Unfortunately, the internet lacks references to the source, that is early releases of the "CrossFit journal" that started in 2002. Who then heard about CrossFit? And who has now that leading sports gear producers launch massive campaigns to sell "ideal" CrossFit products? Few, however, can accurately define CrossFit. In short: it is a program combining strength training and cardio exercises of high capacity in each zone - this issue will be described in more details in the course of this article.
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Crossfit includes huge amount of exercises and disciplines: classic strength training (including exercises such as squats, deadlifts, clean and jerk, clean/snatch, pull-ups etc.), running (sprint, rhythms, tempo training, intervals), elements of plyometrics (eg. jumping, squat jums, burpees), swimming, cycling, rowing. But you should always keep it in mind that CrossFit exercises are to prepare you for many activities in terms of both strength and endurance. When it comes to strength CrossFit is based on the very basic simple movements without isolation exercises and machines (such as dumbbell lateral raise, lat pulldown or barbell curl). You can immediately spot some similarities to more advanced FBW trainings or push-pull ones. If your workout includes isolated exercises and machines, and does not make you a stronger, more efficient person - this is not a CrossFit workout. You canot mix any type of running with any type of resistance training, and believe you do a CrossFit training (as well as boxing and wrestling performed separately will not make you a MMA competitor). In bodybuilding it is common to perform cardio (some athletes run or ride a stationary bike twice a day, most days of a week, for nearly or even over an hour) and strength exercises. It is irrelevant; when it comes to releasing large amounts of energy in a short period of time most builders are powerless. Similarly, when you need to work for example for 10 minutes close to your maximum heart rate, overdeveloped muscles (used to slow movements while supporting various levers) and your heart will not be able to continue this effort. It is worth trying CrossFit (which is essentially just a new wrapping for old ideas). Confusingly similar methods had existed before.
Slowly we are begining to identify the advantages and disadvantages of such a training:
Advantages of CrossFit workout:
- it is interesting, you won't get bored (you can do something else in each session, every day for a month!),
- it builds strength, agility, speed, coordination, teaches how to trigger your strength,
- it shapes your functional strength (useful in many sports),
- it allows you to perform a complete, heavy training in 20 minutes (you save time),
- you don't need a lot of exercises and equipment,
- you can increase difficulty and capacity limitlessly,
- it builds "iron" aerobic and anaerobic endurance,
- you develop abdominal and back muscles (CORE training makes traditional sit-ups and other similar exercises unnecessary).
CrossFit training disadvantages:
- may entail too excessive burden for the elderly, the sick, untrained (remember to adjust the intensity to your own condition),
- intensive sessions can interfere with traditional weight training/runnin/martial arts training (you must know your body very well to properly integrate CrossFit with your training plan). If you intensively train another discipline, additional exercises can lead to overtraining,
- you have to get to know all the technical elements of usually complex CrossFit exercises (let's think: barely a handful of people you see in gyms can correctly barbell squat).
Crossfit is undoubtedly a very interesting system of training. Every time you try it, though, I would recommend turning to proven sources of training, because many people have no imagination how to compose their training plans. An effect of too heavy or poorly fitted one in reference to your weight, age, fitness, may, in most cases, turn out to be counterproductive.