With the annual CrossFit Games taking place next week, it’s time to put the spotlight back on the workout that is like no other. For those that don’t know, CrossFit is a type of exercise where you continuously perform varied functional movements at high intensity. It’s not just about improving your health, but it’s also a way of testing your strength and bettering that strength over time. So, if you love to lift and are looking for a new challenge that’s really going to put your mind and body to the test – CrossFit’s your game. But what do you need to know before getting stuck in?
Ever heard someone say ‘WOD’ or ‘box’? These are just two of the terms that crop up a lot, ‘WOD’ meaning ‘workout of the day’ and ‘box’ meaning the arena that you’re performing CrossFit in, like a gym. On the other hand you have word such as ‘AMRAP’ which means ‘as many reps/round as possible’ – and ‘C&J’, otherwise known as ‘clean and jerk’ (weight is raised above the head following an initial lift to shoulder level), ‘DL’ for ‘deadlift’ (lift made from a standing position without the use of a bench or other equipment), and ‘DU’s’ meaning ‘double unders’ (two passes per rope jump instead of one), which are three popular exercises used in CrossFit.
So what exactly do CrossFitters do? Well their workouts – or ‘WODs’ as we should say – vary each time, but typically they comprise the likes of sprinting, squatting, box jumps, pull ups, wallballs, burpees, double unders, deadlifts and clean and jerks. The list really could go on forever. When it comes to CrossFit equipment, Olympic bars paired with Olympic weight plates, along with battle ropes, dumbbells and kettlebells, medicine and slam balls, plyo boxes, power bags, skipping ropes, and rigs, are all top choices. Last but not least, cardio. The Schwinn AD8 Air Cycle is a top contender for many – and these machines have also featured in the Games themselves! Don’t forget about preparation and recovery, too. That will be a priority.
CrossFit is huge, and is becoming bigger by the day. You’ll find a number of CrossFit WODs dotted around, but on the bigger scale, you have the competitions which in turn lead to the CrossFit Games. Not everyone has to compete, it’s totally optional as it is with any other sport, but often CrossFitters find they want to give competing a shot as the sport itself is so progressive and addictive. There’s always room for improvement, so if you enjoy your CrossFit, why not see how far you can take it? The best thing about the community is the support. Having such a large ‘family’ to talk to, relate to, and seek advice from will help you along the way.
The CrossFit Games – what are they? Held every summer in the US, the CrossFit Games are the final event to end months of competitions that take place in the form of the Open and Regionals. The winner of the Games? That lucky (and exhausted) person will then be known as the ‘Fittest on Earth™’ – until the next year’s winner takes their place (if they can beat you, that is). No one can explain the Games better than the CrossFit creators themselves, and as they say: “The CrossFit Games are world-renowned as a gruelling test for the toughest athletes on Earth as well, as a thrilling experience for spectators. Since its inception in 2007, the CrossFit Games have become one of the fastest growing sports in America, according to Forbes”. Fancy giving CrossFit a go? Be sure to check out our interview with a local CrossFitter to get the low down on the sport. Even if CrossFit isn’t quite your cup of tea to get involved in, be sure to give the Games a watch to see just what these people are made of. It’s truly impressive. You can find out more about the CrossFit Games on their website.