An Introduction to CrossFit

intro to crossfitIn recent years, CrossFit has become one of the most popular team-based workout programs among the health and fitness community. Time and again, fitness gurus from all over the world have highly praised and recommended this workout program for its ability to deliver significant results in a short amount of time.

Even though CrossFit has become increasingly popular in recent years, there are still many out there who don’t know what it is.

The Origin and History of CrossFit

CrossFit was originally conceived as an idea and founded in the year 1996 by the couple Greg Glassman and Lauren Jenai as a company under the name ‘Cross-Fit’. Four years later in 2000, the company was re-branded as CrossFit Inc.

CrossFit’s original gym was in Santa Cruz, California. In 2005, there were only 13 gyms affiliated with the brand: today there are more than 13,000 world-wide. CrossFit has gained a lot of followers over the years, along with strong publicity and high praise by much the health and fitness community.

The CrossFit Mindset

People who do CrossFit are usually individuals who prefer high-intensity workout sessions and harbor a no-hold-barred mindset towards workouts. They’re people who want to work out under extreme pressure and see results in a short amount of time. Due to the explosive nature of CrossFit, it attracts energetic individuals with strong motivation.

If you’re thinking about joining a CrossFit gym, be prepared to meet a lot of active people who welcome action and a fast-paced approach to workouts.

Benefits of CrossFit

CrossFit can help you develop a lean muscle and reduce fat, it also can provide numerous other benefits.

Endurance and Stamina Training

The fast-paced and intense nature of CrossFit workouts are sure to increase stamina. A  normal CrossFit workout session may be exhausting for beginners, but can quickly help you develop a newfound stamina.

Improves Flexibility and Conditioning

Athletes who practice CrossFit train using functional movements. The diverse movement routines can help you perform everyday tasks in a more efficient way, especially if you have a physically-demanding job. Athletes often incorporate CrossFit training as a way of preparing for a competition.

Extreme Weight Loss

Exercise programs featuring high intensity training work wonders for those seeking to lose weight. CrossFit is one of the most extreme “burst” training exercise programs that exists. It’s safe to say that with regular CrossFit workouts are guaranteed to burn fat in a shorter period of time than almost any other training program out there.

Low Time Consumption

CrossFit gyms often end their workouts sessions after roughly 30 minutes because of the intensity involved. Those with full time jobs who are hard-pressed to find time for gym sessions find that thirty minutes of CrossFit will deliver almost the same calorie-burning results as longer workouts, while at the same time helping build lean muscle.

Gets You Involved in a Like-minded Community

The CrossFit scene is close-knit fitness community where people with common fitness goals engage in workout sessions with a team-like mentality. This means that as a ‘CrossFitter’, you’ll be part of a group of fellow ‘CrossFitters’. This not only enhances your social ties, but also prolongs your commitment to getting healthier, as you’ll be tackling your health and fitness goals as a group.

Drawbacks of CrossFit

It’s tough on beginners. CrossFit lifts require the use of good form and that form can take time to learn. Beginners who attempt to advance in their weight and workout too quickly and without learning proper form often risk injury.

The CrossFit focus on high-intensity exercises meant to be finished in a short time frame can reap amazing benefits, the nature of the exercises means some of beginners won’t be able to perform. If you’re a beginner with no resistance training experience, it might take you a while to get going in CrossFit. This technical competence CrossFit can leave a bad first impression for the inexperienced.

If you’re having a hard time with your first workouts, your trainer should be there to step in and help. If he or she doesn’t, then you are in the wrong place. A proper CrossFit gym (called a ‘box’) will make sure you know proper form before allowing you to attempt more weight.

It’s not for extreme muscle development

Although it uses weights and you can build muscle, CrossFit is not for body building.

CrossFit is primarily meant for losing fat and developing a lean body-type while building strength through repeated functional movements. It’s an explosive high intensity workout that works as a refined/alternate version of HIIT (high intensity interval training).

If you’re main goal is to build muscle mass, CrossFit can be part of the solution, but is not the best choice.

Risk of Injury

Because you are moving weight using explosive movements as quickly as possible, there is a risk of injury. In fact, the joke is:

What does every CrossFit class have in Common? Injuries.

Make sure your CrossFit ‘box’ has trainer that take the time to show you how to properly perform the exercises. Also make sure you use weight appropriate to your strength and skill level. If your CrossFit trainers aren’t keeping an eye on your form or are pushing you to use weights you aren’t comfortable with, it might be time to switch locations.

Final thoughts

As one of the best exercise programs for shedding weight, CrossFit can help you develop a lean body while simultaneously building strength, stamina and flexibility. CrossFit workouts are perfect for people who are short on time and who want to get active–it’s designed to have you expending incredible amounts of energy in a surprisingly short time.

Practiced correctly and consistently, CrossFit has the potential to better your life in ways that you wouldn’t otherwise experience with any other workout program.


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