What Is CrossFit To You?
Crossfit is a fitness program developed by Greg Glassman, which was first introduced in 2005. The program combines strength training with cardio exercise. Many people believe that it’s a good way to lose weight and get fit. However, there are many critics who say that it doesn’t work because the participants don’t have enough time or energy to do all the workouts required for proper results. They say that it’s not really effective because most of them don’t do any exercises correctly.
There are some experts who claim that Crossfit isn’t really effective, but they still use it due to its popularity. There are many people who are interested in the program, so they try it out. Some of them fail and others succeed in their attempts to become strong and fit.
But how does one decide if the program works for him or her?
The answer is simple: just start doing the workouts! If you’re able to complete all the workouts, then you’ll know that it works for you. If not, then it won’t work for you either.
So, what are the best ways to get started?
You could go online and look up various programs and books on how to get into shape and become stronger. There are also several Crossfit centers in your area that offer classes and courses for a fee. If you don’t feel like going out, then you could just research online like thousands of other people.
There are a lot of books, PDFs, and guides that you can find on the internet. But most of them only provide you with general guidelines and tips in performing the exercises. This is why you need to do your own research to see what works best for you. Below are some of the most common Crossfit exercises you can do without the help of a coach or trainer.
Pull-ups: This is perhaps one of the most difficult exercises to do, especially if you’re not used to it. You’ll need a sturdy bar that can support your weight. The best thing to do is to find a tree with low enough branches that you can grab on to and lift yourself up.
The first thing you need to do is grasp the bar with your palms facing away from you. The important thing here is to keep your wrists straight. If you have weak wrists, then it would be better if you wear a wrist wrap or a pad to make it more comfortable and easier to hold.
Once you’re ready, lift yourself up until your chin is above the bar. Then, lower yourself back down and repeat the same process as many times as you can. The number of pull-ups you can do in one session will gradually increase over time. However, if it gets to a point that you feel pain on your elbows, then you should stop and not do any more.
This is why you should always listen your body as it will tell you whether something is wrong or not. If you do this exercise regularly and follow all the safety precautions, then you’ll be able to build up strength in your arms.
Jumping Jacks: Contrary to common belief, this is not just a simple exercise for children to do in physical education class. It is also used by the military to prepare soldiers for battle. The reason why it’s used is because it strengthens the muscles that are primarily used in combat such as the shoulders and thighs.
The best way to do it is to stand with your legs apart and arms at your sides. Then, lift your arms up and spread them apart from each other. As you do this, you need to quickly lift your legs and jump as high as you can. While in the air, you need to turn your body from a facing position to one that is facing the opposite direction.
After this, you’ll need to clap your hands above your head before you slowly lower yourself down to the ground. Then, repeat the process as many times as you can. During the first few times, it would be best if you do less than a minute. However, as your body gets used to the exercise, you can increase the time and eventually do it continuously for a minute without any breaks.
Sit-ups: This is primarily a core building exercise that strengthens your stomach muscles. Of course, you can do this using various methods. But, one of the most common ones involve you laying on your back with your arms crossed in front of your chest. Then, you need to lift your torso and upper body completely from the ground. You should do this in a curving motion so your head touches your knees and then back out again.
The most important thing to keep in mind while doing this is to not use any momentum. Your muscles should be the ones bringing you up and down and not your arms or anything else. As you get stronger, you can increase the number of sit-ups you do in one session.
Toe Touches: These primarily target your stomach and abdominal muscles. However, they also strengthen your back and neck. This is a fairly simple exercise and all you need to do is to touch your toes while keeping your legs straight. Of course, when you start out, you won’t be able to do even one because of how tight your muscles are from inactivity.
But, with regular training, you’ll be able to do more and more until you can touch your toes. As with the other exercises, as you get stronger you can increase the number of reps you do.
Push-ups: This is a great exercise for building up your chest, arm, and shoulder muscles. To do them, you simply need to lie on your back and then bringing your entire body up while only using your arms. Then, you lower your entire body until your chest nearly touches the ground. You complete the exercise by returning to the starting position.
Like with all other exercises, you’ll need to start out small and increase the amount as you build up more strength. The best way to do this is to do half of your normal amount today and then do the other half tomorrow. Then, once your muscles are used to it, you can increase more.
With these exercises, you’re only going to be able to do three sets of ten reps each. You won’t get as much of a workout as you would if you had more time, but it’ll have to do. Once you’ve finished this part of your training, you should focus on honing your combat skills.
You go over to one of the stone walls and pick up a metal weapon – it’s fairly light, but still made of durable metal. This should make for a good training weapon. You move away from the wall and into an open area to begin your training.
You spend the next few hours training with your weapons. You begin by focusing on your swings and how you hold the weapon. At first, you have a tendency to hold it too tightly, but after some practice you learn to adjust and hold it properly.
Next, you practice proper striking technique and how to balance your strength out with your weapon. It takes a while to get used to, but you manage to figure it out with a bit of practice.
