You’ve probably heard the term CrossFit a million times by now. It seems like every fitness enthusiast you know is participating in some form of CrossFit exercise program, right? If you’re like everyone else who is more than comfortable on the treadmill and weight circuit, though, you’re probably still wondering – what on earth is CrossFit?
What is CrossFit?
According to the folks at CrossFit themselves, the entire idea is more a theory than it is a specific series of exercise. The theory embodies the idea that everyone should have a strong general level of fitness that allows for functionality in all areas of life. In other words, the exercises you do should result in some sort of advantage in your life – whether it is increased endurance, speed, or some other athletic skill. CrossFit is a community of people coming together with a common goal or purpose.
The workouts, done in certified gyms or by led by certified CrossFit trainers, are never the same. The folks at CrossFit also offer an extensive collection of free content for those who prefer singular workouts. You’ll find yourself using your body more and machines a whole lot less. The combination of cardio, core training, gymnastics-type exercises, and strength training is designed to prepare you for life’s demands.
Is CrossFit Safe?
Yes, CrossFit is safe – if you take the same safety precautions you would take when preparing for any other type of workout. CrossFit has a bad reputation in some circles because of the intensity of the workouts. Truth be told, you should approach any new workout program with a certain level of reserve and caution, starting slowly and working your way up to an intensity level your body is ready to handle. The goal is not to make yourself ill or injure yourself in the first workout, but to slowly but surely build up your endurance over time. This means listening to your trainer or instructor, being honest about any pains or discomforts you are having, and using common sense when it comes to things like increasing the weights you are using or trying a new movement. Oh, and most important? Don’t let your competitive nature drive you past your natural limits.
Most experts recommend finding a CrossFit instructor that has additional physical fitness certifications or training, not just a CrossFit certification. If you can’t find one in your area, you should, at a minimum, find a CrossFit facility that offers beginners classes. Beginner’s classes will guide you through using proper form in lifting and other exercises so that you minimize your chances of injury when you join the more intense classes.
CrossFit, while it is more intense than most people expect, embodies a total-wellness philosophy not many people subscribe to. It can be a safe, fun method for working out as long as you use common sense and take the necessary precautions to avoid injury. Have fun!