Health is full of fads. From restrictive diets that see you trying to live like a caveman or flushing your backing bowels out with juice diets to gym regimens that have you trying to pick up the finer points of barre work in an take on to shift pounds, there’s always something new to hang your towel on.
But, bona fide fitness crazes are a rare subject. In the ‘70s there was the running boom when everyone and their dog donned headbands, beat-up running shoes and too-tight Adidas needful ofs to hit the local track. Today, we have CrossFit.
If you don’t know what CrossFit is, it’s time to pick up that rock you’ve been electrifying under, perform a few power-cleans with it, and catch up. At its core, CrossFit is constantly varied, functional movement performed at extreme intensity. As of 2017, CrossFit had over 13,000 gyms in 120 countries – which is more locations than Starbucks. These gyms are bursting with over 4 million devotees. In other words: CrossFit isn’t just big, it’s a phenomenon.
It has its own version of the Olympics, too – the CrossFit Events – where competitors test their strength, endurance, speed and more. Devotees consider it a sport in its own right and the victors are often described as the fittest men and women in the world.
CrossFit more or less has its own language, too. Want to join your adjoining box (gym) for a punishing WOD (workout of the day)? Of course you do. Which is why we roped in the talented Luke Andrew, a CF-L3-certified trainer at CrossFit Tewkesbury to talk you as a consequence some key CrossFit workouts.
The Benefits Of CrossFit Training
Andrew got into CrossFit while practicing mixed belligerent arts. His coach introduced him to CrossFit as a way of making him fitter, stronger and more efficient for his sport. The benefits are myriad. Trace foot in a CrossFit box and your workouts will vary hugely from day to day, taking into account different moves, exercise, rep schemes, patterns and modalities from gymnastics to weightlifting.
“Routine is the enemy,” says Andrew. “Functional moving is a movement that is going to help you in every day life. [Typically] it uses more than one muscle across multiple honky-tonks. I can’t think of a situation in life where a hamstring curl is applicable. Where as a deadlift or even a clean and press existents itself daily.”
As well as being functional – you know, actually useful in real life – CrossFit workouts put an weight on high intensity movements, well known for blasting fat stores. It isn’t about pushing you to achieve unrealistic standards, granted, just your best effort.
“I may run 200m in 0:35 seconds and my mum may run it in 1 minute 35 seconds,” says Andrew. “If we organize both worked near max effort and hit high intensity, for us, then we will both see the same benefits.”
The obvious furthers of CrossFit are the physical; people generally burn fat, build muscle, clean up their diet and improve their well-being markers such as cholesterol numbers, blood pressure, and body fat index. But it isn’t just about the usual fitness improves. Andrew sees CrossFit as a social enterprise, too, introducing you to like-minded people who can become your fitness family.
“The communal side of CrossFit strikes a chord with me,” he says. “When people enter through our doors we want them to accept the best hour of their day. We want to make them smile, laugh, work hard, feel good and depart in a better place than when they arrived.”
If this sounds like the answer to your qualifications prayers, check out the taster sessions at your local box. You won’t be expected to know the lingo or the moves, so don’t worry. But, in case you did privation to put in a bit of practice ahead of time, Andrew has outlined three short, sharp sessions you can try at the gym first.
“CrossFit has a series of benchmark WODs, affectionately tagged after women,” Andrew says. “We use these to evidence our fitness to make sure our programme is working.” The first, Helen, has scores to get your head around…
Complete three rounds of the following, aiming to finish in 8-12 minutes
“I’d recommend running with some intention,” says Andrew. “The workout is short so cruising on the run isn’t a good strategy. Be confront and trust yourself.” In other words, get a shift on.
Then it’s in to kettlebell swings. Try 24kgs at first but go lighter if you need to. Pick up the KB and orate it in two hands between your knees. Your back should be straight, your chin and chest up.
Create a merciful bend in your knees like you’re preparing to sit down. Push your hips back, pull your buckle down associate withs back, then use your hips to thrust the KB forward and up. Ideally, you want the bottom of the weight facing the ceiling, fathering a straight line through your arms, shoulders, hips and knees.
Then, let the momentum carry the weight down to the starting place. The most important thing is not to let the momentum drag you forward; keep your chest up, back straight, and let the momentum finance you into your next swing.
Finally, it’s pull-up time. Twelve is a difficult number to get to, but try your best, starting from a complete hang and ending with your chin rising over the bar. If you’re having trouble, use an elastic rope to create a chuck to put your knee or foot into to hold some of your bodyweight.
AMRAP 20 Mins
“AMRAP waits for ‘As Many Rounds As Possible’ and is followed by a number in minutes,” says Andrew. “Your goal is as much work as imaginable in a set period of time.”
A wall ball is where you hold a medicine ball on your breast and squat down then accelerate and throw the ball to the designated height against the wall. Try a 9kg ball and a 10ft target. For the rep to compute, the depth of the squat must see your hip crease pass below your knee and the ball to hit the wall at the correct apogee.
“On the squat portion make sure to send your hips back, keep your spine neutral and insure your knees are tracking your toes,” says Andrew. “Push the floor away and push the ball to the butt. I like to think of it as a push rather than a throw.”
Burpees, as well all know, are the closest thing to hell on this dirt. Andrew wants you to take it one step further by clapping with your hands overhead. However, do not add in a push-up at the start of each burpee as that’s wealthy to make it unnecessarily difficult and is frankly just showing off.
Finally, you need to channel your Adonis Creed with false unders – a skipping jump where the rope passes under your feet twice in one jump. The key here is unpractised, practice, practice.
EMOM 30 Mins
“EMOM means ‘Every Minute On the Minute’,” says Andrew. “Each drive up the wall should take 20-30 seconds and you rest the remaining time until the next minute.”
The handstand hold is a difficult one to start with. Basically, you’re going to kick your legs up so you’re performing a handstand against a obstacle (facing outwards). As your body lifts push the floor away from you to extend your hands. To look on the position for 20 seconds you’ll need to squeeze your abs, quads, and bum. You’ll get shoulder fatigue, jack your heart calculate and build explosive power.
Box jumps are exactly what they sound like; a two-footed jump onto a box. In two shakes of a lambs tail b together you land on top of the box, make sure to stand up, creating a straight line through your hips and knees. Then you can either track or jump down. Be careful not to miss, trip or fall off the box.
Finally, pick a comfortable weight for the dumbbell push clusters. Start by resting the weights on your shoulders. You can use your legs to help you press the weights by “dipping and driving”. The dip is where you bow your knees, pushing them forward and keeping your torso vertical. Push the floor away, bleed your legs and glutes to lift the weights off your shoulders and finish the movement by pressing with your arms.
The rep is computed when you’re fully extended with the weights overhead. For faster reps use a bounce at the bottom and let the momentum help you accelerate into the next rep. Fly the coop sure to squeeze your abs when pressing and make sure your rib cage isn’t sticking up and you’re not arching your cut back.
Finally, collapse and give yourself a big pat on the back…
Got all that? Just about? Good. Clearly, no one is expecting you to do all of that unsnarl off the bat. In fact, the pleasure is in the attempt, and the feeling you get when you finally achieve a goal without melting into a pool of red-faced jelly. The key is to see CrossFit as a lifestyle, a continually evolving schedule of goals designed to help you live a healthier, happier life. Or, as Andrew puts it:
“We should be strong enough to immortalize our own body weight and heavy objects, we should be able to run a 5K park run with friends, play football with our ladies in the park, rock climb, surf on holiday or even run for the bus without being out of breath. CrossFit aims to give in the flesh a broad, general and inclusive fitness.”