Posted: Nov 26, 2012 6:00 AM
 
Everyone seems to be talking about CrossFit, but what is it? Sure, cross-training has been around as a concept since Jazzercise was invented — but this is different. We found out what it’s all about, what types of exercises are involved and why you may (or may not) want to give it a try.

Founded in 2003, CrossFit started out as a simple fitness blog, then went on to generate a revolution in the fitness industry. The daily blog posts contained just a few basics — the date, a picture, the Workout of the Day (WOD) and usually a tidbit of information related to health or fitness.

So what is CrossFit?

CrossFit is a fitness regimen designed to optimize overall fitness, using a wide variety of movements performed at a relatively high intensity. Coach Greg Glassman developed this routine focusing on his simple definition of fitness — increased work capacity across broad time and modal domains. In addition to the fitness aspect there is an incredible sense of community shared by participants — a key aspect of why CrossFit is so effective.

Be physically competent to handle all of the challenges in life.

CrossFit aims to help people "be physically competent to handle all of the challenges in life" by educating participants in the areas of movement, fitness and nutrition. Safe and effective movement is considered just as important as achieving overall fitness, and nutrition is seen as a way to support overall fitness.

Devoted fans

Jessica Bern — owner of Two Funny Brains and star of upcoming web series, BlogTHAT — was a self-described "gym rat" for 28 years. She thought she liked the fact that people kept to themselves and did their own thing, until she got bored and needed to shake up her routine. "What I found was that CrossFit is a community," she shares. "It is a place where you can test yourself, push yourself to your limits. When you think you've reached your limit there are people around that will push you further." Developing physical strength is only the beginning. "For me, this translated into my realization that for many years I'd been cheating myself by denying how strong I really was in all parts of my life," says Bern. "It has absolutely given me more confidence to deal with whatever obstacles I'm facing, it has refined my shape even more and I swear I'm walking taller."

CrossFit is all about challenging and pushing yourself to accomplish what you thought you couldn't.

Mother of three Sherri has been a fan of CrossFit for 8 years now. "I still love going and still get nervous right before some Workouts of the Day (WODS) — good healthy competition can do that to you," Sherri shares. "CrossFit is all about challenging and pushing yourself to accomplish what you thought you couldn't," she adds. "The camaraderie and encouragement of other CrossFitters helps you to achieve PRs (Personal Records) and keeps it fun. Some of the best WODs are partner or team WODs. These make everyone push to be their best and are crazy fun!" Sherri admits that it's sometimes a love-hate feeling, but says "It's keeping my muscles strong and helps fight osteoporosis — so regardless of my perfect weight, it has major benefits!"

Tried it out

I have to admit it made me feel like a bit of a badass.

Jessi and her husband were already working out on a regular basis when they tried CrossFit. "I enjoyed it for the most part but always felt nervous going into the gym in anticipation of the workout," she says. "However, I really did notice an improvement in my body and endurance. I hated some parts the workouts, and did not have a desire to lift weights to the degree that they do." Jessi enjoyed the Work Out of the Day (WOD) when it included squats, kettle bells, rowing, sprinting and sit ups. "Well, 'enjoyed' may be a bit of an overstatement," she shares. "I just didn't hate those WODs. I did feel a change in my body and endurance as well as a sense of accomplishment. I have to admit it made me feel like a bit of a badass." She decided to try a different workout after injuring her neck doing pull-ups. "I have no desire to continue doing workouts that I don't like and can potentially cause an injury," she says.

Share with us!^ Have you tried CrossFit? Tell us about your experience in the comment section.

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Angela Amman November 13, 2012
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I am torn over CrossFit ... I have a friend who's a CrossFit trainer, and she swears by it (and looks amazing.) I have another friend who loved it but then dislocated and fractured her shoulder doing a WOD, so I'm unsure.