From it’s humble beginnings in 2000 as a single gym in California, Crossfit has quickly grown into a global fitness phenomenon. Developed by Coach Greg Glassman, Crossfit seeks to use a variety of high-intensity training techniques – with a strong emphasis on Olympic lifts – to turn fitness into a sport. According to Glassman, Crossfit is built around this formula:
CVFM @ HI + Communal Environment = Health
A regimen of constantly varied (CV), functional movements (FM) performed at high intensity (@HI) in a communal environment leads to health and fitness.
But to give you some more information and help you make an informed decision about whether or not to jump on the Crossfit bandwagon, here are 7 reasons to Crossfit.
- Social Support – As demonstrated by the above-mentioned “formula,” Crossfit has a strong social network and sense of community. Typically, the workouts are performed in groups and performing any type of challenging activity with other people tends to bind you together. Not only does this offer support but it also provides a heightened sense of accomplishment.
- Competitive Motivation – Closely related to the social aspect of Crossfit, is the inherent competition both with yourself and your fellow Crossfitters. Since everyone is doing the same workout, it’s fairly easy to develop friendly rivalries, which can provide healthy motivation. But Crossfit workouts are also scalable (which we will cover in more detail later), meaning that you will see personal progress as you’re able to do more challenging movements faster and with more weight. Crossfit also offers formalized competitions such as the Crossfit Games for those who want an extra challenge.
- Fast Results – Again, Crossfit is founded on high-intensity workouts – often with a focus on speed. This sort of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) has been thoroughly studied and shown to be extremely effective time and again. One notable study compared the effects of 45 minutes of steady-state cycling with 20 minutes of HIIT. At the end, both groups burned the same number of calories but the HIIT group lost nine times as much fat. Think about that, HIIT offers better results in half the time.
- Clear Direction – Whether you go to a Crossfit gym (called a “box”) or simply get your workout of the day (WOD) off the official Crossfit website, you will quickly know exactly what you’re doing. Because many of the WODs are structured, named and repeated periodically you will eventually get to know them and quickly know what is required. This eliminates any guessing when it comes to fitness programming; you will immediately know what you’re supposed to be doing.
- Personalized Workouts – Although the WODs are clearly defined, there is scalability within them. For instance, if you can’t do a pushup, you can change it to a jump pull or similar movement that you are capable of doing. This allows the workouts to be modified to your personal abilities.
- Learn Fitness Skills – Since Crossfit frequently uses Olympic lifts, you will learn how to perform these movements correctly and safely. While it might not seem like this has much value outside of the gym, remember that these exercises are compound, functional movements that will help to improve your posture, balance and overall mobility.
- Variety – Again, the workouts are constantly changing. This variation helps to keep things new, exciting and challenging so that you can avoid fitness plateaus.
This is, however, just a few of the reasons that so many people enjoy Crossfit. To learn more about the sport of fitness and get some useful training tips, check out this article here.