Crossfit write up
CrossFit Gym Vs Gym Membership
“Why should I choose a Crossfit Box rather then just buy a gym membership?” is a question I get asked quite frequently. What is so special about this Crossfit thing that thousands of people are swapping out they're gym memberships for Crossfit?
Well, Crossfit is so much more than just another gym membership, it´s a community of people dedicated to becoming a better version of themselves. It is a place where you come to add new skills to your life. Every time you come to the “Box” you are challenging yourself, breaking barriers you thought could not be broken, overcoming obstacles you thought too high. Getting stronger, faster, and more confident. Most of all, becoming a better version of you. Crossfit is a place to find the person you did not know was in you.
Crossfit offers you expert coaching staff ready to help you reach your goal safely and effectively. It is not just for the Elite athlete, or that person whose body is in great shape. It´s a place for anyone wanting to improve their fitness. It is infinitely scalable which means that anyone can start, at any fitness level, at any time.
We refer to our clients as athletes because they are. There is no need to compete on a national level to get that title. Anyone putting in the work is an athlete. I have coached hundreds of athletes from 9 years old to 65 years old in Crossfit and they all have the same reason for joining. To try something new, get fitter and have fun on the way.
What ever your fitness goal, you can reach it through Crossfit.
Too many people get stuck in a rut and go to a gym because they think that they have to. Run on the treadmill, lift a few barbells and doing mostly the same routine each visit with small variations. Most of the time they might not know what they are doing. They don´t stick to going to the gym because they get bored with the lack of discipline and motivation. A lot of gyms thrive on these members. They invest in a one year membership and then only use the first month or two. The rest of the year spent paying a contract they never use. Perhaps you recognise yourself? This means the gyms can have more members then they could ever physically cram in there. That is why many of those gyms will never encourage you to come into the gym, or motivate you once there. They already have your money.
But how is a Crossfit Box any different? It is the personal touch. When you go to a Crossfit class you will always be greeted by your coach. You have 1-to-1 interaction with the person responsible for the class. Any questions you have regarding nutrition, stretching or just the workout itself, they are there for you. They will motivate you and push you to make you better. It is their job to make sure you are doing the workout correctly, watch and advise where needed. They will encourage you when you think you want to give up, and make sure that when the class ends, you have every desire to come back and improve yourself.
Crossfit is a community. The people that you train with have all been through the same things you go through, your coach and the person next to you doing the work. They will all be there to support you on your journey.
Now for 'What is CrossFit?'
CrossFit is a core strength and conditioning program. We have designed our program to elicit as broad an adaptational response as possible. CrossFit is not a specialized fitness program but a deliberate attempt to optimize physical competence in each of ten recognized fitness domains. They are Cardiovascular and Respiratory endurance, Stamina, Strength, Flexibility, Power, Speed, Coordination, Agility, Balance, and Accuracy.
The CrossFit Program was developed to enhance an individual’s competency at all physical tasks. Our athletes are trained to perform successfully at multiple, diverse, and randomized physical challenges. This fitness is demanded of military and police personnel, firefighters, and many sports requiring total or complete physical prowess. CrossFit has proven effective in these arenas.
Aside from the breadth or totality of fitness the CrossFit Program seeks, our program is distinctive, if not unique, in its focus on maximizing neuroendocrine response, developing power, cross-training with multiple training modalities, constant training and practice with functional movements, and the development of successful diet strategies.
Our athletes are trained to bike, run, swim, and row at short, middle, and long distances guaranteeing exposure and competency in each of the three main metabolic pathways.
We train our athletes in gymnastics from rudimentary to advanced movements garnering great capacity at controlling the body both dynamically and statically while maximizing strength to weight ratio and fl exibility. We also place a heavy emphasis on Olympic Weightlifting having seen this sport’s unique ability to develop an athletes’ explosive power, control of external objects, and mastery of critical motor recruitment patterns. And finally we encourage and assist our athletes to explore a variety of sports as a vehicle to express and apply their fitness.
