CrossFit is one of the most popular fitness trends out there right now. Even if you don’t participate in the program yourself, chances are you know someone who does. CrossFitters are easy to identify, not only because of their usually shredded physiques, but also because they tend to toss around terms like “WOD” (workout of the day),“MetCon” (metabolic conditioning) and “AMRAP” (as many rounds/reps as possible) when discussing their workouts.
But what exactly is CrossFit all about and how can you get started with it? Read on to discover the basics.
What is CrossFit?
CrossFit can be described as a comprehensive fitness program that helps participants improve strength, conditioning, flexibility, agility, coordination, stamina, and balance. Unlike most other programs, CrossFit doesn’t target a specific skill or ability; instead, it is designed to be broad, general, and scalable in order to suit as diverse a demographic as possible.
CrossFit can be performed individually at home or in a class setting at one of the more than 10,000 affiliated gyms (or “boxes”) across the U.S. Each session typically follows the same format, which consists of a warm-up, a skill development, the WOD, and a stretching or cool-down period.
Benefits of CrossFit
Devotees of CrossFit cite variety as one of the biggest benefits of the program. There’s a different WOD every day, which keeps things fresh and exciting.
Another significant benefit is the camaraderie. Unlike ordinary gyms where most folks work out individually while plugged into earbuds and headphones, people in CrossFit boxes actually interact with, compete against, and spot each other during the classes.
And finally, since the workouts blend strength training and conditioning elements, most exercisers lose weight and gain lean muscle mass more quickly than they would through either weightlifting or cardio alone.
To get started with CrossFit, simply find an affiliated box near you, sign up for a beginner’s class, and attend as often as possible. Or you can do the WODs at home by checking out the official CrossFit site and buying some basic fitness equipment such as a speed rope, kettlebell, ab mat, dumbbells, resistance band, sandbags, and an exercise mat — all of which are available from PushPedalPull.com. Soon enough you too could be talking about how much your MetCon has improved after killing the latest AMRAP 15x squat/5x pull-up/10x pushup WOD!
If standard cardio workouts and weight training sessions leave you feeling bored and unmotivated, maybe it’s time to make the switch to CrossFit. Give the program a try, then come back and leave a comment to let us know what you think.