experienced or has not been trained in the art of teaching would do well to take fewer classes per week (usually 2-3) until they are able to adapt to the training and new movements.

CrossFit has some great ideas that you can use to improve your workouts
CrossFit is a great workout to incorporate into your existing exercise routine, even if you’re not ready to commit full force.

  • Functional movements: These are movements that you use every day without realizing it. You might be able to bend over and tie your shoes. This movement will be difficult if you can’t reach your toes. It’s easy to lace your shoes with a little flexibility training. Functional movements can also help you avoid injury in your daily life. Your muscles will be able to move in the same way you used to do basic movements during a workout, such as squatting or lifting heavy objects off the ground.
  • CrossFit is a race against the clock. It’s common to do as many repetitions as possible in a given time period during CrossFit. Start small if you’re interested in trying this yourself. It is always better to start small and work your way up to longer periods. Your timer should be set for 1 minute. Start with 5 push-ups and 5 squats. Next, do 5 jumping jacks. This set of moves can be repeated as many times as you like in the time allotted. You can increase the timer to 3 or 5 if you still feel tired after 1 minute.
  • EMOMS (Every Minute on the Minute): This is another way to do this. Set a timer for 1 minute, then do as many pushups as possible, then continue with squats and jumping jacks. This type of exercise is great because it will help you get more bang for your buck and can improve your recovery time.
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