Despite running our affiliate for over 6 years, I would still say that the majority of people I meet have no understanding of what CrossFit is all about and how it would benefit them. They see visions of our gym members on social media doing all sorts of highly skilled gymnastics and heavy weight lifting and, more often than not, believe this is a fitness regime for the super fit.
What is not widely understood (and shame on us for not showing enough progressional footage of our members or sharing enough testimonials) is that anyone and everyone can undertake CrossFit at any age and ability level and in doing so it can have enormous physical and mental health benefits.
So What is CrossFit?
CrossFit is a strength and conditioning program, which improves everyday functionality for your body and mind. From complete beginners to fitness to elite level performance athletes CrossFit can be used to accomplish any goal and generally prepare you for any physical endeavour.
Sessions involve constantly varied workouts that test human capability across ten recognised general physical skills through a variety of gymnastic, weightlifting and endurance based movements.
The ten physical skills are strength, stamina, accuracy, flexibility, coordination, respiratory endurance, speed, power, agility and balance.
But I’m not a gymnast, weightlifter or endurance athlete?
Actually you are!…. In everyday life you will be functionally moving your body weight around. Lunging down to pick things up from the floor, sitting down, standing up and sitting up out of bed which are all examples of body weight movements classified as gymnastics.
You will also be carrying loads from place to place such as shopping, having to lift children or animals, moving objects around your home. These are examples of weight lifting movements.
And hopefully you will be moving in a way that you heart rate will need to get slightly elevated. For example running for a bus, walking briskly to the shops or climbing stairs. These are all examples of endurance based movements.
So in actual fact you are already a beginner CrossFit athlete just by moving in your everyday life. Welcome to the Club! Now the trick is to try and improve on how efficiently and effectively you operate in your day to day life by improving upon those skills you already possess.
Sitting is more dangerous than smoking, kills more people than HIV and is more treacherous than parachuting. We are sitting ourselves to death. ~ ergonomictrends.com
Sedentary lifestyles and The Obesity Epidemic
Advances in technology mean jobs are now typically sedentary and day to day activity levels have dropped considerably. Where access to food was once regulated by the need to move, a separate and specific focus on moving and eating appropriately is now required.
Unfortunately, I have seen first hand the severe effects of a total sedentary lifestyle. As I sit writing this a very close relative of mine is currently in hospital being treated for the majority of the illnesses above and more following many years of lacking the motivation to move. I have seen the depletion of a fit individual to a well individual to a now chronically sick person.
According to the National Statistics 2019 Publication on Obesity, Physical Activity and Diet in England, there were 711 thousand hospital admissions in 2017/18 where obesity was recorded as the primary or secondary diagnosis. An increase of 15% on the year before.
Obesity levels across the World are at an all-time high along with all other linked illnesses such as diabetes, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, lipid disorders, depression and anxiety.
How CrossFit helps combat chronic illness
CrossFit provides people with non-medical health care that works. Regular training and good nutrition allow people to avoid chronic disease and live longer, fuller lives.
Medicine has no answer but you do. ~ Gregg Glassman, CrossFit Founder - Chronic Disease - We have the answer.
The CrossFit methodology delivers fitness that is, by design, broad general and inclusive. Workouts will test a different part of your functional strength or conditioning, not specialising in one particular thing, but rather with the goal of building a body that’s capable of practically anything and everything.
CrossFit offers people a way to see quantifiable results, and leads people to make behaviour changes that transform their bodies and minds.
The program is designed for universal scalability, making it the perfect application for any committed individual regardless of experience. We use the same workouts for elderly individuals as we do for our elite level athletes. We just scale load and intensity but do not change the workout program stimulus.
How do I start CrossFit?
So if you want to start CrossFit but are a bit nervous or feel daunted to start have the knowledge that you are already doing it to some degree in everyday life.
The best option to now move forward in getting stronger, more efficient and ultimately healthier is to join a CrossFit gymnasium and learn all the foundational movements. We run our CrossFit fundamentals once a month and other CrossFit gyms will have similar set ups.
We appreciate that not everyone can commit to joining a gym for various reasons so, if this is you, the next best option is to do the workouts at home. If you are interested in learning how then join our “outside the box” programme and we will send you further information or alternatively email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for reading!