An effective approach
In gyms and health clubs throughout the world the typical workout consists of isolation movements and extended aerobic sessions. The fitness community from trainers to the magazines has the exercising public believing that lateral raises, curls, leg extensions, sit-ups and the like combined with 20-40 minute stints on the stationary bike or treadmill are going to lead to some kind of great fitness. Well, at CrossFit we work exclusively with compound movements and shorter high intensity cardiovascular sessions. We've replaced the lateral raise with push press, the curl with pull-ups, and the leg extension with squats. For every long distance effort our athletes will do five or six at short distance. Why? Because compound or functional movements and high intensity or anaerobic cardio is radically more effective at eliciting nearly any desired fi tness result. Startlingly, this is not a matter of opinion but solid irrefutable scientifi c fact and yet the marginally effective old ways persist and are nearly universal. Our approach is consistent with what is practiced in elite training programs associated with major university athletic teams and professional sports. CrossFit endeavors to bring state-of-the-art coaching techniques to the general public and athlete who haven’t access to current technologies, research, and coaching methods,
Is this for me?
Absolutely! Your needs and the Olympic athlete’s differ by degree not kind. Increased power, strength, cardiovascular and respiratory endurance, flexibility, stamina, coordination, agility, balance, and coordination are each important to the world’s best athletes and to our grandparents. The amazing truth is that the very same methods that elicit optimal response in the Olympic or professional athlete will optimize the same response in the elderly. Of course, we can’t load your grandmother with the same squatting weight that we’d assign an Olympic skier, but they both need to squat. In fact, squatting is essential to maintaining functional independence and improving fitness. Squatting is just one example of a movement that is universally valuable and essential yet rarely taught to any but the most advanced of athletes. This is a tragedy. Through painstakingly thorough coaching and incremental load assignment CrossFit has been able to teach anyone who can care for themselves to perform safely and with maximum efficacy the same movements typically utilized by professional coaches in elite and certainly exclusive environments.
Who has benefited from CrossFit?
Many professional and elite athletes are participating in the CrossFit Program. Prize- fighters, cyclists, surfers, skiers, tennis players, triathletes and others competing at the highest levels are using the CrossFit approach to advance their core strength and conditioning, but that’s not all. CrossFit has tested its methods on the sedentary, overweight, pathological, and elderly and found that these special populations met the same success as our stable of athletes. We call this “bracketing”. If our program works for Olympic Skiers and overweight, sedentary homemakers then it will work for you.
Your current regimen If your current routine looks somewhat like what we’ve described as typical of the fitness magazines and gyms don’t despair. Any exercise is better than none, and you’ve not wasted your time. In fact, the aerobic exercise that you’ve been doing is an essential foundation to fitness and the isolation movements have given you some degree of strength. You are in good company; we have found that some of the world’s best athletes were sorely lacking in their core strength and conditioning. It’s hard to believe but many elite athletes have achieved international success and are still far from their potential because they have not had the benefit of state-of-the-art coaching methods
Just what is a “core strength and conditioning” program?
CrossFit is a core strength and conditioning program in two distinct senses. First, we are a core strength and conditioning program in the sense that the fitness we develop is foundational to all other athletic needs. This is the same sense in which the university courses required of a particular major are called the “core curriculum”. This is the stuff that everyone needs. Second, we are a “core” strength and conditioning program in the literal sense meaning the center of something. Much of our work focuses on the major functional axis of the human body, the extension and flexion, of the hips and extension, flexion, and rotation of the torso or trunk. The primacy of core strength and conditioning in this sense is supported by the simple observation that powerful hip extension alone is necessary and nearly sufficient for elite athletic performance. That is, our experience has been that no one without the capacity for powerful hip extension enjoys great athletic prowess and nearly everyone we’ve met with that capacity was a great athlete. Running, jumping, punching and throwing all originate at the core. At CrossFit we endeavor to develop our athletes from the inside out, from core to extremity, which is by the way how good functional movements recruit muscle, from the core to the extremities.
Can I enjoy optimal health without being an athlete?
No! Athletes experience a protection from the ravages of aging and disease that non-athletes never find. For instance, 80-year-old athletes are stronger than non-athletes in their prime at 25 years old. If you think that strength isn’t important consider that strength loss is what puts people in nursing homes. Athletes have greater bone density, stronger immune systems, less coronary heart disease, reduced cancer risk, fewer strokes, and less depression than non-athletes
What is an athlete? According to Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, an athlete is “a person who is trained or skilled in exercises, sports, or games requiring strength, agility, or stamina”. The CrossFit definition of an athlete is a bit tighter. The CrossFit definition of an athlete is “a person who is trained or skilled in strength, power, balance and agility, flexibility, and endurance”. The CrossFit model holds “fitness”, “health”, and “athleticism” as strongly overlapping constructs. For most purposes they can be seen as equivalents.
What if I don’t want to be an athlete;
I just want to be healthy?
You’re in luck. We hear this often, but the truth is that fitness, wellness, and pathology (sickness) are measures of the same entity, your health. There are a multitude of measurable parameters that can be ordered from sick (pathological) to well (normal) to fit (better than normal). These include but are not limited to blood pressure, cholesterol, heart rate, body fat, muscle mass, flexibility, and strength. It seems as though all of the body functions that can go awry have states that are pathological, normal, and exceptional and that elite athletes typically show these parameters in the exceptional range. The CrossFit view is that fitness and health are the same thing. It is also interesting to notice that the health professional maintains your health with drugs and surgery each with potentially undesirable side effect whereas the CrossFit Coach typically achieves a superior result always with “side benefit” vs. side effect.
What is the CrossFit method?
The CrossFit method is to establish a hierarchy of effort and concern that builds as follows:
Diet- lays the molecular foundations for fitness and health.
Metabolic Conditioning- builds capacity in each of three metabolic pathways, beginning with aerobic, then lactic acid, and then phosphocreatine pathways.
Gymnastics- establishes functional capacity for body control and range of motion.
Weightlifting and throwing- develop ability to control external objects and produce power.
Sport- applies fitness in competitive atmosphere with more randomized movements and skill mastery.
Examples of CrossFit exercises
Biking, running, swimming, and rowing in an endless variety of drills. The clean&jerk, snatch, squat, deadlift, push-press, bench-press, and power-clean. Jumping, medicine ball throws and catches, pull-ups, dips, push-ups, handstands, presses to handstand, pirouettes, kips, cartwheels, muscle-ups, sit-ups, scales, and holds. We make regular use of bikes, the track, rowing shells and ergometers, Olympic weight sets, rings, parallel bars, free exercise mat, horizontal bar, plyometrics boxes, medicine balls, and jump rope. There isn’t a strength and conditioning program anywhere that works with a greater diversity of tools, modalities, and drills.
What if I don’t have time for all of this?
It is a common sentiment to feel that because of the obligations of career and family that you don’t have the time to become as fit as you might like. Here’s the good news: world class, age group strength and conditioning is obtainable through an hour a day six days per week of training. It turns out that the intensity of training that optimizes physical conditioning is not sustainable past forty-five minutes to an hour. Athletes that train for hours a day are developing skill or training for sports that include adaptations inconsistent with elite strength and conditioning. Past one hour, more is not better!
