A person strives for improvement in all areas, and power sports are no exception. Currently, a relatively new discipline called “CrossFit” is rapidly gaining popularity. This training system causes lively controversy among fitness experts, doctors, trainers, professional athletes.
Let’s consider in detail what CrossFit is, what are the advantages of this system, who can and who should not do CrossFit.
The word “crossfit” is now understood as a sports movement based on the philosophy of versatile physical development. At the same time, this is the name of a fitness company founded in 2000 by athletes Greg Glassman and Lauren Jenay. Crossfit exercises are divided into purely physical exercises, intended for people without professional sports training, and more complex ones, which are practiced by trained athletes for competitive purposes.
The ideologist of this sport is Greg Glassman, a former professional gymnast. The first CrossFit gym was opened in California in 2001. For 15 years of development of a new direction in power sports, about 4,000 gyms have been opened around the world in which this system is practiced. In some countries (for example, in Canada), crossfit is officially included in the training program for special forces of the armed forces, fire brigades. There is even a CrossFit Kids course designed specifically for children.
Experts define CrossFit as a training system that develops all the physical qualities of an athlete – endurance, strength, speed, flexibility, coordination. Moreover, the means of achieving these qualities can be very different. Classes usually include quickly replacing each other circuit training of various orientations.
Crossfit workouts are characterized by high intensity, constant change of exercises and include the following elements:
- weightlifting and athletics,
- classical gymnastics,
- kettlebell lifting.
The purpose of the classes: to develop physical qualities, improve the performance of the heart, blood vessels, respiratory system, teach the body to quickly adapt to changing loads.
Typical crossfit training can combine sports such as sprint races, rowing exercises (on special equipment), rope climbing, dumbbells, barbells, kettlebells, gymnastic exercises on rings, rolling huge tires.
There are no restrictions in terms of loads for coaches and athletes, in connection with which some experts speak negatively about this discipline. In particular, it is widely believed that CrossFit is bad for the heart and has an increased risk of injury. It is not recommended for people without any preparation to engage in this discipline.
CrossFit is currently practiced as a competitive sport. The community of adherents of this trend is growing, local crossfit competitions, as well as online competitions, are held almost all over the world. CrossFit in Russia also has a sufficient number of fans: gyms where the intensive physical development program is practiced are open in almost all major cities of the country.
Basic principles and rules of training
True CrossFit fans can train up to 12 times a week. Morning classes usually include strength training, in the evening they practice various functional loads – jogging, swimming, cycling.
The CrossFit system is available in many variations, but the classic technique is only practiced in a network of certified gyms. The company trains instructors and licenses gyms to become part of the worldwide CrossFit Inc. network. Affiliates can develop their own training methods and set prices.
Classes consist of a general warm-up, a developmental block and 10-15 minutes of high-intensity training. Networked gyms that practice CrossFit usually design a “workout of the day” that covers a specific (different every day) fitness area or target muscle group. To increase the motivation of participants, elements of competition are used, such as scoring and reaching various levels.
Basic training rules:
- Maximum intensity in every workout;
- The more often you exercise, the better;
- A minimum of rest between exercises (or better, its complete absence);
- Changing the direction of loads at each lesson.
True adherents of this fitness movement, in addition to training in the gym, practice crossfit at home, using push-ups, pull-ups, jumping, endurance exercises, sprint running. CrossFit is also a vast online community: every day on the Internet, athletes and coaches post new training programs, articles and videos on exercise techniques, materials on proper nutrition for the best results.
The benefits of CrossFit are, first of all, in all-round physical development. It’s clear that the program is suitable only for absolutely healthy people with a certain level of physical fitness. Anyway, prior consultation with a doctor or crossfit expert is required…
Let’s list the main advantages of this popular sports area:
- Developing willpower: Quitting halfway through your workout is against the rules of CrossFit. The started circle of exercises (complex) must be completed, and it is desirable to also beat yesterday’s record. The ability to overcome oneself, to do the impossible is an obligatory quality for a real athlete.
- Body transformation. The high intensity of the exercise allows you to easily lose weight. In one workout, approximately 1000 calories are burned. If you also eat right, the results will not be long in coming.
- Maximum effect in a short time.
- Possibility of training both in a group and individually.
- Development of endurance and strength. CrossFit adherents have prominent and firm muscles, clear veins and pronounced muscular strength.
- No age restrictions. You can do CrossFit even after 50, as long as your health allows. Athletes of this age are quite freely admitted to the competition.
Today CrossFit has many admirers and fans. International games have been held since 2007 – the number of participants in the competition and sponsors is growing every year. In 2012, the first Russian CrossFit Championship was held. Competitions were held in Moscow, 30 men and 30 girls took part in the program. Since then, the games have been held annually in Russia.
Opponents of the new direction in power sports believe that not everyone should be engaged in such an intense and rich program. The main harm of CrossFit is the extreme loads that a beginner receives almost in the first lesson.
At the same time, there is no clear guide for beginners as such. Some experts believe that the intensity of training is dangerous not only for neophytes, but also for experienced athletes. Extreme training is always an increased trauma and the risk of cardiovascular complications. Since when performing exercises athletes are guided not by technique, but by speed and high weight, the likelihood of injury increases many times over.
Not all professional athletes accept and endorse CrossFit. For example, the famous athlete Sergey Badyuk speaks extremely negatively about CrossFit, believing that intensive training has a detrimental effect on the myocardium (muscle tissue of the heart) and contributes to its wear.
To the question “is CrossFit harmful?” each athlete is ultimately responsible for himself. Obviously, this discipline is more suitable for those athletes who already have experience in bodybuilding or other strength disciplines.
You will not be able to conduct training without shells at all. You need at least a horizontal bar and a pair of dumbbells. It is also advisable to have a small sandbag for weight training.
Examples of simple and effective exercises:
- The fastest pull-ups on the horizontal bar, which are made in jerks. 15 repetitions are done in one round.
- Explosive squats. They are done like regular squats, but at the moment when you need to get up, you need to jump up as much as possible. 15 repetitions are also done.
- Raising legs on the horizontal bar. Hanging on the horizontal bar, quickly and intensively pull your legs to your stomach.
- Burpee. Sit down, pulling your legs up to your chest and resting your hands on the floor. Throw your legs back, standing at the support, then return to the starting position and make the highest jump up.
- Explosive push-ups. Regular push-ups, in which at the top of the palms the palms are lifted off the floor.
There are hundreds, perhaps even thousands, of strength intensive programs, with each practitioner choosing exercises according to their personal preferences. General advice – do not force loads from the first exercises, performing the maximum number of repetitions and circles, let the body adapt to extreme conditions.