CrossFit was first started with a bang in the late 1990s and early 2000s by Greg Glassman. The main idea behind CrossFit is to focus less on frustrating isolation exercises and to focus instead on a variety of exercises that can improve overall physical fitness or strength.
The idea behind CrossFit is to keep a workout time of less than 60 minutes, but ensuring you are absolutely exhausted by that point. While it isn’t a fully accepted method of strength training, we’ll show you a routine that can help you out considerably.
CrossFit isn’t just a workout system. It is a lifestyle, and those who adhere to it often take their CrossFit training to the next level. For example, many CrossFit enthusiasts take part in CrossFit competitions, and this also comes with risks.
While CrossFit may have something that we can all learn from, you have to be careful when starting to do CrossFit.
First, let’s go into the main gains that you can expect from taking part in the CrossFit workout:
The primary benefit of CrossFit training is the cardiovascular respiration that you get from a full-body workout. It is not uncommon to sweat to the point where you need to change your shirt while you are in the middle of a workout.
As you begin to grow stronger, you will see dramatic improvements in your strength. You can easily see a difference in strength and athleticism after just a few weeks of Intense, regular CrossFit workouts.
Since there are a lot of compound movements, CrossFit can improve your flexibility and range of mobility very much.
CrossFit can also lead to a lot of weight loss and fat burning for anyone who is overweight. If you are trying to lose weight and improve your cardiovascular performance without looking a certain way, you will probably get a lot of benefits from CrossFit.
A lot of the people who take part in CrossFit report an incredible degree of focus. It is not uncommon to see CrossFitters stick to a workout or exercise schedule throughout the day.
Many people also report a feeling of self-esteem, since they are able to complete a crossfit workout every day without skipping a day.
What is CrossFit?
CrossFit is not just a simple workout program, its a way of life. Its an extremely effective, but punishing at the same time, workout routine. It has connected a community full of bodybuilders, high school and college athletes, and weekend warriors into one place.
This community thanks to cross fit has connected people via the Internet as well as at state and national competitions.
Competitions are not just local, however. CrossFitters travel all over the country to compete for CrossFit® championships.
There are four reasons why CrossFit is a great option for you:
1. It Changes Your Body: CrossFit changes the way your body looks and feels. For instance, you may lose a few pounds and notice that your arms will get toned. You may find that you start sleeping better at night. You may notice less pain in your knees.
2. It Helps you Enjoy Exercise: Exercise is something that most people dread. Because of CrossFit, you may find it fun to exercise. You can burn as many calories as you would in a longer workout, and you´ll have more fun doing it.
3. It Helps You Have a Great Time: Let´s face it; exercise is boring a lot of the time. A lot of the time, individuals walk on the treadmill because they want to get fit. With CrossFit, is better. You will genuinely have a great time.
4. Its Really Effective: While it seems like it may be silly that it can be so much fun, it really is effective. CrossFit can turn around your body in a relatively short amount of time. If you stick with it, you´ll start to see the difference.
What Is a Crossfit WOD?
A CrossFit WOD (workout of the day) is an exercise program that changes daily. Each day, you may follow a different routine. Each day, the workout will be slightly different.
A CrossFit WOD is designed to challenge your fitness level as much as possible. An example of a CrossFit WOD is the 1,000-meter row, 50 back squats, 30 pull-ups, and a 1,000-meter row. These four exercises will burn a lot of calories, and they will work different muscle groups.
Learn more about CrossFit by visiting their website here.
Do Many Women Participate in CrossFit?
Yes! The number of female CrossFitters is increasing every year. More and more women are seeing results from doing CrossFit, and that’s driving a female CrossFit revolution in more and more gyms and communities.
It has been estimated that there are 500,000 active female CrossFitters in the United States.
While this number continues to grow, it’s still just a small slice of the nation’s estimated 40 million active adults that participate in fitness activities.
That being said, there are more women involved in CrossFit than in the number of women engaged in all other physical activities.
Since the first CrossFit Games in 2007, the number of women competing in the Games has increased annually. In 2015, the number of women competing in the Games almost matched that of the men. Almost.
Why Are More Women Joining in Recently?
CrossFit was founded in 2001 by Greg Glassman and Lauren Jenai. Altering from the then traditionally competitive and all male world of bodybuilding, Glassman created a community where everybody was accepted regardless of their gender or fitness level.
Anecdotal evidence suggests that the number of women participating in CrossFit and competing in the CrossFit Games has increased ever since.
Several years ago, women were often afraid or intimidated to join in because they would have to work out with the men or because of the social aspect of CrossFit culture.
Fortunately, this has changed as CrossFit has continued to grow and has invested significant time and resources in growing the CrossFit Women’s community.
Additionally, CrossFit has made efforts to improve the image of CrossFit and dispel the lies that it isn’t a reality for everyone in the community.
Some of these efforts include the creation of a women’s-only gym called Fit Club in Boulder, Colorado, which is specifically the first of its kind in the CrossFit community. The gym has now grown and spread to four other cities around the world.
This showing of support isn’t just for female members; sometimes it is quickly becoming a one-gender community. For instance, in the 2011 CrossFit Games, women outnumbered men in both the individual and team competitions.
