Preparing your body for the unexpected
Crossfit is a program developed to offer a full-body workout that combines elements of cardio, weight lifting, gymnastics, core training and more, in order to prepare the body for the unexpected. It is used by police academies, military special operations units, and elite athletes worldwide.
As a high-intensity workout and extremely varied, it’s all about getting the most out of your workout. It is usually practiced in large warehouses known as “the box”, which offer group classes where an individual may choose to workout anywhere between three to five times a week.
By doing this, the major components of physical fitness are targeted: cardiorespiratory fitness, stamina, muscular strength and endurance, flexibility, power, speed, agility, balance, coordination, and accuracy.
The crossfit workouts normally combine explosive exercises completed in a circuit format, where one exercise follows right after the next, with very little rest in between. The main exercises involve the whole body and include pushing, pulling, running, rowing, and squatting. Here are a few examples:
Power Cleans: consists of pulling a weighted bar from the floor and bringing it up to and in front of your shoulders, in a quick and forceful manner.
Burpees: this is a body-weight-only exercise that involves beginning in a standing position, quickly dropping to the floor and doing a push-up, then coming up to a squatting position and explosively jumping straight-up.
The Snatch: a weighted bar is rapidly pulled from the floor to directly over your head with the arms held straight.
Thruster: this exercise begins standing upright with a weighted bar held in front of your shoulders. You squat down to the point where your thighs are parallel to the floor, then quickly stand back-up and press the weighted bar over your head.
Other examples are variations of push-ups, sit-ups, and pull-ups. Crossfit also uses kettle bells, medicine balls, climbing ropes, jump ropes, and rowing machines.
Some tips to keep in mind before joining a box
- Go to a few different crossfit gyms, talk to the coaches and get an idea of how the workout is. Most of them offer a free introductory class to beginners considering joining the program. Also, make sure the coach is cerftified and experienced.
- Make sure to let your coach know if you have any previous injury. If you do have one, you may want to speak with your doctor prior to start doing high-intensity crossfit.
- Scale your workouts. This means that as a beginner youcan’t lift as much weight as someone who has been doing it for years. It also applies to intensity and knowing when your body has reached its maximum capacity.
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