CrossFit: why you should give it a go

It’s super-speedy, it’s total-body and it’s sociable, what’s not to like? CrossFit was born in 2000, when American fitness expert Greg Glassman applied his work with police cadets to everyday fitness training.Greg realised the best way to get results was to combine elements of weight training with long and short periods of high-intensity aerobic efforts. There are now more than 3,400 dedicated CrossFit boxes (name given to these gyms) worldwide – so it must be working!

What is CrossFit? Essentially, CrossFit is an intense strength and conditioning programme with cardio circuits thrown in. Reebok CrossFit trainer, Steve Bradshaw-Haydock believes CrossFit is the only workout you need because it covers cardio, combat, survival, resistance, plyometrics, bodyweight, and endurance exercises. One minute you’ll be doing heavy weight exercises and next you’ll be sprinting for 400m.

Why should you do it? CrossFit has the ability to make you fitter and stronger, as well as boosting your endurance, stamina and speed. The high intensity of each exercise engages your fast twitch muscle fibres, increasing your muscle power and performance. Most CrossFitters do three consecutive days then have a rest day.
Regardless of your fitness level, the CrossFit programme can be scaled to your ability. Motivation is one of the key elements of CrossFit. If you finish the WOD before the person next to you, you’re encouraged to rally round them as a team to motivate them through the workout. Plus, you’re encouraged to track your progress by noting down how long it takes to do a WOD or how many reps of an exercise you manage in the specific time, which is a great motivator.

Get started… There are currently more than 70 CrossFit boxes across the UK. To find your nearest, visit map.crossfit.com. You can try the workout by logging on to crossfit.com where you’ll find every WOD for the past ten years.

Try one – or all – of these CrossFit circuits

Time yourself doing the circuits and monitor your progress. Maintain correct form at all times- don’t let the intensity ruin your form.

20 burpees
15 reps/12 reps/ 9 reps of: Squats, Press-ups, Sit-ups
Finish with another 20 burpees

Run 1 mile, Row 2K, Run 1 mile

Run 800m
50 back extensions
50 sit-ups
Repeat 3 times

21 reps/ 15 reps/ 9 reps of: Plank walkouts, Press-ups, Sit-ups, Squats
Do 250m row between each round

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