My Personal Story – How this 42 Year Young Lady got Fit
I have been training with crossfit for over a year now and let me tell you, I have NEVER looked or felt better!
I previously had been a member of another crossfit gym. I was diagnosed with Diabetes Type II in my 30’s and decided it was time to find a better lifestyle for me and my family.
I found that benefits that jumped out to me in doing Crossfit were:
· Diabetes Control – Exercise is a natural stress to the body, forcing the body to respond with changes to cope with the stress. This is very good for the cells and the brain, which for me was great because my brain was very foggy due to my insulin resistance. I had gained weight and my body fat percentage had increased which of course led to increased insulin requirements to bring my blood sugars down. I also noticed I was less patient with my children which led to greater family stress. After becoming more fit with crossfit my body fat % was lowered, my insulin requirements reduced, and my perception was that I was more patient with my family and myself. I was becoming a better version of myself.
· Self Confidence – I felt so much better. I had more energy and I noticed my abdomen was becoming firmer and my clothing was fitting better. When you look better and feel better you become more confident in your everyday life and it gives you the drive to keep improving. This is key for me, as I always think, if I can do this, I can do anything. I am not a super-fit athlete but just a wife and mom who decided to put herself first and get fit.
· Come as you are – Crossfit is about improving on you. You do not have to be a great athlete. I was definitely not even close. Actually, most of the time I ended up being last at each WOD (workout of the day) …but that did not matter. The coaches there were always checking in and making sure you were ok and scaled the workouts so that everyone could do it. They gave you the tools and just pushed you to work hard and really push yourself to get better. I never felt embarrassed or judged.
The Details of a CrossFit Workout
Before we get into the details, it’s important to know how CrossFit workouts usually take place.
The structure of a CrossFit workout is different for every box, although most follow the following format:
Warm up: Usually, a warm-up will start with some light, full-body stretching. This is done to prepare your body to get ready for the upcoming workout, rather than have your body have to adapt to the workout during it.
The warm-up usually ends with a dynamic stretch – a series of movements in which you quickly move from one position to another ; this helps elevate your heart rate with each movement, while also preparing your body for the movements that are ahead of it.
Skill work (optional): This includes learning a new movement, practicing a certain skill or movement, or improving on a previously learned skill.
Strength is usually the focus of these sessions. Although some boxes call this session a "strength workout", others just call it "gymnastics" as it doesn’t necessarily have to be for developing strength.
Fun fact: CrossFit is actually a registered trademark of CrossFit, Inc, so as soon as you call something "CrossFit" or "CrossFit-ish" or "CrossFit-flavored" or "CrossFit-inspired" or anything like that, you run the risk of infringing on the trademark. Make sure you find a reputable gym or affiliate to join before you start throwing around those terms.
Skill session is an umbrella term for basically any exercise during CrossFit ; it could be everything from box jumps to dumbbell presses, kettlebell swings to squats, proper form for a band pull-up to balancing on a bosu ball.
Lifting: Lifting usually consists of things like a deadlift, a row, or a clean and jerk. Think squatting and rowing machines, dumbbells, kettlebells, boxes, and the like.
WOD: This is exercises chosen for a category of workout for the day. This may include skills, strength work, or a met-con, as we mentioned earlier.
What is a WOD?
A WOD is a work out of the day. CrossFit is a fitness style whose primary focus is on getting you as fit as possible as quickly as possible. In order to accomplish this, CrossFit incorporates a wide variety of exercises into their routines with the goal of getting your heart rate up and getting your body into shape.
CrossFit is a tough workout. That is why you have to be prepared for the difficulty level of WODs before you start.
It is important to note that WODs vary, so it is possible that you can start with one of the lower difficulty WODs and then build on it. However, it is also very possible that you may start out extremely fit but only be able to do a few of the easier ones. But even if that happens, that is okay. The point of CrossFit is to get your body into shape and maintaining a certain level of fitness is better than not being fit at all.
Before we go on, it is important to note that this guide will primarily refer to women’s workouts. Basic CrossFit movements and WODs are the same for everyone, but there are many things that women should know before they start CrossFit.
What Is Interval Training?
Interval training refers to a specific exercise schedule that alternates between short periods of intense activity and longer periods of moderate activity.
There are a number of different interval training schedules. Some, like Tabata, are highly intense and very short. Others are more moderate.
The most popular interval training schedule for CrossFit WODs is the 10 Minute AMRAP. In this schedule, the activity and rest periods are exclusively 10 minutes long.
Example: What is a WOD? An Example of a WOD
Let’s say you want to do Tabata interval training that involves jumping rope.
In a Tabata interval training schedule, you alternate between 20 seconds of moderate activity and 10 seconds of high intensity activity. So, in this case, you will jump rope for 20 seconds and then rest for 10 seconds before jumping rope again.
The full sequence would look like this:
- 10 seconds jump rope
- 20 seconds rest
- 10 seconds jump rope
- 20 seconds rest
Until you reach the full 20 minutes.
Trial Class – A CrossFit Test Run
Before you dive into any workout plan, it’s important to fully understand the program.
That’s why CrossFit has so many different elements and emphasizes a variety of things to determine whether or not you’re a good fit for the routine.
