So, You Haven't Been Introduced to CrossFit Yet?
Now one of the most popular fitness regimens in the world, CrossFit was created to help redefine fitness and provide a measurable, functional, actionable way to get fit and stay fit. For those of you who haven’t been introduced to one of the fastest growing fitness styles around, we’ll be taking a closer look at the history of this fitness system, what CrossFit really involves, who it appeals to and how you can get started.
What is CrossFit?
CrossFit was first created by Greg Glassman in 2000, with the founding of CrossFit Inc. The very first CrossFit branded gym was opened in Santa Cruz, California, not long after – with later gyms springing up first throughout the United States and later spreading out around Europe and the rest of the globe. Broadly put, CrossFit combines elements of a number of different fitness regimes to create a mixture of exercises designed to increase strength, agility and overall athletic fitness.
What happens at a CrossFit class?
Mainly consisting of a mixture of aerobic exercise, calisthenics and Olympic style weightlifting, the program is targeted at those who want to improve their strength and conditioning through the brand’s high-intensity workouts. Classes usually last for one hour, including a warm-up, skills development and the ‘workout of the day’ alongside individual exercises and stretching. Many CrossFit affiliated gyms also have competitions and systems in place to track individual progress, aimed at helping to encourage a community feel at the venues.
How does CrossFit work?
CrossFit’s program is different to most other workouts, in that it is very much driven by data and scoring. One of the programs most appealing properties is that in introduces a direct competitive element to gym-style workouts and fitness. The competitions and competitive element help individuals and groups stay on top of reaching their fitness goals, with whiteboards doubling as scoreboards and outlining the achievable metrics for each exercise and activity. Whilst CrossFit is sometimes considered as solely home to the fittest in society, it’s actually far more complex a program than that – the key focus is on continual betterment and progress, no matter where an individual starts out. In that regard, it’s a lot more inclusive than some fitness regimes. Year by year, the popularity of CrossFit continues to grow, with thousands of venues now offering these competitive, high-octane classes.
Key CrossFit Exercises
Whilst CrossFit uses a wide variety of exercises in its classes, there are a few which have become widely recognised as part of the regime. These include:
Deadlifting - A deadlift is part of weight training, using a barbell or a bar. First, the bar is lifted from the ground to hip-height, before being lowered back to the ground. This is one of the most widely-recognisable exercises used in CrossFit classes.
Squats - A variety of different squats are incorporated into CrossFit training. As with many of the exercises, these can be adapted to suit an individual’s current level of fitness and built up over time.
Sit-ups and Lunges - Both of these exercises form a key cornerstone of a CrossFit workout, with the repetition required altered to suit an individual’s current level of fitness. As with everything at CrossFit, the aim is to keep continuously getting better, rather than to injure yourself on your first try!
Alongside these you’ll also see plenty of Olympic style clean and press movements, long distance running, log carries, tyre flipping and chin ups.
Heard of the CrossFit Games?
The annual CrossFit Games are world renowned for testing even the most physically fit athletes on earth, as well as providing plenty for less active spectators to see. Founded in 2007, they have quickly become one of the fastest-growing spectator sports in the USA, created to help provide a true fitness benchmark for CrossFit enthusiasts. Focusing on a variety of different activities, the Games draw inspiration from comparable events like the Olympic Decathlon but take it all a step further – filling the gaps to forge a thorough, well-rounded celebration of movement and achievement. This includes everything from running across large distances to carrying heavy objects, testing flexibility and endurance as well as sheer strength. The program is certainly not for amateurs or for the faint of heart, with a regime which is gruelling and would prove difficult to replicate elsewhere.
How CrossFit Games Works
Each yearly CrossFit Games is comprised of three unique stages, taking place over five rigorous weeks of competition. The Games take place all over the world in CrossFit-affiliated gyms and workout spaces, with weekly workouts sent out each week online and participants given a few days to complete the task and submit their scores. Participants must simply be over the age of fourteen to participate in this initial stage. Following a strict elimination process, the best athletes from the eighteen competing worldwide territories are invited to take part in the second-stage at the regional level. These are three-day events held during the early-Summer, allowing for participants to battle it out for a place in the final stage of the games. Finally, the 40 top male competitors, 40 top female competitors and 40 top teams are given a space. Sponsored by Reebok, the CrossFit Games final asks these participants to compete a highly-varied and strenuous program aimed at finding an ultimate champion.
From 2019, the following changes will be made to the CrossFit Games Season:
- There will be no Regionals (the second stage).
- There will be two Opens (one in February and one in October for the 2019 season).
- Athletes will qualify based on either the open results (one athelete from each of the 162 countries that CrossFit has affiliates), or based on teh results of the selected CrossFit sanctioned evenets happening throughout the year (e.g. Wadapalooza and Duabai Fitness Championships).
How is a winner decided?
The CrossFit Games test some of the fittest people of earth, allowing them to shine through a mix of established and unknown activities. This could include anything from sprinting uphill to long-distance swimming, with more and more surprises added year-on-year. This helps not only keep the program fresh, but also ensures true ability is tested, rather than capacity to train for a specific task. The Games award athletes based on their performance alongside their peers, with each event earning them up to 100 points. After this gruelling weekend, one winner is crowned the ‘Fittest on Earth’. The title comes with significant prestige throughout the CrossFit community, signifying a real achievement and giving other participants something to strive for.
Eager to get your own fitness in check? At Flex Fitness Equipment we sell a wide variety of CrossFit equipment for everyone from a complete novice to an expert – Whether it be Olympic Bars, Kettlebells or Bumpers be sure to browse our full range and get in touch if you can’t find what you’re looking for.
RB Fitness Equipment24 October 2018Thanks for sharing the information' it's a really helpful.