Well, if you fancy getting a little intense with your workouts then CrossFit is where it's at. Founded in 2000, CrossFit is a mix of various fitness philosophies; from high-intensity interval training, powerlifting, and gymnastics, to calisthenics and strongman. Sounds scary? Well, fear not! Although CrossFit is a high intensity, it has been designed so almost anyone can give it a go, with lots of variations for beginners! Plus a some university studies showing individuals can burn upwards of 250 calories every 20 minutes (yeah, we thought that might grab your attention).
Sound too good to be true? Scientists at Kennesaw State University found that a 20-minute round of CrossFit can burn 261 calories while Men’s Health magazine also reported that the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research suggests 260 calories are burned every 20 minutes!
Taking it back to basics, CrossFit is simply a strength and conditioning workout….so it isn't a walk in the park. Be ready to sweat buckets, and push yourself mentally and physically – think Rocky as he tried to hit the big time. Oh, and don't expect to stroll into a typical looking gym - CrossFit gyms are another world so don’t let it freak you out (we know it’s hard, we almost did a runner the first time we tried it).
Since the focus is on functionality, expect wooden boxes for the box jumps, rowing machines, hanging hoops, weights and bars! Some functional movements you’ll try in the class also include squat variations, push-ups, burpees (yup!) and good-old-fashioned jumping.
As we said earlier, don’t let this intimidate you! CrossFit prides itself on welcoming all abilities and ages - you don’t have to be an Olympic athlete. With all exercises, trainers will give you variations and alternatives that best suit your ability. So, you will start by doing the same exercises as everyone else, but with fewer repetitions for example. Although CrossFit instructors want you to push yourself, they want to know if you have any personal limits. If you have weak knees for example, then pushing you to do box jumps is just a no-no. So, feel confident in letting the trainer know if you have any injuries or niggling worries - as we mentioned before it isn’t easy, so be honest about your body and its abilities!
One aspect of CrossFit that really deserves attention is how controlled it is. Every single exercise is functional and targeted. And, although every CrossFit class is different, the trainers make sure you are doing each and every exercise correctly and efficiently. This class is by no means a free for all, and you won’t be left twiddling your thumbs at the back of the room wondering if you are doing it right! And all we can say to that is HALLELUJAH! We have all been there, and it's frustrating - you don't want to go back to a class like that. If you agree, CrossFit is right for you - there is guidance, encouragement and understanding.
So! How do you find a CrossFit gym or class that you can trust? The best way is through the official website. The website shows you a world map of affiliate gyms which is fantastic! That way you know you will be going somewhere with certified trainers who know what they are doing and talking about. CrossFit is a fitness brand and philosophy, so all trainers must be certified by the official founders in the United States - if it’s not an affiliate gym on the website - then proceed with caution (we warned you!). You want to train in a safe environment with people you can trust to direct you properly.
Ok, now you have the basics on what CrossFit entails, and where to find classes, it’s time to let you know what you need. Basics! Yourself (in fitness gear), a towel (sweat! sweat! sweat!), and some water - and you are good to go!
Lastly, for some motivating social media inspo take a look at these cool CrossFit Instagram accounts:
So, what are you waiting for?
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