First off, no workout can be effective if you don’t have a solid base of fitness. Prior to starting CrossFit, you need to be a bit more modified than your average person. Here are a few of the fitness benchmarks you need to hit before diving in:
Cardio: You need at least twenty minutes of cardio — running, biking, or swimming — every other day to build your aerobic capacity.
Weight Training: You need to have achieved a level of intermediate to advanced strength and flexibility in your muscles, as well as your cardiovascular system. This can easily be done by doing three to four days per week of a weightlifting routine.
Core Training: Because you’ll be close to the ground and on all fours often, you need to spend at least two full weeks building up your core strength. Add in abs at the end of your day, as well as improving your plank endurance.
Stamina: To keep pace with CrossFit, you must have excellent cardio endurance, which can be achieved by doing intervals such as thirty to sixty minutes on a stationary bike.
Now that we’ve gotten your fitness base established, we can start to address the nuts and bolts of the CrossFit program.
Why It Works
So, why does it work so well? Who cares, right? We’re all just trying to get in shape!
The reason is that CrossFit is really effective at targeting large muscle groups, burning a decent number of calories, and increasing your energy. All of these elements are important to weight loss and fitness.
Specifically, doing a lot of reps with low rest periods can boost your metabolism because the body is forced to work harder. Each time you lift the weight, you’re using 100 percent muscle capacity. Exhaustion will only last as long as the rest intervals, so if you increase the intensity within the time you have, the body will have to adjust.
Fundamentals or On-Ramp Class
There are three primary types of CrossFit-related classes. The first is the fundamentals or on-ramp course.
The focus of this one is relatively straightforward and is something that most exercise and nutrition enthusiasts may have experienced when they first started learning about their chosen subject.
The topics include the basics of technique, CrossFit workout principles, and some of the challenges of proper eating. These tips are designed to set beginners up for long-term success.
On-ramp courses can be found almost anywhere, from your local health club or CrossFit affiliate to organizations that specialize in helping people get involved in CrossFit training.
There’s a standard curriculum for this class, but some instructors choose to add in special classes if they’ve got a different kind of profession in mind.
Some of these include doctors, firefighters, and military personnel, although it’s important to note that any instructor has this option.
The second type of course is called the foundations course.
Foundations courses are based on Level 1 certification and are generally offered by four-year universities and accredited online programs.
CrossFit recommends and supports these programs. The foundations course is generally more involved than the on-ramp class and goes further into the following topics:
- Nutrition and the body
- CrossFit methodology
- Basic preventative and emergency response
The third type of CrossFit-related class is the Trainer certification course.
This is the one that lets you call yourself an official CrossFit trainer. They will be able to coach other people and coach their own CrossFit classes.
So, the basics of the foundations and on-ramp classes will be covered but there may be additional information. In the on-ramp class, your focus may be on mastering certain exercises. On the other hand, the foundations course may include more information about the different types of equipment you’ll use in a CrossFit class so you can utilize them to the best of your ability.
The foundation course is also the one that you need in order to take the Trainer certification course.
If you’re serious about CrossFit, then you should plan on taking an on-ramp course so you can learn proper form.
What is a CrossFit Class Like? What Happens in Class?
If you follow the online CrossFit craze, then you already know that CrossFit is a high-intensity training system that involves a lot of weightlifting, cardio, gymnastics, and running.
However, what you might not have known is that the types of exercisers you’ll typically see in a CrossFit class consists of complete beginners, as well as people who have been working out for a long time and are trying CrossFit to fill a fitness hole in their regimen.
A typical CrossFit class, for example, will usually start by making sure everyone knows how to do all of the moves in the WOD. The weightlifting portion of CrossFit is also important for everyone to know since you’ll need to lift stuff.
You’ll also be introduced to the day’s WOD before actually starting. Many CrossFit workouts are posted on the website a few days in advance, allowing you to check out what the day’s workout will be.
After the warm-up, which can consist of pretty much anything from jumping rope to some burpees, you’ll begin with the WOD, which can last anywhere from two to five minutes, and can consist of exercises like:
- Hip thrusters
- Atlas stones
- Kettlebell swings
- Box jumps
What you’ll be doing in class, once you’ve been shown the basics, is working with the trainer to complete the workout. Typically, groups of people will get together and do their reps together, and success will be determined by whoever finishes the workout together, rather than whoever has the most reps to their name.
Once the workout is over, you’ll be encouraged, but not forced, to do a short cool down period to stretch out your muscles, even though you’ll most likely be hurting by this point.
You’ll also be encouraged to immediately begin a hydration and nutrition regimen, including some post-workout protein powder or a recovery drink.
Can I do CrossFit at Home? Can I Make My Own CrossFit Home Gym?
CrossFit has been a growing phenomenon for the last decade or so. If you are interested in becoming a CrossFit trainer or doing CrossFit workouts at home, make sure you start out with the right equipment.
The good news is that there are plenty of companies out there that make it easy for you to start a CrossFit home gym. Whether you’re looking to train on your own or with a handful of friends, there are plenty of products out there that will help you create an awesome workout space.
One of the most affordable ways to start your own CrossFit home gym is to buy plastic weights. These are normally cheaper than their metal equivalent and don’t require that you invest in expensive tools to repair them in case they break.
