Is CrossFit Right for You?
CrossFit has blown up in popularity over the past few years, but has consistently been the the subject of major controversy regarding the safety of the method of exercise. If you’re looking to try out CrossFit, here is what you need to know to make the decision that is right for you.
CrossFit is a system of exercise and nutrition that was founded in 2000 by Greg Glassman, with the goal of creating a program to develop the most elite of athletes. The exercise is centered around a mix of aerobics, gymnastics, bodyweight exercises, and Olympic weightlifting. The workouts are usually fairly short, but consist of intense exercise and requires maximum physical effort.
CrossFit workouts are notorious for being extremely difficult, due to the fact that they utilize high intensity interval training. This method of training has been proven to be highly effective in improving muscle strength and cardio-vascular endurance. It is also effective at burning fat quickly, due to the high amount of physical strain you put on your body.
CrossFit also consists of a nutrition program to maximize physical performance. CrossFitters have a diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, lean protein, healthy oils, and complex carbohydrates. It is referred to as the Paleo diet, and follows the rule of if a caveman didn’t eat it, then it doesn’t belong in your diet.
One of the most rewarding aspects of CrossFit is the strong community that you’ll enter when joining a gym. Peer support is an important feature, and each gym relies on a strong community to provide a strong foundation of motivation and support for each of its members. CrossFit gyms are well known for being accepting of all people, regardless of their level of fitness.
Frequent injury is a common problem that many CrossFitters face due to the challenging movements that are involved in the workouts. The injury rates for CrossFit are substantially higher than most fitness programs. Injuries like herniated disks, pulled muscles, and tendon ruptures are fairly common. For those who are not used to the movements involved in CrossFit, it can potentially result in serious injury. Correct exercise form is difficult to master, and for those that jump in too quick and try to keep pace with advanced CrossFitter’s, they risk injury.
While the strong community is definitely a positive feature of CrossFit, it also has a downside. A strongly supportive community can push participants to engage in unsafe exercise practices, and push themselves too hard. The fine line between encouragement and safety is often blurred in CrossFit gyms, and can become a problem for beginners.
CrossFit is definitely a fitness program that has the potential to transform one’s health, but it should be approached with caution. If you enjoy having that strong community behind you in your journey to achieve your fitness goals, then CrossFit could be the right choice for you.