There is a near universal misconception that long distance athletes are fitter that their short distance counterparts. The triathlete, cyclist, and marathoner are often regarded as among the fittest athletes on earth. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The endurance athlete has trained long past any cardiovascular health benefit and has lost ground in strength, speed, and power, typically does nothing for coordination, agility, balance, and accuracy and possesses little more than average flexibility. This is hardly the stuff of elite athleticism. The CrossFit athlete, remember, has trained and practiced for optimal physical competence in all ten physical skills (cardiovascular/respiratory endurance, stamina, flexibility, strength, power, speed, coordination, agility, balance, and accuracy). The excessive aerobic volume of the endurance athlete’s training has cost him in speed, power, and strength to the point where his athletic competency has been compromised. No triathlete is in ideal shape to wrestle, box, pole-vault, sprint, play any ball sport, fight fires, or do police work. Each of these requires a fitness level far beyond the needs of the endurance athlete. None of this suggests that being a marathoner, triathlete or other endurance athlete is a bad thing; just don’t believe that training as a long distance athlete gives you the fitness that is prerequisite to many sports. CrossFit considers the Sumo Wrestler, triathlete, marathoner, and power lifter to be “fringe athletes” in that their fitness demands are so specialized as to be inconsistent with the adaptations that give maximum competency at all physical challenges. Elite strength and conditioning is a compromise between each of the ten physical adaptations. Endurance athletes do not balance that compromise.
Aerobics and Anaerobics
There are three main energy systems that fuel all human activity. Almost all changes that occur in the body due to exercise are related to the demands placed on these energy systems. Furthermore, the efficacy of any given fitness regimen may largely be tied to its ability to elicit an adequate stimulus for change within these three energy systems. Energy is derived aerobically when oxygen is utilized to metabolize substrates derived from food and liberates energy. An activity is termed aerobic when the majority of energy needed is derived aerobically. These activities are usually greater than ninety seconds in duration and involve low to moderate power output or intensity. Examples of aerobic activity include running on the treadmill for twenty minutes, swimming a mile, and watching TV. Energy is derived anaerobically when energy is liberated from substrates in the absence of oxygen. Activities are considered anaerobic when the majority of the energy needed is derived anaerobically. These activities are of less than two minutes in duration and involve moderate to high power output or intensity. There are two such anaerobic systems, the phosphagen system and the lactic acid system. Examples of anaerobic activity include running a 100- meter sprint, squatting, and doing pull-ups. Our main purpose here is to discuss how anaerobic and aerobic training support performance variables like strength, power, speed, and endurance. We also support the contention that total conditioning and optimal health necessitates training each of the physiological systems in a systematic fashion. It warrants mention that in any activity all three energy systems are utilized though one may dominate. The interplay of these systems can be complex, yet a simple examination of the characteristics of aerobic vs. anaerobic training can prove useful. Aerobic training benefits cardiovascular function and decreases body fat. This is certainly of significant benefit. Aerobic conditioning allows us to engage in moderate/low power output for extended period of time. This is valuable for many sports. Athletes engaging in excessive aerobic training witness decreases in muscle mass, strength, speed, and power. It is not uncommon to find marathoners with a vertical leap of several inches and a bench press well below average for most athletes. Aerobic activity has a pronounced tendency to decrease anaerobic capacity.
This does not bode well for athletes or the individual interested in total conditioning or optimal health. Anaerobic activity also benefits cardiovascular function and decreases body fat. Anaerobic activity is unique in its capacity to dramatically improve power, speed, strength, and muscle mass. Anaerobic conditioning allows us to exert tremendous forces over a very brief time. Perhaps the aspect of anaerobic conditioning that bears greatest consideration is that anaerobic conditioning will not adversely affect aerobic capacity! In fact, properly structured, anaerobic activity can be used to develop a very high level of aerobic fitness without the muscle wasting consistent with high volume aerobic exercise! Basketball, football, gymnastics, boxing, track and field events under one mile, soccer, swimming events under 400 yards, volleyball, wrestling, and weightlifting are all sports that require the majority of training time spent in anaerobic activity. Long distance and ultra-endurance running, cross-country skiing, and 1500+ yard swimming are all sports that require aerobic training at levels that produce results unacceptable to other athletes or individuals concerned with total conditioning or optimal health. The CrossFit approach is to judiciously balance anaerobic and aerobic exercise in a manner that is consistent with the athlete’s goals. Our exercise prescriptions adhere to proper specificity, progression, variation, and recovery to optimize adaptations.