Last week, in our search for different workout routines, we looked at the bodyweight regimen. This week, we’re going to look at another, more intense fitness regimen: CrossFit.
CrossFit and Heart Health
General fitness and heart health are closely linked. Just like your other muscles, the heart is a very important muscle that also needs regular exercise to stay healthy. All exercise regimens work the heart, but they vary in intensity. CrossFit is an intense exercise regimen that helps whip the body into shape and promotes optimal heart health.
Origins of the CrossFit Exercise Program
CrossFit has taken the nation by storm. It was created by Greg Glassman, a coach and former gymnast in Santa Cruz, California. Everything changed when Glassman developed his own website where he would post daily workout routines or what he called, “the workout of the day” or WOD.
Initially his first clients consisted of firefighters, police officers, and military types, but the popularity of his workout routines began to grow. Devoted followers of CrossFit are now so numerous that they’re called CrossFitters, and gyms across the United States have incorporated this workout program as part of their services.
How It Works
One of the main points of this exercise program is that there’s no set routine. This means that each time you engage in a workout, you’ll be trying new moves to keep things interesting and to work out a wide range of muscles. There are at least 50 basic exercises that are used to create every “workout of the day”. With so many options, the routines are less likely to be boring.
CrossFit also promotes community because it is not a solitary experience. Gyms often offer these classes to groups of people. For many clients, this may be one of the reasons that CrossFit is so effective and enjoyable.
The basic routines of CrossFit include skills from Olympic weightlifting, gymnastics, and track and field. The goal is to increase core strength and conditioning through the exercises from the previously mentioned disciplines and other basic moves that create the different routines every day. These routines include movements such as:
While these may sound simple, the other trademark of this exercise workout is its intensity. Because of that, it can be completed in an efficient 15 to 20-minute session. Many of these trainers want their clients to move as quickly as they can as they go through the workout —a short but powerful burst of exercise.
CrossFit may be intense, but it’s designed for general fitness. When paired with a healthy diet, plenty of rest, and emotional and spiritual wellbeing, CrossFit may be a good option for those looking for a new regimen.
I have seen many CrossFit centers across town – many set up according to neighborhood which I guess demonstrates the community aspect. I haven’t participated in this regimen before, but I do find the WOD concept interesting. Before deciding to engage in CrossFit, you should learn more about the workout of the day. Tomorrow, I will publish Part 2 which will look at some of the more popular WOD routines and give you some idea about what it entails.
Remember, you should consult your physician or other health care professional before starting this or any other fitness routine.
Loving Life—The Reboot