CrossFit Gymnastics: Bodyweight Mechanics are Basics for a Reason

What is bodyweight?

Bodyweight means nothing but the act of moving your own weight from one place to another without using any kind of support or assistance. When you perform a movement with your hands, feet, legs and all other parts of your body, it’s called “bodywork”. If you want to learn how to do these movements correctly then you need to start practicing them regularly. There are many different types of exercises which can be done during this practice. You can do them standing up, lying down, sitting down etc. All these variations are called “exercises” because they involve the use of your whole body.

The most common type of exercise is the one where you move some sort of object such as a barbell or dumbbells around a given area while keeping your balance. For example, if you’re doing pull ups, you might have to hold a barbell in front of your chest. Or if you’re performing pushups, you might have to keep your arms straight out in front of your body.

These kinds of exercises are called “bodyweight exercises”.

There are two main ways to improve your strength and flexibility: 1) Doing regular bodyweight exercises 2) Doing specific resistance training (i.e., weight lifting).

Before we go any further, you should know that there are two main types of resistance training: 1) Isometric 2) Isotonic.

Isometrics involve muscular contraction without any movement. For example, pushing against a wall is an isometric exercise of your arm and chest muscles.

Isotonic exercises involve muscular contractions that result in dynamic movement or “muscle motion”. For example, pulling a weight toward your body is an isotonic exercise of your arm and back muscles.

Why do people pay money to go to these classes?

Crossfit is a strength and conditioning program that has become extremely popular over the past several years. The reason for this is because it’s one of the few programs available that actually work to improve your body in the way that it was designed to be improved.

Most commercial gyms (i.e. “health clubs”) have a wide variety of exercise machines that you can use to perform specific exercises.

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And there is nothing wrong with using these machines. After all, the person who invented the first bench press machine is responsible for saving millions of people from injuries and imbalances caused by improper form when performing barbell bench presses.

There are several problems with these types of programs however:

They are cost prohibitive. Most people cannot afford to go to a health club on a regular basis for several years. Even if someone could afford to pay for a health club membership, it’s unreasonable to expect them to do so since there are only a few types of exercise programs available (e.g.

running, stair master, etc). It takes years and years of consistency before you start seeing any real results. This is because your body needs time to adapt and change. You have to remember that your muscles are only temporary “loosened up” by the stretching and massaging that goes on at most gyms. The machines don’t actually do anything except guide your body into a certain position and then add a little resistance. The exercises are all isolated and don’t require any actual balance or coordination. This means that you’re never really working as hard as you possibly could be and as a result you never get out of shape in the first place. You never actually learn how to strengthen your core and stabilize your body. This is the most important part of any athlete’s training!

At bootcamp, we focus on overall strength and conditioning as well as flexibility and balance. We also focus on the core because that’s where all your power comes from. You need to have a strong midsection in order to be successful in any physical activity.

This is probably the first exercise program that has ever been made available to the public that has combined all of these elements into one cohesive whole.

The components of Crossfit are constantly varied in order to prevent your body from adapting to one specific activity. This is what makes it so effective! The exercises that we perform on a daily basis are almost entirely different from day-to-day.

We never know what to expect and this is exactly what keeps us motivated to come to class.

Check out the schedule to see some of the exercises that we perform on a regular basis. I’m sure you’ll find at least a few of them familiar. It’s very likely that you were actually performing some of these exercises when you were a kid!

We just bring all of them back because they’re FUN!

Remember though, it’s not always fun to be the odd man out so don’t expect any sympathy if you can’t keep up! These exercises were designed for people who are in great physical shape and have a high level of flexibility and balance. There is no ego in Crossfit because everyone is expected to perform at a certain standard.

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If you’re the weakest link you’ll be weeded out if you don’t step it up.

In addition to the physical skills that we work on, there are also daily lessons in sportsmanship and positive attitude. Things like encouragement, setting goals, hard work, focus and dedication are all promoted. We always finish our workouts with a round of pushups for good measure!

Here are some specific reasons why Crossfit is so effective:

It prevents your body from adapting to one specific activity. You don’t get “stuck” doing the same exercises all the time.

We focus on compound, multi-joint exercises that allow you to use a lot of weight without sacrificing proper form.

The program is constantly varied so you don’t plateau and it stays fun and interesting.

You’ll get better aerobic benefits than traditional weight lifting programs because of the intensity of each exercise. You’ll also get more anaerobic benefits than traditional aerobics classes because you’re working hard without rest periods.

You’re constantly challenged because the exercises gradually get more and more difficult as you get stronger and your endurance increases.

You can make constant progress because we have adjustable weights that allow you to increase the amount of weight that you use as you get stronger. This is known as “ascending pyramids”.

Now, here are some specific reasons why Crossfit is NOT for everyone:

Crossfit will expose any weakness that you have and will make them so obvious to you that you’ll want to fix them immediately. This may initially cause you to be frustrated because you haven’t been exposed to anything like this before. You may even want to quit because it seems too difficult at first.

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This is your first taste of the difference between beginning Crossfit and continuing Crossfit.

