What is CrossFit?

Kettleball in Crossfit Gym

Not sure what CrossFit is? You’ve surely seen it featured in Reebok and Under Armor commercials, and heard every second celebrity talk about. It’s one of the newest trends in the fitness world, and it’s been known to kick the butt of even seasoned gym rats.

Definition of CrossFit

CrossFit is a strength and conditioning training program that builds conditioning and strength through challenging and varied workouts. The workouts use a mix of aerobic exercise, gymnastics, body weight exercise and weightlifting, and the ultimate goal is to build a body that’s capable of almost anything and everything. And looks great!

Still here? If the description didn’t have you running for the nearest yoga studio read on.

The Basics of CrossFit

The CrossFit gym (called a box) is basically a big gymnasium with basic gym equipment in it – barbells, floormats, kettleballs, medicine balls, etc. What it doesn’t contain are the weight machines you’ll see in your regular gyms – no elliptical trainers and no bowflex.

Before you get to join the great community that is CrossFit you need to get prepped to work. Beginners start in the Elements Workshop, a series of 6 classes that will teach you how to master and scale the 9 Foundational Movements perfectly to your own personal level. Every new member is required to complete the workshop so that you know how to do the 9 Foundational Moves safely and correctly. The Foundational Movements are just that – the movements that form the foundation for the CrossFit workouts.

The 9 Foundational Movements of CrossFit

(courtesy A Gym Life)

  1. Air Squat
  2. Front Squat
  3. Overhead Squat
  4. Shoulder Press
  5. Push Press
  6. Push Jerk
  7. Deadlift
  8. Sumo Deadlift High Pull
  9. Medicine Ball Clean

After perfecting your form in the Elements Workshop you graduate to the regular classes with the rest of your Crossfit community. These classes last anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour and change daily depending on the Workout of the Day (WOD) – which is something completely unique to CrossFit.

WOD’s are a set of exercises that make up the main portion of your CrossFit class. Your goal is to complete as many rounds as possible (AMRAP) in 20 minutes. Normally they’re named after a person and each gym will have a schedule for the WOD’s for the month. One of the best known WOD’s is Cindy: 5 pullups, 10 pushups and 15 squats.

While CrossFit isn’t for everyone, if you’re looking to get fit fast and don’t mind working hard for it this might be for you. Another great thing about CrossFit is the community – once you start at a box you’ll be part of a great community with like-minded fitness people which is something you don’t get at 24 Hour Fitness.

George is an experienced CrossFit-er who has used the increased fitness in his job.

photo credit: Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson via photopin cc

  • This is a great basic explanation of Cross-fit and covers all the details someone should know. It’s not a program to be taken lightly and you will see changes in your body if you truly commit to this. You will need to ramp up your protein intake and cut back on your fats.. but you will be FITTER than you have ever been — perhaps in your entire life.

  • sounds good. I had a personal trainer for a while and she never let me get away with using the machines – told me free weights and just using your natural body weight was more effective.