You’ve committed in the past to getting in better shape. But for the New Year of 2016 you want to push yourself a little and get in better shape, maybe the best shape you’ve ever been in. So you’re taking your New Year resolution this year seriously and by doing this you’re looking at pushing things to the next level by getting involved with a CrossFit class.
CrossFit has become the single most popular type of workout in the country over the last few years. Walk down any street and you'll easily recognize CrossFitters by their "WODKILLA" T-shirts and their bulging muscles. ("WOD" means "Workout of the Day," and "WODKILLAS" are those that excel at the WOD.)
But Just What is CrossFit???
CrossFit is performing “functional movements of your muscle groups, that are constantly varied at high intensity.” CrossFit is a core strength and conditioning program. The CrossFit program is designed to produce as broad a muscular response as possible. CrossFit is not a specialized fitness program but a deliberate attempt to increase physical gains in each of ten recognized fitness domains. They are as follows:
Cardiovascular and Respiratory Endurance
The CrossFit Program was developed to enhance an individual’s performance at all physical tasks. Athletes are trained to perform successfully at multiple, diverse, and randomized physical challenges. This type of fitness training is also demanded of military and police personnel, firefighters, and many sports requiring total or complete physical prowess. CrossFit has proven effective in these areas.
The CrossFit Defined programming is meant to be scaled and suitable for all ages and physical conditions. Anybody can be an athlete and anyone can benefit by CrossFit training. The philosophy behind CrossFit training is an all-inclusive lifestyle change. The program is distinctive, if not unique, in its focus on maximizing muscle response, developing power, cross-training with multiple training modalities, constant training and practice with functional movements, and the development of successful diet strategies.
CrossFit Defined is offering the individual a chance to expose themselves to the training methods and philosophies that have been adopted by numerous major universities and professional athletic training facilities.
Who is CrossFit good for?
Everyone to be honest. This may sound a little broad, but it’s true. Parents, college students, adults, teenagers, many professional and elite athletes are all participating in the CrossFit Program. Prize- fighters, cyclists, surfers, skiers, tennis players, tri-athletes and others competing at the highest levels are using the CrossFit approach to advance their core strength and conditioning, but that’s not all. CrossFit has tested its methods on the sedentary, the youth, overweight, pathological, and elderly and found that these special populations meet with the same success as most athletes tracked. We call this: bracketing or scaling. If CrossFit works for Olympic Skiers, the overweight, and sedentary homemakers, then it will work for you.
Commercial Gyms vs. The CrossFit Method Approach to Training
In gyms and health clubs throughout the world the typical workout consists of isolation movements and extended aerobic sessions. The fitness community from trainers to the athletic coaches has the exercising public believing that lateral raises, curls, leg extensions, sit-ups and the like combined with 20-40 minute stints on the stationary bike or treadmill are going to lead to some kind of great fitness. Not to mention the fact that when you walk in any commercial gym the first sight to be seen is the sea of machines that come with no directions. Learning how to use them, when to use them, in what order, at what intensity can be a mystery and quite overwhelming to even the best fitness enthusiast.
It has been established that incorporating compound or functional movements and high intensity or anaerobic cardio is radically more effective at eliciting nearly any desired fitness result.. The CrossFit approach is consistent with what is practiced in elite training programs associated with major university athletic teams and professional sports. CrossFit endeavors to bring state-of-the-art coaching techniques to the general public and athletes who haven’t access to current technologies, research, and coaching methods
CrossFit can be based on a team/group or individual workout environment. The complete program is based around maintaining a low client to coach ratio and one of the most important characteristics is the fitness program. Each member chooses a time that he/she can attend a scheduled class. All participants in that class warm-up together, work on skills together and perform the workout of the day. As a team, as a family, as a unit, they start and end the workout together. Pushing, encouraging, and helping each other along the way; similar to that of a professional sports team or military unit.
Teaching correct form and technique from day one and educating all members on how to perform every movement they will encounter in the CrossFit environment can mean the difference between an injury and a forever healthy and limber athlete.
But is CrossFit the right workout for everyone? Who Should Avoid CrossFit
Beginners over Age 40: If you're over the age of 40 and new to the world of fitness, CrossFit is going to be very tough on your bones, joints and muscles. You run the risk of serious injury if you're not careful. Even if you're a serious athlete/lifter, once you hit 45 or 50 you need to consider reducing the intensity of your workouts. There are always exceptions to every rule, but most people over the age of 45 or 50 may want to consider switching back to regular gym sessions.
Overweight/Obese: We're not talking about people who could stand to lose a few pounds, but those that are 20 or 30 pounds overweight. If you're very overweight, trying to start out with CrossFit can just be too hard on your body. You should use regular gym sessions to help you get your body in better shape, and only then make the transition to a CrossFit program, once you know your muscles, joints and bones can take the intense workouts.
Those with Health Conditions: Not every health condition or disorder will make it dangerous for you to do CrossFit, but anything that causes weak joints, muscles or bones can increase your risk of injury. Those with autoimmune disorders may find it too hard to keep up with the CrossFit workouts, and people with fatigue-related disorders may pass out from the exertion.
(It's for these reasons that CrossFit trainers recommend consulting a doctor before trying CrossFit.)
With any type of intense workout program, keeping on top of your activity and especially a CrossFit program would benefit from your using a heart rate monitor. You need to see what the intensity levels of the training are doing to your heart rate and monitor when you are peaking… This is an important tool to monitor and provide you with the data that you need to make any changes to your workout regimin. A great HeartRateMonitor would be the Polar A360 Bluetooth Strapless Heart Rate Monitor It is a strapless heart rate tracker where a chest strap is no longer required to obtain heart rate readings. Heart rate readings are taken right from the wrist, and extremely accurate. The Polar A360 also tracks steps, distance, calories & sleep. Just tighten the band and you’re ready to train,
So, if your New Year’s Resolution is to get fit, get lean, get strong and fast. Then adopting a CrossFit exercise program that is more like a life style, will help you to reach your New Year’s Resolutions, and help you to stay there.
Happy New Year.