Another affordable option are weights for handstand pushups. These typically have a set of pullup bars behind them that can be used for a variety of exercises.
You might also want to invest in gymnastics rings. These are great for building core strength, and you can use them for a variety of different exercises.
The good news is that if you buy the right kit, you can easily create a CrossFit home gyms without breaking the bank. In fact, if you are determined enough you can even manage to make your own CrossFit equipment at home.
How to Establish a Solid Strength Base
First you’ll need to know that there are three main types of strength qualities that involve basic movement patterns. The three things are:
Anaerobic Strength, which is the ability to exert maximum power for a short period of time.
Dynamic Lifting Strength, which is the strength to use smooth movements to complete common tasks.
Static Lifting Strength, which is the ability to exert a certain amount of force for as long as possible.
This is how to start building a strength base that you can use to start performing a variety of CrossFit workouts.
The first step is to figure out what kind of strength qualities you need to work on. If you haven’t considered this step, then start by identifying the movements that are a struggle for you. Then think about the reasons why those movements are difficult – and what you can do about them to improve.
CrossFit Workouts You Can do at Home
If you’re not exactly looking for Crossfit training at home, but a bit of workout at home, then some CrossFit workouts you can do at home are included here.
Make sure you follow the programming exactly as it is, and avoid the temptation of switching it all up. Doing light intensity exercise on the same day that you perform high intensity exercises won’t provide results.
In fact, performing light intensity exercises on the same day that you perform high intensity exercises will, in the end, inhibit your results. Your work capacity in the light intensity exercises decreases, which means that your ability to recover decreases.
A good way to think about CrossFit workouts you can do at home is that they’re the building blocks of CrossFit. They’re all star exercises that provide incredible overall fitness results.
A word of warning; CrossFit workouts you can do at home are only part of a bigger picture. They're not designed to be used on their own.
It's well known that consistency is the key to achieving your goals, so you must be committed to these workouts at home if you want to see results.
While the exercises may seem simple, the workouts themselves require a lot of mental energy, and training at home should be relatively simple. Make sure to enjoy these workouts for what they are; workout methods that can be conveniently performed at home.
As a whole, these workouts at home focus on both your strength and aerobic fitness. This is only one of the ways you should be training if you want to achieve optimal CrossFit results, but it's still a very useful way for you to get started in a CrossFit home workout program. You may even be able to do these workouts in your living room, which is wonderful if you don’t have an actual workout area.
The following are some of the most effective CrossFit workouts you can do at home:
The push-up is a great overall strength builder, and you can easily perform push-ups at home. The push-up can be easily modified to suit your needs and ability level.
How to Build Your Own CrossFit Gym from Home
CrossFit training is very unique in that it is the first fitness routine to go mainstream. While there is a wide variation in the training schedules of people who do CrossFit, it still has 10 standard workouts that you can do at home without having to join a clinic.
If you love CrossFit, there is no better time than now to provide your own gym from home. All you will need is an equipment to keep your training smooth and comfortable.
Now, given that this is a gym purchased out of convenience you won’t be racking up all the benefits that you would if you’re in a CrossFit gym. Even so, having your own equipment is still better than nothing. For one, performing your own workouts is beneficial since you can change the workouts so they better suit your fitness level.
Best Equipment to Create a CrossFit Gym in Your Home
Avoiding time wasted travelling to a Crossfit gym and getting stuck in traffic to check your schedule, as well as avoiding all the monthly fee’s that will accumulate can be a fantastic business decision.
Moreover, it also eliminates the possibility of injury and other risks of training in a Crossfit gym or a Crossfit clinic with high volume.
As such, having your CrossFit gym at home comes with several advantages which may make the purchase of gym equipment a worthwhile investment.
Here are the three must-have items that will form the best home gym: a pull up bar, a pre-made CrossFit package, and a CrossFit power rack.
Pull-up bars are inexpensive and very useful to anyone who is working out at home. Pull-up bars can also be a life-saver for anyone who has a frequent injury and spends a lot of time recovering from it.
Crossfit exercises can be very different from the one you might be used to. This is where a pull up hanging bar and Crossfit pull up bar can help. This will give you a great bar to do basic pull ups, but it can also help you turn an ordinary door frame into a pull up bar. Regardless of where you decide to use pull up bars, it is guaranteed to provide you with great value for your money. You can get one which also has the mounting assistant of the door frame as well. This will ensure your convenience.
How CrossFit is Different for Women
There are a multitude of well-known differences in the bodies of men and women due to the reproductive roles of a woman.
Generally, women are biologically weaker than men, although this can be solved with strength training. Some of the factors playing into the lack of physical strength include less muscle mass, a weaker skeletal structure, and less capacity to release the anaerobic energy stored in the body.
FITNESS BASICS: THE BARBELL CLEAN AND JERK
Lastly, the hormonal differences in the balances of female and male testosterone levels come into play during weight training. This is referred to as the androgen effect.
While female bodies don’t typically naturally produce as much testosterone as men, women test positive for higher levels of androgenic hormones, which aid in strength and muscular development according to Scientific American.
High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
The majority of women who begin exercising at CrossFit gyms (and the reasons behind exercising in general) are a lot different from those of men.
