Fitness

Crossfit: Is It Right for You?

Last updated: Sep 01, 2016

If you’re like many exercisers, you’ve probably tried a variety of exercises and exercise programs over the years to shape your body, maintain a healthy weight, improve your overall fitness, and fight boredom that comes with exercising regularly. Like aerobics classes, Pilates, boot camps, P90X, Tae Bo, and Spin cycling, CrossFit is an exercise trend that offers exercisers the many benefits of health that come with fitness. But is it right for you?

Unlike many other exercise programs, CrossFit is focused on a do-more-work-in-less-time philosophy. Its approach means exercisers can achieve their fitness goals more quickly, and in some cases more effectively, than with other exercise programs. But it also means exercisers must work out more intensely during a CrossFit class compared with many other fitness classes. That’s why it’s wise to understand what’s involved with CrossFit, talk with a CrossFit trainer about the program, observe a CrossFit class, and see your Summit Medical Group doctor before beginning a CrossFit program.

What is CrossFit?

CrossFit is a strength and conditioning program that involves a combination of varied and high-intensity functional movements (movements used in daily activities) that involve aerobic exercise, exercises that use body weight to build strength (calisthenics), and weight lifting.

Using the best movements from running, rowing, strength training,
and gymnastics, CrossFit maximizes exercise intensity
for the amount of time spent exercising.

CrossFit classes usually last an hour and include periods for warming up, developing skills, working out at high-intensity, and stretching. Unlike most other exercise programs, CrossFit instructors use scores for parts of the workout to encourage competition among class members and measure individual progress.

CrossFit optimizes physical competence in each of the 10 fitness domains, including:

  • Accuracy
  • Agility
  • Balance
  • Cardiovascular and respiratory fitness/endurance
  • Coordination
  • Flexibility
  • Power
  • Speed
  • Stamina
  • Strength

Who can do CrossFit?

Women and men who are reasonably fit to extremely fit, in good overall health, and those who are comfortable intensifying their workouts for faster gains can participate in CrossFit classes. Although CrossFit programs are not modified for people who are less fit, the intensity of the workouts can be scaled up or down with consideration for each exerciser’s fitness levels.

Because CrossFit is a strenuous exercise program, some people may be better suited to less-intense workouts. If you have joint problems such as arthritis, are obese, have cardiovascular disease, or have other serious health problems, you should not engage in CrossFit without a green light from your doctor.

Be sure it’s safe for you to exercise!

Before beginning a new or intensifying your current exercise program,
see your
Summit Medical Group doctor first.

He or she can tell you whether CrossFit is right for you.
 

What to Expect at a CrossFit Gym

CrossFit gyms are equipped with exercise mats, barbells, dumbbells, gymnastics rings, pull-up bars, jump ropes, kettle bells, medicine balls, plyo boxes for step/jumping exercises, resistance bands, and rowing machines. Because CrossFit programs track scores to drive participants to new fitness levels, the gyms have whiteboards on which to list scores and a clock for timing exercise intervals.

In addition, CrossFit participants suggest they enjoy the camaraderie that comes with exercising in a competitive yet supportive group.

CrossFit is designed to make you stronger, faster, and more agile,
with the emotional support of an instructor
and fellow participants in your class.

If you are committed to a meaningful, measurable exercise program that leads to dramatic gains in fitness, CrossFit might be right for you!

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