What is CrossFit?

Looking to whip your body into shape safely and quickly? If you haven’t already, you should check out CrossFit! It’s one of the best overall strength and conditioning workouts around and it’s guaranteed to get your body into great shape.

CrossFit is a fitness program that builds conditioning and strength through a variety of basic and challenging workouts using a mix of aerobic exercise, body weight exercise and weightlifting. The ultimate goal? To build a lean and muscular body that looks great!

The CrossFit box (or gym) is basically like a big gymnasium or warehouse filled with basic gym equipment such as barbells, medicine balls, kettle balls and jump ropes. Missing are the weight machines you would normally see in your regular fitness centers – no elliptical trainers or stair masters.

As soon as you sign up for CrossFit they prep you for the workouts. Everyone starts with the Elements Workshop, 6 classes that teach you how to master and adapt the 9 Foundational Movements to your own personal fitness level for safety. Everyone is required to complete the Elements Workshop so that you’re able to safely and correctly execute the 9 Foundational Moves. What are the Foundational Movements? They’re just that – the movements that are the foundation for all of the CrossFit workouts.

CrossFit’s 9 Foundational Movements

Air Squat

Deadlift

Front Squat

Medicine Ball Clean

Overhead Squat

Push Jerk

Push Press

Shoulder Press

Sumo Deadlift High Pull

After you perfect your form and learn how to correctly execute the foundational movements in the Elements Workshop, you get to join the CrossFit box in the regular classes. These classes last anywhere from 45-60 minutes and change depending on the WOD (Workout of the Day). What’s a WOD you ask? It’s something that is completely exclusive to CrossFit. WOD’s are a set of exercises that will make up the main section of your class. Your personal goal is to complete as many rounds as possible (AMRAP) within the 20 minutes allowed. WOD’s are usually named after a person and each box will have a monthly schedule of WOD’s. One of the best known WOD’s is Cindy: 15 squats, 5 pull ups and 10 pushups.

Scared that CrossFit might be too exhausting? Many of the athletes follow the Paleo diet – a diet that’s based on whole, natural foods that our ancestors used to eat. They feel the diet gives them more energy and stamina to work out and get their bodies into top shape. The diet excludes many “modern” foods that are common in western society today, such as anything that’s processed, deep-fried or contains sugar or grains. These foods are known to cause weight gain, sluggish-ness and be low in nutritional value, so why eat them? All the foods on the Paleo eating plan are known to be nutritious and energy boosting. And because they’re natural and wholesome, the foods perform an internal digestive cleanse at the same time which will also boost energy levels and help with weight loss. A good sort of side effect to be sure.

CrossFit isn’t for everyone; it is an intense fitness workout that will give you great results if you’re dedicated to it. If you’re looking to get fit and muscular fast this might be for you. With CrossFit you’ll also be part of a great close knit community with like-minded athletic individuals something you don’t get at a regular fitness center or gym. If you’re interested, head down to your local gym and sign up! Most gyms or boxes will give newcomers a free trial so that you can see if CrossFit is the workout for you before signing up.