What is it?
Simply explained, CrossFit is a strength and conditioning programme which incorporates weightlifting, calisthenics and gymnastics to hone a body that is fit for pretty much anything.
It was originally created as a way to train athletes, pushing their limits and keeping them at the top of their respective field.
The term CrossFit was coined by it’s co creators Greg Glassman and Lauren Glassman. Although it’s never really specified where the term came from, I like to think that it was inspired by the term ‘cross training’ which is where an athlete trains across (see what I did there) multiple different disciplines, in order to improve their overall fitness and therefore performance. I apologise if this is wrong.
Why do it?
I got into CrossFit because I wanted to push myself. As a trainer you’re always trying to be better and I was running out of things to do in a traditional gym that really challenged me. I knew I wanted to become more flexible and gymnastic. So I began looking into gymnastic clubs and started teaching myself how to do some of the fundamental moves (hand-stands, kipping and parallette work) by watching YouTube videos on how to do them. This started me on my way and I began to see improvements in my core, upper body strength and balance.
I then stumbled across one of the CrossFit documentaries on Netflix and thought ‘Wow, that’s how I should be training!’.
So I looked for local CrossFit boxes (gyms) and have been doing it for about 2.5 years.
I believe CrossFit is worth doing if you are looking for something new, if you want to push yourself and if you want to make some new friends.
My experience of CrossFit
The coaches are excellent, never letting you get away with bad form or sloppy technique. If you are struggling with a particular move they will always offer ways to regress it to make it easier and are always very encouraging.
The environment is focussed yet fun and the members are very warm and inviting. I have trained at a few different boxes now and have always received a warm welcome from members and coaches alike.
The workouts are tough! Really friggin’ tough! Even if you are a beginner, you are guaranteed a good workout.
The competitions are a lot of fun and there is a real family sports day atmosphere that is strangely nostalgic and comforting.
The way you train will never be the same. I have seen improvements in my weightlifting, gymnastics and cardio and now know how to combine the 3 for some truly epic workouts!
The injuries are going to happen. When you’re pushing your body harder than it’s ever gone, your body is going to give you signs that you should stop. This is what injuries are. The best thing to do is accept them, take the time to rest and recover or work around them if needs be. Top athletes get injured practicing their sport all the time, CrossFit is no different. You just have to be sensible, train smart and not go too crazy with the heavy weights, especially when you are just starting out.
CrossFit has changed the way I train and given me exactly what I wanted, more flexibility, handstands and muscle ups (hoorah!) and a strong core and legs, something I never thought I would have. The training continues to change and grow which means less boredom, more challenges and more to look forward to.