Wednesday, September 25, 2013

What is CrossFit?

Within the last year or two, CrossFit gyms have been popping up everywhere. But what is this fitness craze that is rapidly gaining popularity? CrossFit defines itself as being "constantly varied, high-intensity, functional movement,” and their specialty is "not specializing."

I walked into my first CrossFit box a year ago ("box" is what we call a gym), and never looked back. I was intrigued by all of the videos I saw. For me, CrossFit was the transition I needed into the world of heavy lifting. Of course, like many, I was extremely intimidated at first. "I can't do this," I thought to myself as I looked at the workout: 21-15-9 reps of dips, box jumps and push press at 45 lbs. I got it all done in about seven-and-a-half minutes. In under 8 minutes, I got an amazing workout. That concept was revolutionary to me. How could one possibly get such a great, total body workout in such a short amount of time? It just didn't seem possible. Trust me, though, once you find yourself laying on the floor with your heart in your throat, you too will know that it is, in fact, possible.

The idea behind CrossFit is that you're never adapting; each day, the workout is different than the last. One day you could be climbing ropes, and the next day you might be doing front squats and rowing 750 meters. This constant change helps the athlete to expect the unexpected and become more well-rounded. Instead of going through the same, redundant 3 or 5 day split routine, you're always doing a different workout.

For me, CrossFit forced me to lift heavier weights, run faster, and push myself in ways I'd never imagined. From someone who was not an athlete in high school or college, I felt completely revitalized and invigorated. Each week, I pushed myself to new limits. Now, I am in the process of getting my CrossFit Level 1 certification and becoming a coach so that I can push my clients like my coaches have pushed me. I want to show people that, just as I have found in myself, the sky really is the limit. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be deadlifting 220 lbs or running half a mile in 3:20; I would have laughed in your face in high school if you had told me I'd be addicted to this lifestyle, yet here I am.

So many people say "CrossFit isn't for me--I'm not strong/fast enough!" I say, "yes you are." You are much stronger than you think! Whether you're a 65-year-old woman who has never lifted weights before or a 24-year-old elite basketball player, CrossFit is for you. Every workout can be modified and tailored to your needs or abilities. At my gym, CrossFit Annex (and most other CrossFit boxes), your first workout is free! The way I see it, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain by giving it a try.

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