Images Personal Training Explain "Crossfit"Posted: Updated:
I’ve always said there will be no shortage of “magic pills” - to get one in shape fast, “wonder diets” - that allow one to eat whatever and lose weight and “space-age equipment’ - that by doing only a few minutes per day, will leave you looking like the fitness model from the infomercial (just don’t read the fine print - the truth outweighs the magic!) Other diets, workouts and equipment are nothing new but just a spinoff of what we’ve been doing all along.
Take Zumba. When Zumba first hit the gyms, it didn’t take long before we had amateur dancers, jingling their charm belts to numerous styles of dance. In this one hour class, participants find themselves huffing and puffing while sweating profusely, all the while having fun. This activity will build balance, core-control and bodily stability. If you’re really moving, you’ll burn a good deal of calories as well. When I’ve participated in Zumba, it was to gain a better understanding over this new form of exercise. Typically, I was the only male in the class and even though I got a good cardio workout, it left me longing for some weight training. What I discovered was that Zumba offered organization and comradery, paired with a high calorie burn. What I still needed was the explicit breakdown of muscle tissue. As a trainer, I know that I’ll burn more calories with the repair of muscle than with the manipulation heart rate alone. Science aside, I never felt quite right, hearing my hips jingle, in my Zumba skirt.
As a personal trainer, knowing the importance of group fitness paired with resistance training led me to attain my Les Mills BodyPump, certification. In this one hour class, participants line their work area with mats, steps, weight bars and specified weight add-ons in anticipation of working the entire body to failure. We do so, by pairing each muscle group to a musical track. The entire workout goes by, song by song, muscle group by muscle group. Even though I find my whole body aches and my heart races, it still gives me a “Zumba like” feel with choreographed movements and a top 40 music selection. I like Justin Timberlake but I’m not up for bicep curling for 5 minutes straight as his music track is played within the class. With my foundation in traditional weight training, I suppose I’m looking for a bit more muscular stimuli from my workout.
Like so many of my peers, I find myself gravitating to what I like best; flying “workout” solo. My workout of choice is moving iron - resistance training. When I’m hitting the weights, I typically stick to compound (multi-joint) movements, beginning with larger muscle groups; chest, back or legs. After, I work into smaller muscle groups, isolating, with primary (single-joint) movements. I finish with timed or higher rep activity paired with core and/or static balance.
When comparing flying solo to participating in a group fit class, what I gain in muscular breakdown (flying solo), I lose in involuntary forced effort (within the group). The additional “push” I receive from having an instructor and group participants, elude me as I have no accountability for the additional reps, or seconds that the group would encourage me to maintain. It seems we need a “man’s” class! *women not excluded*
CrossFit – Workouts which incorporate elements from high-intensity interval training, Olympic weightlifting, plyometrics, powerlifting, gymnastics, calisthenics, strongman and other exercises led by a class instructor and held accountable to time.*
CrossFit is nothing more than combining the group fitness environment with the weight lifters mentality. What we’ve created - I use this loosely – is a men’s group fitness class!
So don’t let those new Crossfit “boxes” (what “Crossfitters” refer to as a gym) scare you. Rather, just understand that those hardened individuals: policeman, firefighters, military servicemen, veterans and the occasional “badass” are nothing more than the type of active person that needs a group and possibly a hug after a workout. If you’re not prepared for that level of intensity or maybe you’re not ready for that sweaty hug just yet, check in with your local personal trainer. We too have been doing Crossfit for years. Your neighborhood personal trainer has been mastering all forms of exercise since the day they hit the marketplace. The difference, is you’ll learn all the other forms of exercise as well.
Images Personal Training – The “weight” is over for every”body!”