August 3, 2012

The Booming CrossFit Craze

CrossFit Craze











If you already exercise you most likely have heard of CrossFit, but probably don’t understand what it is.  If you don’t exercise you probably haven’t heard of the CrossFit craze, and probably don’t care.

CrossFit is actually a fitness company that has developed exercise programs designed to provide broad and general fitness to all populations and occupations. You can think of it as universal exercise programs. Crossfit programs are extensively used by firefighters, police academies, martial artists, and military personnel.

CrossFit Philosophy

Elite and competitive athletes know when and how they will use their bodies to perform athletic feats.  But, the rest of us, including firefighters, police officers, and military personnel some times have to react to situations with little notice.  We don’t know when we might have to lift a fallen tree off someone, or have to run down 20 flights of stairs jumping over debris to escape a burning building.

Therefore, having broad level of fitness is more important for most of us than having a specialized fitness that a football lineman, or an Olympic sprinter might possess. Crossfit emphasizes development of general physical skills and attributes.

CrossFit uses the same programs regardless of age or health status, but does adjust the intensity and the loads that are used in the exercise programs according to an individual’s circumstances. For example, someone older or with arthritis will perform the same exercises but at lower intensities and using lighter loads.

CrossFit Fitness Skills

CrossFit has identified 10 general fitness skills that it targets with its programs. These include the following:

  1. Cardiovascular endurance
  2. Stamina
  3. Strength
  4. Flexibility
  5. Speed
  6. Power
  7. Coordination
  8. Agility
  9. Balance
  10. Accuracy

Crossfit attempts to find where these physical skills overlap to provide you with a broad level of fitness.  It’s like training you be a decathlete than a single sport athlete.

In case you’re wondering what the difference is between cardiovascular endurance and stamina, it is this.  Cardiovascular endurance deals with oxygen delivery and utilization, while stamina deals with energy delivery and utilization. For more information on these 10 physical skills click here.

CrossFit Training Workouts

CrossFit training workouts are typically 20 minutes or less.  But, they are intense.  It’s a form of high intensity interval training, which we are big fans of. The program utilizes many body weight exercises like pull-ups and push-ups.  You won’t see any fancy equipment in a CrossFit gym.  Exercises are frequently performed using medicine balls, kettlebells, jump ropes, dumbbells, pull-up bars, gymnastic rings, and so on.

Exercises are performed with little rest between one activity and another. Individuals are motivated by competing with others, and performance of an exercise is either scored or ranked in relation to the performance of other individuals. Since few want to finish last or perform the least number of push-ups these methods help ensure that individuals give their best effort.

Injuries have been associated with CrossFit ususally stemming from improper form.  It’s essential that all exercises be performed with proper technique and form.  Maintaining proper form can be difficult to achieve when you’re completing your 100th squat, though.

The CrossFit Games are the ultimate challenge for the true competitor wanting to showcase his or her fitness level.

Though interest in CrossFit has intensified recently, Its programs are solidly based on time-tested principles, principles that will long endure once the craze subsides. CrossFit is sure to deliver results.

See related articles.

“Kettlebell Beginner Workout”

“The Benefits of Body Weight Exercises”

“High Intensity Interval Training: Short and Sweet”



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Dr. Joe Jacko

Dr. Joe is board certified in internal medicine and sports medicine with additional training in hormone replacement therapy and regenerative medicine. He has trained or practiced at leading institutions including the Hughston Clinic, Cooper Clinic, Steadman-Hawkins Clinic of the Carolinas, and Cenegenics. He currently practices in Columbus, Ohio at Grandview Primary Care. Read more about Dr. Joe Jacko

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