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CrossFit guide: Is CrossFit right for you? The ultimate decision guide

How to decide if CrossFit is right for me?

Fitness

CrossFit guide: Is CrossFit right for you? The ultimate decision guide

CrossFit guide: Is CrossFit right for you? The ultimate decision guide

Is CrossFit right for you? We did a ton of research and put together a decision guide to help you determine if you should do CrossFit or not.

Let’s find out if CrossFit is right for you. By now you are probably aware about the rumors and buzz about CrossFit. You’re probably intrigued and overwhelmed. If you are thinking about joining CrossFit, we want to make it easy for you to make a decision. Let’s discuss the most important questions out there for those considering this challenging gym:

  • What exactly is Crossfit?
  • How is CrossFit used today?
  • What is a class or training session like?
  • Who is CrossFit ideal for?
  • Who is CrossFit definitely NOT for?
  • What are some of the main benefits?
  • What to look for in a gym if you want to get started?
  • Additional learning resources, so you don’t have to spend hours Googling stuff :).

We’ll continue to update this article so you can always come back here for more information. Alright, let’s get to it!

What is CrossFit?

CrossFit is a core strength and conditioning program, developed by Greg Glassman. It utilizes a combination of exercises to increase work capacity across time and many domains. Some of the exercises include power lifting, heavy strength lifting, and various calisthenics – gymnastics, running, rowing, pulling, running, and jumping. The CrossFit workouts include extremely challenging workouts that maximize the amount of work done in the shortest time possible. CrossFit is revolutionizing the lives of many by creating a fitness community of people that workout together. CrossFit athletes are always willing to push beyond their personal limits.

How is CrossFit used today?

According to the CrossFit official website:

“CrossFit is the principal strength and conditioning program for many police academies and tactical operations teams, military special operations units, champion martial artists, and hundreds of other elite and professional athletes worldwide. in fact, our program delivers a fitness that is, by design, broad, general, and inclusive. Our specialty is not specializing. Combat, survival, many sports, and life reward this kind of fitness and, on average, punish the specialist. Crossfit contends that a person is as fit as they are proficient in each of ten general physical skills: cardiovascular/respiratory endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, speed, agility, balance, coordination, and accuracy.”

What’s a Class Like?

When you come to a CrossFit gym, for the first time, usually an introduction class goes first, which includes a quick overview and body weight movement workout and joining talk. Your first workout will most probably be free to get you to come in and try it out.

During the following classes you should start learning the nine foundational movements of CrossFit – deadlift, sumo deadlift high pull, clean, squat, front squat, overhead squat, press, push press, and jerk. No matter how good you are, you should master all of these exercises. A CrossFit training session usually lasts 45-60 minutes.

CrossFit Workout

Mostly, CrossFit instructors will divide its regular training sessions into four parts:

  1. Dynamic warm-up – jumps, jumping jacks, jumping ropes, mobility, squat, pushups, lunges… any functional movements are done during workout session.
  2. Skill/Strength work – if it is a day required for strength, you will be doing weight exercises, like romanian deadlift, sumo deadlift, low-bar squat, push press, military press… if it is about skill work, it will be dips, muscle-ups, one-legged squats, pull-ups, advanced core exercises…
  3. Workout of the day (W.O.D.) – The most important aspect of your CrossFit class is W.O.D. – Workout of the Day, this is the combination of exercises, prescribed weights and time intervals. This will be your routine from the first class to the last day of training. Typically a W.O.D. will consist of one gymnastic move (pull-ups, ring rows, sit-ups, pushups etc.), one aspect of cardio (rowing, running, jumping rope etc.) and one Olympic power-lifting maneuver (back squats, clean & jerks, dead lifts, push-presses, snatches etc.). There is no strict training routine, you can make thousands of combinations! CrossFit coach will never plan. There is WOD for specified day, and everybody will try to complete this WOD, which will in some cases be written on the piece of paper, attached to the wall or on the board.
  4. Cool down and stretching – This part of the exercise routine can be done alone or in the group. Muscles that worked the most during training session are emphasized during the stretching session.

