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Health & Wellness

What Is CrossFit?

February 28, 2014

Whether you've recently have started a workout program or you've been working out for years, then I am sure you have heard of CrossFit. Over the last few years it has been all over the Internet and gyms that specialize in it have been popping up everywhere. So, what is CrossFit?

CrossFit, Inc. is a fitness company founded in 2000. Its main philosophy is that a workout regimen of constantly varied, functional movements performed at high intensity, in a communal environment leads to health and fitness. A typical workout consists of three to four exercises performed back to back as fast as you can for three cycles. An example from the CrossFit website would be: 21 power cleans, 27 burpees, and 27 sit-ups for three cycles as fast as you can (crossfit.com).

These types of workouts have become very popular over the last few years.  I believe that the biggest reasons for the increase in popularity of CrossFit workouts are that they are short workouts and they get results.  The high intensity of these workouts burn a high number of calories and most of the time they last less than 30 minutes.  Also, these workouts use complex lifts that most people are not used to, and these unusual exercises provide a high training effect.

But, CrossFit workouts are not for everyone. The high intensity of these workouts may be too extreme for someone just starting a workout program. Also, some of the lifts, like the power cleans, are complex and the technique used to execute them, takes a long time to master. So, with the high intensity and complex lifts the possibility of injury for a novice lifter is high. If you would like to start a CrossFit style workout program see a Body Shop employee and ask for help. They will be able to alter the intensity of the workout to a level suitable for you and demonstrate exercises that will challenge you and reduce the possibility of injury.

By Jordon Macht, MS, CSCS

This article was published in Healthy You, the monthly online newsletter from UK Health & Wellness.