One thing's for sure, if someone does CrossFit, they'll be sure to tell you - but why is it so great? It has gained an enormous following in the last few years, with the annual CrossFit Games becoming one of, if not the biggest fitness event, and at the other end of the scale, CrossFit boxes are popping up all over the world to accommodate the everyday athlete.
The beauty of this sport is that absolutely anyone can partake, whatever your age or ability, and training in CrossFit enables you to train your body to be ready for anything. This can include heavy lifts, gymnastic movements and intense cardiac outputs.
The CrossFit website states:
'“The needs of our Olympic athletes and grandparents differ by degree, not kind.” That is to say, everyone needs to perform an intelligently selected variety of functional movements at a level of intensity appropriate for that individual. Everyone needs to eat food that sustains, rather than harms, the body. This is the pursuit of fitness, and the ability to maintain that fitness throughout your life is a defining measure of health.'
The ethos behind CrossFit is simple; the pursuit of fitness and health at every level. This means that in a CrossFit box (they are called boxes rather than gyms), you will find people from all ages and all walks of life, and each and every one will support and cheer you on to be the best you can be.
The community aspect of CrossFit is one of the most unique pull factors that encourage people to start, and is echoed in boxes all around the world. Once you start CrossFit, you'll find that you are able to find a box wherever you are in the world and join in on a workout.
So what actually happens in a CrossFit box?
A common acronym that you might have seen floating around in the fitness community is a WOD. This stands for Workout of the Day, and CrossFit as an organisation release a new WOD every day for CrossFitters all over the world to complete.
This doesn't mean that this one workout is all that happens at a Crossfit box; classes and open sessions also run daily which allow members to train and learn from experienced trainers. It's important to note, a Personal Trainer will not be a qualified CrossFit instructor unless they are accredited with CrossFit themselves, so whilst you may perform CrossFit style workouts with your PT, this isn't quite the same thing.
A good example of a WOD is a classic:
For time: 100 pull-ups 100 push-ups 100 sit-ups 100 squats
Everyone can compare times/results online and you can see how you rank with everyone else across the world who has completed that WOD.
Many people are intimidated at the thought of starting CrossFit, and this is often due to lack of knowledge or feeling like they aren't able to do any of the complex movements. However, everyone can learn if they want to, and if you don't want to ever attempt a handstand walk then there is absolutely no need to. There are different styles of classes that exclude things like Olympic Lifting, and even if you attend these classes you can scale the workout or substitute exercises.
CrossFit provides an all round solution to chronic disease, obesity and it's related health problems. This means that nutrition advice is a key part of the all round package, however if you simply want to just do CrossFit workouts that is absolutely fine! The key message from a diet perspective is that food should support your body's functions and fitness, but should not support excess body fat. There is plenty of advice on the perfect nutritional approach to take which can be found on the CrossFit website: https://www.crossfit.com/
All other info regarding CrossFit can also be found on their website, or speak to your Personal Trainer to find out more!