CrossFit is a broad, general and inclusive strength and conditioning program that makes use of high-intensity, constantly-varied, functional movements with the specific objective of optimizing the trainee’s physical competence in each of ten recognized fitness domains: Cardiovascular and Respiratory Endurance, Stamina, Strength, Flexibility, Power, Speed, Coordination, Agility, Balance and Accuracy. We believe that one is as fit as they are proficient in each of these capacities.
Often described as the “sport of fitness,” the CrossFit program was developed by Greg Glassman who set out with the specific objective of devising a fitness training methodology that would empirically produce unrivalled athletic performance. Making use movements and techniques from three modalities – gymnastics, cardiovascular conditioning and weightlifting – CrossFit endeavours to prepare trainees for any physical contingency — not only for the unknown, but for the unknowable.
In our opinion CrossFit is without question the single most effective fitness regimen in the world and we have the empirical results to prove it. CrossFit athletes – and that’s exactly what they are, athletes – can lay claim to the title of “Fittest in the World”. It is not an accident that CrossFit is the training method of choice where physical performance is the primary determinant of success and is now the principal strength and conditioning program for many of the world’s police academies and tactical operations teams; fire departments; military special operations units; champion martial artists; and thousands of other elite and professional athletes worldwide.
What is a CrossFit training session like?
CrossFit is a sport and, like most sports, it is best done in concert with other athletes. While the workouts prescribed within CrossFit can certainly be done alone in your basement or garage, the sense of community, camaraderie and competition that is central to the CrossFit experience can only be fully appreciated within a CrossFit gym such as UPT CrossFit.
CrossFit training is typically offered in regularly scheduled, small group training sessions lead by a qualified and professional CrossFit trainer. The sessions usually last an hour and are devoted to learning, practicing and performing the prescribed functional movements. Since, by design, the workouts are constantly varied, no two CrossFit sessions are the same. We do not use machines because in CrossFit you are the machine. We use bars and weights, climbing and skipping ropes, kettle bells and medicine balls, rings and pull-up bars, the floor and the wall. We use our hands and feet, arms and legs, back and stomachs. We push, we pull, we lift, we run, we jump, we climb, we throw, we row, we compete, we laugh, we cheer, we work, we have fun. It’s everything you loved about gym class, the schoolyard and the backyard, all rolled into one.
You’ll work harder than you ever have in your life and you’ll love it.
Can anyone do it?
Yes! The beauty of CrossFit is that it is designed for universal scalability, thereby making it the perfect application for any committed individual regardless of experience, age or gender. The same workout routines apply for everyone, from elderly individuals with heart disease to cage fighters, from kids to Navy SEALS. We scale load and intensity; adjusting exercises, weights and reps to suit any ability but our methodology remains consistent – because it works. Young or old, male or female, couch potato or world-class athlete, CrossFit needs to be part of your regular physical routine.
I already play or train for another sport. Should I do CrossFit?
Yes, but only if you want to get better.
CrossFit is an all-encompassing physical health and fitness discipline. It is meant to be the very opposite of a specialized athletic endeavour. By virtue of its all-encompassing nature and focus on multiple physical domains and capacities, CrossFit has the unique capacity to augment athletic performance across virtually any sport. This is because it is exclusively focused on the athlete’s fitness level rather than the skills specific to that sport. In other words, while practicing your sport specific skills will improve your technical competencies, doing CrossFit will make you a fitter and better athlete. It will allow you to jump higher, run faster, hit harder, endure longer and compete at a higher physical level.
Whether you are playing in a recreational sports league or are a high-level amateur or a professional athlete, if you are serious about improving your performance you need to be doing CrossFit.
What the heck is OLY?
OLY or Olympic weightlifting is one of the world’s oldest and most revered sports and, together with gymnastics and metabolic conditioning, makes up the triad of athletic disciplines, which in concert form the basis of CrossFit. It is also the part of CrossFit that elicits the greatest amount of fear and misinformation because it is the element that is most foreign to people.
Everyone knows and has probably attempted to do a push-up or run a 5K race, but how many people have done a Snatch or a Clean & Jerk? The answer is simple – not enough. It is a well-known fact that Olympic lifting is without parallel in developing an athlete’s power, strength, speed, flexibility, coordination, agility, accuracy and balance.
We would argue that it is virtually impossible for an athlete to achieve their true fitness potential without incorporating elements of Olympic weightlifting into their workouts. Believe it or not, Olympic lifting is actually the part of their workouts that CrossFitters tend to enjoy the most.
Am I going to get “bulky” or put on weight doing CrossFit?
Type “CrossFit athletes” into Google and take a look at the photos. If you like what you see then that should answer your question. It’s important to keep in mind that CrossFit, unlike say Bodybuilding, does not concern itself with overdeveloping specific muscle groups and the like. We strive to create fit athletes. The fact that fit individuals just happen to look great in a bathing suit is simply a convenient by-product of that pursuit. The truth is that we have yet to encounter a committed CrossFitter who was dissatisfied with their body composition. That said, we recognize that there may be some hesitation on the part of newcomers – particularly women – to fully embrace the weight-bearing components of a workout at the start. As such, UPT CrossFit is pleased to offer an “Unloaded” variation of the traditional CrossFit program. These classes offer an opportunity to tryout CrossFit at a more measured intensity level.
Is CrossFit dangerous?
CrossFit is a physical activity and, like any activity, it comes with an expected amount of risk. It is always strongly recommend that you seek guidance from a medical professional before undertaking any strenuous physical activity.
The real question then, is whether CrossFit is any more dangerous than other training methods or sports. The answer is no. In fact, we would argue that when done properly, CrossFit, because it relies on core functional movements (i.e. the movements your body was actually designed and built to execute), is in fact a safer alternative than many other common training methods and/or sports-specific movements, which force the athlete to engage in static, repetitive and unnatural body movement. Has anyone injured themselves doing CrossFit? Of course. Can you think of a sport or activity in which a participant has never been injured? We didn’t think so. Show us a training method that has never resulted in an injury and we’ll show you one that is ineffectual. CrossFit does not introduce a new, previously avoidable injury into the mix. That said, like all sports, it is not immune from the potential ill effects that result from bad training habits, poor technique, subpar coaching and stupid behaviour.
Of course all of this misses the point. Without question, the real danger you should be worried about comes from not doing CrossFit. Heart disease, diabetes and hyperglycemia are dangerous. An inadequately developed muscular and skeletal system is dangerous. Living a sedentary life is dangerous. Failing to properly prepare your body to ward off decrepitude and the ravages of old age is dangerous. CrossFit protects you from these dangers. It maintains your well-being, it makes you fit and it will keep you out of the old age home.
How do I get started?
UPT CrossFit makes getting into CrossFit easy. We recognize that most people are a bit apprehensive when trying something new or joining a new community so we offer special introductory “Fundamentals” classes specifically designed for new members and/or first-time CrossFitters.
During your one hour intro class you and a few other fellow newbies will meet with one of our coaches who will take a few minutes to show you around and introduce you to other members of the UPT community. Once you have your bearings, your coach will walk you through a warm-up and begin to introduce some basic CrossFit concepts and movements. You’ll learn what in the world a WOD is and find out why everyone keeps talking about and cursing these ladies named Fran and Cindy (trust us, you won’t like them at first – they’re bitches). At the end of the sessions you and your UPT coach will have a chance to talk about how things went and what comes next.
Courtesy of CrossFit Inc.