Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Crossfit Training and Workout Program

by guest blogger Cyndi Laurenti

What is Crossfit?

It has been used by police and fire departments, gymnasts, and workout enthusiasts around the world, but Crossfit remains a mystery to many who casually work out day to day. To clarify, Crossfit is a combination workout bringing together elements from weight lifting, gymnastics, and more. The workout originated with Greg Glassman, the founder of the Crossfit movement, which evolved from his work in coaching and training police officers in the early nineties. It has developed a strong following and continues to be the preferred workout for many.

The Crossfit Workout

The Crossfit workout is scalable and can be adapted to beginning athletes or body building professionals. Even people looking for an escape from their day jobs or taking college classes online can benefit from the unique workout. A unique element of Crossfit is that the workout varies according to the Workout of the Day, or WOD. A WOD is posted each day on the Crossfit web site. Crossfit athletes also have the option of joining a local affiliate group and following the daily workouts there.

A typical WOD consists of a combination of exercises like squats, lifts, gymnastics and walking. Workouts are alternated with rest days. A typical Crossfit rotation may consist of three days of workouts followed by one day of rest.

The simple equipment required and strong internet community involvement has lent to the program’s popularity and ease of access. Even those who do not want to join a formal program can find sample workouts on popular video sharing web sites, as well as a multitude of blogs and forums dedicated to Crossfit.

Effectiveness of Crossfit

The effectiveness of Crossfit has become somewhat of a controversial debate. In an article found in Men’s Health, Grant Stoddard spoke of his own Crossfit experience, echoing problems that other critics have pointed out: poorly educated Crossfit trainers, unrealistic expectations, and Rhabdomyolysis, which occurs when muscles break down from overuse.

Despite its critics, the Crossfit program is still widely used by police and fire departments. Followers of Crossfit praise the program for its variety, scalability, and short workout times. The program is said to increase fitness in all levels of participants and enables them to complete a variety of physical tasks.

Compared to other workouts, Crossfit can be far less expensive and time consuming and has a large support group. It can be done alone, at a gym, or with a trainer. This kind of flexibility keeps many Crossfit participants hooked.

Is Crossfit for Everyone?

In the end, one must draw their own conclusions on Crossfit. While it has been criticized by some, its benefits are apparent. If your goal is to follow a long established program, embrace a variety of exercises, and work toward general fitness, Crossfit may be a good solution. Those looking for a more traditional routine, milder workouts, and measurable goals should probably look elsewhere.

While she figures out her next career move, Cyndi Laurenti works as an online writer and editor. Her primary interests are education, technology, and how to combine them. She enjoys the trees and beaches of the pacific northwest, and looking things up on other people's iPhones.

Photo credit: lulumon athletica

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