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Everything You Need to Know About CrossFit

Apr 10, 2014
Looking to take your fitness to a whole new level? Sick and tired of your boring workout at the gym--the same one you've been doing for the last six months? For those that want to take their level of fitness to the near-superhuman, CrossFit is the workout that will get you there!

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What is CrossFit?

CrossFit is a high-intensity fitness regime that has become popular all around the world. The workout became popular in 2000, and now more than 7,000 gyms teach it.

The workout is a combination of three things:

  1. High-intensity aerobic exercise
  2. Gymnastics
  3. Olympic weightlifting
The purpose: push your body to its limits and beyond. The workout pushes your strength, your flexibility and your endurance--both muscular and cardiovascular. By the time you stagger out of your intense workout, your entire body has been put through its paces.

The Anatomy of a CrossFit Class

The class begins with a warm-up--an absolutely essential part of the program. Without the warmup, the risk of injuries is much higher.

Following the warmup is an activity training segment, in which participants learn and practice one specific movement (i.e. handstand push-ups).

The WOD (Workout of the Day) takes up the majority of the class, pushing participants through a fast-paced workout that targets various muscles at a time. The workout is changed on a daily basis, so there's little risk of participants being bored.

Finally, the class ends with stretching and cooling down.

Why CrossFit?

There are four main reasons:

  1. Muscle Confusion: With the random ever-changing workouts, your muscles will never quite adapt to a single movement--ensuring continued muscle growth.
  2. Variety: Never get bored with your workout. Not only does each session offer a variety of movements, but you're just too exhausted to feel boredom.
  3. Fitness to the Extreme: No matter who you are--athlete, bodybuilder, Average Joe--you can take your fitness to the next level and beyond. The workouts are supremely intense, so you'll push every part of your body every time.
  4. Cheap: The workouts are meant to be done either at a CrossFit gym or at home, and there's a wide range of instructional materials and video that can help you get your WOD.
Is CrossFit for You?

Are you someone interested in going beyond just your traditional workout? Do you have a specific fitness goal that you want to reach in record time? Is your goal to push past your current limits and find your true potential as an athlete? If so, CrossFit may just be the right workout for you.

However, be warned:

  • CrossFit does increase your risk of injury, particularly among beginners.
  • Certain injuries are more common among those who do CrossFit, including shoulder injuries, Achilles injuries and joint problems.
  • CrossFit is extremely intense, and not everyone is able to do it.
  • Those with health problems should avoid very vigorous forms of exercise.
The fact that you are doing high-intensity multi-joint exercises means that the workouts are going to be much more dangerous. If you've never done strength training before, the Olympic-style movements will increase your risk of injury. Newbies should stay away from this workout until they have a base of strength training.

If, however, you have been lifting weights and training for at least a few months to a year, it may be a good idea to look into CrossFit.

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The Hidden Dangers of the Extreme Exercise Trend

Some people get lucky and are born with fit, toned bodies. Andy Peloquin is not one of those people... Fitness has come hard for him, and he's had to work for it. His trials have led him to becoming a martial artist, an NFPT-certified fitness trainer, and a man passionate about exercise, diet and healthy living. He loves to exercise--he does so six days a week--and loves to share his passion for fitness and health with others.



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