The Cult of Crossfit

What Is Crossfit?

The basic principle of CrossFit is varied functional movementsperformed at a relatively high intensity.

Chris Anastasopoulos, head coach at CrossFit152, says that while CrossFit was created for the military, it has evolved into more technical movements over the years. “It’s a fitness programme with a large base of exercises and movements which have been put together to create high intensity workouts for any level of fitness and skill,”he says.

Each crossfit workout is run according to the clockand you are advised to keep accurate scores and records of your progress in order to monitor your progress.

What Are The Benefits?

The more work you do in less time or the higher the power output, the better the results.

When done correctly, the workout will result in:

  • Fat loss
  • Muscle gain
  • Hormone balancing
  • Stress relief
  • Increase in overall strength.

A key aspect of CrossFit is harnessing the camaraderie and competition that come with the workout. Classes are designed to foster a sense of belonging.

What Are The Risks?

While Crossfit is widely popular, it has been criticised for using dangerous movements, having a high risk of injury and inappropriate levels of intensity. Anastasopoulos says this need not be the case as the risk is relevant to the movement pattern and mobility. A person can prevent injury by scaling the movements and insuring good movement standards are met.

“In any sport where there are movements that a person is not used to, you run the risk of injury. You can prevent injuries by taking it slow and leaving your ego at the door. Take your time to build your strength up slowly until you are able to do the movements properly. It’s also essential to warm up and cool down at each class,” he says.

Top Tips For Maximising Your Workout:

  • When attempting any of the weightlifting or gymnastics movements, make sure you start off very light and ensure that your body is already warm.
  • Take it slow and ask questionsto ensure that you are doing the movements correctly.
  • The best results require you to be constant in your training. Don’t train like crazy for one week then skip a week, rather train consistently.
  • It’s advisable to a coach to ensure that you are doing the moves correctly and to keep you motivated.
  • Ensure that you get enough rest. Sleep at least 6-8 hours each day and take at least one or two days in between training sessions to help you recover.
  • Many newbies try to do too much, too fast. Avoid overtraining as this will slow your progressand could result in injury or chronic pain in your joints, limbs and bones.
  • Push yourself but remember to enjoy the workout.

Nutrition And Supplementation

For optimal results, good nutrition is vital. Most serious CrossFitters adhere to the Zone Diet, which prescribes 40% carbs, 30% protein and 30% fatfor every meal.

It is recommended to eat:

  • Meat
  • Vegetables
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Some fruit
  • A little starch
  • No sugar.
Anastasopoulos suggests taking a multivitamin with Calcium and Magnesium. “If you are training everyday a good protein shake with branch chain amino acids and glutamine help with sore muscles and aids recovery. Omega 3 is also very good,” he says.

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