Should You Join the CrossFit Craze?
With the busyness of life, people are turning to high-intensity workouts like Crossfit to complete a full-body workout in as little as 30 minutes.
While you may be just hearing the term Crossfit, it’s not a new concept. “Crossfit is circuit-style training that has been around for hundreds of years,” says James Weathers, center director at Virtua Center for HealthFitness. “Crossfit founder Greg Glassman took this old concept and turned it up a notch.”
Crossfit is known for its intensity. “It’s a strength and conditioning program made up of a varied mix of aerobic and body-weight exercises and weight lifting,” explains Weathers. “It’s great for losing fat, gaining endurance and building strength.”
When done right, Crossfit can help you reach your fitness goals. But before you go Crossfit crazy, it’s important for you to understand the pros and cons.
- It’s simple, quick and effective.
- It works your entire body.
- It improves normal body movements, which enhances your quality of life.
- The workouts are varied and fun.
- There’s a group dynamic that can help motivate you.
- It’s expensive. Crossfit gyms, called boxes, cost anywhere from $150 to $300 a month.
- Trainers can be certified in a weekend and may not be the most qualified.
- Crossfit has a reputation for extremism. Going too hard, too fast can increase your risk for injury.
“If you are thinking about attending a Crossfit class, be sure to do your research,” advises Weathers. “If you are new to working out, be sure to consult your physician before starting any new exercise routine.”
If you decide Crossfit isn’t for you, you can still benefit from circuit-style training. In fact, fitness professionals like Weathers help people reach their fitness goals with these types of exercises all the time.
“We work with individuals to tailor exercises to their fitness level. We push you to do your best, but we help you work within your limits,” says Weathers. “It’s our job to teach you proper form and help you maintain that form to prevent injury.”
Want to see what a Crossfit workout looks like?
Here's a 3-day sample:
“Before each workout, spend 10 minutes warming up,” says Weathers. “Warm-up exercises will vary based on the day’s workout. The goal is to warm up those muscle groups you’ll be using in the workout.”
Next, spend 15 minutes working on strength. “Again, the strength exercise will vary from day to day. Some examples include deadlifts or squats,” says Weathers. “The goal is to perfect one muscle-building exercise.”
After that, the workout begins.
Day 1 Workout
This workout includes 3 rounds with 1 minute of rest after each round. Each round should take about 3 to 5 minutes.
- 400m run/jog
- 15 shoulder to overhead presses
Day 2 Workout
These 3 exercises should take about 5 minutes to complete and equal 1 set. Do as many sets as you can in 15 minutes.
- 5 deadlifts
- 7 pushups
- 9 sit-ups/crunches
Day 3 Workout
This workout is 3 rounds but longer than the first workout.
- 400m run/jog (try to beat your time from the day 1 workout)
- 30 jumping jacks
- 50 air squats (perform a normal squat with your hands held out in front of your body)
Updated June 6, 2016