- Is Crossfit for me?
Absolutely! Your needs and the Olympic athlete’s differ by degree not kind. Increased power, strength, cardiovascular and respiratory endurance, flexibility, stamina, coordination, agility, balance, and coordination are each as important to the world’s best athletes as they are to the overweight, the sedentary, the sick, casual athletes, and even the elderly. The amazing truth is that the very same methods that elicit optimal response in the Olympic or professional athlete will optimize the same response in all these populations. Of course, we can’t load your grandmother with the same squatting weight that we’d assign an Olympic skier, but they both need to squat.
If the program works for Olympic Skiers and overweight, sedentary homemakers then it will work for you. (Courtesy of CrossFit Inc.)
- What can I expect during a Crossfit workout?
A dynamic warmup, followed by: Biking, running, and rowing. The clean & jerk, snatch, squat, deadlift, push-press, bench-press, and power-clean. Jumping, medicine ball throws and catches, pull-ups, dips, push-ups, handstands, presses to handstand, pirouettes, kips, cartwheels, muscle-ups, sit-ups, scales, and holds in an endless variety of drills. We make regular use of bikes, the track, rowing shells and ergometers, Olympic weight sets, rings, parallel bars, free exercise mat, horizontal bar, plyometrics boxes, medicine balls, and jump rope.
All of these placed into high intensity workouts in random combinations that typically last no longer than 25 minutes, and in some cases, may only last 10 minutes (not counting warm-up and instruction, of course).
- Will I/can I get big doing CrossFit?
Do you want to? Weight loss/gain depends solely on diet; the quality of the diet, training, training history, recovery (sleep, low stress, etc.), and genetics help determine what amount of that gain/loss is muscle or fat. If you don’t want to get big (eg. a woman), you must eat only at or slightly below your maintenance level of calories.
Now on the other hand, If you train the WODs hard, and eat right (and slightly above maintinence calories) and get lots of sleep, you will definitely lose fat build muscle mass with the crossfit protocol.
For all you guys doing workouts you found in the fitness magazines (i.e. bodybuilding workouts)… consider this…
According to Coach Glassman, the founder of Crossfit, the bodybuilding model is designed around, and requires, steroids for significant hypertrophy. The neuroendocrine response of bodybuilding protocols is so blunted that without “exogenous hormonal therapy” little happens.
The CrossFit protocol is designed to elicit a substantial neuroendocrine whollop and hence packs an anabolic punch that puts on impressive amounts of muscle though that is not our concern. Strength is.
Natural bodybuilders (the natural ones that are not on steroids) never approach the mass that our ahtletes do. They don’t come close. Those athletes who train for function end up with better form than those who value form over function. This is one of the beautiful ironies of training.
- But I don’t wanna be an athlete, I just want to tone, I don’t want to get bulky, etc. etc…
Boy do I hear this one alot from women. Let me start off by pointing out a point that Mark Rippetoe made in the Crossfit Journal :
“The fact is that aesthetics are best obtained from training for performance. In both architecture and human beauty, form follows function. Always and everywhere, the human body has a certain appearance when it performs at a high level, and depending on the nature of that high-level performance, this appearance is usually regarded as aesthetically pleasing, for reasons that are DNA-level deep. The training through which high-level performance is obtained is the only reliable way to obtain these aesthetics, and the only exceptions to this method of obtaining them are the occasional genetically-gifted freaks—people who look like they train when they were just born lucky. As a general rule, if you want to look like a lean athlete—the standard that most active people strive to emulate—you have to train like an athlete, and most people lack the “sand” for that.”
..and how many time do you think they took the “body sculpting” class using 5 pound weights at the local globo gym?
“Appearance can’t change unless performance does, and the performance changes are what we quantify and what we program. We pretty much know how to improve that, but the industry is based on the fiction that appropriate training proceeds from an assessment of aesthetics. Your appearance when fit is almost entirely a function of your genetics, which are expressed at their best only when your training is at its highest level, and this level is only obtainable from a program based on an improvement in your performance in the gym.”
So in other words… You want to get lean? work on reducing your “Helen” time. You want that defined v-shape in your back? Work on increasing your pull-ups. You want your thighs to looks better? Eat Paleo and increase your squat and deadlift weight. Remember what Mark Rippetoe (and 99% of legitimate exercise science) says:
• Your muscles cannot get “longer” without some
rather radical orthopedic surgery.
• Muscles don’t get leaner—you do.
• There is no such thing as “firming and toning.”
There is only stronger and weaker.
• The vast majority of women cannot get large, masculine muscles from barbell training. If it were that easy, I would have them.
• Women who do look like men have taken some rather drastic steps in that direction that have little to do with their exercise program.
• Women who claim to be afraid to train hard because they “always bulk up too much” are often already pretty bulky, or “skinny fat” (thin but weak and deconditioned) and have found another excuse to continue life sitting on their butts.
• Only people willing to work to the point of discomfort on a regular basis using effective means to produce that discomfort will actually look like they have been other-than-comfortable most of the time.
• You can thank the muscle magazines for these persistent misconceptions, along with the natural tendency of all normal humans to seek reasons to avoid hard physical exertion.
- What if I have an injury? Will I still be able to train?
If you have an acute injury (for example, a sprain or a pulled muscle), chances are you will need to take some time off to rest, recover and regroup. That’s perfectly acceptable. But you don’t want to lose fitness from not exercising (also called detraining or deconditioning). You should still strive to maintain a base of fitness, there are ways to work out while recovering from most injuries.
However, 90% of injuries I see in new clients are chronic injuries. In other words, injuries that have bothered them for years. Often times, these injuries are due to biomechanical imbalances (certain muscles are too tight, and others are too weak), poor posture, and a multitude of other reasons. And likewise, 9/10 times, pain from these injuries can be severely reduced if not eliminated with functional weight training and exercise that emphasizes proper biomechanics and core recruitment patterns. Does your back constantly ache? Then you should be doing deadlifts (albeit starting with light weight) to strengthen it. Do you have alot of shoulder pain? Then chances are the muscles in your back are too weak to hold your shoulder girdle in the proper position. The perscription in this case, would be variations of pull-ups and rows. The injury usually has an easily identifiable cause, and is also very correctable.
- If a Workout of the Day is posted everyday, why do I need to come train with you?
Besides the fact that the location already has all the equipment you’ll ever need to do a CrossFit workout and our coaching expertise to make sure you’re doing it right, there are many other reasons to join up. Read Worth It, an article by a fellow CrossFitter that didn’t think he needed to go to a CrossFit gym until he visited one.
- Where can I start learning more about CrossFit?
Why at www.CrossFit.com of course. There’s also a great article that was in the L.A. Times about someones first experience with CrossFit A workout that’s fast, furious and not for the faint of heart. I highly recommend checking out both these places. Here are some other helpful links as well: