CrossFit is both a philosophy and a gym series. As of 2012, there are over 3,400 gyms all over the world that practice the CrossFit methodology. Many experts see CrossFit as one of the best methods for developing a lean, toned and muscular body.
So what is CrossFit? Who is it for? How is it different than a typical gym or workout?
The Basic Idea
The basic idea is “cross-fitness training,” hence the name. The idea is that instead of specializing, someone who is truly fit should be able to do everything with their body.
You shouldn’t just be a good runner, or just be a good biker. The best way to train a body isn’t to do just one kind of exercise repeatedly. Instead, it’s to constantly test and push the body in different ways.
CrossFit utilizes all kinds of different workout programs, from cardio to weightlifting to rowing to skiing to mountain biking to combat sparring.
The exercises are not catered to different groups of people. If you’re 50 lbs overweight and haven’t exercised in the last decade, you’d still be doing the same exercises as someone who just got out of the Marines last week.
The difference is only in intensity. You’d use fewer weights, fewer reps or lower intensity exercises, rather than different exercises.
Keep the Muscles Guessing
One of the biggest problems with standard workout routines is that they allow muscles to get used to a specific movement.
If you’re always doing bench presses and dumb bell exercises, your body will get used to doing those exercises. They’ll require less force to do the same movements, which reduces your gains.
Instead, the best way to work out a muscle group is to use different exercises to work out that group. That keeps the muscle guessing and forces it to fully utilize itself in every workout.
Can You Do CrossFit Training without Going to a Gym?
Absolutely. Though the CrossFit gyms have sprung up all over the world geared specifically towards tackling this kind of exercise approach, the reality is that these gyms are very expensive. In the San Francisco area for example, a CrossFit gym would run you about $140 a month, compared to the local 24 Hour Fitness which would only run you about $45 a month.
The idea is to work out your body to the max using different exercises. If you want to piece together your own cross-fitness routines, just research a variety of exercises and perform them yourself or with workout buddies.
Cross-fitness training is one of the best ways to get in shape, because of how it pushes your body and the diversity of the exercises. It’s fun and rewarding at the same time, whether you choose to use a CrossFit gym or do it in your own home.