What is Crossfit?

by Mike on December 23, 2012

I’m willing to bet some of you have been in a situation where you tell your colleagues and friends “yeah, I do crossfit! It’s great”

Only to have them respond “what is Crossfit?”

I had this exact situation occur the other day.   Trying to explain what Crossfit is to someone unacquainted with the WODs and movements is difficult, pictures and videos work better.

During my travels, I ran across posters at a CF affiliate in Singapore that explained what Crossfit graphically.

What is Crossfit?

Graphical representation on what Crossfit is

At the upper part of the poster we see: constantly varied, functional movements, and high intensity.

Each day, there’s a work out of the day(WOD) that differs everyday.  These WODs comprise of a several different movement each working different parts of the body.  For instance, one day the WOD might work the upper body and legs while another day, it might hit the abs and shoulders or another combination of muscle groups, thus the constantly varied workouts.

The functional movements are movements such as: air squats, push-ups, pull-ups, sit-ups, running, and so on.

The high intensity is attributed from the fact that nearly all works out are timed.  So if you think you’re the man because you lift an astronomical amount of weight, think again – it’s a totally different animal when you’re timed.  During every WOD, you have sweat dripping from your face and busting your ass to get to the finish line.  When you’re done, no matter how good your personal best is, you’re always trying to beat it the next go around.

Moving down the poster.

Nutrition in the Crossfit Picture

Nutrition in the Crossfit Picture

Fitness starts in the kitchen with proper nutrition.  If you had a high performance sports car like a Porsche that required premium gas only, you wouldn’t put anything else in there besides that.  Likewise, our body is an extremely sophisticated machine and fueling it with good stuff only makes the machine work better.  So feeding it processed foods, sugars, and so on only hinders performance.

Olympic Movements, gymnastics

Adding Olympic Movements and Gymnastics to the bunch

Once our body is fueled correctly, the high metabolic work outs result in improved physical fitness levels.

Last and finally, combine the elements above with some Olympics barbell lifting for some strength(I suck in this aspect) and you’re going to be one bad ass athlete.

WHY PEOPLE STICK WITH CROSSFIT

It’ funny why people pay money and subject themselves to what is seemingly a hellish work out.

For one, you see results.  It’s impressive when you see before and after pictures of folks that stuck with Crossfit.  Just Google “before and after crossfit pictures” and you’ll see people that have been transformed from being overweight to fit and strong.   Once folks make that transition, they feel great about themselves.  Their self-confidence levels is at a new high.

STRENGTH IN COMMUNITY

For folks that have been to a Crossfit affiliate, they find themselves among a great support system.  One person isn’t better than another because they can lift more or finish a WOD under a certain time.  Everyone is better because they encourage everyone to be better.  It’s a good feeling seeing familiar faces cheer you on during a WOD.  With the community like this to supporting you, you’re bound to stick with the work outs.

The following picture shows the rules of conduct at Crossfit Affiliates

Rules of Conduct in a crossfit box

Rules of Conduct in a crossfit box

AM I FIT ENOUGH TO START CROSSFIT?

This question can be rephrased as: “am I brave enough to see a different part of the world.”  I’m an avid travel and setting foot on a flight to another part of the world is nothing new to me.  But for anyone that’s never been to another part of the world, the feeling can be apprehensive, but once you do it, you’ll feel more comfortable and eventually be part of your comfort zone.

Likewise with Crossfit, the hardest part is taking the first step.  Once you take that step, the routine of going to crossfit sessions is like that of traveling to another country – once you do it, it’ll be part of your comfort zone.

Oh, and don’t worry about the workouts being too difficult.  Every work out can be scaled to accommodate your skill level.

Patience and persistency pays off, you’ll eventually get stronger and better to graduate to the full-scale work out, which is where everyone wants to achieve.

So the first step is waiting.

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