Crossfit is a sports training method that was invented in the 1970s by Greg Glassman, a former gymnast turned sports coach.
This method is based on endurance exercises, strength training, gymnastic movements and weightlifting and was first used mainly by physical trainers in the army, police and fire brigade.
Crossfit became popular with the general public in the 2000s and in 2011. Sportsmen and women are in favour of this training because it allows them to burn calories and build muscles quickly while being very rewarding psychologically. But how can you practise crossfit if you are new to it?
Who can do crossfit?
Crossfit offers the advantage that it can be practiced by everyone, regardless of age, gender or level of practice. The exercises in this discipline can be adapted to each practitioner’s level and physical characteristics, allowing them to provide the effort adapted to their physical capacities. The most important thing in the practice of crossfit is that you can progress regularly and reach the objectives set at your starting point.
So, whether you are a seasoned sportsman or a person who does sport only rarely, you can very well choose this method to improve your performance, stay in good shape, lose weight, etc. All you have to do is perform the exercises that correspond to your objectives. Note that crossfit can even be integrated into a rehabilitation programme for people who have suffered physical injuries. By having a sports coach accompany you, you will be able to recover through this sport.
Where to do crossfit?
For a long time, crossfit was considered a physical activity that was practiced in the privacy of your own garage. However, if you are a beginner, it is strongly recommended that you practise it in a box (this is what we call a crossfit room) under the guidance of a professional sports coach. There are many boxes in Australie, the best known of which are in Sydney and Brisbane. If you are in the area, don’t hesitate to book a crossfit session in the gym nearest to you to start your training on a good footing. You can do a free trial, sometimes bookable online, to make sure the box is suitable for you.
Practising crossfit in a group is also recommended as group emulation is more motivating. Otherwise, you can opt for crossfit at home, always with a coach to make sure you have the right training. After a few weeks of practice, you will be able to train on your own at home, but to do so, you will need to have the necessary sports equipment beforehand.
How does a crossfit session take place?
Crossfit training, known as WOD (Work of The Day), consists of several parts, including a general warm-up phase without loads and at low intensity, a part to learn the techniques, several exercises to be done in succession and a return to calm to lower the heart rate.
A minimum of loads and repetitions is generally imposed for each exercise and the WOD must be performed in a minimum imposed time. The training of the day can also consist of :
- Carry out as many repetitions as possible in an imposed time and load
- Achieve a complete WOD to the maximum of your physical capacities,
- Acquire the techniques (skills) for the sequence of exercises. These can indeed be complicated and must therefore be assimilated before being able to be chained together without fail for a given time during a WOD. These exercises are; pull-ups, deadlift, air squats, mountain climbing…
- To develop muscular strength by performing several series of exercises in a single repetition with the maximum load that can be lifted,
- Work on cardio.
Several combinations of exercises can be performed after the warm-up and skills depending on the objectives to be achieved.
What sports equipment should I use to practice crossfit?
The practice of crossfit does not require the use of traditional sports equipment as is often found in gyms. Instead, the following equipment will often be used:
- The squat rack consisting of two uprights on which a bar rests. It is used for squats.
- The kettlebell, which is a weight in the shape of a cannonball with a large handle. It can weigh between 4 and 32 kg and can be used for weight training exercises. Lifting a kettlebell during a series of exercises such as squatting, for example, ensures that the muscles of the back, abdominals, legs, shoulders and buttocks are put to better use.
- The special crossfit skipping rope which has been designed for performing cardio and jumping exercises. The handles of the rope are usually equipped with a rotation system, while others are weighted in order to better target the muscles during jumps. You’ll also find some that are equipped with lap and calorie burn counters to better calculate the performance achieved. It is mainly used to develop endurance, stability and mobility.
- The ballast bag is similar to a cylindrical bag filled with sand, which can weigh between 5 and 30 kg and is equipped with straps. Thanks to its handles, this bag can be lifted, carried, pushed or swung to work the muscles. The ballast bag can also be used as an obstacle when performing a series of movements such as jumping.
- The squat cage, which is very similar to the squat rack but is larger because it has 4 uprights instead of 2, which are used to support the Olympic bar and weights. The squat cage can be adjusted in height and is used for weight training exercises in addition to squats. You can use it for bench press, floor presses, pull-ups, dips, etc.
With this equipment, you can ensure complete crossfit sessions at home.