Women are generally more concerned with health and wellness aspects of exercise, rather than looking to compete in the extremely physical activities associated with CrossFit.
Since women are looking for a more competitive fitness routine than men, some women will use HIIT workouts in order to up their game when competing against other women.
CrossFit Training Routine for Women
Does that mean that adding HIIT to your routine is pointless if you aren’t looking to compete in a CrossFit competition?
Absolutely not. In fact, HIIT can greatly improve your health and your body over time.
When you enter into a HIIT routine, your body will have to use a lot more energy. This is where the term interval training comes from: Your body will require intervals of rest after periods of high intensity training.
You may have noticed this if you’ve ever done CrossFit ‹- the activities focus on keeping you moving as much as possible. The combination of interval training will wear you down quickly and cause you to need to take regular breaks throughout.
This is where the value of HIIT training comes into play. Your body will quickly lose its initial energy, and then need to work a lot harder to get the excess back. HIIT training will make you feel tired, uncomfortable, and exhausted.
The Scalable WOD – The CrossFit Workout is Tailored to Each Individual
While there are several aspects of the CrossFit program that you can easily scale back or modify before joining the program, the biggest take-away that everyone should know is that the program is scalable.
This means it can be adjusted to suit your individual fitness level or needs.
CrossFit, like many other workout programs and athletic endeavors, is scored. Scores are calculated by adding up the total time of several different exercises. If, for example, one of the exercises is pull-ups for time and you can’t do one, then the CrossFit coaches look for alternative modifications: lowering the intensity, lowering the number of pulls, altering the body position, or even using a chair.
This means that as long as you can modify the movements to meet your needs, then you can perform the exercise and reach a new level of fitness.
This also means that you don’t have to be in the best shape of your life either, and you can still easily transition from beginner to experienced member.
It’s all about finding your individual capacity, which is rather easy to do when you have a top-quality coach guiding you along the way.
Social Challenges of CrossFit Explained
One of the biggest struggles most people experience with CrossFit is overcoming the fear of being in the big gym by themselves. This is a common concern, but whether you’re a beginner, female, or a sports professional, there’s a community to welcome you into the world of CrossFit.
More than one of the most common CrossFit mistakes newbies make is showing up alone to a new class. Feelings of intimidation, confusion, and frustration are very common.
Getting comfortable with the unknown is one of the most beneficial tools you can learn. You can overcome any insecurity by getting out of your comfort zone and learning how to be more resilient.
Being comfortable socially is not just necessary in a CrossFit studio full of athletes, it’s essential to reaching your fitness goals. If your career, family, or friends are keeping you from success, then it’s time to assess your life and priorities. Getting comfortable in your own skin is paramount to a successful CrossFit experience.
Common Concerns Women have Before Starting CrossFit
You’ve heard about all the benefits of CrossFit, and this has helped to pique your interest in it as a possible workout for you. However, you’re still uncertain if it’s the right activity for you.
Maybe CrossFit is just not your thing, or you have some other reservations. Perhaps you know for a fact that you can’t even lift a barbell? If you’re uncertain if CrossFit is the right activity for you, we’re here to help you. With this guide, you’ll find a few common questions women have before starting CrossFit, and we’ll also give you some of the best answers from experts in the field.
Workout as a Group
Most CrossFit gyms have a truly all-encompassing atmosphere, meaning you’ll never be alone with your workout. You’ll be able to focus on your workout without worrying about making a fool of yourself.
There are some gyms that offer female-only CrossFit workout sessions, too. If you’re not one who likes crowds, these are the perfect opportunities for you. More often than not, you’ll be the only one there.
You’ll also be able to watch your fellow CrossFit friends sweat it out. This can be extremely encouraging for people who are just starting out.
You’ll form new friendships with other women that share your passion for CrossFit. It’s not just a workout. It’s a tightly knit community that looks out for each other.
Workout with the Best
You’ll also be able to learn from the trainers themselves. Most trainers are able to help you work in groups and motivate you to push harder and better than you ever have before. These are experts in the field, and their advice and guidance can be extremely valuable for almost any level.
You have something in common with every other woman in the locker room. They know how difficult it can be to lose weight and work on your fitness.
What Women Can Get Out of CrossFit
Although there are less women in CrossFit than men overall, the number of women training continues to increase. In fact, there are more than 14,000 female affiliates and many gyms have exclusively women’s classes. Here are some reasons why this is the case:
Because of the high intensity level required in each workout, CrossFit is incredibly fun and often addictive.
Taking Part in a Community
Because of all the varied types of exercise performed, the CrossFit community is immensely supportive. Due to the tight-knit community, it’s very easy to find a friend to train with, which makes it more fun and can help you stick to your exercise routine.
In addition to the fun factor and the community, the sense of accomplishment that comes with sticking to a set exercise routine is overwhelming.
The Challenge of the Workout
This is usually what draws people into CrossFit in the first place. These workouts are not easy and the sense of accomplishment that comes with beating your workout and improving after several weeks is obvious.
The Most Unique Benefits Women Get out of CrossFit
Unlike typical workouts, CrossFit gives you results relatively quickly. In just a few months, you can go from couch potato to ripped and ready for anything.
