What is CrossFit?

This is the first article in a series of three. The first will outline what CrossFit is, the second will detail the pros of CrossFit training, and the third will detail the cons. The goal of this series is to educate those interested in the sport of CrossFit so they can make a sound choice when deciding whether or not this form of training is right for them.

Starting or switching a workout routine can be challenging. This is because we, as human beings, do not like change. We certainly can adapt, as proven by our ability survive and thrive as the dominant species for centuries, but we don’t enjoy it.

With both the sedentary lifestyles we tend to live and the constant upgrades in technology, the idea of change is even less appealing than it was just a decade ago. As a society, we’ve grown lazier and more complacent, and it’s easy to see why. After all, why should people make something more challenging for themselves when they can keep doing what they’ve always done comfortably?

News flash: change is good for the body, especially as it pertains to exercise. Think about it logically – if you’re trying to change your body, you need to change the way you live. If you’re currently training, you can’t do the same thing every time you’re in the gym and expect to keep seeing results.

Change requires change. This, in part, is what makes the sport of CrossFit so appealing.

What is CrossFit?

Almost everyone who lifts weights regularly has heard of CrossFit. Whether or not they fully understand what it entails, however, is another question entirely.

CrossFit, in a nutshell, is HIIT (high-intensity interval training) using functional movement patterns.

And what exactly are functional movement patterns? Movements we use every single day: squatting, pulling objects, pushing objects, picking things up off the floor, etc. CrossFit is a way of training your body to better function in life outside of the gym. The goal for many CrossFitters is to be able to move pain-free when they’re in their 80s – and to look good throughout the process.

That said, this alone isn’t the only thing that makes CrossFit so popular.

The CrossFit community

The CrossFit community is unparalleled in the fitness industry; those who join a “box” (what CrossFit gyms are called, mainly because they are located in box-like warehouses) are typically looking to train in an environment that isn’t just a “judgement free zone,” like a Planet Fitness, but one that offers continual support and motivation to be the best version of yourself.

Due advances in modern technology, too many people now hide behind their computers, smartphones, and tablets, limiting their potential to build meaningful and lasting relationships. When they go to a gym, they keep to themselves, a concept that likely would have been foreign to their parents and grandparents during the 1900s. The CrossFit community looks to break this trend and enable people to do the one thing they can do better than any other species on this planet: communicate.

When we communicate, we share ideas. When we share ideas, we are introduced to concepts we might not have ever thought about on our own. And when we act on these concepts, we change the world. In many ways, CrossFit has become a medium for changing lives – not just in the physical sense, but by giving people the confidence to form face-to-face relationships, improve their interpersonal skills, and simply live the way they were made to.

Coaching and programming

Additionally, a good box will come equipped with knowledgeable coaches who wish to help others truly learn, scale, and implement the movements covered in CrossFit. Box owners and coaches program all of the daily workouts for their members and personally instruct them on how to perform the exercises involved. These are also known as WODs (workout of the day), and they essentially give members daily personal training without forcing them to pay extra for the service.

So, if all of this is true, why does CrossFit get such a bad rap?  

This is one of the many concepts that will be covered in this series. In the next blog of this three-part series, we’ll dive into the perks that come with joining the CrossFit community. In the final article, we’ll wrap up by hitting on some reasons why there are many fitness enthusiasts who bash CrossFit and what you need to know before joining a box – whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned veteran.

Every person is different, and each individual responds differently to various training modalities. CrossFit can be a great way to get you into incredible shape – arguably the best. It can also set you back months (or even years) if you aren’t careful. By the end of this series, you’ll know whether or not CrossFit is for you and what you can expect when you first step into a box.

For more advice on how to better your physical and emotional self, check out the other fit tips from Frankie.

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