Here are few examples of a CrossFit workout:

  • Five circuits of 20 pull-ups, 30 push-ups, 40 sit-ups, and 50 body weight-only squats performed in order, while only resting at the end of each circuit for a 3-minute period.
  • 1,000-meter row, 50 thrusters with a selected weight, and 30 pull-ups: preferably performed without any rest between each exercise.
  • Five circuits of 50 low-bar squats with a selected weight, 50 pushups, and 1,000m cycling, rest 3 minutes at the end of each circuit.
  • Five circuits of 50 burpees, 100 fast sit-ups, 200 supermans, 50 hang cleans with a selected weight and 800m running.

Don’t follow a strict routine, create your own circuit. Be creative! You can perform CrossFit program even on your own if you have space and equipment. Remember, monotonous training creates resistance after a certain time. CrossFit provides innovative ways to improve your training sessions!

Who is CrossFit for?

Are you ready for various fast-paced and challenging circuits? Are you ready to push yourself over maximal limits? And the most important question, are you ready to accept everything related to CrossFit? Surround, nutrition, people, atmosphere… If you answered yes to any of these questions, then CrossFit is an absolutely amazing choice for you.

CrossFit is mostly suited for healthy people enjoying vigorous exercise

CrossFit might also be a great choice for people who want a change in their lives by accepting CrossFit as a lifestyle. There is no age limit in CrossFit and any population can do it.

Here is the ideal psychological profile definition of a CrossFitter: extreme dedication, high motivation, never gives up, strict daily routine, pushes through any situation, likes weightlifting, likes to train in any condition, likes group training, looks at the instructor as a leader, accepts everything instructor says without any doubts or counterarguments, wants to achieve a better physique, wants to succeed in life, open-minded, former athlete, fitness fanatic, very serious about its life goals, doesn’t care if gas tank is empty, likes to come home very tired over and over, likes any type of physical activity or training.

Hence, if you have at least a couple of these features – your chances to accept CrossFit are good. In fact, if you can relate to most of these – welcome to the world of CrossFit!

As a matter of fact, some practitioners find CrossFit a way to express themselves. However, you will only find out once you give it a try.

Who is CrossFit NOT for?

If you are completely out of shape

CrossFit might not be the best choice for you. CrossFit includes high impact and dangerous exercises. Therefore, if your exercise technique is not at least ideal, you run the risk of injury. A CrossFit coach is unable to give everyone in the class full attention, at all times, when you work in the group so its best that you have a good foundation and learn the exercise techniques, before attempting the more challenging workouts.

CrossFit is not suitable for close-minded people

In order to try CrossFit, you have to be open for a new mindset and drop your old way of exercising to obtain new and better results. Otherwise, you might just find ten things you dislike about CrossFit before you even start. You are better off just sticking to your training and nutrition plan, if you are looking to have the same results. However, look no further you are seriously thinking about getting serious with your exercise routines.

Not for people with limitations

CrossFit is for people that are limitless who can endure the impossible during the training sessions. If you want to give up as soon as you feel fatigue, or if you work out “in your comfort zone,” avoid CrossFit at all costs! CrossFit has more similarities to sports training – you need to push your athlete to the maximum on every single training! Above all, if you don’t want to get out of your comfort zone, this is definitively the wrong choice for you.

If you have medical issues

As a matter of fact, you definitively need to consult your doctor before joining CrossFit. People with high blood pressure and heart problems are at very big risk. As a matter of fact, breastfeeding moms should also consult doctor. If you had any type of surgery, you will need to go through medical examination, before starting CrossFit. Moreover, people with internal organ problems are also endangered since CrossFit is all about pushing you over the limits. In fact, there is no training in your comfort zone, you are improving your overall features like a military training. The best thing you can do, when unsure about your health, is to consult your doctor prior to trying CrossFit. Practitioners who previously had spine, shoulder, or knee injury are also at risk, due to the high impact exercises such as Olympic weightlifting, plyometric exercises, rope jumping.

What are the main benefits to CrossFit?