Crossfit will strengthen your weaknesses more than it will strengthen your strengths at first. This is perfectly normal. It just means that you’re a weaker athlete than you thought you were and you need to work on some areas in order to excel like everyone else.

Crossfit won’t magically create champions over night. You still need to work hard on a daily basis in order to see continual improvement. This means that you need the right mindset and dedication if you want to get the most out of it.

Crossfit is not a “quick fix”. If you want to lose 50 pounds in 2 weeks then Crossfit probably isn’t for you. This is something that takes time, patience and dedication.

You have to be willing to work hard every day in order to reap the rewards. If you’re looking for something instant and easy then again, Crossfit isn’t for you.

Here are some reasons why you might not ever be ready for Crossfit:

You’re looking for the magic bullet to get in shape over night.

You’re looking to compete in a fitness model competition and you want to look like a supermodel by doing a couple of poses in front of a camera.

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You hate working hard at anything and you want an easy way out.

You have no desire to get any stronger than you are right now.

You have no desire to improve upon your current level of fitness.

You’re afraid to get embarrassed by people that are in better shape than you.

You like to listen to your excuses and follow down that path rather than working toward a goal.

You don’t understand the concept of delayed gratification.

You don’t have any goals at all and you don’t have any direction in your life.

The bottom line is this: If you’re looking for an easy way out then Crossfit isn’t for you. On the other hand, if you have a desire to improve and a desire to be the best that you can be then you’ll love it once you get used to it.

So are you ready for Crossfit or not?

Once you’ve made that decision, let’s get started.

Here are the required steps that you need to take in order to get started:

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Step 1 – Purchase Supplements

At this point you’re probably wondering why you need to buy supplements in order to get started. The reason is quite simple. 95% of people that start Crossfit don’t do it consistently because it’s a lifestyle change and that takes time.

Unfortunately, most people give up on their goals within the first 6 months.

I don’t know anyone personally who has been doing Crossfit for more than 2 or 3 years, so the claims that Crossfit dilutes its program for mass appeal and turns everyone into long-term addicts is purely speculation.

The truth is most people are lazy and they don’t have the dedication it takes to see something like this through long-term. I also think a lot of people start Crossfit with the wrong mindset. They’re expecting to be “in shape” after their first workout, and that’s just not going to happen.

This isn’t a gimmick or a fad diet. This is a lifestyle change that requires dedication and hard work. If you’re willing to do what it takes, then supplementation will speed up the process and help you get there much quicker.

If not, then you’re wasting your time.

You might be asking yourself “why wouldn’t I be willing to do what it takes?”

The reasons are many but here are just a few:

You think your genetics are against you and you don’t think you can get any more muscular or lose any more fat no matter what you do.

You’re happy with your body and have no desire to change it.

You don’t want to change your eating habits or you’re not willing to eat more to gain muscle or eat less to lose fat.

You’re happy with your level of strength or athletic ability and have no desire to be stronger or faster.

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In summary, you’re happy with where you’re at and you have no desire to improve.

If any of the above sounds familiar to you, then supplementation probably isn’t going to help you. It takes a special breed of person to succeed in anything, and building a better body is no different.

So are you ready to take “positive action” in all areas of your life or not?

If you are, let’s move on. If you’re not, then you probably won’t have a successful experience with Crossfit and you’ll be better off finding a different program to follow.

Step 2 – Set Your Goals

As I said in Step 1, if you don’t set a goal, you probably won’t achieve it. In order to get the most out of this guide, you’re going to need to set a goal.

What kind of goal is best?

Well, it should be a goal that is specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and with a deadline. “I want to be as strong as Chris” is not specific. “I want to be able to overhead squat 300lbs” is more specific.

“I want to lose 20lbs of fat and gain 10lbs of muscle by December 31st” is a specific goal with a deadline. It’s also measurable, attainable and realistic, but not specific.

How are you going to do it?

First, you’ll need to set a target date for your goal. Once you have that, you need to decide how you’re going to reach your goal.

Are you going to follow a program? Are you going to wing it? Are you going to follow a hybrid style program in which you’ll follow something most of the time, but substitute other exercises or add more if you need to?

The truth is, there is no right or wrong way. I can tell you though that some methods will be better than others based on your current situation and the way your body responds to certain stimuli. The key here is to be consistent and persistent.

A well-designed program will take advantage of your strengths, cover your weaknesses and take your goals into account. If you’ve got the time to spend a few hours in the gym every day, you might want to consider something like 5/3/1 by Jim Wendler. If you’re more of a “stand around and look cool” kind of guy, P90X might be more your style.

If you’ve got limited time, try something like the Bigger Leaner Stronger program.

The key is to find what works for you and your situation. If something isn’t working or you’re not making the progress you want, make a change. Don’t be afraid to do so.

Step 3 – Get Your Mind Right

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Your physical training is important and all, but if your mind isn’t in the right place, it doesn’t matter how hard you train – you won’t maximize your results.

When most people start to get “weak,” they focus on getting bigger and stronger because that’s what they think they need. The problem is that if they’re weak in the mind, their body can’t keep up with their mind and they hit a plateau or can’t go any further.

