Ahhh, CrossFit, a potentially excellent form of fitness that had been butchered by inexperienced people looking for a magic bullet. For many it has become (in my opinion) another fad way to get lean quickly but not a sustainable form of exercise – I have yet to meet someone who has been doing CrossFit for more than two years. Before you berate my judgement, I would like to point out that I support most forms of exercise so long as it provides physical, mental and health benefits. To each his own, as I am fond of saying, but only if it doesn’t leave you injured, or worse (check out this NYT article).
So what is CrossFit? Developed by Greg Glassman, CrossFit is “a fitness regimen… which optimizes fitness (constantly varied functional movements performed at relatively high intensity)” as well as a “community that spontaneously arises when people do these workouts together”. According to the official CrossFit site it is “a regimen of constantly varied (CV), functional movements (FM) performed at high intensity (@HI) in a communal environment”. Certainly sounds cool. So why am I hating? Rather than offer a long-winded discourse on the pros and cons (because I could go on and on), I have listed my opinion in point-form and included additional sites for you to do your own research.
- Physical activity
- Pushing body to physical limitations
- Sense of accomplishment
- Structure and commitment
- Focus on diet (Paleo)
- Cult mentality
- High potential for injury
- Pushing body beyond physical limitations
- Structure and commitment vs. enjoyment
- Violation of training principles
- Inexperienced coaching
- Not functional fitness (muscle ups?)
- Obsession with dieting
As with any form of training, especially that which involves repetitive high intensity Olympic-type lifts, you should consult a certified trainer (in this case a CrossFit coach) to give you guidance and watch your form. This is NOT an exercise modality to be taken lightly as it can lead to injury when the movements are performed incorrectly.
It’s Friday *sigh* and what better way to kick off a beautiful weekend then a little exercise in the park!
Friday Fun Day
- Burpees (or jumping jacks or standing twists)
- Push-ups (alternate with dips)
- Backward Lunge with High Knee (left and right)
- V-Sits (or boat rows)
Complete 10 reps of each exercise continuously and perform as many rounds as possible (AMRP) in 5 minutes. Take a 2 min break (or jog for 2 min) between sets. Complete 4 rounds. Finish off with 3 sets of 30 secs per plank of the series below:
- Side Plank (right)
- Reverse Plank
- Side Plank (left)
“Where do you work out?” is a common question I’m asked when meeting someone new. “Anywhere I want” is my favorite response. And it’s true – at home, in a park, on a playground, at work, the world is my gym! I’ve come to the bold conclusion that I don’t like traditional workout facilities. I don’t blame people for choosing to work out in a gym and I would be lying if I said I never ventured into (or worked in) these establishments. Where else can I justify reading trashy magazines and mentally correcting a fellow gym-goer’s poor form? Inexperience aside, I can’t help but cringe when people are treadmill walking on a sunny day or sitting on the exercise machines wondering why they aren’t getting any slimmer. Going to the gym does not equal exercise. You actually have to do something once you’re there!
My mission is to help people who want to be active find ways to do so in their home or, better yet, the great outdoors. The excuses for not exercising are as plentiful as they are pathetic. No time? Choose an active commute. No gym membership? Go to the park. No equipment? Use your body weight. No energy? Well now you’re just being lazy! Even sneaking in 30 minutes a day can contribute to a healthy heart, mind and body. And I practice what I preach so this morning I ran around the chip trail (25 min) and completed one set of exercises to fatigue (push-ups,squats, dips, lunges, plank, v-sits).
Want more exercise ideas? Check out these links and GET IT DONE!
Side note: I am NOT against workout facilities and DO support people who are active in any way. I also recognize that for some people working out in their home or outside is not an option and that the gym provides a clean, safe, protected area to exercise. I DO support free, accessible recreation and am an advocate for physical activity anywhere, anytime.