Founded in 2000 by Greg Glassman and Lauren Jenal, CrossFit is a type of fitness and conditioning training regime that incorporates weight-lifting, high intensity cardio as well as gymnastics. Using numerous different motions and techniques, it’s said to the be the complete test for athletes and at an annual competition crowns the “World’s Fittest” man or woman.
Practiced with poor technique or by those who aren’t used to regular exercise, CrossFit can cause a range of injuries and chronic pain. Popular around the world, there are both those who love it but also a range of critics so if you are thinking of taking up CrossFit what should you be aware of?
Each CrossFit gym will have at least one coach or sometimes more. Make sure they are qualified and have the necessary certification to teach your class. You will be doing a lot of unfamiliar movements so ask for detailed instructions if you don’t think you are doing the movement correctly. If you feel any pain, stop the exercise right away.
CrossFit will test your ability to do a range of barbell lifts, gymnastic holds and high intensity cardio. It aims to improve flexibility, strength, balance and stamina. When you first start CrossFit, you will be doing new exercises for the first month. This can mean a lot of fun but an increased chance of risk of injury, so at the beginning take things slow and make sure the weights lifted are manageable and that the correct muscle groups are being used.
It’s common for CrossFitters to enjoy their first few sessions so much that they come up to four or five times per week. This increase in high intensity training can leave your muscles feeling fatigued, so ensure that you are properly fueling your body before the workouts. Whether your goal is weight loss or muscle gain, ensure you are eating correctly, ask your coach for advice if needed.
CrossFit is fun. At the beginning everything is new and interesting. While after a month you will find yourself improving and getting fitter and stronger, you’ll also find yourself within a new community with whom you have both friendly competition and a support network as you embark on a new fitness journey.
If you are looking to begin a new fitness regime that will challenge you, improve your fitness and act as a place to meet new friends, CrossFit could be the place for you