People nowadays are getting more conscious about their health that a variety of fitness trends and wellness regimen have emerged. From Zumba, to Pilates, to Yoga, to Diving, to Fun Runs, people find a variety of options to make their personal interest fit into their preferred fitness activities.
If you’re a fitness junkie, you might have also heard about CrossFit training, which is gaining popularity these days. CrossFit is usually composed of varied, challenging movements that target the different muscles of the body. It is described as “the sport of fitness”, and aims to improve the cardiovascular health and physical well-being of people of all shapes and sizes.
How Does CrossFit Work?
CrossFit combines the elements of cardiovascular exercise, weight training, strength training, gymnastics, core exercises, and more. It is generally a program that offers a full-body workout. This high-intensity exercise regimen is extremely varied and you will unlikely do the same routine twice in a week. Typically, each workout lasts for 45 to 60 minutes.
The typical CrossFit routine is composed of four parts:
1. Warm Up
A CrossFit training’s dynamic warmup is usually between 12 to 15 minutes. It consists of several movements that get your blood pumping. It typically consists of cardiovascular, strengthening, and stretching exercises such as jumping jacks, jumping rope, planks, squats, and lunges. They help prepare the body and warm the muscles for the upcoming intense training, as well as help prevent injury.
2. Skill/Strength Training
During “strength” days, you will work more on a pure strength training, such as squats and deadlifts. And if it’s a “skills” day, you will work to enhance or build a skill, like one-legged squats and muscle ups.
3. Workout of the Day (WOD)
The CrossFit WOD is the main course of the routine. CrossFit coaches may either create their own workout of the day (WOD) or follow the WOD from the CrossFit’s official website.
The WOD routine is then performed by the CrossFitter as many rounds as possible within the allotted time, typically 15 to 20 minutes. CrossFit’s philosophy believes that the more intense the workout done in a shorter period of time, the more effective it will be.
4. Cool Down
The cool down and stretching time is very important because it allows the heart rate to drop to normal and the blood to flow normally while the body returns to its resting phase. It also helps the muscles to stretch and cool down to promote flexibility and avoid injury in future workouts.
How Dangerous Can CrossFit Be?
CrossFit can be dangerous for a few reasons – from the wrong coaches to the wrong attitude of the person working out, to being in the wrong situation. Most of the time, it is easy to substitute the right body alignment and form for wanting to complete as many repetitions as possible. This misalignment of the body may cause serious injury.
Generally, people who do CrossFit are those with the go-get-it mindset. They are those people willing to push so hard and compete with others or themselves that they are no longer aware of the harm it may cause them. Due to the motivating atmosphere, nature of competition, and people’s desire to meet their goals quickly, many CrossFitters often push themselves too hard and too far well beyond their limits.
In addition, there are some CrossFitters who are always in a hurry and want to bypass some important practices (e.g. warmups and cool-downs) just to get their workout done. Not warming up properly and skipping the necessary stretching during cool-down phase may get your body into trouble later on.
Preventing Danger in CrossFit Training
The issues that cause danger are more connected to the individual behaviors of people doing CrossFit rather than the CrossFit regimen itself. However, the nature of CrossFit’s atmosphere plays an important role in attracting CrossFitters to behave dangerously during workout.
As a trainee, it is important to always listen to your own body and not get carried away with the competitive or motivating environment. It is also important to be mindful of your body form, and listen to your coaches seriously. Warm ups and Cool downs must not be skipped as they are very important in the process.
Wearing the proper gear is equally essential for a safe and comfortable CrossFit training. It is best to take pre-workout supplements before your training, to give your body the nutrients and energy it needs. Taking nutritional supplements will also help you get the most benefits of your workout.
The Right Mindset
It takes a lot of focus and discipline to be successful in any kind of fitness program. The key to every workout regimen is consistency. You have to get up, dress up (appropriately, of course!), and show up according to schedule. Discipline promotes consistency. And focus will help pave the way towards your goal.
However, there is another factor that you have to remember and incorporate in your attitude always – that is respect for your body. You have to respect your body enough to know your limits. Going too hard on yourself or too far beyond may cause you harm or serious injury. And this forfeits your intention of getting fit and healthy in the first place.