What is CrossFit?
Written By: Georgia Smith-Ball
Crossfit is Constantly Varied…
In a nutshell, let’s summarise the most simple definition of What is CrossFit? Well, CrossFit is “constantly varied, functional movements executed at a high intensity”, the creator being Greg Glassman.
Unlike most sports which focus on repetition, the constant variation means you’ll rarely do the same workout more than once as there are so many movements and so many combinations – this keeps it fun, which is essential if you want to stick to something, you can’t see it as a chore. The CrossFit philosophy prepares an athlete for almost anything, the majority of exercises used within CrossFit are borrowed from other sports, e.g. rowing, Olympic weightlifting, gymnastics. The real test of a CrossFit athlete is their ability to perform movements/skills well without having performed/practised them before.
The essence of functionality comes from movements mimicking everyday lifestyle habits, for example; walking up the stairs, carrying oddly sized objects, playing in the park with your children. The ideology of CrossFit aims to make everyday movements easier especially as you grow older.
CrossFit workouts are effective when it comes to weight loss allowing the body to burn a higher number of calories in a shorter amount of time. However, weight loss does require consistency and many other factors contribute; for example, nutrition, levels of stress, amount and quality of sleep.
Who is CrossFit for?
Anyone! The idea is that it is designed for universal scalability, meaning no matter what age you are, what level of ability you have, regardless of your weight; all of the movements can be scaled by intensity and load to suit you as an individual and your requirements. Even if you have an injury movements can be scaled or substituted so that you can still participate in a safe manner.
Your support network where you’re surrounded by like-minded individuals who encourage and motivate you to work towards achieving your goals. CrossFit offers a warm, welcoming environment, and accepted space whereby everyone in the box appreciates that each member is there for a different reason and that each individual trains as hard as they desire. It’s an environment where it’s ok to be unique, it’s ok to do what you want.
It has the ‘misery loves company’ aspect. When a way to keep fit becomes your social life. You start to make healthier choices outside the gym. Life becomes about self-improvement.
Health – Diet and exercise – A moderate combination of these two essential components are the basis of long-term health.
What does a CrossFit Class Look Like?
CrossFit contains aspects of Olympic lifting, gymnastics, cardio (rowing, running, biking, ski-erg), interval training, respiratory endurance, power, coordination, balance.
The typical CrossFit class is split into three components; a warm-up, strength/skill and a MetCon.
MetCon – Metabolic Conditioning – refers to the structured patterns of work and rest periods to elicit a desired response from the body, usually to maximise the efficiency of a particular energy system.
Workouts – modified to help each member achieve their goals. Adapted/scaled for any individual at any age and level of fitness. Workout formats include;
- EMOM (every minute of the minute) – aimed to achieve quality training volume.
- AMRAP (as many repetitions as possible) – used as a form of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) with the focus on pushing your limits within a set period of time.
- TABATA (e.g. 20 seconds on / 10 seconds off) – used with the aim of increasing endurance and performance of both aerobic and anaerobic systems.
- RFT (rounds for time) – aims to achieve an understanding of the level of pacing required to sustain performance.