The CrossFit Craze

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Should You Try It?

Bored with your exercise routine? Check out CrossFit, the fitness program that’s making waves worldwide.

CrossFit was founded in 2000 by Coach Greg Glassman from a California gym. CrossFit’s aim is to enable individuals to achieve a level of overall fitness that will prepare them to meet a range of physical demands through life. You don’t even have to sign up for expensive gym memberships. All that’s required is some space, a garage, barn or public park, and basic strength training equipment like barbells, dumbbells, gymnastic rings and plates.

CrossFit exercise programs typically build strength and condition the body by incorporating diverse exercises such as aerobics, weight training and Olympic weight lifting. Typically, a CrossFit workout lasts some 30 minutes, consisting of high intensity movements that push the body to its limits.

Every CrossFit workout is inspired and put together from the strengthening programmes practised across various sports. A typical workout includes movements like skipping, rowing, running, or shimmying up a rope. Weightlifting movements include deadlifts and squats using barbells, kettlebell swings and tire flips. Common CrossFit bodyweight exercises are air squats, burpees, handstand push-ups, and lunges. That’s only a brief list. Sounds tough? It’s meant to be, say the folks at CrossFit!

Most gyms licensed by CrossFit Inc. are located in the USA, but growing demand for this fitness program now translates into a worldwide footprint of over 5,000 CrossFit affiliates. For those who don’t have access to a CrossFit affiliate, the company offers WOD, their Workout of the Day that is posted on the company website. CrossFit claims that training with their workout, combined with eating and sleeping right, is a sure way to fat loss, lean muscle gain and, of course, a huge increase in energy and wellbeing. Fitness education, in fact, is an integral part of Crossfit’s philosophy.
In addition to WOD, there are the CrossFit Games that celebrate the “Fittest Man and Woman on Earth”. As the event’s popularity has soared, so has sponsorship money; this year’s prize money from Reebok is a handsome R2,847,350.93. Participants must perform unfamiliar workouts. Often, surprise elements are thrown in to test their readiness for any contingency.

CrossFit also organises training seminars worldwide and publishes websites offering free content on fitness. The Web-based CrossFit Journal publishes information on a range of topics from exercise techniques and nutrition to health, fitness equipment and other related issues, besides being an interactive forum for top athletes, coaches and anyone interested in being fit.

There’s a CrossFit program for everyone, from children and housewives to top athletes, soldiers and firemen.

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