Crossfit has swept the nation similar to the MMA. People are raving about it. Crossfit gyms are flooding the country and opening doors daily. You see people outside pushing metal sleds, flipping tires, and throwing around kettlebells. It looks like a great workout. Everyone seems to be gasping for air and going back for more. Does it really work though? You may see the results on some people, but like most things you assume “results not typical”. In cross-fit style, let’s get flippin’ some tires and see what lies beneath.
What is crossfit?
Most of us have heard of Crossfit. They even have the Crossfit Games. But, what is crossfit? What makes an exercise and/or exercise routine crossfit. Crossfit combines weightlifting, gymnastics, and sprinting (among other aspects) to form its’ training base. It is defined as a program designed for any person that is willing to commit to exercise, regardless of fitness level.
There are various courses, gyms, and even crossfit certifications available. The key factor with crossfit is that their is usually a specified number of reps, and it is based on time. You will complete X number of reps, aiming for the shortest amount of time, before moving to the next exercise. You may see the term Crossfit WOD, which basically means it’s a crossfit workout of the day.
The pieces of equipment often vary. There is no true limit to what pieces are necessary with crossfit exercises, because the goal is to get people to exercise. A variety of equipment is often used in a workout. Things like kettlebells, barbells, large tires, ropes, wood boxes, among many other items.
Is it worth it?
The value of the program obviously depends on the user. The exercises are listed as “functional” exercises. The exercises involved are common exercises and some have unique names. Like, the pistol, which is a 1-legged squat performed without weights. Most of the exercises are common exercises, the difference is often in the time required for the exercise, and the variety of equipment (i.e. someone may do a variety of the pullup on olympic rings).
The worth depends on your goals. The key to understand is that this workout is more focused on time. How much time does it take to complete this exercise for the given reps? The goal is to beat it on the next workout. As you progress, you may add resistance or some variation to add difficulty.
It’s easy to tell from the design that it’s geared more toward improve physical fitness. The concept is focused more on improving cardiovascular endurance than muscle size/strength. So, if your goal is to get leaner, then this may be something to look into. However, for those looking to gain size or strength, this does not appear to be the best option. You could use it as a way to shock your system. It is possible to incorporate this into your program and still gain size and strength. This is why it is always important to define your goals and take the best route to achieving those goals.