Crossfit is the workout I’m asked about most often. For those of you unfamiliar with the trend, here’s the definition used by the company’s founders:
CrossFit is the principal strength and conditioning program for many police academies and tactical operations teams, military special operations units, champion martial artists, and hundreds of other elite and professional athletes worldwide.
I see my friends Cassidy and Hunter three times a week at the gym. The two of them together look like they might be the offspring of Ivan and Ludmilla Vobet Drago from Rocky 4.
On any given morning, you’ll find them pressing up from a headstand, doing full clean and jerks or performing some crazy muscle ups on the rings. Then they teach fitness classes, eat and train some more. As you’d expect from this description, they’re both exceptionally well conditioned.
Cassidy and Hunter race competitively in events like Spartan Race, Warrior Dash and Tough Mudder, and both generally kick ass. They’re basically professional obstacle racers. To train for these events, they both work consistently with heavy weights, but they muse most enthusiastically about their Crossfit training and daily competition with themselves. From Hunter:
They say that a crossfitter is the jack of all trades, having no real weak spot. I believe that an athlete’s greatest weakness will become exposed during their events, then slowly unravel them as time goes on. So when I go into the gym I use Crossfit to strengthen my weakness and build myself to become the athlete I hope to be.
So what is it exactly? Crossfit is a set of exercises, weights and rep schemes determined by the company and athletes across the country compete with the same set of circumstances.
Here’s a sample Crossfit workout:
- 20 Pull-ups
- 30 Push-ups
- 40 Sit-ups
- 50 Squats
Completed as 5 rounds for time
Essentially, your goal in performing this workout is to see how fast you can complete each round. You’re competing against yourself and other athletes worldwide, everyone exerting themselves for the same endgame.
Years ago, I toyed with some similar workouts. I enjoyed them, but I wasn’t building the strength I personally desire. I was certainly in great shape and had notable endurance, but I prefer feeling exceptionally powerful. Crossfit training is designed to break you down and retest strength and conditioning, rather than aiming for muscle growth and ultimately a one rep max.
Cassidy and I have chatted about swapping workouts. I tell her she needs to build in more rest and recovery, and she knows I’m right. She tells me I’d love Crossfit, and I know she’s right. From Cassidy:
Crossfit helps me become a better athlete every day because it’s so measurable. There are weights, reps and time. I’m addicted to using more weight, getting more reps and achieving a faster time than the day before and the person next to me.
Eventually, she and I will swap (or at least alter) our stubborn styles, probably resulting in an eye opening experience. When it happens, I promise to document and share my experience.
How has your Crossfit experience treated you?
Fill me in below,