CrossFit is a core-strength and conditioning program designed to work your body as it was intended – as a complete unit.
The workouts consist of large, functional and multi-joint movements such as pushing, pulling, squatting, lifting, throwing and jumping, which are performed at high intensity. The goal of crossfit is to create the quintessential athlete – equal part gymnast, weightlifter, sprinter, rower and 800m runner.
What is a CrossFit WOD?
CrossFit workouts are referred to as ‘Workout of the Day’ (or WOD) as every day is a different routine. The workouts are designed to keep your body guessing, and ensure you never get bored. Whether you want to lose fat, improve muscle tone, develop greater muscle mass, improve athletic performance or simply get healthy, CrossFit training will help achieve your goals.
After each workout, it is usual practice among participants to compare results by writing their results on the whiteboard (in the gym), posting it on the gym’s blog.
Short and Sweet
CrossFit WODs are relatively short but intense workouts, and typically last from 10 to 25 minutes.
Some exercises are set to a fixed time, and participants need to complete as many reps as possible within the prescribed time period.
In other cases, participants need to do a specific amount of reps and sets per exercise, with the goal of completing them in the shortest time possible.
Scale Exercises to Match Your Skills
CrossFit can seem quite intimidating for people who are new to it. Both the intensity of the workouts but also trying to understand the jargon and terms, and the various exercises. There’s a lot to learn.
One of the benefits of crossfit is that exercises can be scaled based on participants skills and fitness. Thousands of people worldwide follow the crossfit wods posted on crossfit.com or their local crossfit affiliate gym. Not everyone is an ‘athlete’. Many are at the beginning of their crossfit journey, having had no previous experience.
To scale the workouts, you either decrease the weight, or the number of sets or repetitions. For example, if 45lbs squat is too much for you, it could be reduced to 25lbs or even replaced with an unweighted PVC pipe. If you’re unable to run, then you could use the Concept 2 Rower instead.
In some cases, the actual exercises are substituted for something easier. For example, Ring Rows may be subbed for Pull-Ups.
The number of variations for CrossFit WODs are actually limitless.
Some workouts are focused on developing strength, while others focus on developing agility. And because the workouts are combinations of individual exercises, the possibilities are literally limitless.