Many people can follow the workouts easily, but still get an intense workout routine. The workouts are done in circuits where you go from one exercise to the next with no rest in between. This means that regardless of your fitness level, you can still complete the circuit.
Women Can Get into CrossFit at Any Age
Since CrossFit isn’t restricted to any one type of exercise, you can do it regardless of your age. You also don’t need any prior experience in the exercise field.
You Will Become More Flexible and Have Better Control over Your Body
The exercises required in CrossFit require flexibility to a certain extent. For example, in gymnastics movements like pullups, you must be flexible enough to do the movement without injuring yourself. This will also help you have more control over your body.
Better Health and Fitness
While women may have some specific needs due to their anatomy and physiology, the benefits of CrossFit training for women are the same as the benefits for men.
Better body composition, muscular strength, muscular endurance, balance, flexibility, stability, cardiovascular endurance, and mental strength are all possible. Indeed, a large CrossFit community of female athletes and coaches have endorsed CrossFit as one of the best ways for women to get into shape.
A 2011 meta-analysis examined 35 published studies that examined the effects of CrossFit training on both women and men. Published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, this study found that CrossFit participants saw significant decreases in fat mass, body mass, and body fat percentage compared to a usual-care group.
It also found that CrossFit training was effective in increasing muscular strength, explosive power, and cardiovascular endurance compared to a usual-care group. In addition, many of the female participants reported a compliance to the training program by saying that they enjoyed it and were able to stick with it due to its variety of exercises.
How did they achieve results like this?
Simple. Because CrossFit places a large emphasis on the following movement and conditioning exercises, which are often neglected by other training programs:
- Handstand Push-ups
- Hanging Knee Raises
- Parallel Bar Dips
- Wall Balls
With all of that being said, these are the main reasons why you should consider CrossFit:
A big misconception about CrossFit training is that it’s only competitive training. While it is certainly highly competitive, with CrossFit affiliates constantly trying to out-do each other in regional and national competitions all over the world, it also places a big emphasis on corrective exercises that target the imbalances which plague most people.
These imbalances can lead to weakness in certain muscles, inefficiencies in movement patterns, and a much higher chance of injury.
This can be seen in the fact that 41% of all runners get injured each year. Most injuries that occur are due to the fact that the gluteus maximus and hamstrings, both of which help with running, have not reached their optimal firing capacity.
Corrective movements such as glute-ham raises and prescription low-back extensions can help balance out the body and improve overall body composition, posture, symmetry, and ultimately, fitness.
Sense of Accomplishment
CrossFit may not be for everyone, but if you give it a chance, it will probably become part of your routine. If you’re out of shape and overweight, you’ll get results. The intensity of the workouts will burn calories and fat, build muscle, and get you strong very quickly. This will lead to increased confidence, a sense of accomplishment, and better self-esteem.
The CrossFit community is very welcoming. You’ll feel good about yourself physically and mentally. The sense of accomplishment from making significant changes in your life will be very fulfilling.
You will probably gain a few pounds at first, but this is temporary. You might feel nauseous after a few workouts too. This is normal as your body adapts to the increase in intensity. It will take about one week until your body gets used to it. If you want an excuse to buy cool workout clothes, consider exercising more often.
Like any exercise program, you must always be careful with CrossFit workouts. Make sure you can do them properly and safely. Always take it slowly. Make sure you know what you’re doing and that you feel comfortable before you progress to more challenging activities.
What Are the Benefits of CrossFit?
If you need inspiration to go to the gym, then CrossFit may be the perfect solution for you. CrossFit involves varied, high-intensity exercises that challenge your whole body. They are extremely effective at burning fat because they work out multiple muscle groups at the same time. With this in mind, it is hardly surprising that CrossFit has become such a hit. Indeed, it is fast becoming one of the most popular ways to get fit and, because it focuses on general fitness, it is highly recommended by doctors.
Unlike other forms of exercise, CrossFit works out your entire body. It is not just about your core. During a typical workout, you will not spend hours focusing on one or two muscle groups. Instead, you will work out your entire body. This includes your chest, back, shoulders, arms, abdomen and legs.
One of the things that makes the CrossFit community so great is that people who were once very overweight and out of shape are now leading successful and healthy lives.
The community is comprised of an eclectic mix of ex-military, health coaches, CrossFit instructors, and other health enthusiasts.
People not only train at CrossFit boxes, but they participate in the other aspects of the community, including online forums, nutrition courses, strength training workshops, and more.
CrossFit offers a level of camaraderie amongst members and coaches that you won’t find at a traditional gym. When you’re sick or injured, other members will bring you food and help you out.
When you first start going to CrossFit, people will push you and remind you to never give up. This helps a lot when you’re dealing with a demanding workout, because you know that your friends aren’t going to let you fail.
In addition to the personal support, this close-knit community will also help you get fit faster because they will push you to work harder than you ever would on your own.
It’s common for members to advise each other on the best meal plan and supplements to take. And, if you’re like most people who have been sedentary for years, then you’ll need the help.
Another important aspect that sets CrossFit apart from the other ways you can get fit is the sense of camaraderie between its coaches and members.
Coupled with the intensity of the workouts, this sense of togetherness makes the community feel like a family. Everyone is encouraging and supportive, and the coaches will help you work out even harder than you could on your own.
