CrossFit Training: What you need to know

Varied movements mix it up.Workouts are short but intense.

We all know that getting regular exercise is important. But let’s face it, after a while, the same old routine gets downright boring and our enthusiasm to keep exercising starts to wane. Not to mention the fact that doing the same type of workout over and over can lead to overuse injuries and the dreaded plateau.

One way to stay motivated and keep workouts as effective and efficient as possible is by mixing things up a bit. CrossFit Training is a great way to do it.

What is CrossFit?

Founded by Greg Glassman in 2000, CrossFit is a strength and conditioning program that incorporates constantly varied, high-intensity, functional movements designed with universal scalability, making it a suitable exercise program for anyone, regardless of age or experience. Workouts are typically short — 30 minutes or less — but intense and incorporate movements used in everyday life, like squatting, dead lifting, pulling yourself up, etc.

“The CrossFit program’s continually changing routines can improve both strength and overall fitness in less time than traditional workouts when done correctly,” said Matt Witt, owner of Gem City CrossFit in West Carrollton. “By utilizing several different workout styles, it’s a well-rounded, complete workout regimen and the variety of workouts go a long way towards holding people’s interest.”

Witt says that many trainers create a Workout Of the Day (WOD) to constantly change up the routine and maintain a challenging and fun workout experience. “CrossFit uses the same routines whether you’re an Olympic athlete, busy business person, stay-at-home mom, or elderly grandparent,” said Witt. “It’s the weight and intensity that changes depending on your skill-level. The most important part is making the commitment.”

Why are people talking about it?

People are busy and their time is valuable, yet health and wellness is still a priority. When it comes to squeezing in time for exercise, they want the workout to be both effective and efficient. CrossFit fits the bill.

“CrossFit is literally for everyone,” said Ashley Berlin, owner of CrossFit Cornerstone in West Chester Twp. “If you walk into our box [facility], you’ll see entire families. CrossFit coaches scale workouts to create an environment for anyone to be able to succeed.”

What it means to you?

As is advised when beginning any new workout program, those new to CrossFit should work with a certified CrossFit coach to ensure that exercises are performed correctly and at the appropriate intensity level. An initial evaluation will also help to determine the frequency that CrossFit workouts should be performed.

“When you break it down, we’re motivating people to perform exercises that mimic everyday life,” said Berlin. “When’s the last time life demanded that you do a bicep curl, except for in a gym? But this year when you decided to mulch your flower beds, my bet is you performed a dead lift to pick up that bag of mulch, whether you knew it or not. So we train you to be able to do that, well.” She says that the other two important pieces of effective workouts are constant variation and intensity. “We believe that intensity is the one of the highest determining factors in a successful workout program. What is intense for one person is completely different from the next, but as long as we’re constantly pushing that threshold, we’re achieving life-changing fitness.”

Witt agrees with the life changing, transforming aspect of CrossFit training.

“CrossFit is a great fitness program that is sure to transform you,” said Witt. “Whether your goals are weight loss, gaining muscle or increasing endurance, all is attainable if you commit to CrossFit.”

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