CrossFit is “recognised as one of the most challenging fitness regimens around, so much so that the winners of the annual CrossFit Games are regularly referred to as the “Fittest Man/Woman on Earth”. While the effects of CrossFit cannot be denied, not everyone wants to train in CrossFit, nor should they! There’s more than one path to fitness, but there are several key takeaways from CrossFit that apply very well to other forms of training.
1. Variety is good
CrossFit employs a wide variety of exercises, ranging from calisthenics to weightlifting and strongman. Not only that, workouts rotate on a daily basis to the point where you’ll never do the same workout twice in a week! The good thing about variety is that it keeps training stagnancy at bay, so that you’ll never truly feel like you’re in a rut. Your focus is also evenly spread across multiple aspects of fitness, as specialising too much in one area can come at the expense of others.
2. Constantly challenge yourself
CrossFit WODs are typically designed with one of three aims in mind: completion within a certain amount of time, completion of as many rounds as possible, or working up to a 1RM. The beauty of this is that all three approaches are measurable, meaning that you can objectively track your progress. The idea of setting benchmarks allows one to constantly push one’s self to be better, whether in terms of speed, strength or skill.
3. Movement matters
If you’ve every watched a CrossFit workout in progress, you’re bound to notice at least one other thing besides all the sweating that goes on – CrossFitters move. A lot. The idea of movement being a cornerstone of good health is hardly a new one, yet has only recently been picked up by the masses. The importance of movement extends beyond just training; being active even when outside of the gym can have a profound effect on your health.
4. Always stay on your toes
Injuries are a common thing in CrossFit and while some choose to wear their injuries as a badge of honour, you should never aim – inadvertently or otherwise – to get hurt while training. This means being aware of your surroundings and yourself while you train and making sure that you maintain proper form. Addressing muscular imbalances, weak links and other “unsexy” stuff also plays a strong role in injurt prevention.
5. Having support helps
One of the defining things about CrossFit is its community. A good number people actually take up CrossFit more for the sense of belonging and inclusion than the actual training, which is totally fine! Whether its having friends and family that are supportive or a personal trainer that takes the time to understand your concerns, having a healthy social network can make the difference between fitness as a lifestyle and fitness as a phase.
Whether it’s yoga, swimming, bodybuilding or obstacle racing, the idea of fitness is to lead a life of quality, and this means making sure that certain areas of your life are taken care of. The principles you learn and apply in training can often be practiced in your daily life to great effect as well, and this is more from just CrossFit!