With more than 13,000 affiliate centers (boxes) around the world, CrossFit is the exercise fitness program of choice for individuals of all ages. More than half of the centers are in the United States. Founder Greg Glassman, over several decades, developed a fitness program to improve fitness and health. (Source: http://CrossFit.com)
CrossFit workouts incorporate elements from high-intensity interval training, Olympic weightlifting, plyometrics, powerlifting, gymnastics, girevoy sport (kettlebells) calisthenics, Strongman, and other exercises. (Source: Wikipedia.com)
- High-intensity interval training – a cardiovascular exercise strategy alternating short periods of intense anaerobic exercise. The exercise sessions generally consist of a warm up period, then several repetitions of high-intensity exercise separated by medium intensity exercise for recovery, then a cool down period. These intense workouts typically last under 30 minutes, with times varying based on participants’ current fitness level. It is used by athletes in non-endurance sports to promote strength, speed, and power and by body builders to build muscle mass. Anaerobic exercise examples: walking, long-slow runs, running, cycling, and rowing.
- Olympic-style weigh lifting – Athlete attempts to lift a maximum weight on a barbell. Examples: Snatch and Clean and Jerk.
- Plyometrics – “jump training” or “plyos” are exercises in which muscles exert maximum force in short intervals of time, with the goal of increasing power (speed strength). This training focuses on learning to move from a muscle extention to a contraction in a rapid or “explosive” manner, such as, in specialized repeated jumping.
- Powerlifting – a strength sport that uses the squat, bench press, and deadlift.
- Gymnastics – sport involving the performance of exercises requiring balance, strength, flexibility, agility, endurance, and control. The movements involved in gymnastics contribute to the development of the arms, legs, shoulders, chest, and abdominal muscle groups.
- Calisthenics – exercises consisting of a variety of gross motor movements – running, standing, grasping, pushing, etc., often performed rhythmically and generally without equipment or apparatus. Increase body strength, body fitness and flexibility, through movement such as pulling or pushing oneself up, bending, jumping or swinging using only one’s body weight for resistence. Usually conducted in concert with stretches. When performed vigorously and with variety, calisthenics can provide the benefits of muscular and aerobic conditioning, in addition to improving psychomotor skills such as balance, agility and coordination.
“CrossFit is not a specialized fitness program, but a deliberate attempt to optimize physical competence in each of 10 recognized fitness domains.” – Gregg Glassman
Those domains are: cardiovascular and respiratory endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, speed, coordination, agility, balance and accuracy. (Source: http://CrossFit.com)
CrossFit Kids is a method for teaching Greg Glass’s CrossFit to children, ages 3-18. The Startup Curriculum is outstanding and has programs for preschool, kids, and teens. CrossFit Kids is meant to be Big fun. Why this program?
- Active alternative to sedentary pursuits
- Less childhood obesity and all-around better health
- Scalable for any age or experience level
- Accounts for the varied maturation status one can find in a class full of kids
- Designed to be minimalist
- Inexpensive and requires little or no equipment
- Lifetime fitness opportunity for a wide array of socioeconomic groups
Crossfit Kids programs can be found in over 1,800 gyms and more than 1,000 schools worldwide. (Source: http://CrossFit.com)
“Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch, no sugar. You need to weigh and measure your food. You need accuracy and precision to your consumption or you will never get a jet stream of elite” – Greg Glassman
CrossFit – Adults Over 50
Did you know that by our 50th birthday only about one in six of us is still exercising and active to minimal levels suggested to maintain our health. By training to improve fitness, older adults give themselves the best chance to maintain health and independence in their later years. Think of creating fitness as Greg Glassman terms it “non-medical health care”.
It is never too late to get off the couch and start training to improve strength, endurance, and mobility. Being stronger, higher endurance and mobility are associated with longevity. Not only do physical function and quality of life improve, but creating fitness in older adults also cuts risk if disease and allows you to enjoy a long life.
“We’ve used our same routines for elderly individuals with heart disease and cage fighters one month out from televised bouts. We scale load and intensity: we don’t change the programs.” – Greg Glassman
Loads, repetitions, and time domains can be modified to suit the needs of the individuals. But each athlete is getting fitter, improving range of motion, and maintaining his or her capabilities by performing constantly varied functional movements at a relatively high intensity.
Some CrossFit affiliates are finding success creating entire programs that are tailored to help groups of Baby Boomers use CrossFit to stay fitter in their Golden Years. The community that spontaneously arises when people do these workouts together is a key component of why CrossFit is so effective. (Source: CrossFit Journal, may 2016, Author: Emily Beers)
Note: My wife participates in Spinal Fit, a program offered in a CrossFit center (box) in our community. Spinal Fit is a Doctor & Wellness Physician exercise program to help the Body regardless of age or health condition. The program embraces many of the aspects of the CrossFit philosophy and methodology.