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What is CrossFit? What is CrossFit? Advantages and disadvantages


What is CrossFit?

CrossFit is a system of general physical training (GPP), functional training. It is created in such a way as to cause the broadest possible adaptive response of the body.

The athlete receives uniform and full physical development. We can say that this is physical education in the best sense of the word.

Crossfit specifics

The specificity of CrossFit lies precisely in the rejection of any specialization. The combination of weightlifting, gymnastics, running, kettlebell lifting, bodyweight exercises, swimming, rowing provides a wide range of different workouts for every day, allowing you to diversify the training process and make it more effective.

The principles underlying the system make it easy to adapt CrossFit training to people of different fitness levels.

Tens of thousands of people around the world are actively involved in CrossFit, including children and the elderly, Olympic and MMA champions, the police and the military, professional athletes and just people who are not indifferent to their health. The weight of the shells, load, intensity varies; the essence of the program remains unchanged.

Crossfit history

Greg Glassman defined the fundamentals of CrossFit training in the 1980s. The program, due to its effectiveness and focus on practical application, soon attracted close attention of various military and police departments.

In 1995, Greg Glassman was hired to do physical training for the police department in Santa Cruz, California. In the same year, he opens the first specialized crossfit gym.

But the real widespread acceptance of the CrossFit methodology is after the appearance in 2001 of a website that published daily workouts (Workout of the Day, abbreviated as WOD).What is CrossFit? What is CrossFit? Advantages and disadvantages

Over the past few years, the number of CrossFit gyms has grown thousands of times. CrossFit is often described by the media as “one of the fastest growing sports movements on the planet.”

What equipment is used in the halls?

CrossFit classes, as a rule, take place in specially equipped rooms. But since this program includes details of several sports disciplines at once, the following types of equipment can be found among the special attributes in such clubs:

  • barbells with “pancakes” of different weights;
  • dumbbells;
  • various weights (for arms, legs, belt area);
  • gymnastic rings
  • skipping ropes;
  • horizontal bars;
  • rowing machines;
  • rugs;
  • step platforms;
  • expanders;
  • medical balls;
  • metal hammer, chains;
  • tractor tires;
  • treadmills, etc.

It is these attributes that the crossfitter uses (who it is, we will tell you more about it below) to keep its body in great physical shape.

For whom

CrossFit can be safely recommended to everyone who is in dire need of good physical shape. Anyone for whom both strength and endurance are important. It is not for nothing that the method was first tried on themselves by the police and the military, employees of special forces.

Who is CrossFit?

Crossfit is a person who is engaged in the above express training, popularly called circular (this is due to the fact that all exercises are repeated, close the circle, or the cycle of the program). At the same time, he may or may not have a certain sporting experience.

For example, some of the program lovers are famous athletes or sports masters. Others simply decided to master an extreme set of exercises in order to quickly tighten all muscle groups and lose weight. And for some, CrossFit allows them to believe in themselves, a striking example of this is the former swimmer China Cho. She became interested in the program because of the necessary rehabilitation after having gone through three difficult operations on the knee joint.

What is CrossFit? What is CrossFit? Advantages and disadvantages

Crossfitter: who are they – men or women?

It is a mistake to believe that most of the people involved in CrossFit are men. After all, there are women among them, including professional athletes and housewives. Moreover, thanks to the distribution of students to levels (beginners, pros), even elderly people can master the program.

In addition, there are special training cycles designed for pregnant women and even children. The load itself in this case is selected purely individually and depends on the initial physical fitness of the athlete and the equipment available in the training room. All these nuances should be known to a beginner crossfitter. Who is it? An ordinary man or woman, even a child with different basic sports training.

What is CrossFit? What is CrossFit? Advantages and disadvantages

What are the goals of CrossFit?

Among the main goals for which CrossFit undergoes daily training are the following:

  • development of endurance;
  • improving the performance of the respiratory system;
  • increased strength;
  • increased flexibility;
  • improved coordination and power;
  • an increase in the speed of movements;
  • improvement and strengthening of the vestibular apparatus;
  • the ability to respond as quickly as possible to changing loads.

