Ness Notes: CrossFit – Some Specifics…

Ok, so last time we covered the health benefits of CrossFit with an emphasis on the anaerobic and aerobic cardio systems. Now I’m going to shine a light on how it uses specific sports (gymnastics, weightlifting, and sprinting) in order to maximize the workout to obtain amazing results.

So to start, CrossFit uses gymnastics to build strength, mostly in the upper body and abs, with an emphasis on balance, flexibility and coordination.

In the context of CrossFit, the types of exercises that fit in this category include rope climbing, handstands (esp. for inverted push ups, to build strength or for walking on your hands which focuses on balance and coordination.), dips on the parallel bars, and the infamous muscle up.

The muscle up, for those that don’t know, is when you hang from the rings and then kinda throw/lift yourself up to being on top of the rings, almost like combining a pull-up and a dip while hanging by your hands. The cool thing about this move is if you can master it safely (of course!) you can pretty much pull yourself up anything! It is a key functional move that a lot of rock climbers can do, and what makes them so nifty and dynamic as athletes!

> Core strength too! Gymnastics are great for building core strength. If you stop and think about it, you really need a strong core to pull off a lot of those wicked moves. CrossFit athletes can be seen using leg lifts while hanging from the pull up bars and other ab focused moves to make you a more complete athlete.

Weightlifting: First thing to note is that CrossFit weightlifting isn’t the traditional stuff like bicep curls with mad weight. CrossFit athletes are actually doing Olympic-style power lifting, which focuses on power/strength (mainly in the legs/butt/hips). These muscle groups are your main movers and give you power no matter if you are using your upper body or not! They are also key to burning the most amount of fat and play a big role in obtaining and keeping a strong back.

So what are the basic moves? Well, the squat (both front and back), the dead lift, clean, jerk and snatch.

You may be asking yourself, what the heck are these? You aren’t alone. I was a bit overwhelmed myself when I was first introduced to CrossFit.

To get a sense of the moves, check out this awesome video which also includes the handstand push-ups I mentioned. (Note: Remember WOD is Workout Of the Day)

When you take your first class the will put you through the fundamentals of CrossFit and show you each one with proper form, which is key for developing power, full range of motion and to stay injury free!

Sprinting: Now, the last piece is sprinting. There is nothing uber special about it. You just run as fast as you can for the allotted distance and time.

Sprinting is trains the anaerobic and aerobic energy systems. It has been proven that interval sprint training not only builds anaerobic power, but also increases VO2 max as effectively as long slow distance running. The damage on your joints is far less than jogging and way more effective than walking. Sprinting builds power, strength, speed, balance, coordination, and it is fun to do. The monotony of jogging for 45 minutes to an hour can be extremely boring and is ineffective for accelerating fat loss. If you want lean, strong muscle, than sprinting is the answer.

Source: CrossFit Generation

So to sum it up, when all three types of training are combined, you can have an awesome, challenging workout that will help get you into killer shape and make you mentally stronger (probably the best benefit or all!).

Remember this, and I can’t say it enough:
Please stay safe by prioritizing FORM over number of reps or time!

Now get out there and try a class!

Cheers ! — Ness


CrossFit website

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