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A Beginner’s Guide to CrossFit

You’ve heard people talking about CrossFit. You’ve seen the word on buildings around town. Maybe your cousin or co-worker or that old friend from high school has been posting CrossFit posts on social media. But what is CrossFit, anyway? How is it different? Why should you care?

To give you the most basic explanation possible: CrossFit is a fitness lifestyle. From there, we can then define “fitness” in a number of ways. We have physical skills, athletic performance, and energy systems. CrossFit embraces fitness on multiple levels. You could say that what makes CrossFit different is that it isn’t about specializing in just one thing. CrossFit is inclusive and diverse. It also builds some of the most fit people in the world.

So what does that look like? Let’s start with the general fitness skills first. These include everything from your power and speed, to general coordination and flexibility. In CrossFit, measuring fitness isn’t just related to your cardiovascular endurance or your strength. Physical fitness is so much more than just how fast you can run or how much you can lift. It takes all the parts functioning together. That’s why CrossFit training looks at each physical skill both individually and collectively. Your sense of balance impacts your accuracy, just as your body’s agility can help or hinder your stamina. Basically, we use CrossFit to address all ten physical fitness skills, not just one or two.

The next component of CrossFit relates to variety. We’re building our physical skills in order to handle an infinite number of fitness challenges. CrossFit training allows us to perform tasks at a high-level, all while avoiding repetitive behaviors. And as we build our physical skills, we can start to improve our athletic performance in all types of scenarios. You might say we want to be “ready for anything.” Unlike other exercise regimens, we’re not training for one, set thing. We’re becoming fit in a way that lets us take on any challenge—not just a predictable routine.

Finally, the CrossFit model also considers the three metabolic pathways. For simplicity’s sake, think of these as your high-powered, moderate, and low-effort activities. Some actions require a lot of power, but only last a few seconds. Others last a few minutes. That third batch takes even longer. Once again, CrossFit aims to develop all of these measurements. We don’t want to focus only on the long-distance running or the heavy deadlifts. Giving attention to each of the three energy systems helps us maximize our own level of fitness.

And there you have it. CrossFit is about practicing those core physical skills, taking on a wide variety of challenges, and exploring the three types of fitness engines. Of course, reading about CrossFit isn’t the same as experiencing it first-hand. If you haven’t stepped out of your comfort zone yet to try CrossFit for yourself, we’d love to have you visit us at CrossFit Stone Wall. Everyone who does CrossFit was new to CrossFit at one point. Let us help show you the ropes. Send us a message so we can clear up any questions, or just swing by for a chat. We look forward to hearing from you!

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