And this is not a complete list of what can be achieved.

What is CrossFit? What is CrossFit? Advantages and disadvantages

What should novice crossfitters know?

The first thing the most famous crossfitters advise to pay attention to is the choice of the gym. According to them, it is necessary to perform this or that set of exercises only under the supervision of experienced instructors. And for this it is necessary to find an appropriate training room. As a rule, professional CrossFit clubs differ from each other only in programs. Therefore, you should bypass a few in order to choose the right one.

The second important point: you need to listen carefully to your coach, keep records of your activities and be sure to do a short warm-up complex (will prepare the muscles for the load and reduce the likelihood of injury) and cool down (done at the end of the program and is aimed at stretching and relaxing the muscles of the body). And of course, you need not just train, but enjoy it. In this case, your activities will be of maximum benefit.

What is CrossFit? What is CrossFit? Advantages and disadvantages

Basic principles and rules of training

True CrossFit fans can train up to 12 times a week. Morning classes usually include strength training, in the evening various functional loads are practiced – running, swimming, cycling.

The CrossFit system is available in many variations, but the classic technique is only practiced in a network of certified gyms. The company trains instructors and licenses gyms to become part of the worldwide CrossFit Inc. network. Affiliates can develop their own training methods and set prices.

Classes consist of a general warm-up, a developmental block and 10-15 minutes of high-intensity training. Networked gyms that practice CrossFit usually design a “workout of the day” that covers a specific (different every day) fitness area or target muscle group. To increase the motivation of participants, elements of competition are used, such as scoring and reaching various levels.

Basic training rules:

  • Maximum intensity in every workout;
  • The more often you exercise, the better;
  • A minimum of rest between exercises (or better – its complete absence);
  • Changing the direction of loads at each lesson.

True adherents of this fitness movement, in addition to training in the gym, practice crossfit at home, using push-ups, pull-ups, jumping, endurance exercises, and sprint running. CrossFit is also a vast online community: every day on the Internet, athletes and trainers post new training programs, articles and videos on exercise techniques, materials on proper nutrition for achieving the best results.

More about CrossFit

This is a highly intense training program that is based on performing various strength and aerobic exercises, including push-ups, sprints (running with acceleration), and kettlebell work, rope, pull-ups, and barbell lifting (weightlifting exercise – push).

What is CrossFit? What is CrossFit? Advantages and disadvantagesThe exercises are usually grouped into so-called “Workouts of the Day” (“WOD”), which usually last 5 to 15 minutes. Results are tracked and evaluated to maintain friendly competition and measure progress.
In most WODs, you do one exercise after another, without resting between them, a certain number of circles (rounds), as quickly as possible. In other WODs, you need to do as many rounds as possible, for a while.
For example, a WOD workout called “Helen”:
Do 3 laps (rounds) as fast as possible:

  1. Running 400 meters.
  2. Swing with kettlebell – 21 times.
  3. Pull-ups – 12 times.

WOD “Fran”:
Do the following as quickly as possible:
Three rounds of 21, 15 and 9 reps:

  1. Bar throw – 40 kg;
  2. Pull-ups.

WOD Murph:
Do the following as quickly as possible:

  1. Run 1600 meters.
  2. Pull-ups – 100 times.
  3. Push-ups – 200 times.
  4. Squats – 300 times.
  5. Run 1600 meters.

You can subdivide strength exercises as you like, but you must start and end the workout by running 1600 meters.

People pay a lot of money for these workouts, the average CrossFit gym membership is more expensive than a regular gym.
This is how they look:

What is CrossFit? What is CrossFit? Advantages and disadvantages

As you can see, they are well equipped with squat racks, dumbbells, medicine balls, kettlebells, gymnastic rings, weightlifting platforms, ropes, rowing machines, and other fancy exercise equipment.
This is one of the great things about CrossFit; most gyms have everything you need to do strength training.
Of course, what you do with this equipment is most important, but the first step is undeniably good equipment and most CrossFit gyms excel in this regard.
However, the tremendous interest in CrossFit isn’t just about the fancy exercise names and well-equipped gyms. It was the emotional environment that made him so popular.

