Have you seen the crossfit games on ESPN? This form of high-intensity training has been a popular topic in the fitness world.
For those wondering what is crossfit, this post will provide an introduction as well as take an in-depth look at the pros and cons of this training methodology. We will finally answer the question of does crossfit work?
There are both sides to the argument over whether Crossfit is really good for you. We’ll take some of the best elements and help you plan at home crossfit workouts. Today we’ll also go over some beginners workout plan and slightly more advanced techniques.
What Is Crossfit All About?
Crossfit is often termed as the sport of fitness. It is a philosophy that trains people of varying sizes and shapes and focuses on functional strength rather than appearance like body building. Cross fit training workouts are generally completed for time or max reps. This is also why some fitness experts don’t like Crossfit, as this can lead to injury. Regardless crossfit has taken some of the fitness spotlight and is even on major fitness blogs.
Crossfit classes contain some of the most diverse and challenging workouts around. The idea is to test your functional strength thoroughly and the focus is on overall development of the whole body rather than focusing on one single part of your body. For those getting ready for the beach, this may not be for you, but if your concern is overall strength development, crossfit might be worth considering.
Why Are People Crazy About Crossfit?
Cross fit training is meant for every single individual regardless of fitness level. However, if you have past injuries you are working on recovering from, it’s important to know your limits.
So why are people crazy about crossfit?
- Weight Training: many crossfit gyms offer Olympic weight lifting as a side class which can be excellent for those new to strength training. Good crossfit coaches will take time to correct your form during workouts.
- Supportive Community: crossfitters are also known for their sense of community and holding each other accountable for getting to workouts and sticking with goals.
- Competitive Fitness: if you enjoy competing against not only yourself, but your fellow classmates, you may love this. Former athletes often find this very motivating.
Is It Dangerous?
Some people are a little skeptical of cross fit training because of how much work is done towards peoples’ max output. If you have the wrong coach, the wrong knowledge or the wrong approach, cross fit training can turn out to be harmful.
Here are a few points to consider.
- Crossfit beginners need to really focus on training proper form. No matter how strong you are, improper form can lead to injury. With high rep workouts, the tendency to get sloppy on form is a dangerous and slippery slope.
- People who tend to push their body beyond its defined limits should be aware. You may be more likely to attract injuries if you can’t manage the desire to push past your limitations unsafely..
- In certain cases, cross fit workout can also lead to rhabdomyolysis which is an extremely rare medical disorder. When people are straining their body beyond a point, you will find that the muscle fibre will begin to break down and they may be released into the bloodstream as well. This isn’t something which should be taken lightly and people need to be conscious about it.
So, the best thing to do is to have a fitness coach who specializes in cross fit training and then carry out the whole regime under their care. This will prevent the chances of injuries.
What Does Crossfit Classes Look Like?
When you are trying to join crossfit classes, you may be wondering as to what you should expect from them. Well. Here are a few things which you will get to see. I drew these points on the basis of what I found at crossfit gyms near me.
Introduction classes: usually these gyms are sure to have an instruction class. In this class, they will give you an overview of what you are going to learn and the basic tips. This is important to prepare you for what lies ahead.
On ramp/elements: this is the basic course and here you will learn the nine main fundamental movements of crossfits that can help you out. Even if you are experienced in this field, these classes are sure to benefit you.
Regular classes: this is perhaps what you have been looking for. You will find that these classes can get extremely intense. The pace of the class is going to be very quick and you need to know how to handle all of it, and have a solid handle on your form in various exercises. Generally the classes in itself will be divided into four separate segments which are as follows.
- Dynamic Warm up: This will often include a short jog, and other exercises like jumping jacks, pushups, lunges, squats, jump rope, pull ups, stretches and other mobility inducing exercises as well.
- Skill or Strength: these two are featured on different days and are a part of your weekly regime. When you have a strength day, you will have to work upon a specific strength movement to train form. On other day, you’ll work upon the skills you need for crossfit. This section of class is good for developing form or technique with complex movements or jumping rope.
- WOD: This is your workout of the day and here you will be asked to carry out a variety of exercises for a specified time or number of reps. This is where it gets competitive.
- Cool down and stretching: this is the time you are offered to relax and bring back your heartbeat to normal. It is not unusual to see people sprawled on the floor panting at this point in class.
Can I Do It At Home?
If you are looking for at home crossfit workouts, you need to know that it is possible to use some of the same dynamics of interval training. Many crossfit workouts require equipment like pull up bars, olympic weight sets, rope climb stations etc. There are still some useful elements that can be done at home. Many gyms post their WOD online. Keep in mind the following:
- Nobody is going to check your form at home. It’s all on you to make sure you stay safe and vigilant on your technique.
- Nobody is there to motivate you: one of the main cross fit training benefits is the class setting that helps push you.
- You may lack the equipment: you may lack equipment needed for WODs at home and this may be limiting so get creative if you’re going to try this.
So, there are going to be a few drawbacks but if you can keep these in check, you may be able to carry out at home crossfit workouts with no problem.
Pros And Cons Of Crossfit
As with any form of training there are both pros and cons. Let’s take a look at them.
Benefits Of Cross Fit Training:
- Community aspect: crossfit is mostly carried out in communities which offers support to your personal fitness goals.
- Competition: when you are carrying out crossfit classes, you will find a kind of competition among the members, and with yourself. This can provide the drive to make a difference.
- Functional strength: cross fit training focuses on overall strength development and can help you get stronger in many, many areas of your body. High-intensity exercise is also good at combining cardio and weight training benefits.
Cons Of Crossfit
- Absence of specialization: Crossfit training offers overall development of your whole body.If you’re looking for huge biceps, this is not your gym.
- Huge dependency on coach: it is often seen that people are heavily depended on their coach when they are a part of crossfit classes.
- Overtraining: because of its intensity, some people end up overtraining muscles which can take you out of training later in the week and even lead to rhabdomialysis in some cases.
Ideally, crossfit training provides a guided, pre-planned high-intensity workout, guided by a knowledgeable coach in a positive, competitive atmosphere. If you’re looking into joining, make sure you look for those elements before signing up! Always know your limits and don’t ever let a coach or class push you past what your body is telling you. Whatever workout you choose, focus on form, be safe and have fun!
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