For years, CrossFit has been the principal strength and conditioning program for many police academies and tactical operations teams, military special operations units, champion martial artists and hundreds of other elite and professional athletes worldwide. But recently, this hard-core exercise routine has taken a front-seat among fitness enthusiasts. From senior citizens, to librarians to firefighters, people of all ability levels are reaping the rewards of this intense workout.
“Before starting CrossFit, I was out of shape and at 170 pounds and at 5 feet tall, I knew I had to make a change. With CrossFit, I lost 20 pounds in three months and gained a lot of muscle,” Says Priscilla Marrot, Morgan Hill CrossFit fan. “If I can do it, anyone can!”
What is CrossFit? Taught by certified instructors, it is a strength and conditioning workout that combines weightlifting, sprinting, gymnastics, powerlifting, kettlebell training, plyometrics, rowing, and medicine ball training—for a calorie blasting, gut wrenching, strenuous, yet fun workout. CrossFit athletes run, row, jump rope, climb rope and carry odd objects. They frequently move large loads quickly over short distances, and use powerlifting and Olympic weightlifting techniques.
Founded by gymnast Greg Glassman, in his Santa Cruz garage in the 1980s, it gathered national awareness when he launched crossfit.com in 2001 and began sharing the free workouts and asking people to post their results on his web page. Since then, affiliate gyms have sprouted up all around the country.
His website (www.crossfit.com), contends that “A healthy, fit person requires proficiency in each of ten general physical skills: cardiovascular/respiratory endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, speed, agility, balance, coordination, and accuracy. It defines fitness as increased work capacity across all these domains and says its program achieves this by provoking neurologic and hormonal adaptations across all metabolic pathways.”
CrossFit’s enthusiasts say its most touted benefit is how it prepares you for every day life. From carrying the groceries up three flight of stairs to chasing little toddlers around the house, it gets you in shape to conquer each and every day feeling strong and healthy.
If you don’t have a lot of time to carve out for exercise, CrossFit may be your perfect match. It provides a high-intensity complete body workout quickly and efficiently while burning anywhere from 300-600 calories per session.
A typical workout consists of a pre-workout, a warm up, the core workout program, and finishes up with a cool down period. All together classes tend to run about 30-45 minutes, which means you are done and out the door in under an hour!
But, if you are someone that prefers to go to the gym for an easy elliptical workout (while barely breaking a sweat), you will be in shock after one Crossfit session. With CrossFit, there is no room for the faint of heart. Be prepared to work your butt off (literally) and sweat like a pig. There is no “faking it” in one of these workouts. With little to no downtime between exercises, you will need to find your inner mental strength to get you through a whole workout. One more thing—you probably won’t be able to walk for a few days afterwards.
CrossFit claims to make you stronger, faster, more flexible, more powerful, and healthier than you have ever been before. Are you ready to take on the CrossFit challenge?
CrossFit locations abound. Here’s a list to get you started!
Train for Life, Morgan Hill
Defiance CrossFit, Mountain View
CrossFit Santa Clara, Santa Clara
CrossFit Los Gatos, Los Gatos
CrossFit Campbell, Campbell
CrossFit San Jose, San Jose
Cold Storage CrossFit, Hollister