CrossFit places a lot of emphasis on the community feeling like a family. This is due to the fact that you will only incorporate friends or family members into your workouts at most gyms. At CrossFit, everyone is your "family."
This community aspect makes it a lot easier to stick with your training. If you’re sick or injured, your community will help you out in a big way. Everyone that you interact with has your best interest at heart.
You don’t need to be lifted or pressured into taking up exercise if you don’t want to. If you do decide to take health and fitness seriously, you could consider joining a CrossFit gym or going to a boot camp. At the very least, do your runs on your own or with a fitness buddy.
It Can Be Rough on Your Body
Even if you are fit, starting CrossFit without any preparation can be extreme. You’re facing a lot more strain on your muscles than if you were doing a few air squats and push-ups at home.
Warm up and stretch well before you start.
Many people have had muscle strains from doing moves improperly. If you’re new to it, stick to the minimum number of rounds, focusing on proper form instead of five more rounds.
Starting Your Day the Right Way
Every day, there are hundreds of thousands of achievements made in gyms, athletic facilities, and open fields across the world. For most of them, people who didn’t even consider themselves fitness enthusiasts have committed to themselves to workout and become better and stronger for the long haul. With the proper level of confidence, even the average couch potato can turn his or her life around and become the fit person he or she has always wanted to be.
What Is Crossfit?
If you are starting from scratch and have never done a CrossFit exercise before, there is no need to worry. Since its inception in 1990, CrossFit has evolved from its basic workouts to become a sport that involves people of all ages and athletic abilities, where almost any level of commitment can find a program that can benefit him or her.
CrossFit combines a lot of the cardio and resistance training that the majority of people exercise, such as aerobics and weightlifting, with basic elements of gymnastics and calisthenics. It is a fitness program that places a higher emphasis on working out as hard and fast as you can in one set rather than taking your time to do a set for each body part.
The real allure of CrossFit is its emphasis on competing against yourself rather than other people in a group setting. This makes for a friendly atmosphere that gives you more motivation than the standard group fitness classes that are offered.
Change in Perception of Beauty
One of the biggest reasons why people take up crossfit is to improve their overall appearance. Scientifically speaking, the benefits of crossfit go far beyond a healthier you. Exercising regularly can lead to better mental health, sleep cycles, and even a decrease in risk of serious health conditions such as cancer, stroke, and cardiovascular disease.
This is because crossfit involves a healthier and more sustainable lifestyle rather than just the quick fix of a strict diet. Luckily, this lifestyle change is something that many people enjoy and look forward to rather than dread, giving them a better chance of sticking to this new lifestyle in the long term.
This is where women are benefiting the most. As a direct result of the better fitness levels, the positive changes translate to a better body. The improved health that comes with crossfit training results in a better figure for the women who are able to give it their all in a class, and it also gives them a more toned appearance.
This has an influence on the general perception of beauty in a positive way. With all of these health benefits, women around the world are becoming more confident in their bodies.
Change in Mental Health
A healthy and fit body isn’t the only perk of crossfit training. While many people would consider themselves to be healthy, a considerable number of them experience anxiety and depression on a daily basis. According to medical experts, around 25% of the population experiences high rates of anxiety, 20% suffer from a chronic level of depression, and a further 2% are diagnosed with bipolar.
With such high numbers, it’s no wonder that medical experts recommend addressing the issue of mental health.
Crossfit training has proven to be a rather effective way to help high anxiety and depressive people. According to the American Psychological Association, “fit people do not have a higher incidence of depression than unfit people; rather, depression occurs in the unfit at a much lower rate than it does in the fit.”
One reason why crossfit works well with dealing with mental health issues is the fact that it forces you to stay on the treadmill…and out of your comfort zone.
While the sessions themselves are not considered stressful, going against your body’s natural reactions (adrenaline, cortisol, or the fight or flight response) can help to reduce levels of stress.
Some Good Advice for Women who are Thinking About Starting CrossFit
Let’s start off with some good advice for women that are thinking about starting CrossFit.
Although there is a stereotype that CrossFit is extremely macho and you have to be a super buff man to do it, the reality is that it is a perfectly good workout for women. Some people even think that it is actually better for women to do CrossFit than weightlifting, so you should definitely think about adding a CrossFit class to your exercise routine.
Although some women may want to try to get jacked up and do some manly feats of strength, that is definitely not what CrossFit is. CrossFit is focused on functional strength, and it is good for both men and women.
While the stereotype does have some truth in it, you should still be careful when joining a new gym. CrossFit is often termed as “gym candy,” so there is a big difference between a CrossFit gym and a regular gym. When talking to people in the gym, you should ask a lot of questions. One big thing that you should be concerned with is the liberal use of chalk. Often, the answer is going to be yes, as the use of chalk is common in CrossFit gyms.
If you have a job where you need to look nice, then you may want to forego the chalk. However, the added risk of getting chalk on your new outfit or in your hair is probably a small price to pay for being fit.
You should also try to find a CrossFit gym that teaches a regular weightlifting program along with their CrossFit philosophy. You may have heard that CrossFit gyms do not teach a lot of the basics of weight lifting. This is a dangerous misconception, because a lot of unsafe lifting techniques are developed if you do not have someone showing you how to lift properly. You should definitely try to find a gym that teaches the fundamentals along with CrossFit.
