What the hell is CrossFit?

Last summer, I signed up for a bootcamp for a fitness class called CrossFit. At the time, I had absolutely no idea what was involved or what sort of exercises to expect. Let alone what an AMRAP, EMOM or WOD was.

Team AFS

Hot & Sweaty Team AFS, Andover UK

I had lost a bit of love of running and really wanted to find something that would re-engage my enthusiasm for fitness and hopefully get me back in my trainers. I assumed CrossFit would be a bit like a circuits class – making me work hard for an hour.

6 months later, I can honestly say it was the best decision I made.

What is CrossFit?
It covers a wide variety of exercises and muscle groups. High intensity movements alongside strict technique to improve strength, flexibility and power. You’ll find yourself using bars, boxes, rowing machines, rings, weighted balls and your own body weight.

CrossFit WOD

Who goes to CrossFit?
One thing that surprised me was the wide variety of people that attend. I have joined a breakfast session (7am) and we have a great mixture of ability. The great thing is, it is a scalable approach to exercise. One lady who regularly attends our group is in her 60s. This lady told us the following at Christmas. For me, this really sums up why its such a great group.

“I went to buy my Christmas tree, got it loaded in the car for me then when I got home I thought I’d have to wait to take it into the house. I’d need my son to come over and do it for me. Instead, I thought I’d give it a go myself – and I got it! Out of the car, into the house!”

Not everyone has the same fitness goals and the above just clarifies how this type of exercise can benefit anyone.

What happens in a session?
There is one workout each day (called a WOD) and it is completely scalable, based on your ability. Everyone does it at the same time, jeering each other on. An example session:

  • Warm up – rower, skipping, jumps, burpees…
  • Strength – squats, deadlifts, snatch…
  • WOD – A certain number of reps of a particular exercise or within a time period. Sometimes completed in pairs.
  • Cool down – a chance to stretch out and cool down from all that sweating

What makes it special?
CrossFit is about teamwork and community. It is not often you have people cheering in the final finisher. Members are so supportive and inclusive of each other; it has a fantastic community feel.

There is also a very heavy emphasis on technique. Even though you’re working in a group, coaches will pay attention to you and help you to improve your form across exercises.

CrossFit - Just Hanging

CrossFit – Just Hanging

CrossFit has made me fitter, stronger and had enabled me to meet some wonderful people. Why not take a look for a local CrossFit gym and give it a go?

Useful links
Below are some great links if you’re looking to learn a bit more about this sport.

 

2 Comments

  1. 5th March 2017 / 18:09

    I’ve never really known what Crossfit is so this was a great insight.

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