What is a barre class

What is CrossFit?

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CrossFit Training Explained For Everyone!

How do you know if someone is into CrossFit?

Don't worry, we will tell you ... or rather: CrossFitter will tell you;)

The first rule of CrossFit is that you never stop talking about CrossFit. And while this seems to add to the certainty of what CrossFit actually is, there are many myths and generalizations that need clearing up about the exercise program.

To help you decipher the intricate meaning of CrossFit's unique language, paleo diet affiliation, compression stockings, and loud noises, we spoke to a variety of CrossFit experts and coaches to finally answer the question :

What the heck is CrossFit?

CrossFit is a competitive exercise program

What is CrossFit? The official definition of CrossFit is: "Constantly varying functional movements with high intensity."

So what does that mean exactly?

According to Alyssa Ages, certified personal trainer, CrossFitter and founder of BeFit Marketing, the training itself consists of "a series of different functional fitness exercises that are performed quickly, in a certain time frame and in a certain format".

Functional exercises are those that mimic real-world movements and usually require little or no equipment, such as burpees, push-ups, and sit-ups, as well as movements with barbells, dumbbells, kettlebells, jump ropes, pull-up bars, rings, and medicine balls.

"I would call it both [an exercise program and a sport], but the best term I've heard for it is" competitive exercise, "" says Ages.

“We use barbells, dumbbells, rowing machines, kettlebells, and rigs for pull-ups. A CrossFit box is like an adult playground. Everything is mobile and can be configured for different movements. Many exercises are body weight-oriented, such as burpees, push-ups, skipping ropes, pull-ups, running and more, ”adds Amy“ Pistol ”Mandelbaum, owner and head coach of CrossFit Westport.

"We don't use machines, we are the machines."

Amy "Pistol" Mandelbaum, owner and head coach of CrossFit Westport

So what is CrossFit training and what is it not?

What is CrossFit? A mix of other workouts

All major workouts borrow elements from other fitness programs (remember how the Barré class is built on ballet moves, flywheel involves weight training by getting athletes to lift weights in the middle). CrossFit is no different.

"All CrossFit workouts are based on functional movements, and those movements reflect the best aspects of gymnastics, weight lifting, running, rowing, and more," says Mandelbaum.


CrossFit happens in one box, not in a gym.

Classic CrossFit fitness studios call themselves "Box" as an expression of their raw and sober appearance, explains Ages. "Think of four walls (one that CrossFit Box with a nice community at Icke is usually a garage door), a roof and minimalist furnishings."

"With CrossFit growing exponentially, there are more and more boxes that are more like boutique studios - with amenities like fancy shower products, towel service, and coffee and / or smoothie bars," says Ages. "But you're just as likely to encounter a Trainspotting-style bathroom and crumbling concrete floor."


There are plenty of other funny and / or weird acronyms out there too.

Yes, the mysterious acronym “WOD” (pronounced like a “bundle” of biceps that you developed with CrossFit) is an acronym. Ages has explained some of the most popular CrossFit-related acronyms that help CrossFitters really speak a different language:

  • WOD = (workout of the day) Workout of the day. This is the workout you do when you take a CrossFit class.
  • AMRAP = (as many rounds as possible) As many rounds as possible. Generally, the clock is set to a time limit and you want to complete as many laps of the workout as possible before time runs out.
  • ATG = Ass to the ground. A term used for a full depth squat.
  • RX = As prescribed. Each WOD has prescribed weights that you can use while exercising, but that's a suggestion. If you want or need to scale the training, you can take lighter weights.
  • EMOM = Starting every minute (every minute on the minute). An exercise or series of exercises is done for a specific number of repetitions per minute. The remaining time in this minute is the rest time. Once the minute is up, you start over.

It's for everyone and everyone.

You can do CrossFit with a specific body type, age, or gender. Mandelbaum warns that stereotyping the program will not get you very far. "Everyone can do CrossFit," says Mandelbaum. "It is timeless in its approach to improving the human condition."

If that sounds ambitious and frighteningly close to cult language, then this is it…. somehow. What do you expect from someone nicknamed the “pistol” (in English, the one-legged squat)?

On the other hand, it is certainly an advantage that the program can really be adapted to any condition and any age. Mandelbaum's list of clients includes people of all ages and abilities - teenagers, seniors, and everyone in between - hoping to achieve their goals through CrossFit.


It's a social togetherness.

What sets CrossFit apart from other exercise programs is the collaborative and social environment that each box creates, says Eugene Kang, CEO and co-founder of Country Archer and avid CrossFitter. “There is a certain bond that develops through suffering together,” he says.

There he has a point; it is the same setting that is used when drilling. There is a considerable amount of competition, with reps and rounds and everything that comes with it, measured not just against yourself but against other participants as well. You may be competitive by nature, but the CrossFit community is incredibly supportive in that. "The whole class will stay until the last person has finished their training and cheer," says Ages.


It is scalable to your strength and comfort level.

CrossFit can produce beautiful Arnold-like bodies that heave 100kg barbells over their heads, but almost every movement or exercise in the program is scalable. In other words, you can easily customize the scary, almost impossible exercise that the "experts" in your class do with weights.

For example, if you haven't fully mastered a traditional push-up, you can change the exercise by getting on your knees. Elastic bands can help you master a series of pull-ups until you are strong enough to do them without assistance, and you can always adjust the weight you stack on your barbell.


CrossFit is NOT the same old routine over and over again.

If you're looking for a workout that is done according to a picture book scheme or a repetitive pattern, CrossFit is probably not for you.

“CrossFit is characterized by the fact that it is constantly varied both in terms of movement and time,” says Mandelbaum. "You might have a day in the pits with a four-minute sprint workout one day and then come the next day for a 15-minute moderate to fast workout with three movements that must be repeated in a cycle or lap until the Time has expired. "

While every workout is different, there is a general format that all CrossFit classes follow, says Ages. "There is a dynamic warm-up, mobility work, strength and skill work, then the WOD."


CrossFit is not (always) a cult of Paleo fans.

If you're looking for a workout that is done according to a picture book scheme or a repetitive pattern, CrossFit is probably not for you.

While many CrossFitters live the paleo lifestyle - they then follow a diet that limits individuals to foods that were available during the caveman-style hunter-gatherer era (think meat, fish, nuts, leafy greens, local vegetables, and seeds) ; and leave out everything that comes in a package), in the boxes that we know it is more of an exception.

"I don't recommend a [paleo diet] if you want to work at a top level," says Mandelbaum. "The body needs carbohydrates beyond a random sweet potato!"


Above all else, CrossFit is intense.

CrossFit is about maximizing the amount of work in the shortest amount of time, and the exercises focus on moving the biggest loads over the longest distances, says Mandelbaum.

“Intensity is essential to results and is measurable as work divided by time,” she says. “The more work you do in less time, or the higher the performance, the more intensive the effort. Functional movements and intensity lead to a dramatic increase in fitness due to a constantly varying training approach. "

Mandelbaum advises the curious to go to a box where they can try things they have never tried before.

"You will sweat, you will have sore muscles, you will succeed and you will fail," says Mandelbaum. “It's very humiliating. You will also meet incredible people and join a community that operates worldwide but has the community mindset of a small town. My members love each other and leave my box with a smile on their face every day. "

Answers to questions ...

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