A Beginner’s Guide to CrossFit Exercise

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You must have heard a lot of people talking about CrossFit. Ever since it become a hit with fitness enthusiast as a new form of fitness regimen, more and more people have joined CrossFit.

CrossFit jargons such as “box” and “WOD” sound too familiar to your ear. Are you curious about the program as well? Are you interested in joining, but wants to find out more information about it?

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In this article, we’ve compiled information about CrossFit that will help you understand what it is, what you can expect from it, as well as the pros and cons of the program.

What is CrossFit?

For decades, Greg Glassman had researched various sports and fitness program. His goal was to develop a fitness regimen that is meaningful, measurable and fun. When he finally found the right regimen that can be actually effective and helpful, he named it CrossFit.

Greg Glassman used various functional movements that reflect the best aspects of gymnastics, weightlifting, running, rowing and more.

According to Greg, these movements are the basic of movements people do during their life. CrossFit is performed at high intensity. They strive to maximize the amount of work done in the shortest time.

These two aspects of CrossFit, varied functional movements and high intensity, enable the participants to improve their fitness greatly.

Another aspect that makes CrossFit different than other fitness regimen is the community spirit Greg Glassman encourages.

He believes that exercising in an environment where one can meet another person, who works as hard as oneself; go through suffering together and encourage each other makes exercising more fun.

This eventually led to a strong loyalty for CrossFit, and the community grew into over 13,000 people all over the world.

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Greg Glassman and his company, CrossFit, Inc. licenses CrossFit brand to gyms and certified trainers. To join CrossFit, all you need to do is to find either a CrossFit gym or CrossFit trainer.

Of course, the routine can be performed alone, at home too. However, there is more benefit to join a real CrossFit gym or hire a CrossFit trainer.

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What Can I Expect from CrossFit

CrossFit strives to improve its participants overall fitness. The exercise in CrossFit consists mainly of a mix of aerobic, body weight exercises, and Olympic weightlifting.

Typically, a session of CrossFit at the gym (or “box”, as they call them) consists of:

Warm-up

This is where you start the varied functional movements. You can start your session with jumps, jump rope, jumping jacks, squats, push-ups, and pull-ups, basically all the basic movement that will help your body get ready for the more intense WOD.

Skill development

Your gym or your trainer will have a different theme for different days. Today, for example, can be a strength day. That means today at this segment you’ll work out with movement that will improve your strength, such as weight lifts.

WOD

WOD is abbreviation for “Workout of the Day”. This is the high intensity part. Your trainer will tell you to set a goal; do a certain number of a particular exercise as quickly as possible or set a time limit and exercise as many times as possible.

Your trainer will take your record during this time, so you can check out your own performance. You’ll be able to check whether you’re improving or not. This method also encourages a sense of competitiveness among the participants.

Individual or Group Stretching

The last part of the session is for the participants to get together and encourage each other. However, if you’re not feeling social today, you are allowed to stretch alone.

Since CrossFit emphasize on various functional movements as the base for the regimen; gyms and trainers don’t limit themselves by using equipment, although usually they don’t use typical fitness machines.

Participants will use barbells, dumbbells, pull-up bar, kettlebells, medicine balls and even jump ropes.

What Makes CrossFit Different

What make CrossFit different and attractive is not only its varied functional movement and high intensity, but also its community spirit and friendly environment.

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In a CrossFit gym, people develop a sense of camaraderie as they suffer through the intense work out together. It makes the suffering more bearable.

In CrossFit gyms, during WOD sessions, there are participants who finish earlier and there are participants who finish later.

The one who has finished usually encourages the other who is still exercising. The friendly environment makes someone less likely to give up, probably adding another factor why CrossFit is actually effective and works.

CrossFit community is not limited only inside their box. 13,000+ fans of CrossFit communicate a lot via internet, sharing their story and promote the regimen.

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The Pros and Cons of CrossFit Regimen

If CrossFit is innovative, fun and effective, why do you hear some rather loud accusation that CrossFit is dangerous?
Well, like every single thing in this world, CrossFit also has its own pros and cons. Let’s check them out.

The Pros

1. It works

WOD is a great exercise for you to improve your fitness. The combination of varied functional movement and the great intensity really works your muscle out. After a session of CrossFit, you can feel that the entirety of your body has moved and exercised.

2. It’s fun

It’s like CrossFit enthusiasts have their own language to communicate with each other. This little thing seems trivial, but it’s fun and it makes the participants feel like they’re in this together.

They have some funny abbreviation, like ATG or Ass to Grass to define squats, and they call their gyms as “box”.

3. It’s encouraging

The friendly environment and community spirit will make you less likely to drop out in the middle. When you’re attached to CrossFit as a community, you have a line that will pull you back to the gym when you feel like giving up.

The Cons

1. It’s intense

You’ve read the illustration about WOD. Your trainer will tell you to complete a certain laps of exercises as fast as possible or set a time limit and do as many laps as possible.

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He or she will take record of your performance. This will makes you want to push yourself, because other people will see your result, and you don’t want to lose from them.

As the result, a lot of CrossFit participant often push themselves beyond the limit. Vomiting after exercising happens a lot in CrossFit gyms. While working hard is good, working too hard can get you sick and injured.

However, this one risk is actually on you. You are the only one who knows your limit. As long as you are aware of the risk of pushing yourself too far, we don’t think CrossFit will be much of a danger for you.

2. It can be dangerous

During WOD you’ll try to achieve as much as possible during shortest time possible, you’ll need to have someone experienced to supervise you.

Otherwise, the risk of injury will be too high. Imagine if you’re attempting to challenge 100 squats in two minutes without a proper technique and posture – you can easily tear a muscle or two.

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However, in CrossFit gyms, before joining a regular class, usually you’ll get a preparation class where the trainer teaches you the right posture and basic movement according to their basic functional movement.

Paying attention in this class will help you lower the risk of getting injured.

3. Be careful of fake affiliate

CrossFit is licensed with annual payment system. Gyms and trainers with license can develop their own classes; however they still have to follow the philosophy of the regimen.

Real CrossFit gyms and trainers knows what they are going to train you and how. CrossFit is intense, and not having a certified trainer supervising your session can add risk to get injury.

So, have you got the information about CrossFit you’re looking for? Can the article help you to determine whether CrossFit is for you or not? Tell us what you think!

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