One of the most popular fitness trends of 2012 was the CrossFit phenomenon. Dedicated gyms gave followers a place to perfect their WOD (workout of the day) while finding motivation from like-minded men and women. CrossFit is not going out with the old but will be very much a part of this new year. If you’ve thought about joining the craze, let us be your guide.
What is CrossFit?
In the year 2000, Greg Glassman created a workout program that has become known as CrossFit. This program is a short workout that involves high intensity functional movements for the entire body. The idea is to push one’s self as hard as possible for a short amount of time, sometimes even less than 20 minutes.
CrossFit involves many dynamic exercises such as plyometric jumps, Olympic lifts, sprinting, rowing, jump rope, flipping tires, body weight exercises, weightlifting and even climbing a rope to the top of a ceiling. If you’ve been to a bootcamp, it looks very similar. In terms of weight lifting, we aren’t just talking about your average dumbbell, but other non-traditional weight lifting equipment. Some of these might include sand bags, kettlebells, water-filled containers, and suspension systems.
The goal during this very high intensity workout is to perform a certain number or repetitions in a certain amount of time. Some athletes who take CrossFit classes are even scored and ranked in order to encourage competition and to track progress. For those who are more advanced, some will even compete against one another in person and then post their results on the CrossFit website.
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CrossFit has nearly become a household name in the last several years. Known for its intense, non-sense WOD (workout of the day), CrossFit is a strength and conditioning program that focuses on constant variance. Participants rarely do the same thing twice in one week, opting for a 10K one day, 100 kettle bell swings the following day, and 40 power cleans the next.
Because of its intense nature, often involving serious weight lifting, many have wondered if it’s safe for children. According to Jeff Martin, co-founder of CrossFit Kids, it certainly is.
Martin and his wife, Mikki, founded their fitness center for children back in 2004. Their goal? To combine exercise and fun. Over the last several years, the concept has taken off and hundreds of CrossFit Kids classes now take place in cities around the U.S. and beyond.
CrossFit DoneRight, a similar company in Rockville, Maryland, is now one of many kid-focused CrossFit gyms, including dozens in the D.C. area alone. As reported by NPR, kids as young as 4 years old are now participating in CrossFit, which has left some concerned about how safe it really is.
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Singer Kelly Clarkson, brought to stardom by winning “American Idol,” is once again the subject of celebrity gossip because of her recent weight loss. The 30-year-old recently appeared at the Billboard Music Awards showing off a new, trim figure. Clarkson credits her trainer for helping her slim down about 20 pounds. She says her trainer makes exercise fun, and they schedule a variety of activities, like hiking, to keep things interesting. Clarkson calls her “Chuck Nora” because of her hardcore, G.I.-Jane-like persona. She also said she has been eating healthier to help shed weight. Overall, though, Clarkson says that she exercises as a stress reliever.
New events in the singer’s life have prompted her most recent exercise and diet regimen. She recently began dating Brandon Blackstock, Reba McIntire’s stepson, and says that spurred her desire to be healthier. In an interview, she said she likes being toned when she is in a relationship. In fact, they use the same trainer – but they don’t work out together. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, “We did that once and I didn’t like huffing and puffing. I didn’t like looking all red and gross.” She is also beginning a new reality TV show, “Duets,” which will feature her singing on stage every week along with an amateur singer.
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In the past few years CrossFit has been capturing the eyes of many individuals from around the world. With their affiliate gyms popping up everywhere, it seems that CrossFit is carving out its own unique niche within the fitness industry. If you were to log on to any social media site, there are many CrossFit fan pages, videos, and advertisements on where you can do this type of physical training. The question to be asked: Is CrossFit for everyone? And with popularity and large masses of people doing it, what are the pros and cons?
The CrossFit corporation is not a franchise, but you can buy into their affiliate program, which costs $3000 and you must take and pass their Level 1 Certificate Course, which cost $1000. Once you take and pass this course, you are now eligible to apply to be an affiliate of CrossFit.
This is where some of the bad publicity comes into play with CrossFit, and it has been getting a lot of press in the health and fitness industry. Are the individuals who are becoming business owners of affiliate CrossFit gyms experienced enough to run such a facility, and do they have enough training experience? We know that CrossFit is an excellent system if the right trainers are in place to teach these methods. If the wrong instructors/trainers are not qualified and the only training they have taken is the Level 1 Certification Course, then this is not a good sign. This is when CrossFit needs to focus their attention on due diligence and really qualify individuals before granting a CrossFit affiliate license. If the qualifications are stricter, it will create more credibility within the health and fitness industry.
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