Crossfit has become one of those fitness things everyone knows about and is trying out, from actors like Channing Tatum, to probably even your next-door neighbour.
However, it isn’t just an exercise fad, as its proven-and-tested benefits have made it a staple for many on their fitness journey.
CrossFit is, in essence, a high-intensity fitness training that is characterised by rigorous exercise coupled with sound nutrition. It can target every fitness goal, from weight loss to strength training.
The great thing about CrossFit is that, in spite of its strict reputation, it’s a program that can work for everyone. It’s perfect for both experienced buffs to newbie health enthusiasts. It was initially used by Marines and first responders, but more and more people are swearing by its benefits.
This fitness program has become a worldwide hit after originating in a small gym in California, turning into a movement you can find pretty much everywhere in the world. CrossFit gyms are cropping up in every city, and you may have found yourself reading this article because you’re thinking of joining one.
Unlike conventional fitness gyms, CrossFit centres house what you may call the “bare bones” of what you need. It’s a no-frills place that focuses on getting things done.
In spite of this approach, memberships to these gyms can get pretty hefty, and joining a CrossFit club may not be the best option for everyone.
Due to the distance and time constraints posed by becoming a gym member, it may not be the best bang for your buck. Especially if you’re a busy person. You may just about see yourself making it to 2 sessions a month due to your tight schedule.
Here’s the upside: you can build your own CrossFit gym at home!
Since this fitness regimen only calls for a few absolutely necessary pieces of gym equipment, you’ll be able to save money by investing it in your own home gym, rather than a membership card. It’s best to purchase equipment that has multiple purposes, as you’ll be able to find more than one exercise that can be executed with it!
If you’ve been thinking about getting started on your CrossFit journey, here are the things you’ll need:
The kettlebell is a huge part of this fitness program. It is a flat-bottomed ball with a wide handle that has originated in Russia. In spite of its relatively small size, the kettlebell is a powerhouse when it comes to workouts.
It’s best if you can purchase a small selection of kettlebells for your home gym. These will be perfect for you to lift, swing, or snatch. The ideal purchase is a full set of kettlebells but, let’s be honest: you won’t really be able to use all of them.
Try picking up a weight that you’re comfortable with, then add a bit more to it to increase the difficulty. Don’t start working out with something you can barely lift. You’ll eventually be needing heavier kettlebells to push and challenge yourself, but not during your first session.
Make sure that you buy quality ones, as they are aimed for long-term use. You wouldn’t want to be stuck with some that peel off a week into the purchase.
Dumbbells are a great way to incorporate strength training into your program if you’re just a beginner! Contrary to popular belief, these weights aren’t just for people who want to bulk up. They are also perfect for improving balance and stability.
These weights can give you more stimulus, promote coordination and skill transfer, all of which is necessary for every CrossFit athlete.
Similarly to kettlebells, a wide range of weights is recommended, but, for beginners, you can opt for a range that you’re comfortable with. We suggest getting dumbbells ranging from 25 pounds to 55 pounds for more variety in your exercises for men. Women should go for something in the 10 to 35 pound range.
3. Jump Rope
Although we piled the beginning of this list heavy with weights and strength training, it’s still important to focus on cardio. It is an integral part of any workout program, and will help keep your heart healthy. For this, we recommend adding a jump rope to your arsenal.
You can incorporate a jump rope into your workout as a warm-up, or for cool-downs. It’s a great way to get your heart pumping, so that you’ll be ready for the rest of your routine for the day.
We know that you won’t be feeling 100% ready to work out every day. It may be fatigue or any other form of exhaustion, everybody has their off days. However, you shouldn’t let this be the reason you miss out on a workout!
What you can do instead of a high-intensity workout is an hour or so of cardio. The jumping rope is perfect for this, as it is also a really reasonably-priced investment!
4. Plyometric Boxes
A plyometric box may be the most iconic CrossFit piece of equipment around. You’re definitely going to want this for box jumps or jump-overs in your routine, as they have specific heights that get increasingly challenging.
If you’re starting out, it may be alright to settle for a makeshift box, but you won’t be able to see your progress and you may potentially hurt yourself. Not to worry, plyometric boxes are inexpensive and will be worth every penny! Of course, you can DIY them, but it’s they are so affordable that it may not be worth all of the effort in the end.
5. Battle ropes
Battle ropes can give you a full-body, high-intensity workout with just one piece of equipment. They will be able to activate muscles that you probably weren’t working out before! It may look easy, but don’t be fooled; it will get your body burning in such a satisfying way.
In comparison to the isolated, static movements you execute by using other pieces of equipment, battle ropes can give you a dynamic, ever-changing exercise. You can even use them as a way to let off some steam, as you’ll be whipping, slapping or dragging them as you go.
However, the most famous move you can do is the one where you get the rope to move in waves. From an outsider’s perspective, this looks like an easy and fluid movement, but wait until you’ve done it for at least a minute. You’ll be out of breath halfway through!
Don’t be daunted by the struggle! This workout is perfect for building strength and endurance.
Now that you’ve got the equipment, how do you kick-start your CrossFit program at home?
One major perk of having your own CrossFit gym at home is that you can manage your own time. You won’t need to be rushing off after work to make it to classes, when you can have them in the comfort of your own house!
However, the challenge is that you’ll need to either hire a personal trainer that can guide you at home, or do enough research to craft your own program. If you’re aiming for the latter, there’s no need to worry. The Internet has your back, as virtually everything you’ll need to know is available online.
Here are the top 3 CrossFit resources you should read up on to jump-start your training:
1. CrossFit blogs
If you’re someone who likes reading to get into the nitty-gritty details of something, CrossFit blogs may be perfect for you to familiarise yourself with the discipline.
There are various fitness junkies online who have narrated their own CrossFit journey, complete with their workout routines and what did and didn’t work for them. You can read up on their progress, and see if it matches your goals.
2. Workouts of the Day
One struggle that people who work out from home encounter is that they don’t quite know what to do to start working out. Especially with CrossFit that has a specific, tailored program, you will need a bit of guidance. And this is why WODs were invented.
“WOD” is a term you’ll frequently encounter in the CrossFit community, and it simply refers to Workout of the Day. For beginners, we recommend you drop by to Forever Crossfit, as it publishes good daily workouts you can follow.
3. Instructional Videos
If you’re someone who knows what it is you want to do and you’re already a bit familiar with CrossFit, then Youtube will be your best friend. For those who already have a general idea of CrossFit, it’s time to get down and dirty with the specifics.
A quick Google of Youtube search will pull up various exercises that are particularly made for CrossFit. For example, CrossFitConnect is a great resource that gives its viewers a detailed, step-by-step tutorial of complex exercises.
Now that you know what your CrossFit home gym should have, and what resources you need to kick-start your program, you have no excuses not to get started.
It may be challenging to take the first few steps, but remember your end goal. Keeping yourself physically active through CrossFit has proven long-term benefits for your health.
Eager to get into CrossFit but don’t want the commitment of signing up with a gym? Flex Fitness Equipment can get you right on track with our gym equipment packages that can get you started right at home.