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You may have come across a few friends on Instagram with their sweaty sportswear preaching about the gospel of CrossFit. It’s a form of workout that gained popularity a few years back and has taken over the world with over 13,000 dedicated gyms throughout 120 countries. Let’s tap into the hype.
What is CrossFit?
CrossFit is a conditioning and strength workout where you do functional movements at high intensity. Unlike regular workouts, this form of workout doesn’t have any reps or sets. Instead, it aims to build power by focusing on speed, distance, load, and other such factors. Moreover, CrossFit training is extremely flexible since it can be easily scaled and modified to align with your fitness levels, and your fitness goals.
Can anyone do it?
You’ve probably come across a typical type of person who is into CrossFit training. Jacked to the top, young and quite active. However, CrossFit training is suited for everyone of all ages and fitness levels. In fact, you can even get your kids on the program since it can help them develop coordination, advanced motor skills, and proper balance. It can get your child hooked on a healthy lifestyle from an early age.
CrossFit is appropriate for all ages since any form of training can be easily adjusted to match the requirements of a certain age group. For instance, a 25-year-old and 60-year old both have to do the same motion for a squat. The younger person can do it faster, that’s all. Moreover, CrossFit gyms always keep their members motivated by keeping a score of everyone and post the winner list on social media. Hence, you are always psychologically incentivized to improve yourself.
When you join a CrossFit class, you may be confused by the lingo thrown around by the instructor verbally, or written on a board, or displayed on an LCD. Let’s learn a few basic acronyms and lingo used in a CrossFit class:
- WOD - Workout of the day
- AMRAP - As Many Reps as Possible
- EMOM - Every Minute on the Minute
- PR - Personal Record, your personal best in a given exercise. For instance, doing a certain number of squats in a minute.
- SQ - Squat
- Hero WOD - Workout named after first responders who died in the line of duty, to honor them and remember them for the sacrifices they made for their country.
- Box - A barebones CrossFit gyms to do the WODs
- Zone Diet - A macronutrient-based diet endorsed by CrossFit.
- Ladder - A series of exercises where one rep is increased successively.
Join a Beginner’s class
If you want to participate in the fitness journey of CrossFit training, you should join a beginner’s class. Tell your coach about your restrictions and limitations and other details about your lifestyle. A good coach will do a proper assessment and tailor a CrossFit training perfect for you. Once you build confidence in the beginner classes, you can move on to the regular classes.
You can also learn from CrossFit training and apply it to your own workout routine. You can learn from CrossFit, to make your routine an intense time-based workout. Set your timer and try to do 5 squats, 5 pushups, and 5 jumping jacks within a minute. You can modify this if you feel like you can push yourself further. With more functional movement in your workout, you can also become more flexible and take advantage of it in weight training.
Risks of CrossFit training and how to avoid them
Since CrossFit is a high-intensity workout, it’s easy to injure yourself. Surveys show that CrossFit has an injury rate of 20 percent, which is pretty high when it’s considered a recreational activity. Usually, it happens when athletes get fatigued and have poor form or when they do wrong motions or variations not suitable for them. Here’s how you can avoid injuries in CrossFit training:
- Maintain your form - Form is key in any CrossFit training. You don’t want to lean forward during squats and don’t want to be unstable during deadlifts. Without proper form, the load is shifted where it isn’t supposed to be and you run the risk of injuring your knees or rounding your lumbar spine. Moreover, don’t push yourself too much if you think you are getting fatigued. Fatigue reduces coordination and balance and ruins your form.
2. Choose the right coach/gym - If you have an inexperienced coach, you may be pushed towards injuries. A good coach will stop you when they sense fatigue and would raise the volume at a sustainable rate for your safety. Find a gym or coach with a good reputation so that you can avoid expensive medical bills or physical therapy sessions.