By Pure Matters
If you’ve ever found yourself gritting your teeth and frantically counting down the seconds left in a “WOD,” then you’re surely familiar with the Crossfit workout experience, but for the uninitiated group of readers just itching to bust out as many kipping pull-ups as humanly possible, here’s a breakdown of what to expect at a “box” near you.
Crossfit is an intense style of workout similar to boot camp, that blends cardio, weight lifting and body weight exercises like pull-ups, core work, planks and lunges to help strengthen and condition your body to the max. Sounds hard, but make no mistake, it can be addictive. Workouts change daily and the program is built around competitive progression -- learning more moves and beating your previous results each day.
To take part, just show up to a Crossfit gym, or “box” as they call it, and join others for the workout of the day (WOD), a planned set of timed exercises you’ll do as you try to beat the clock for more reps. One day it might be thousand meter rows, 50 wall-ball throws (throwing a weighted ball up against a wall and catching it), 50 “burpees” (everyone’s favorite exercise, I’m sure) and AMRAP (as many repetitions as possible) air squats -- all done within 5 minutes, for 3 sets. By the time you’re finished you can bet you’ll be dripping with sweat and strangely filled with a desire to go again tomorrow.
It’s an atmosphere equally fulfilling for newbies and pros alike given the major allowance of modification. Using various increments of weights, bands to assist in kipping pull-ups and different size boxes for box jumps allow people to adjust to their personal abilities, regardless of what everyone else around them is doing. Progression with your workouts means building strength and endurance to change your props, bump up weights in dead lifts, and toss that band you once relied on for pull-ups -- all the reason you need to keep going back as you see yourself get better.
The typical Crossfit gym isn’t flashy -- think more warehouse, less designer gym. You may see bare white walls with pull-up bars, a white board with illegible scribbles, rowing machines, a few wooden boxes, some bars and stackable weights. It ain’t pretty, but trust me, the only thing you’ll notice is the loud music playing while you eek out your reps of 25 pound kettle bell swings.
In recent years Crossfit has exploded in popularity around the world with brands like Reebok designing entire product lines and programs around it, the organization of national and world competitions, and its own language of acronyms (as seen peppered in throughout this post). The culture surrounding the Crossfit community is one of encouragement and healthy competition and in this blogger’s opinion, rounds out what is an already incredible fitness experience.