What is CrossFit Training? The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide

Lately, CrossFit has become a very popular fitness program. Men are increasingly concerned about their appearance and manly skills, so this sport is a great idea to start with. You may have a general idea of what it implies, but if you are thinking of becoming a CrossFitter, you will need to know more about this sport and how to get the best equipment. This article will give you a general overview of what CrossFit is.

Basics of CrossFit:

Everybody seems pumped about this new sport called CrossFit. But do you really know what it is about? Are you wondering why so many people are joining this trend? Check out this video for a first look into this fitness program:

CrossFit has been used as a strength and conditioning program by many police academies and tactical operation teams, champion martial artists or professional athletes all around the world. However, this comprehensive fitness program has proved to be useful for everyone.

Its aim is to offer a full-body workout combining different elements that help prepare the body for any physical contingency that may occur. If you are willing to excel in all the different fitness domains, you should definitely try CrossFit. A CrossFit program is based on the ten fundamental elements of fitness:

  1. Cardiovascular and respiratory endurance
  2. Strength
  3. Coordination
  4. Power
  5. Agility
  6. Balance
  7. Speed
  8. Flexibility
  9. Stamina
  10. Accuracy

Through different workout sessions, CrossFit’s objective is to improve the performance in all of those areas without specializing in any of them in particular. In other words, CrossFit’s specialty is not specializing. This way, results will be visible in different aspects, from sports to everyday activities.

CrossFit workouts

Since it attempts to optimize physical competence in all the fitness domains, a CrossFit workout includes a wide range of exercises. The official definition of CrossFit, as described in their official website, is ‘constantly varied, functional movement, performed at high intensity’. Let’s explain these aspects in more detail:

Constantly varied movements

Change your workout! Routine is the enemy if you really wish to be prepared for what may come unexpectedly, and to be ready to perform successfully at multiple, diverse and randomized physical challenges. Therefore, CrossFit exercises should be done in as many different combinations as possible. No routine shall be performed more than once a week. The more you change, the faster you will see the results of your efforts!

Functional movements

CrossFit wants to prepare you for real life. Therefore, all CrossFit exercises are based on everyday life activities. Squatting, deadlifting, pulling yourself up… they are all activities that our body is meant to do. The effectiveness of using these movements is much higher than that of other made-up exercises that shall only be performed with equipment you may find at gyms.

High-intensity movements

If you follow a CrossFit program, forget about bringing a magazine to read while doing your workout. CrossFit exercises are supposed to be intense; you should try to make the greatest effort in every movement. This way, the harder you work, the faster you will get fit, and the faster you will be ready to face any physical contingency that may occur. Work diligently and you will soon find yourself running farther or lifting more weight.

During a CrossFit workout you will usually have first a warm-up, followed by the Workout of the Day, known as WOD and some exercises to cool down. The CrossFit official website offers the free WOD, which always follow the abovementioned features that define what CrossFit is.

CrossFit exercises

The best way to know about the exercises that comprise a WOD is to go yourself and try it out. However, it is advisable to have a look at what kind of exercises exist and even look at some demos before trying them. The following are some of the most common CrossFit exercises you may find in a CrossFit workout.

  • Air squat
  • Back roll to support on rings
  • Box jump
  • Deadlift
  • Dumbell snatch
  • Front squat
  • Hang power clean
  • Hang squat clean
  • Hollow rock
  • Kettlebell swing
  • Knees to elbows
  • L pull-up
  • Muscle up
  • Overhead squat
  • Power clean
  • Push jerk
  • Push press
  • Snatch
  • Split jerk
  • Squat clean
  • Sumo deadlift highpull
  • Thruster
  • Turkish getup
  • Walking lounge
  • Wall ball
  • Windshield wipers

CrossFitt: am I suitable?

Of course you are! CrossFit has been designed for everyone. The greatest advantage of this fitness program is how easy it is for the workout session to be adapted to anyone who wants to give it a try. Are you worried because of your physical condition? Do you doubt you should try CrossFit because your age is not appropriate? Stop worrying! Kids, teenagers, adults, elders, overweight, sedentary, pathological… regardless of your physical condition and age you are suitable for CrossFit.

This sport has been proved successful with all kinds of population thanks to the possibility of scaling the different exercises to any age and physical condition. Workout sessions can be carried out by everyone. You will only need to adapt the effort level and intensity at which your body can work. Try it out, and you will be surprised by how fast your condition improves!

Still doubting that CrossFit is good for you? Have a look at what these people who have tried it have to say:

CrossFit vs. Conventional Gyms

You probably know how a conventional gym works. When you first walk into one, you find a wide range of machines, which may be used at your will. You may also join some classes, which often consist on repeated isolated movements and aerobic sessions.

The combination of the exercises offered in classes and the use of the machines that welcome you in every gym are a great way to become fit. However, conventional gyms do not offer you the information you need to obtain the best results. If you follow the CrossFit program you will find balance between functional movements and high intensity or anaerobic cardio. This is essential to achieve fitness results.

Moreover, when exercising in a conventional gym the workout environment is pretty different from the one you will find if you join a CrossFit workout. Whereas in a conventional gym you just go at your own pace and do the exercises as you please, the CrossFit program is based on a team workout sessions. All participants start warming up together, work on skills together and perform the workout of the day (WOD) together. This environment provides everyone with encouragement from their fellow mates.

Every CrossFit gyms, which are often referred to as the ‘box’, offer workout sessions anywhere between three to five times a week. Prior to joining CrossFit workouts, it is necessary to take some time to learn the basics. Therefore, most CrossFit gyms offer what is called an ‘on ramp’ course. More information is given to the people who participate in CrossFit workouts than that given to those exercising at a conventional gym, where coaches are not so involved in every individual’s workout.