What is CrossFit?
According to CrossFit HQ they define CrossFit as constantly varied functional movements performed at high intensity. All CrossFit workouts are based on functional movements, and these movements reflect the best aspects of gymnastics, weightlifting, running, rowing and more.
Crossfit isn’t just for the elite athletes you see competing in the documentaries on NetFlix, it is for everyone! CrossFit employs the principal of universal scalability, meaning they scale the load and intensity of the prescribed workout rather than changing he programme. It is the perfect workout for any committed individual regardless of their experience or fitness levels.
What’s all this CrossFit lingo about?
You hear a lot of different terms going around when people are talking about CrossFit and it may seem confusing at first so here is a breakdown so you’re already ahead of the game when you head to a CrossFit class.
Box – This is what a CrossFit gym calls themselves, they are often called CrossFit Boxes as they are usually in warehouse style gyms with 4 walls!
WOD – Workout of the Day, this is what is on the agenda for the class that day.
AMRAP – As Many Reps/Rounds As Possible. You will often see workouts with a time of AMRAP 10 or 20 or something similar and that means that you do the list of prescribed exercises as many times as you can in the time allotted.
DL – they have just shortened the word Deadlift! We love deadlifts
C&J – Clean and Jerk. This is an Olympic weightlifting movement that is often completed in CrossFit. To describe it simply it is getting the bar from the floor to overhead in the most efficient way possible.
EMOM – Every Minute on the Minute. These are another common occurrence in CrossFit WODs and it means you do the set number of reps Every Minute On the Minute so there will be a running clock on the wall and you do the reps at the top of every minute so depending on how quickly you complete the reps you could have more rest time.
What are the workouts like?
Workouts vary vastly but work off the basic principles of metabolic conditioning, gymnastics and weightlifting. CrossFit has a range of Benchmark WODs that are all named using women’s names. The most well known workout is ‘Fran’ which consists of 21-15-9 reps of Thrusters and Pull Ups done for time.
What equipment do they use?
CrossFit is known for using basic equipment and minimal machines. The basic equipment needed is Olympic Barbells and plates, dumbbells, kettlebells, rigs/racks, rings, and ropes. As for machines the only ones that are really used in CrossFit are the Assault Fitness AirBike, Air Runner and the Concept 2 Rower and Ski Erg all of which are pretty much user powered with the exception of the battery powered display screens meaning there are no electrical outlets required to use them!
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This is a big reason CrossFit has become so big worldwide, it is a real community. No-one gets left behind, everyone can participate in some way. There are CrossFit Affiliates dotted all over the world with the community growing everyday. The best thing about being a member of the CrossFit community is the support. It is like having a second family to talk to, relate to, and seek advice from that will help you along the way. Often gyms will have a policy that you can’t start putting your equipment away from the WOD until everyone in the class has completed the workout, so when you’re finished you cheer on your team mates until everyone is finished!
What is the CrossFit Open and the CrossFit Games?
While CrossFit is a competitive sport, not everyone has to compete, it is totally optional! The main event for Crossfit is the CrossFit Games which is held in the US every Summer with athletes qualifying from all over the world in regional qualifiers. The first competition of the CrossFit season is the CrossFit Open which is a worldwide competition that anyone can sign up for and is suitable for all levels including complete beginners. If you want to see more of what the CrossFit Games is about, head over to Netflix and give “The Fittest on Earth” and “The Fittest on Earth – A Decade of Fitness” a watch, they follow some of CrossFit’s top athletes in the lead up to the Games and throughout the competition.