If you haven’t heard of CrossFit, there’s a good chance that you’ve been hiding under a rock for the past few years.
Whether it’s a freestanding CrossFit gym (or box) or a CrossFit affiliate, the workout system seems to be everywhere. There are over 300 CrossFit affiliates in the greater Los Angeles area alone!
But with all the hype, new workouts like CrossFit can seem intimidating, especially if you’ve never been before. You might be asking yourself: Is it right for me?
What to Expect from CrossFit
One of the broad appeals of CrossFit is the broad approach to working out that sits at the heart of the system.
The overall goal of CrossFit is general physical preparedness. There is not one specific area of the body targeted in the system, but rather 10 key physical qualities. These are: cardiovascular/respiratory endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, speed, coordination, agility, balance, and accuracy.
According to crossfit.com, the “aim of CrossFit is to forge a broad, general and inclusive fitness supported by measurable, observable and repeatable results. The program prepares trainees for any physical contingency—not only for the unknown but for the unknowable, too. Our specialty is not specializing.”
With such a broad scope, CrossFit has gained a lot of traction with amateurs and professional athletes alike. In fact, one of the most appealing aspects of the system to many is its wide, inclusive approach to meet people where they are. Persons of any age and ability can participate in CrossFit exercises.
There’s a universal aspect to CrossFit as well. Whether you’re in California, Australia, or Dubai, the whole network of CrossFit gyms and affiliates have access to the same Workouts of the Day (or WODs). Posted online daily, these exercises can be performed in CrossFit boxes or affiliate gyms with others, or individually at home. This sense of community–that thousands of people around the world doing the same exercises–is viewed by some as a great appeal of CrossFit.
However, there is an obvious difference in skill and expectation that a beginner ought to have versus someone who is in peak physical shape. The WODs are typically meant to be physically taxing for even professional athletes or those in peak shape.
For beginners, it’s best to work with a professional to modify the workouts to suit specific skill levels and needs. As always, if you’re interested in participating you should consult your doctor before trying any new exercise program.
Some Exercises You’ll Find In CrossFit
You’ve likely already come across a lot of the exercises you’ll find in CrossFit system. Among the most common and beginner-friendly exercises are: pushups, pullups, squats, sit-ups, and lunges.
Many exercises–such as kettle ball swings and deadlifts–are easily recognizable, but unless you’ve done them in a previous workout class, it’s possible you’ve never tried them on your own in a gym.
A Brief History of CrossFit
CrossFit is easily one of the most rapidly expanding workout systems in the world. If it seems to you that it came out of nowhere, that’s just testament to how swift its expansion was.
It was officially started in 2000 by Greg Glassman and Lauren Jenai. The original gym was in Santa Cruz, California. By 2005 there were 13 affiliate gyms. Currently more than 13,000 affiliates worldwide.
Where Can You Try CrossFit?
For those interested in trying at home, there are tips and demos on the official CrossFit website. However, the best way to get involved with CrossFit is to go to an affiliated gym and do the workouts under supervision there. Here are just a couple of our favorites in our area:
Crossfit Santa Monica’s mission is to Bring a new level of health and fitness to our members using functional exercise, a simple view on diet and a supportive fun community. We are the premier training facility blocks from the iconic Santa Monica muscle beach.
Located in south Redondo Beach, CrossFit 310 is dedicated to helping their clients improve their lives – not simply build a better body. They have intro classes, one on one sessions and a full class schedule to help anyone at any fitness level get started.
So, is CrossFit right for you? You won’t know unless you get out there and try it.