What is CrossFit?
Crossfit is a total workout for the body and mind
The CrossFit goals are creating a full, general and entirely good physical shape, psychical strength and endurance.
The entirely good physical shape suppose perfectly developed skills in 10 areas – cardiovascular, respiratory, strength-endurance, strength, flexibility, explosiveness, speed, coordination, dexterity, balance and precision. To develop these skills CrossFit effectively combines different elements from gymnastic, weight-lifting, running and rowing. The equipment needed in CrossFit workouts is minimalistic and simple: poods, medicine balls, dumbbells, barbells, pull-up levers, parallel bars. Usually the workouts are fast, high-intensity and often without a break.
Basics of CrossFit
The movement is everywhere in the nature. Man stands, sits, throws, lifts, pushes, pulls, climbs, runs and hits in his every-day life (or at least he used to do it years ago). This is how we are made. A functional training in the context of CrossFit is a performance of exercises compound of typical for the human body movements, which we do in our daily life.
The functional movements are
- movements, which first start with muscle contractions of the torso/the main body and continue with the contractions moving towards the limbs.
- they serve for the efficient movement of the body or other objects
- they represent complex motions that cause strong neurological reaction
Examples for that kind of movements are: dead lift, squats, pull-ups, lunges, running, dips, push-ups, abs, bench press, reverse push-ups, rope climbing, sit-ups, jumping rope, jumps, medicine ball throw, push press and combined movements for muscle-ups, reverse + push up, squats + crunches.
By combining elements from gymnastic, weight-lifting, running and rowing a fully good shape is achieved, which according to the CrossFit definition, as it was mentioned earlier, involves development of the following skills:
Cardiovascular and Respiratory endurance – the ability of different systems in the human body to obtain, process and transport oxygen.
Strength-endurance – the ability of the systems in the human body to process, deliver, store and use energy.
Strength – the ability of the muscle cells and motor units to apply pressure.
Flexibility – the ability to maximize the range of movement of a certain joint.
Explosiveness – the ability of the muscle cells and motor units to apply max. strength in min. time.
Speed – the ability to minimize the time for making a repetitive movement.
Coordination – the ability to combine several independent movements in one particular, clearly expressed, complex movement.
Dexterity – the ability to minimize the time for transition from one to another movement.
Balance – the ability of positioning the center of the mass of the body according to its supporting point.
Precision – the ability of controlling the movement at an exact direction with an exact intensity.
Gymnastic helps stimulating the development of speed, balance, coordination, dexterity, precision, control of the torso and strength in the upper part of the body and the weight workouts for the entire system, explosiveness, speed. All of the elements in the CrossFit workouts develop the cardiovascular and respiratory endurance.
The Crossfit Workouts
The specialty of the crossfitters is in the absence of specialization – athletes are told to “forget” about the fixed series, repetitions, breaks, exercises and their order, programs, periodization. The nature doesn’t make a difference between cardio workouts and strength ones. The workouts shouldn’t make any difference too. If you train with heavy weight and less repeating you won’t develop the strength endurance that you will with the other way around. Again if you train with a lot of repeating you won’t develop the strength you would with the other type of workouts. Every type of training, including fast or slow, with heavy weights or light ones, cardio before or after the workout has its own advantages and disadvantages.
To achieve truly good shape, every parameter of the workout must be modulated in a way of allowing the participation of all kinds of muscles and their stimulation, the cardiovascular and nervous system. The body develops especially when it’s put under stress to which it’s not use to. In this sense the routine is enemy of the progress, variety is its friend. CrossFit perceive a training scheme 3+1, in other words, 3 days intensive training and 1 day off – this scheme allows higher endurance at maximum intensity.
For elders, beginners or people with cardiovascular diseases are applied modified CrossFit workouts where the loading and intensity are adapted according to the level/need of the athlete.
CrossFit is considered “fitness-sport” because there is competition, comparability of the results, because resemble a game. CrossFit communities organize local, regional and even international events, workouts and competitions. Their popularity increases really fast for the last couple of years. That provokes the organization of CrossFit games (alike the Olympic Games) to distinguish the best athletes (respectively man or woman) in the world. The selection of the contestants in the game is made on a regional qualifications. They continue 2 days and the athletes are competing in 4-8 workouts. The complexes are announced just a few hours before the start of the competition and are different every time. The common between them is that they all are cruel trials of the physical and psychical strength and endurance of the athletes. The first CrossFit games are 2007 in Aromas, California.
According to the creators and followers of CrossFit – the magic is in the movements, the art – in combining them. The sports shape CrossFit creates and develops is whole and wide and the specialty of the crossfitters is in the absence of specialization.