It’s fair to say that CrossFit has fully infiltrated the fitness industry. You can find CrossFit games on TV or through multiple streaming services, it’s advertised in health magazines or in conjunction with respected sports attire companies, CrossFit ‘boxes’ or gyms are sprouting like weeds. So what is it al about and how can it benefit you and your body?
“CrossFit aims to be an inclusive form of training that intends to get it’s participants into peak physical condition through a range of high intensity, functional movements.”
CrossFit is inclusive both in the way that it aims to provide a supportive and motivational environment for anybody and everybody who chooses to participate and also in the way that it includes training in almost every aspect of fitness.
The official CrossFit promise is that it will provide you with training ‘in each of the ten general physical skills: cardiovascular/respiratory endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, speed, agility, balance, coordination, and accuracy.’
Which is great news for anyone that gets bored easily! Workouts are vastly varied, changing daily and focus on using different skills and muscles for each workout. This approach to fitness is what gives CrossFit its cult-like following.
What Does a Typical Workout Look Like?
If you’ve heard your CrossFit-mad friends discussing the likes of Cindy, Diane, Fran and even Frelen and you’ve found yourself wondering what they are talking about!
CrossFit WODs or workouts of the day are often named after women. These workouts will instruct you to either complete a number of exercises within a certain time frame or to complete as many reps of an exercise as possible within a certain time frame. This is HIIT without the interval. It may sound intimidating but CrossFit is open to all levels and adaptions are always available until you get your strength/endurance up.
Though sessions are usually scheduled for one hour, the actual WOD may only be 20-30 minutes.
So how many calories?
It is not as simple as that. The workouts are different and your body composition also will be factored in when it comes to your calorific expenditure.
A study at Kennesaw State University studied the WOD Cindy and found that in the 20 minute workout which consists of just 3 exercises, you can burn 261 calories in 20 minutes. That about the same amount as you would burn in a typical 30 minute gym session.
Factor in that the general training program for CrossFit consists of 3 days on, 1 day off and you have the opportunity for a fairly consistent expenditure of calories throughout your week that switches up muscle usage and offers you the opportunity to improve your physical ability across the board.
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