What is CrossFit?
Founded by Greg Glassman in 2000, CrossFit is a fitness program that has been defined as constantly varied functional movements performed at relatively high intensity. Workouts are based on functional movements taken from gymnastics, weightlifting, running and rowing. Essentially, CrossFit creates some of the fittest people on earth, but makes sure they are good at everything, rather than specializing in one particular area.
Why Do Crossfit?
- Learn proper form. Prior to getting involved in CrossFit, I was guilty of fiddling around with hand weights and machines at the gym. I avoided plates, barbells and strength training altogether, because I simply did not know what to do. If you’re anything like me, CrossFit is the place to start. Most CrossFit gyms offer foundation classes for new athletes to learn the basics and proper lifting form to avoid injury.
- Every day is a competitive event. Although I do enjoy competing with my sister sometimes, CrossFit is a way of competing with yourself. Whether you are trying to reach a new PR (personal record) or get another round in before time is up, the friendly competition is the best motivation. As a former competitive dancer, I miss the feeling of winning that first place trophy. If you’re a former athlete, CrossFit will give you back that competitive drive.
- We are a community. While it may be intimidating at first, the CrossFit community is the most supportive and passionate group of athletes you will encounter. My first class I was united with a diverse group of people including two mothers, one father and a girl and boy around my age. Despite race, gender and age, we were all the same. We had the same goal: to be better than we were the day before. During WODs (workout of the day), you will often hear people encouraging each other and once the workout is complete, every person will congratulate the other for a job well done.
- Results. You have repeatable data to prove that you are getting fitter. Most CrossFitters keep track of their PRs to see how far they have come. You can score a workout and repeat it at a later time to measure how much you have improved. Every part of your body will get a workout every, so you will look pretty good too.
- Everything can be scaled and modified. Never lifted a finger in your life? You will start out lifting a lot less than other people around you. Every class has people with a variety of ages and experience levels. Coaches scale the weight appropriately in order for everyone to get a workout that is hard, but safe.
- Attack your weakness. If you’re in the gym by yourself, no one is going to force you to do those pull-ups you hate so much. CrossFit encourages you to face your weakness head on. Whether you hate rope climbing or box jumps, you are going to be forced to do it anyway, making you a better athlete.
- It promotes long-term health. They are called functional movements for a reason: they make us more functional. Combined with a healthy diet, you will feel better, perform better and have more energy even as you get older. Some of the strongest women at my gym also happen to be the oldest.
- Be prepared for anything. Police academies, military units, martial artists and hundreds of professional athletes worldwide have adopted the strength and conditioning program that CrossFit offers. Training every part of your body trains you to become a well-rounded athlete ready to take on any obstacle.
- Efficiency. As you get older, time seems to get shorter and shorter. Instead of wasting 45 minutes on the elliptical, spend an hour doing a harder, more valuable workout. Workouts include a mix of cardio and weight training. You’ll be surprised how fast you can spike your heart rate with 10 minutes of burpees or squats.
- CrossFit is life-changing. My first week of CrossFit, I walked into class, stared at the WOD and thought to myself, “There is no way I can do that,” but I did. One of the greatest parts of CrossFit is doing things you thought were impossible. You will move in ways you never thought possible, lift more than you thought you were capable of, and sweat more than you have ever sweat in your life. Most importantly, you will gain more confidence every day.
I owe my success to my coaches Dominick and Kim and the entire CrossFit Fullmotion community.