CrossFit is dubbed as one of the most popular and misunderstood fitness trends in today’s world. It is designed as a fitness regimen for people of all fitness levels- newcomers to the veterans. What is the fuss is all about? Let’s take a deeper look at why gym-goers and athletes all around the globe choose this exercise philosophy. 

What is CrossFit?

CrossFit is a high-intensity fitness regimen that utilizes elements of interval training with weightlifting, gymnastics, plyometrics and more. CrossFit originally used to be a strength and conditioning program, however today, this regimen’s daily workout consists of weight lifting, aerobic exercises and calisthenics.

CrossFit participants refer to gyms as ‘boxes’ due to the primitive design. Perhaps the idea of heavy lifting conjures negative memories of high school gym classes or grunting weightlifters in standard gyms.  When you take a closer look at a CrossFit ‘box’, you’ll find people of all fitness backgrounds supporting one another.

CrossFit is so popular that many police academies and military units have incorporated it into their training.

What does it look like?

The first thing you’ll notice when you enter a CrossFit ‘box’ is the huge difference compared to a traditional gym or barre studio. This training regimen relies heavily on weights, so you won’t see a lot of cardio equipment, however, there will be tons of barbells, dumbbells, jump ropes, pull-up bars, kettlebells, resistance bands and numerous other tools you may or may not have used before.

During the workout session, instructors walk around and check how everyone is doing. You should know that the workouts vary constantly! That’s because of the high-intensity functional movement which helps participants reach fitness levels they have never reached before.

A typical CrossFit workout looks like this.

  1. Warm up. You need to get your blood pumping.
  2. You move on to the workout of the day (WOD). This is the essence of the CrossFit workout. Each day, you’ll have a WOD. Instructors prescribe the WOD to participants often writing it as an Rx on the wall.
  3. Strength/skill training. Some days are dedicated to skill training or, to be precise, drills that will better the skills included in WODs. On other days, participants focus on strength.
  4. Stretching. This is the cool-down period of the session that allows your body to get its temperature back to normal and your muscles to recover.

Every day is different since the workouts focus on different portions of your core and functional strength. CrossFit challenges your body in different ways each day.

The benefits

Since CrossFit is a HIIT (high-intensity interval training), it is obvious that you have cardio benefits. Therefore, participants lose weight and build muscle. The diversity of exercises also helps in both strengthening and conditioning the body. On top of that, according to various fitness professionals, there are mental benefits that stem from practicing CrossFit. They claim there is a special intellectual component to the CrossFit workouts. The more your mind is attuned and responding to the challenges, the more your body is inclined to do the same.

You’ll meet people with similar goals at your CrossFit box. The best thing here is that you all have your individual paths, but the experience you gain on your journeys is a shared one. You will be helping each other out. That’s why many believe that CrossFit serves as a great team building activity. And it doesn’t matter whether you are a newbie or a pro. The more advanced participants help the less advanced and vice versa. You’ll work out as hard as you can and other participants will respect that.

If you consider the traditional gym to be boring and want to try something new, CrossFit is a perfect solution. Memberships are not expensive and the initial class is almost always free. Money spent on CrossFit or any exercise activity is always an investment in your health. Find a nearby CrossFit box, pack your things, remember to put in a bottle of water, and off you go!

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Luke is a fitness and health blogger at Ripped.me and a great fan of the gym and a healthy diet. He follows the trends in fitness, gym and healthy life and loves to share his knowledge through useful and informative articles.

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