What Is CrossFit ?
The literal definition of CrossFit is a branded fitness regimen founded by Greg Glassman in 2000, but CrossFit can be defined as much more than that. What differentiates CrossFit from general fitness, is that it has its own definition of what fitness is. There are three different standards/models that define the CrossFit view of fitness. Each model is critical to an athlete’s overall fitness and each has a distinct utility.
The first CrossFit standard is to improve in 10 general physical skills. These skills are cardiovascular/respiratory endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, speed, coordination, agility, balance, and accuracy. Improving your fitness is a combination of improving these 10 skills.
The second CrossFit standard is to have the ability to perform well at any given task imaginable. Facing challenges and being able to overcome them is a key measure of your fitness.
The third standard is to have competency in the body’s three metabolic pathways. These pathways are what provides the energy for human action. The phosphagen pathway (high-powered, less than 10 sec), the glycolytic pathway (moderate-powered, up to several minutes) and the oxidative pathway (low-powered, excess of several minutes). Having competency in all three levels of stamina and strength are key to your overall fitness.
These three standards add up to ensure the broadest and most general fitness possible. The first focusing on physical adaptations, the second is your breadth and depth of performance, and the third is the measure of time, power, and energy systems. Not specializing in any one aspect of fitness is what CrossFit is all about.
To read more about how CrossFit is defined, click here.
When starting CrossFit you’ll probably have an end goal in mind. Either losing weight, gaining muscle or stamina or just becoming more fit in general. No matter what it is, doing Crossfit alone won’t allow you to achieve those goals without the right diet to go along with it. Having the fuel to power your workouts as well as recover from them is vastly important.
If your goal in CrossFit is to lose weight you should focus on a lower level of carbohydrates with your diet. The reason for this is that carbohydrates are more likely to be stored as fat than burnt of as fuel. Keep in mind that carbs are still very necessary if you expect to perform CrossFit at a high level, just watch your intake level.
Now say your main goal is to gain muscle and strength. Having your nutrition and diet dialed in is a hugely important part of gaining muscle. In this case, decreasing your fat intake and replacing it with high carbohydrates and proteins is necessary. Having a really low fat intake is bad for your health so you should definitely not completely omit fats from your diet.
Overall, CrossFit goes hand in hand with nutrition. You can’t push yourself to your limits without fueling your body in the best way possible. CrossFit is all about achieving goals and without being fully committed inside and outside of the gym, you shouldn’t expect to see the goals come to fruition.
Tips For Beginners
If you’re just beginning your fitness journey, you will need to know a few basic tips to start yourself off on the right foot. Here are a couple of pieces of advice that can really help you achieve your goals from an early stage.
Learn the techniques first - Don’t jump the gun and start adding weights right off the bat. Form good habits and get your technique down at a lower weight before you start piling on plates. You want to avoid forming bad habits which will be difficult to change later on.
Be patient - As a beginner, results will come fairly quickly and you will start to notice a difference in the first month or two. However, with a year's worth of consistent training, it is amazing what you can achieve. So, make sure to stay motivated and committed to improving every single day!
Sometimes it sucks - If you’re new to fitness and working out, you’ll have days that you regret. You’ll be crazy sore and fatigued for multiple days. It will suck at the time but it will actually improve your physical and mental toughness. You’ll actually end up starting to enjoy pushing your body to its limits.
You get what you give - if you want to see a real change in your fitness, you have to work for it. Plain and simple. If you notice that you aren’t improving, be realistic with yourself and think about why.
Don’t take it too seriously - The most important thing about fitness and training is that you are supposed to enjoy it. Don’t beat yourself up about having a bad day. Just accept it and try to get better. It’s supposed to make you happy so let it.
To read about some more fitness tips for beginners click here.
CrossFit Gym Helps 59-Year-Old Lose 39 Ibs
Matt Henry from Houston, TX started CrossFit when he was 59 years old. He says CrossFit intimidated him and feared injury because of his age. Still, Henry gave it a go and ended up committing 4-5 days a week and lost 34 pounds between July 2019 and January 2020.
The manager of the gyms says, "You see people losing weight and toning up, but really you see people's confidences change. You get people from all different backgrounds and stories to come in. They might have had a really bad day, but they get into the gym and they're laughing and working out." This goes to show that it doesn’t matter who you are or what your intentions are. You can achieve your goals as long as you are focused and committed which is what CrossFit is all about. Positive and Motivating stories come up like this all the time and are a great source of inspiration for beginner Crossfitters.
To read more about Matt Henry’s story click here.