Are Crossfit Workouts For You?

By Yuri Elkaim, BPHE, CK, RHN

If you’ve ever overheard a conversation about Crossfit, you will hear of some pretty intense workouts. Don’t let that scare you away, because Crossfit programs are scalable, allowing you to adapt training methods to your fitness level. Chances are, the guy who said he completed 1,000 bodyweight squats last week started right were you are today. Crossfit workouts introduce you to an entirely new method of training by incorporating gymnastics and weightlifting into one.

How Crossfit works
Crossfit works to improve your daily functionality by combining primitive movements into an all-out high intensity training session. Some of the methods used during a Crossfit workout include:

  • Combatives
  • Gymnastics
  • Olympic lifts
  • Kettlebells
  • Power lifts
  • Running
  • Rowing
  • Jump roping
  • Swimming

This rundown of training methods gives you an idea of the intensity level, and excitability factor of Crossfit training. Essentially, you always face new and more exciting challenges as you progress through a Crossfit program.

The best part about Crossfit is you don’t have to be a trained athlete to perform these fat burning workouts. You can work at a level that is comfortable, yet pushes you past your metabolic comfort zone. The harder you train, the stronger you grow.

Crossfit uses a variety of weight lifting movements combined with tools to increase your mobility and functionality.  Standard Crossfit exercises include squats, deadlifts, pull-ups, push-ups, dips, presses, jerks, and more. You will use tools combined with these exercises that include gymnastic rings, barbells, dumbbells, and kettlebells, along with bars, mats, and even sandbags.

Crossfit workouts
Crossfit provides you with endless possibilities when it comes to your training. A training session may have you performing a circuit that combines only 2 exercise for a given time period.

Example:
5 Muscle-ups
Back squat, 15 reps
10 Muscle-ups
Back squat, 20 reps

This can go on as long you can stand the training, with an increased number of reps for each set.

Another example combines 4 exercises in a circuit:
25 squats
25 push-ups
25 pull-ups
25 sit-ups

Increase each set by 25 reps until you reach 100 reps for each exercise.

Another Crossfit session can have you performing sprint exercises for the duration of your training. This method of training offers you a variety of ways to increase your strength, power, endurance, agility, and range of functionality.

Growing stronger
As you progress through your Crossfit fitness program, your body will adapt to the methods of training, allowing you to incorporate new exercises with your increased strength. You may begin performing moderate intensity assisted bodyweight exercises and eventually progress into handstand pirouettes after pushing around a 600-pound tire.

One of the principles of Crossfit is to increase your core strength, while improving functional movement. As you work through your program, you will notice your midline shrinking and your spinal strength and flexibility growing. This allows you greater overall strength and flexibility, while increasing your capacity for movement.

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