CrossFit follows nine fundamental movements, including squat, front squat, overhead squat, standard shoulder press, push press, jerk, dead lift, sumo dead lift and clean.
Photo by Courtesy Flickr/CrossFit Fever
Over the last 30 years or so, fitness training has changed a lot. These days, fitness fiends have more ways than ever to get into shape.
As we learn more about the most efficient training methods from scientific studies, the way people train is evolving. Greg Glassman developed one of the newest ways to train and took it mainstream when he started his company, CrossFit Inc., in 2000. Over the next decade, gyms sprang up all over the U.S. and the world as CrossFit gained popularity.
CrossFit is the idea of complete physical fitness built around strength, endurance and flexibility training. The nine fundamental movements of the program are squat, front squat, overhead squat, standard shoulder press, push press, jerk, dead lift, sumo dead lift and clean. The program can be scaled to different fitness levels.
Former Belhaven football player Chris Allen, 26, started doing CrossFit to supplement his college training routine. "I started training in 2007, off and on, while playing college football as a way to keep in shape between spring training and summer workouts," Allen says.
Allen started doing CrossFit as his workout full time in 2009 and is currently the head trainer at Performance 360 MS CrossFit (or P360) off County Line Road. He says CrossFit is a program that builds well-rounded athletes and promotes everyday health.
"CrossFit is a simple formula of functional movements performed at a high intensity," Allen says. "All CrossFit athletes strive for complete physical preparedness and should be ready for the unknowable or unknown of any physical situation."
Allen is a level-one trainer and certified to teach CrossFit, which means he knows the nine fundamental movements. He also takes classes to learn more in-depth training.
A newcomer to CrossFit has the workouts scaled down to his or her fitness level. Instead of building the workout around the person, the person progresses through the same workouts as everyone else by slowly building up their fitness.
In other words, a beginner to CrossFit starts out with the same workout of the day, or WOD, as all the other members of the class. Everybody does the same exercises, but each person progresses to do more as their fitness improves.
CrossFit, like every workout program, is not without its detractors. Some claim that the program poses an elevated risk of rhabdomyolysis, which is a condition where intense athletic activity breaks down muscle fiber. When starting any new exercise program, always consult your doctor first.
"Our number-one goal is injury prevention, and we offer an introductory course to teach the nine fundamental movements and what is a workout of the day," Allen says. "The introductory course is used to teach and train, and as participants get better at the workouts, (they move) to a higher class that focuses more on training and less on teaching."
Classes are normally an hour long and the WOD usually takes five to
35 minutes, depending on skill level. Allen suggests starting off with four straight days of workouts, then taking three off. Then, as athletes progress, he suggests shifting to three consecutive days of workouts with one day off in between.
One of the interesting things about CrossFit is the benchmark workouts' titles. "(The founder always said) benchmark workouts are given women's names, because like a spectacular woman, these workouts leave you flat on your ass, covered in sweat and wondering what the hell just happened to (you)," Allen says.
Allen has several goals for CrossFit at P360, including starting a kids' program.
One benefit of CrossFit, Allen says, is that it can push an athlete past a plateau. Sticking with the same workout just because it works isn't the motto there. "If you are on the fence about doing it (remember), sooner or later, your health is all you got," Allen says. "You can't steal home if you don't leave third base."
For more information about taking CrossFit classes, visit P360 (853 Wilson Drive, Ridgeland,
601-991-3360). You can also get updates on the P360 Facebook page and at mscrossfit.blogspot.com.