After about an hour and a half of practicing with the sword, you move on to one handed strikes and then two handed strikes. You keep this up until you begin to feel tired and then set the sword aside as you take a breather. You go over to the bag to take a few practice swings with the battle axe.
After a short rest, you go back to training. You’re getting fairly tired at this point, so you decide that it might be a good idea to take a break from the heavy weapons and take up practicing your bow again.
Over the last few days, your arms have regained some of their former strength and dexterity, so you’re able to pull the bowstring back a little further than you had previously. You practice aiming at various targets and continue to get more accurate. You remain at this until the sun begins to set.
You go back to your room to get dinner at the dining hall, but you’re still a little tired from all of today’s training, so you decide to just go back to your room and rest up a bit before doing it all again tomorrow.
Once in your room, you decide to write a letter to your family to let them know that you are well. You explain that you’re living in a great city where you’re attending the best possible schools and that you hope to come home with a wife one day.
After you’ve finished writing the letter, you put it on the desk next to your bed so you can drop it off at the post office before you leave tomorrow. With this done, you get into bed and fall asleep quite easily.
Over the course of the next month, you follow the same routine. You train during the day and rest at night. Other than your daily training, you don’t do much else, but you’re content on keeping busy with that for now.
The week before you’re scheduled to leave to go back home, a messenger arrives in the middle of the night. You wake up to the sudden sound of someone yelling your name out on the street below. You go over to your window and see a guardsman standing next to a horse.
“Talia, get your things, you’re being summoned back home.” He says.
You immediately go back to grab your bag before rushing downstairs. Your Father is already talking with the guardsman and they turn to look at you as you approach.
“Talia, this man has come all the way from your home to take you back. You are to go with him immediately.” Your Father says in a respectful tone.
You nod and go over to the guardsman who turns towards you and gives his horse a kick in the sides, setting off down the road at a fast pace. You’re forced to jog behind him until you get used to the pace, then you settle into a fast walk.
The sun rises and sets a few times and about a week after you left Arrorn, you arrive at the gates of your home village. A few of the guards there know you and welcome you back. They tell you that the village has been very busy since you’ve been away and that it has become a place of great trade.
You thank them and head through the village to where the main road leads into it. The guardsman with you follows suit and you both continue down the road together.
You take this opportunity to ask him a few questions.
So how long have you been working as a guardsman?”
I’ve been doing it for about ten years now.”
And what’s it like? Do you like your job?”
“It has its ups and downs, but on the whole I suppose I like it.”
What exactly is it that you do?”
“We all do slightly different things, but at any given time in the village or on the road, there’s at least one of us around so that people feel safe travelling through these parts. The Captain tends to give us jobs that suit our skills and the current situation. Lately he’s been trying to recruit more people, so that’s why he wanted you so badly.”
You mean there’s going to be more people my age?”
“Yeah, a few. There’s a girl coming from another village around these parts and another boy from one of the mining towns.”
“Oh, that’s good. It would be nice to have some friends around my age.
What’s the girl from the other village like?”
“Don’t know, I haven’t met her yet. The boy however is about your age and has a reputation for being rowdy, your Father said he used to be in a lot of fights when he was younger.”
“Oh…well I suppose it could be worse.
So when will they be arriving?”
“Oh in about a week or two, the girl should be here sooner, but the boy’s village is a bit further away.”
“I see…well it’ll be nice to have someone to talk to at least. I was a bit worried when I heard there were only going to be a few people my age here.”
“Don’t worry, I’m sure you’ll be fine. If you end up not liking it you can always leave, not like they’re holding you hostage or anything. It’s not like you’re being held against your will.”
“I suppose…Still, I wonder if I shouldn’t have tried to find one of the magic schools instead. I don’t really like the idea of fighting.”
“Well if you don’t like it there’s always the option to leave, as I said. I did it lots of times, till I finally decided this was the life for me.”
“Hmm, well we’ll see I guess.
So how far is this town?”
“Oh, we should reach it by nightfall, we’ve been on the road the whole time since I picked you up. I’m sure you’ll like it there, lots of travellers come through and the inn has a great cook. Should be an improvement from army rations at least. Hah!”
“Yeah, those rations were pretty bad.” You laugh with him. The conversation lulls as you walk. Soon the sun begins to set and the first pinpricks of stars appear in the dusky evening sky.
It’s at this time that your new comrade brings up an interesting topic.
“Hey, so since there are going to be a few people your age here you should have a chance to meet them all. We usually all eat together and such. Since there’s more of us now, the Captain even let’s us have a proper table in the mess hall instead of just a corner. Still, it would be easier if everyone arrived so we could finalize where everyone will be sleeping too.”
Oh? There’re still some people arriving?
I thought you said the other two were already here.”
“Heh, no not yet, I meant in general. There’s supposed to be a whole bunch arriving in a week or two. A whole caravan of entertainers or something like that coming to help boost moral and all that good stuff.”
