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Ready to put your fitness to the test? CrossFit is a diverse and intense work out system that combines elements of gymnastics, Olympic weightlifting and resistance training with traditional and non-traditional equipment. Designed to challenge the body, the reps-based routines have been adopted by firefighting, military and police personnel the world over, as well as athletes who want a structured and consistant conditioning program.
CrossFit gears the body up for rapid bursts of maximum effort followed by a short recovery period, mimicking a soldier (or caveman ancestor) running from cover to cover. CrossFit also utilizes elements of functional weight training to strengthen core muscles, providing an all-round work out.
The physical tasks themselves are centred on the workout of the day (WOD) that is posted on the CrossFit homepage. The WOD is carefully chosen to push your body in a different way from the exercises of day before, allowing your tired muscles to recover whilst still making you feel the burn.
CrossFit’s daily challenges are tailored specifically to improve physical competence in ten recognized fitness areas:
By training and honing skills in each area, CrossFit seeks to prepare you for a broad range of physically demanding activities as well as standing alone as ‘a competitive sport of fitness’. The online element of CrossFit builds a sense of camaraderie (as well as fierce competition) between community members, with devotees being encouraged to share their work out times, weight lifting achievements and rep numbers on the web. If you like to pit yourself against others in order to spur on your exercising efforts, then this method may be ideal for you!
Rest days are also incorporated into the plan, allowing you to take part in other forms of exercise (such as gentle swimming, cycling and jogging) if you so wish. Diet plans are often implimented too, to ensure that your nutritional health improves as your body gets used to a constant level of exercise.
CrossFit programs are designed to be scalable and easily modified to suit every ability. The use of weights, reps and suggested performance times can be reduced or increased and alternative exercises can be substituted in without any hassle, but the core program remains unaltered.
CrossFit trainers claim to aid any individual, regardless of experience. Programs have apparently been modified especially for elderly individuals, those with heart disease and have been amped up for cage fighters one month out from televised bouts. Whether you’re a novice or an experienced athlete in another field, wanting a buff body or just a happy, healthy heart, it seems as if there really is a CrossFit regime for everyone.
As well as carrying out the WOD alone at home or in your local gym, CrossFit classes are also available where you can perform the WOD alongside others (if your are feeling a little more sociable). However, the day-to-day nature of CrossFit means it may not be for you if you are looking for a temporary, gentle and less focused addition to your fitness regime.
CrossFit was founded by Greg Glassman- a former high school gymnast- in the 1970s. The first CrossFit affiliated gym opened in Santa Cruz in 1995.