Don’t always assume that women will get along in the gym and don’t be surprised if there is some degree of competitiveness. Again, this is by no means a representation of most CrossFit gyms. However, this is something to be aware of.
You Don’t Need to be Fit or in Shape to Start
The first thing you should know about CrossFit is that it doesn’t require a high level of fitness.
Actually, it’s a pretty safe bet that the person next to you in a CrossFit class is also not in the best shape. At most CrossFit gyms, you will find a lot of people in their 60s and 70s who are as fit as anyone else in the class.
The good news is that it doesn’t matter. The same way that you would lift weights at a gym, the CrossFit training is scalable. Most CrossFit gyms have a warm-up period, where you do simple moves with light weights.
After the warm-up, you hit heavier weights that get increasingly difficult. When you get tired, you stop and move on to the next exercise. As you continue more classes, you become stronger and more fit, and you start doing exercises with heavier weights, which gets you to a level of fitness you never thought possible.
This scaling capability is one of the benefits of CrossFit. It works for everyone, from those just starting out or returning to weight-lifting to the very fit.
CrossFit’s scalable nature makes it the perfect for those who do not like long, dragged-out workouts that keep you waiting.
If you’re the type of person who needs structure, then CrossFit is great because you’re always aware of your progress. No matter what class you’re in, you know you’re doing the same movements and hitting the same number of reps, so you can easily establish a baseline and compare your performance week-over-week.
As mentioned before, the structure of the workouts is one of the major benefits of CrossFit. From the moment you walk into a CrossFit gym, you’ll observe how well-organized the place is.
There are often times a small crowd of people, some running around in the background, others following a trainer or doing another workout, but the people at the front of the gym are always the ones who actually have their routines set. They know that their trainer is about to call their name or their exercises, and they are ready and waiting.
What Should I Wear to My First CrossFit Class?
CrossFit workouts can be intense, so you don’t want to jump into them unprepared.
First, you’ll want sneakers or "crossfit shoes" that provide traction and support.
Second, you’ll want clothes that you don’t mind sweating through.
Grip socks, compression pants, and moisture-wicking shirts are all super comfortable and convenient, so look into getting them ahead of time, and spend a few workouts wearing them while you get accustomed to your new gym.
Aside from that, make sure you’re dressed appropriately for your chosen class. If you’re joining an early morning, summer or winter class you may want to consider bringing along a thermos of warm coffee or a hot towel to ensure you stay warm.
You may also want to consider bringing a pair of gym shoes for use at the gym (or just wear gym shoes to the class, of course).
How Do I Get into CrossFit?
First off, you always want to make sure you speak with your doctor before doing any exercises. No matter how healthy, fit, and active you are, you always need to make sure you have a clean bill of health first.
Then, you want to make sure you hit the CrossFit website and find a gym close to where you live or work. You can use their search feature to find a gym that is close to you.
Next, contact the gym and learn everything you can about CrossFit, and learn how to do some simple CrossFit exercises.
You can get a good idea about how to learn the movements from watching videos or by hiring a trainer, but the most common way to learn is simply by attending a free class.
Participant requirements vary from gym to gym, but you generally want to follow these rules:
First, don’t worry about the movements. You’ll get plenty of instruction on form.
Second, be courteous. You’ll interact with lots of new people as you learn how to CrossFit, and you don’t want to turn them off before they even meet you!
You may be asked to sign a waiver, but not all gyms require one.
Wrapping it All Up
Exercise is not only healthy, it’s great for your mind, spirit, and soul. The benefits of exercise are numerous and undeniable, and you find that the more you do it, the more you want to do it.
More than anything, exercise should be fun for you. This means you want to do something that you enjoy. You don’t want to be bored doing it, but you also don’t want something so physically intense that you dread it.
Exercise shouldn’t take up your whole day. In fact, the more you force yourself to overtrain, the less effective your sessions are. Its best to space things out, and to do different types of exercise such as cardio, resistance training, and special types of drills.
This is especially true when you want to build muscle and lose fat. Most people, especially if you’re trying to lose weight or pack on muscle, will want to combine all three types of exercise into their routines.
As for forms of exercise, the sky is the limit. The best routines and programs are those that you enjoy.
If you asked a running coach, they’ll tell you that running can be incredibly beneficial for you. If you ask a bodybuilder, most will tell you that lifting weights are necessary to build muscle.
Despite the differences in opinions on how you should train, most people would agree that when you enjoy what you do, you get results.
Ultimately, it doesn’t matter what type of form of training you do, as long as it gets you to move more.
When you do this, you derive the best possible benefits from it, which makes it easier for you to maintain a consistent schedule, form habits that stick, and start experiencing freedom from the excuses that keep you from exercising.
BE RIGHT, NOT WRONG.
The Ultimate Guide to Losing Weight, Building Muscle, and Getting Healthy.
Part One: Losing Weight
Chapter 1: Losing Weight The RIGHT Way
Chapter 2: The Lazy Man’s Guide to Losing Weight
Chapter 3: Body Composition
Chapter 4: The BIG FAT LIE
Chapter 5: Faster Fat Loss