CrossFit: Why Is It the Key to Health and Success?


CrossFit became a super popular workout a few years ago when box gyms began popping up not only across the country, but the world. CrossFit is practiced by members of over 13,000 affiliated gyms in 120 countries.

Now, the question arises:-

What Is Crossfit?

A form of high intensity interval training, Crossfit is a strength and conditioning workout that is made up of functional movement performed at a high intensity level.

These movements are actions that you perform in your day-to-day life, like squatting, pulling, pushing etc. Many workouts feature variations of squats, push-ups, and weight lifting that last for predetermined amounts of time to help build muscles. This varies from a traditional workout that may tell you how many reps to do over any period of time. 

Devotees Perspective

According to Tony Caravajal, Crossfit is hugely beneficial for the full spectrum of ages and athletic capabilities, starting with adolescents. “Crossfit Kids classes are a fantastic way to help a child develop balance, coordination, as well as proper motor skills.”

Patrick Zeiher,owner of Crossfit Indian Trail, notes that one reason Crossfit is so beneficial for all ages is that the physical needs of a person vary by degree — not by kind.

Risks Involved With Doing a Crossfit Workout

As with any high intensity workout, there is some risk involved. One study found that 20 percent of the Crossfit participants surveyed injured themselves while doing Cross Fit endorsed workouts.

“The injury rate of Crossfit is about 20 percent, meaning 20 percent of people who perform Crossfit branded workouts regularly will be injured at some point, which is high for a recreational activity,” says Cuyler Hudson, a physical therapist at Finish Line.

How to Reduce Your Risk of Injury?

- Check your form. The biggest things you want to watch out for is rounding at the lumbar spine (low back), and an increased forward translation of the knees during exercises like squats and deadlifts. Rounding in the low back causes a huge load on the muscles and ligaments in the low back, which it’s not designed to handle.

- Choose the right gym/coach. Crossfit exercises are all great exercises when performed properly. The problem more lies in inexperienced coaches who increase the volume of exercise too quickly, and push athletes through form fatigue to complete the maximum amount of repetitions for an exercise. It’s crucial that Crossfitters (new Crossfitters in particular) learn correct form, and only complete exercises to form fatigue, not until they can no longer complete a rep.

Learn the Lingo Before You Go

You may hear several acronyms and words thrown around during a class, either verbally or written on a board with the workout for the day. Here are some of the most common:

WOD: Workout of the Day

EMOM: Every Minute on the Minute

AMRAP: As Many Reps as Possible

Box: A Crossfit gym with the bare necessities to perform all the WODs.

Ladder: A series of exercises where you increase the number of reps by 1 each time they are performed. (i.e. 5 squats, then 6 squats, then 7 squats …)

Zone Diet: The diet that Crossfit endorses. This diet is based on macronutrients.

SQ: Squat

PR: Personal Record. This refers to when you reach your personal best in a given exercise.

Hero WOD: These workouts are named after first responders who have died in the line of duty.

Start with a beginner’s class and make modifications

Magee suggests that you communicate with your coach any limitations or restrictions you have, especially if you’re just getting back into a workout routine or are a beginner. “Once a person has been through their initial assessment, a qualified coach will help them determine the any modifications, such as particular movements or the volume of training for a particular workout,” she says.

If you are a beginner, you’re in luck.

Written by - Gunika Manchanda



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