I’m always asked this question when I tell people I do CrossFit. Disclaimer: I’m not an expert by any means on CrossFit nor am I a personal trainer. The following is information I’ve gathered from websites, talking to fellow CrossFitters and my own personal experience. Please correct me in the comments if there is any misinformation.
From the CrossFit 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.”
The official CrossFit program has licensed affiliates (or ‘boxes’ in CrossFit lingo) all over the world, most being in the United States. A member of a box will typically be required to go through a training program called Elements to learn the proper technique of each exercise. Then they are able to join in on the Workout of the Day or WOD. The WODs vary widely and are always intense. Nutrition is also very important in CrossFit with many (though not all) of it’s members on a Paleo (aka Caveman) diet. I’m not really going to touch on that simply because I don’t follow the Paleo diet.
I am not a member of a box. I do CrossFit style workouts at my local gym that are taught/supervised by highly capable and certified trainers. I opted for this program rather than an affiliate because of the location, the awesome trainers and the fact that each workout is guaranteed an hour long. Most CrossFit WODs only take about 20 or so minutes to complete. With my training schedule and commute it was important for me to go for a longer duration, but fewer times a week.
The resistance we use at CrossFit includes a combination of body weight, dumbbells and olympic bars and the types of tools we use include TRX, gymnastics rings, boxes, tires, sledgehammers, etc. Some of the most common strength moves are air squats, box jumps, pull-ups, push-ups, deadlifts, clean and presses, body rows, ring dips… you get the idea. The trainers also incorporate cardio into the workouts, usually in the form of high intensity intervals. That would include things like jump rope (double unders), suicides, stairs and running time trials. My favorite would be running (duh!) and my most hated move would be burpees. I despise burpees and it’s no secret. The trainers either love burpees or love to torture me (or both) since burpees are almost always included in our warm-up. This is a good video on how to do a burpee (we don’t jump at the end though thankfully). They even throw in some muscle-ups at the end, crazy!
Both the husband and I have been doing CrossFit since mid-March. I’ve seen so many positive changes in my body. Overall I feel so much stronger, have more endurance and visibly have more muscle tone. I’m thrilled at what my body is capable of everytime I complete the WOD and I always look forward to the next one. Both the husband and I really enjoy it and it provides for an interesting bonding experience! Now if only I looked like this:
Do you CrossFit or follow another intense strength program (like P90X)? What’s your favorite WOD / strength move?