On the other hand, some people can have all the physical ability in the world and not be able to use it properly. For example, I’ve seen high school basketball players who could dunk with both hands and touch the rim with their fingertips despite being only 16 or 17 years old. That’s awesome.

But in the same token, they don’t really know how to play basketball. They can’t dribble, they don’t have any idea about court spacing, they lack footwork and they certainly aren’t working on their jump shot. In other words, they have all this talent, but they’re not using it correctly.

Mind and body go hand in hand and work together. If you want to play sports or just be in good shape, you need to focus on both equally. Unfortunately, many people overlook the mind aspect of fitness.

So, how do we go about doing this?

The most important part is keeping a positive mental attitude (PA).

What is PA?

Imagine a continuum. On one end of the continuum is a negative mental attitude (N). On the other end is a positive mental attitude (P). The further away you are from N, the closer you are to P.

You can be anywhere on this line depending on your outlook in life. Some people are more negative than others. It’s completely normal to have a generally negative outlook on life.

We all experience it at times.

However, if you find yourself always on the N side and you can’t seem to shake it, then it’s time to make a change. The first step is to identify why you are the way you are.

There are a lot of reasons why someone can have a negative outlook on life. Maybe something traumatic happened to you that you haven’t gotten over yet. Or, maybe you’ve just had a bunch of bad things happen all at once and you’re upset about it.

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Maybe you had a parent, sibling or friend who always told you that you would never be any good and they were right. It could be something as simple as your genetics – some people are just born with a predisposition to being negative.

If you feel like you’re negative for no real reason, the first step is to change your situation if you can. If it’s at home or at school, try to get out of that environment if possible. If you feel like your friends are a bad influence on you, spend less time with them or cut them out of your life altogether.

The next step is to look within yourself and what you can do. This isn’t going to be an easy process and you won’t see changes overnight, but if you work hard at it and are persistent, you WILL change your outlook on life.

It’s going to take a lot of introspection on your part, that’s for sure. Start by journaling several times a week about what you’re feeling and why you feel that way. Try to look at the situations from different perspectives and what you could have done differently in those situations.

When you’re journaling, try to address your feelings rather than focusing on the actual events that caused them. So rather than just writing about a fight you had with your boyfriend, write about what was going through your mind during the fight and how you felt during it.

A lot of times, when we experience something negative, what comes out is a burst of emotions rather than a lot of thought going into it. It’s important to really sit with your feelings and analyze what brought them on and why you felt that way.

As you start to address your feelings and find the root of why you feel a certain way, you’re going to have to forgive people for whatever it is that’s bothering you. Holding grudges and being resentful towards others won’t do anybody any good, especially you.

Forgive yourself too. I know a lot of us have done things in the past that we regret. Maybe we got so mad that we said things to people that we never should have or maybe even physically lashed out at someone.

It’s human nature to make mistakes, so it’s important that you learn from them and try not to make the same mistake again.

If you feel like the root of all your negativity is more along the lines of your personality, then it’s going to be a little bit more of a struggle for you. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t change yourself! Start by thinking of one thing that you dislike about yourself and come up with three ways to change that about yourself.

Maybe you’re always late. Try setting multiple alarms or buying a clock. Maybe you’ve got a short temper.

CrossFit Gymnastics: Bodyweight Mechanics are Basics for a Reason - gym fit workout

Take a few moments before you react next time something happens to prevent yourself from yelling. Maybe you’re always losing your keys. Get a nice tray and put them on there every time you come in the house.

One thing I’ve learned is that it’s important to want to change. You can only do so much by yourself and some things are going to be really hard to change about yourself. If you really want to change yourself and you have a strong desire, then you can do it!

Of course these are all just suggestions of things that have worked for me in the past. Everyone is different and what may work for me or someone else may not work for you. The most important thing is to find something that works for YOU.

Good luck and remember, you’re worth it!

Sources & references used in this article:

CrossFit study by J Paine, J Uptgraft, R Wylie – Command and General Staff …, 2010 – crossfitpraha.com

Vertical jump height as an indicator of lower-extremity muscular fatigue in recreational Crossfit athletes by B Jordan – 2019 – scholarworks.unr.edu

Inside the Box: How CrossFit® Shredded the Rules, Stripped Down the Gym, and Rebuilt My Body by TJ Murphy – 2012 – books.google.com

Scaling CrossFit workouts by JC Herz – 2015 – Harmony

The Effect of CrossFit vs. Resistance Training on Aerobic, Anaerobic, and Musculoskeletal Fitness by J Gordon – The CrossFit Journal, 2015 – library.crossfit.com

Command and General Staff College CrossFit Study 2010 by DK Mcweeny – 2019 – era.library.ualberta.ca

Compensatory exercise in CrossFit Diploma Thesis by J Paine, J Uptgraft, R Wylie – 2010 – apps.dtic.mil

Working with Special Populations Part I: Fibromyalgia by BAK Vašíčková – is.muni.cz

How Abs of Steel Cause Back Pain by A Larsen – breakingmuscle.com