Strong Brand and Community

Actually, CrossFit has made lots of progress over the last decade. CrossFit has gained a lot of popularity, and today almost every practitioner everywhere in the world knows about CrossFit. The CrossFit population recruitment is unmeasurable. Amazing job recruits people to get off their old ways and train.

Training Atmosphere and Positive Energy

CrossFit is known for no limits! Once you are tired and have no energy left, you will find new energy within yourself. Motivation is amazingly important part of CrossFit. Atmosphere in CrossFit training is positive and it’s always about pushing your limits. A CrossFitter is similar to special force member, even if you have no energy at all, you still have to push yourself. You need to find a way to survive and crush your workout. CrossFit motivates you to push yourself through competition. When someone constantly tells: “I believe in you, you can!”, be sure you will be able to do the task.

Competition

This is an amazing way to improve your performances. When you start to train and see all the practitioners trying to do the circuit in the shortest time possible… it definitively sends a message to your brain to try harder. CrossFitters never give up their dreams and constantly fight to become a better person. CrossFit uses competition as a great tool to help coaches stay motivated and on right track.

There is No Insulting

You will never hear CrossFit coach insult someone. In fact, CrossFit coach punishes you, but by repetitions, by raising your limits, by not accepting no as an answer.

Therapy Effect

The human body releases many toxins during hard-training session. CrossFit accomplishes this task through High-intensity training sessions. As a result, your brain secrets epinephrine during CrossFit training unleashing a feeling of better, brighter, and relaxation once the training session is complete.

CrossFit also raises self-confidence levels. People start to believe more in themselves once they begin to see progress. CrossFit uses basic techniques of motivation by reinforcing the message every single training session that you can achieve your results and with time you will start to believe more in yourself.

Moreover, this will reflect on other aspects of your life as you will have start applying the same concept to your everyday situations. Consequently, people generally become better through CrossFit, since it is not only about training but its also about friendships, social interactions, and meeting new people. For this reason, practitioners mostly release their stress during the training by lifting weights, climbing ropes, running hard, and leaving it all at the gym.

What to Look for in a CrossFit gym?

Most CrossFit gyms are inside of warehouses, garages, basements, as concrete is the perfect choice since you can drop your weights. Don’t look for fancy surround! A CrossFit class includes kettlebells, weights, Olympic bars, gymnastic rings, climbing ropes, plyoboxes, leather lifting straps, battle ropes, speed ropes, crash mats, pull-up bar, plates, and power bar.

Here is what you should do next – write the following on a piece of paper. What  type of training are you looking for? Do you push yourself over limits? Do you have at least ten features of a CrossFitter? Enjoy working out in a group setting? Would you like to train in an elite gym, with elite equipment? Most important of all, are you ready to for change?

Truly ask yourself the questions above to find out if you are ready for change. CrossFit will completely change the way exercise, improving your overall confidence level, and transforming you into a better person.

LITERATURE

http://board.crossfit.com/showpost.php?p=420313&postcount=2

http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/starting-crossfit-training-tips

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anaerobic_glycolysis

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beta_oxidation

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glycolysis

http://europepmc.org/abstract/med/24276294

http://journal.crossfit.com/2010/12/glassmandefining.tpl

http://www.chicagotribune.com/lifestyles/health/sc-health-0917-fitness-crossfit-20140919-story.html

https://www.crossfit.com

https://www.crossfit.com/what-is-crossfit

http://www.forbes.com/sites/dandiamond/2015/05/11/is-crossfit-good-for-you-what-60-minutes-didnt-say/#49027c753845

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/joshua-m-brown/crossfit-beginners_b_3867924.html

https://www.nerdfitness.com/blog/a-beginners-guide-to-crossfit

https://www.onnit.com/academy/what-is-crossfit-3-pros-3-cons

https://www.openanesthesia.org/aba_aerobic_vs

http://www.roguefitness.com/crossfit-equipment

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Bruno earned his B.S. in Exercise Science and Human Nutrition from the University of Houston. Bruno is fully committed to applying concepts of exercise science and human nutrition to help others live a healthier lifestyle.

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