The last several years have given rise to a variety of exercise programs and training routines. In 1995 a former high school gymnast, Greg Glassman, and his wife developed a program called CrossFit. For the following decade, CrossFit training slowly caught on and was picked up by different gyms.
Over the last 6 years alone, CrossFit affiliated gyms have grown from 18 in 2005 to nearly 2000 worldwide more recently. The rise in popularity can be attributed to the endorsement of several police agencies, fire departments and military training programs.
The philosophy behind CrossFit is to pursue optimal fitness levels across several areas of focus. CrossFit programs are designed to enhance physical skills in: strength, stamina, cardiovascular endurance, flexibility, agility, speed, power, balance, coordination and accuracy. It is, essentially, a total body training regimen that also sharpens the mind for athletic performance. By definition, if you participate in CrossFit workouts you will build lean muscle and burn fat.
CrossFit exercises are designed to be broad in nature. The routines are not for specializing, but rather general for complete strength and conditioning improvements. The idea is to make the body better at moving and working in tactical, combat and elite athletic environments.
CrossFit training is about function over form translating to real world use. The workouts are scaled in intensity and degree so the actual exercises can be replicated for any age group or athletic ability.
When participating in CrossFit workouts, you will find yourself doing many high impact, high intensity exercises. From lifting weights to plyometrics, CrossFit routines can vary greatly. Some other examples include; sprinting, gymnastics, jumping rope, climbing rope, power lifting and kettlebell exercises.
A unique CrossFit workout might include carrying an oddly shaped object for certain distances. An exercise of that nature will require the use of muscle groups working together to maintain strength, stability and coordination. In comparison, traditional exercise-machine based workouts are more rigid and focused on one particular muscle or muscle group.
There are two ways you can participate in CrossFit programs; do the exercises on your own or go to a licensed CrossFit affiliated gym. CrossFit offers many resources to learn the exercises. They have CrossFit WODS or workout of the day as recommended starting points.
It is very important to familiarize yourself with the CrossFit exercises and movements to avoid injury. As with any exercising, start out slowly and with your current fitness level in mind. Once you are ready to commit to a full training schedule, CrossFit daily workouts are available to fit your needs. You can also find journals and message boards explaining different workouts and exercises.
If you choose to join a CrossFit gym you will have access to a licensed facility that must meet specific standards. You will also have access to certified trainers or coaches that can properly guide you through the CrossFit training schedules.
An important part of the CrossFit philosophy is using workout partners to learn from and to add more motivation. In fact, many CrossFit workout classes and groups grow out of friends working out together and are highly encouraged in the CrossFit fitness community. Joining CrossFit gyms allows for access to equipment and tools that are otherwise difficult to use at home.
Additionally, many different CrossFit groups exist such as CrossFit Kids and CrossFit Football. An ideal benefit of CrossFit is how the programs can be used by a variety of people differing in everything from age to fitness levels. An important factor in exercising is to find a program that is challenging and full of variety; CrossFit training provides just that.
More info on "What is Crossfit?"
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