Is CrossFit right for you. In the past few years, hard hitting, high energy workouts like CrossFit have been gaining in popularity. It’s no wonder really, since they can be a great compliment to those with A+ personalities who are looking for an intense workout and complete body transformation. If done correctly and consistently, they provide great results and they can be a fantastic challenge for anyone who is looking for something more. Since the results can be dramatic and awe inspiring, it’s very easy to get caught up in the hype of these fast pace, total body workout classes.
IS CROSSFIT RIGHT FOR YOU
What is it all about. “Promoted as both a physical exercise philosophy and also as a competitive fitness sport, CrossFit workouts incorporate elements from high-intensity interval training, Olympic weightlifting, plyometrics, powerlifting, gymnastics, girevoy sport, calisthenics, strongman and other exercises.” -Wikipedia. So as you see, this is a hardcore workout that’s geared at making you fit. It is also a workout geared to pushing yourself to the limit, every single time, which can significantly increase your chances of injury.
Who should or shouldn’t try it. As CrossFit instructors like to say, anyone can do this workout because scalability to individual ability is a core component of the workout. While I’m a firm believer that everyone should try new things and step outside of their comfort zones, I also believe that you should be prepared for what you are getting into. Sure, there are some superheroes among us, but for most people, jumping off a couch to run a marathon is just not realistic. Let’s be honest. Especially if you are a beginner, it’s much harder to injure yourself doing weights at the gym or riding your bike. High speed of movements, combined with heavy weights and training till exhaustion is a great recipe for injury. Also, if you are training for a specific sport, then that’s what you need to focus on because CrossFit is for generalists and not specialists. If you are one of those people who prefers working out alone, then the very strong CrossFit community component may not be right for you either. That being said, if you are looking for camaraderie, teamwork and competition, then you are probably in the right place.
How to get started? Of course, some gyms are better than others and not all instructors are created equal. Before trying out a CrossFit class, make sure that the instructor is certified and experienced. It is the instructor’s job to help you maintain form, modify exercises and keep everyone safe. Keep in mind, however, that you know your body and how far it can go. There’s a fine line between pushing yourself (which is good and even something you should do) and getting to the point of injury. Speak up and let your instructor know if something isn’t feeling right, so they can give you modifications. As with every workout, form is everything and shouldn’t be sacrificed for speed or weight. You increase your chance of injury when you get sloppy.
So if you think that this is a workout you’d like to try, I say go for it. Like with everything else, you have to go in with your eyes wide open and speak up if you have any questions or concerns. I would also say that it’s a good idea to go to a few different gyms because each one will have it’s own strengths and weaknesses. Most gyms offer free introductory classes, which gives you a chance to decide if a particular gym feels right for you. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, working out should be fun!
Have you ever taken or are you thinking about taking a CrossFit class?