You say hoping he’ll explain more.
“Yeah the Captain’s been talking with some bigwig in Zalan City about getting some professionals to come help cheer up the troops and what not. Dunno too many details myself, I just know we’re supposed to make them feel welcome when they arrive.”
“Oh, well that’s good then. It’s nice that they’re sending some professionals to help out.”
“Yeah, rather odd though considering we’re supposed to be at war and all. Still I suppose if anyone needs a break from the bloodshed it’d be the poor bastards stuck here in the countryside.
You been at this barracks the whole time since you joined up?”
“Yeah, well no. After I signed up and finished boot camp they sent me here.
Your guide chuckles a bit. “Nothing, just wondering why they didn’t send you to one of the barracks closer to Zalan City. Like the one in Fort Virtue. It would’ve saved me a trip, and I could’ve visited my family. The captain here just got rumors of an attack pretty late so he was pushed to send a messenger with the news. Fairly certain the attack won’t come this way though so it’s all for nothing anyways.
There’s still a lot of wild tribes to the east you know?
Not quite as bad as the ones on the other side of the mountain pass, but they’re getting organized. Nothing our boys can’t handle though.”
You say, becoming a bit worried. “I thought we were at war with the undead.”
Your guide lets out a small laugh. “
That war’s been over for like ten years now.
You really haven’t been in Zalan for that long have you?”
“Uh, no not really.” You say, realizing you’re going to have a lot of questions to answer.
“Hmm, I wonder why they kept you away from the public eye…nevermind, not my business. Anyway we’re almost to the station. Our ride should be there soon.”
You walk in silence after this, ponder whether or not you should ask your guide to forget what you told him. Deciding that it’s not worth the risk you just continue walking. Eventually you see the light of the station in the distance and breathe a sigh of relief.
“Just up ahead! Better hike it, the train doesn’t wait long!
You start jogging towards the station while your guide continues at his normal pace. You soon arrive at the empty platform and scan the area for your guide who is now gone. You didn’t even hear him leave.
As you’re standing there with a small lump in your throat from being left alone a small bell chimes off in the distance. Your heart sinks as you realize that this is the signal for the train to start leaving. You break into a frantic run for the train.
The only problem is, you now see that it is in motion. A quick calculation in your head reveals that you won’t be able to make it unless you sprint really fast.
Your lungs are already burning though and the train is slowly picking up speed. You know your limitations though so you don’t even take time to think and jus-
You hear a loud noise and feel yourself flying in the air before landing hard on the ground. Your shoulder takes most of the impact but your entire body feels the pain. You’re dazed for a moment but you soon hear that familiar bell chime again.
You barely have time to realize that it’s the signal for the train to start speeding up when you see the train has in fact already gained considerable speed.
You see a pair of legs walking towards you and then hear a woman’s voice.
Oh dear, are you okay?
I’m so sorry. I was throwing away some trash and didn’t see you there. Here, let me help you.”
Before you know it, you’re being helped up by this woman and supported by her on one side while you use your good arm to support yourself. Any other time you would be ecstatic about getting help from a woman, but right now all you’re thinking about is the locomotive that’s rapidly approaching.
“Oh no…that’s not good.” You hear the woman say as she notices the train gaining speed. You’re still in a daze but her tugging quickly wakes you up.
“Come on! We need to get out of here!” She shouts and starts pulling you away from the tracks. You do your best but every step is agonizing. Your shoulder is throbbing and you’re fairly certain you’ve broken a rib or two.
“Got…t…move!” You say through clenched teeth.
The woman doesn’t respond, she just keeps pulling while you do your best to move forward with her.
You don’t know how but by the time the train passes you both have made it to the edge of the platform and none of the wheels have run over your feet.
Sources & references used in this article:
CrossFit: Remember What You Have Learned; Apply What You Know. by N Mullins – Journal of Exercise Physiology Online, 2015 – researchgate.net
A Physiotherapy Perspective of CrossFit: Guiding You Safely by JA Kaye, J Alexanders, L Smith – Athletic Training and Sports Health …, 2020 – healio.com
The CrossFit sensorium: Visuality, affect and immersive sport by L Heywood – Paragraph, 2015 – euppublishing.com
Prevalence of pelvic floor disorders in female CrossFit athletes by R High, K Thai, H Virani, T Kuehl… – Female pelvic medicine …, 2020 – journals.lww.com
Getting fit, even if it kills you by S Cooperman – New York Times, 2005 – crossfitatlanta.typepad.com
Retrospective injury epidemiology and risk factors for injury in CrossFit by AM Montalvo, H Shaefer, B Rodriguez, T Li… – Journal of sports …, 2017 – ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
The politics of CrossFit by A Myer – 2016 – … /2016/02/18/is-crossfit-killing-you
CrossFit: Fitness cult or reinventive institution? by JC Herz – 2015 – Harmony