CrossFit, when mentioned in the fitness industry gets a lot of mixed responses. ‘Ooooh, it’s dangerous’ and ‘isn’t that just circuit training?’ are the most common I get, I guess it’s kind of like judging a book by its cover, and I s’pose that when all you have ever seen of CrossFit is from YouTube posts of people doing their 1RM of barbell snatch with some crazy weight on it, or looking like they are committing kamikaze by exercise with the ‘Fran’ workout then lying lifeless on the floor, you could be mistaken by thinking those things.
The things you don’t see in these video posts is the time spent at the box with their broomstick going over and over with technique, doing mobility drills and SMR to promote more effective movement before graduating to doing the exercise with a weight that is appropriate to their skill level and physique. They are actually quite anal when it comes to performing an exercise!
The other thing you don’t see in these video posts is the culture of CrossFit. People who do CrossFit feel like it was developed just for them. Are you the type of person who gets bored doing the same thing over and over in the gym? Always changing, now doing weights, now I want to run, now I want to do HANDSTANDS and BACKFLIPS! People who do CrossFit feel like they belong. I don’t know about you, but I have this amazing body that bends and twists and moves and can do all of these awesome things, I want to use it to its fullest capacity! And I’m guessing that if you are reading this article, then these possibilities aren’t foreign to you either? CrossFit uses your body to its fullest capacity, whether your capacity be using the roman rings and doing handstand push-ups or doing supported bench dips and pike push-ups as a downscale. That is your fullest capacity.
You see, CrossFit is all about function for the everyday athlete. Yes. I said Athlete, because CrossFit philosophy trains for no one specific thing, they are athletes of life, doing everything they can really well, not specializing at one thing. As I don’t know about you, but in my everyday life I have to do a lot of different things, run for the tram, jump over the river running down my street when it pouring rain or chasing kids around and being the ‘horsey’ for their amusement! I don’t know what better way to train for these things than doing CrossFit.
The focus for training covers 10 domains: cardio and respiratory endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, speed, coordination, agility, balance and accuracy.
Their theory is that the needs of you and the needs of an Olympic athlete differ by degree, not kind. You both need to be able to squat, though you may not need the same load as an Olympic athlete! The aim is to cover all of these domains in a way that is constantly varied using functional movement and a high intensity. Intensity depends on the person. Chuck this all together with making sure it is observable, measurable and repeatable so you know you are getting fitter, faster, more powerful and more dynamic!
Since taking on the CrossFit way of training and training others has not only improved my movement 100% but that of every one of my clients.
You see, I have a really crappy back, as do a lot of my clients. Going along to do my CrossFit lvl 1 course I was worried that due to my back pain I would not be able to participate fully in the program, not be granted my qualification and that I wouldn’t be able to use their fundamentals with my clients due to their back pain also.
After doing 2 days of continual movement – no weight, just broomsticks! I was remarkably better. Low and behold it was back squats done incorrectly years ago whilst in training to become a Personal Trainer that was the main trigger to my back problems getting to the state they were in. It was overhead squats, done with correct technique of course, that I believe were the biggest help in me being free of back pain!
You see, I was not flexible; I couldn’t even reach my arms straight overhead! It was CrossFit that taught me that you should train for the things you CANNOT do well instead of only doing the things you can do well.
By training in only the things I could do well only made my back worse. That included doing only partial back squats, excessive bench presses and a lot of running. These things only contributed to me becoming stiffer, have less range of motion through my shoulders and therefore amplifying my back pain. I could not perform an overhead squat for my life! So I made it my training to be able to perform one. That is what has loosened those evil muscles tugging on the wrong places and eased my pain.
So what is it you never do just because you are not good at it? Perhaps you should start trying?
So I say, get out there, don’t read a book by its cover, don’t even take other peoples word for it, read it and make your own decision on it. Do the preparation first, don’t just go out and grab a heavy weight and start throwing it around, create mobility, ensure correct technique, then enjoy smashing a solid workout everyday for the rest of your life!
Assassin Personal Training
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