The fitness industry just like the fashion industry sees the emergence of new trends every year. Once upon a time yoga was all the rage, there was spinning, there was Pilates, there was MMA and there was kickboxing. Bodybuilding prevailed all through. Then came CrossFit, and it took the world by storm. By portraying fitness as a sport, it truly changed the game. So what makes it so special?
Well for starters, it works on all ten areas of fitness (cardio, agility, strength, mobility, flexibility, power, endurance, speed, skill etc.). It’s worked for a whole range of people, the young, the old, women and men alike. It introduces women to weights. CrossFit focuses on functional movements, exercises that prepare the body for everyday activities, some as simple as carrying a bag of groceries.
It teaches you to maximize your bodies potential, is an efficient way to shed body weight, increase lean muscle mass and helps you work towards becoming your healthiest, fittest self.
That being said there are many misconceptions about CrossFit. Some think it’s way too intense, some are told it’s injurious. You see those ripped men and women, grunting away, lifting heavy weights, sweating like there’s no tomorrow and raking in breaths, each one shorter than the last. The barbells, the gigantic plates, the wooden boxes, kettlebells and rowers may seem intimidating at first. Don’t worry that’s just part of a marketing scheme. It’s just a fear of the unknown. It’s not a sport that’s limited just to the elite athletes and the advanced fitness freaks. You have to understand that there are a range of professionals guiding you through your CrossFit journey. They can gauge your fitness levels and design a consequent plan of action. It’s your time and health, so don’t be afraid to ask for clarifications over and over again. So here’s what you should know before you step into your first CrossFit session:
1. It’s not reserved to only the fit: You will obviously not be pushed into following the daily workouts from the very beginning. A well-structured monitored induction will take place over the course of a week, taking you over the 9 basic movements and correct forms. You will be eased into it gradually, once you master these. Even once you begin the WOD’s, they are scalable in terms of reps and weights. No one will force you to do something that you are unprepared for.
2. CrossFit has a language of its own: But don’t worry, two or three sessions in, you’ll be fluent in CrossFit Lingo.
· WOD: Workout Of The Day. This changes on a daily basis. You will probably never repeat the same workout ever again. So there goes any chance at boredom.
· Box: CrossFit Gyms are referred to as a box.
· RX: The prescription weight to perform a workout. You needn’t follow this. The idea is to adopt a weight, which fits your fitness level. It should be doable but not as easy as a walk in the park.
· AMRAP: As many rounds as possible.
· EMOM: Every minute on the minute.
· Metcon: Metabolic Conditioning.
· Tabata: Short Interval Training Methodology.
· Weightlifting: One word, not two independent ones. It aims to develop strength and power.
3. There are 9 basic movements you’re going to have to master before you can start training properly.
Those moves are: air squat (without the bar), front squat, overhead squat, shoulder press, push press, push jerk, deadlift, sumo deadlift high pull and medicine ball clean.
4. Sense of Community: You will meet some of the most like-minded and amazing people within the walls of the box. You don’t become stronger or faster in the presence of others, but you tend to exert more effort. Hence, more output. Cross Fitters are often a very tightly knit community, both inside and outside the box. There’s always a feeling of teamwork.
5. Healthy Competition: CrossFit has been beautifully called, the sport of fitness. Where there is sport there is competition. This is to keep track on your progress and also constantly work towards improving your performance.
6. No/Minimal Isolation: Move over the conventional chest, shoulder, legs, triceps, back, biceps isolation workouts. CrossFit encompasses a range of compound movements that work the entire body.
7. Timer: When you enter the box you will see a large timer staring back at you. Almost everything in CrossFit is timed. Remember your main competition is yourself. If you’re managing 10 push ups in a row for the first time, doing your first pull up, you’re winning. Keep it up.
8. It’s Loud: Whether it’s your fellow CrosFitters cheering you on, the sound of barbells clashing against the floor, loud music or even grunts, the box is a lively place with an electric environment.
9. Great coaches: All of whom are professionally certified. You’re fresh into the CrossFit world, they’re going to pay that much more attention to you. They will work you through every detail with regard to movements and form. They will ensure you’re safety.
10. It’s going to be hard: That’s just because it’s unlike anything you’ve ever done before. Any new situation, takes time to adapt to. It’s not like jumping on a treadmill and running. It requires an all out effort in a brief period. You may even be sore the next day, but that too will fade with time. Stick with it you might even get addicted to it, it will change your body and your life.
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