Clear coach instructions

What is CrossFit? What is CrossFit? Advantages and disadvantagesUsually people visit the gym several times a week in order to train what they want at the moment. Such trainings do not have a definite logical structure, they are rather chaotic, spontaneous, so one should not expect any results in the growth of strength and mass gain. And at the same time, when you come to CrossFit classes, the coach gives you a clear task, explains how to do it and when to stop. A competent instructor can compose a task so that each large muscle group in your body receives enough load. It can also tailor training to your needs and abilities. For example, if your upper body is falling behind, the coach will replace the bench press with something you do better (push-ups or dumbbell presses). If you are not particularly good at running,
Most CrossFit coaches will track your progress, which is essential to avoid stagnant strength or weight gain.

Basic exercises

The main goal of strength training is to get stronger. The best way to accomplish this is to focus on multi-joint basic barbell exercises such as squats, bench presses, army presses, and deadlifts.
Many people do not pay enough attention to these exercises, and sometimes they do not do them at all. This is perhaps the main reason why they stop growing.
Well, the first thing that you are taught in CrossFit is how to squat, bench press, do army press, deadlift (and this is the most correct way to get acquainted with strength training).

Very heavy loads

You will never force yourself to train as hard as CrossFit does. Many people don’t like being uncomfortable, and the more they feel uncomfortable, the more they want to end it abruptly. This number will not work here. Although sometimes it becomes too extreme, but it is the fighting spirit “through I can not” – one of the reasons for the effectiveness of CrossFit.
Get ready to work harder, faster, and longer with each workout. Give it your all if you want to see your name climb higher and higher on the demo board.
Not all people like this ultra-competitive environment. But it is a huge help for those who find it difficult to motivate themselves for stress.

CrossFit makes you love fitness

In the gym, you will be surrounded by people who love a healthy lifestyle. Not only do they spend more time on exercise than the average person, but they also eat right, they have fewer bad habits (smoking, alcohol, lack of sleep).
When you spend a lot of time in the company of health fans, then inevitably their life drive will be passed on to you.


The benefits of CrossFit are, first of all, in all-round physical development. It is clear that the program is only suitable for absolutely healthy people with a certain level of physical fitness. In any case, prior consultation with a doctor or CrossFit expert is required.

Let’s list the main advantages of this popular sports area:

  • Developing willpower: Quitting halfway through your workout is against the rules of CrossFit. The started circle of exercises (complex) must be completed, and it is desirable to also beat yesterday’s record. The ability to overcome oneself, to do the impossible is an obligatory quality for a real athlete.
  • Body transformation. The high intensity of the exercise allows you to easily lose weight. In one workout, approximately 1000 calories are burned. If you also eat right, the results will not be long in coming.
  • Maximum effect in a short time.
  • Possibility of training both in a group and individually.
  • Development of endurance and strength. CrossFit adherents have prominent and firm muscles, a clear drawing of veins and pronounced muscular strength.
  • No age restrictions. You can do CrossFit even after 50, as long as your health allows. Athletes of this age are quite freely admitted to the competition.

Today CrossFit has many admirers and fans. International Games have been held since 2007 – the number of participants in the competition and sponsors is growing every year. In 2012, the first Russian CrossFit Championship was held. Competitions were held in Moscow, 30 men and 30 girls took part in the program. Since then, the games have been held annually in Russia.

Potential harm

Opponents of the new direction in power sports believe that not everyone should be engaged in such an intense and rich program. The main harm of CrossFit is the extreme loads that a beginner receives almost in the first lesson.

At the same time, there is no clear guide for beginners as such. Some experts believe that the intensity of training is dangerous not only for neophytes, but also for experienced athletes. Extreme training is always an increased trauma and the risk of cardiovascular complications. Since when performing exercises athletes are guided not by technique, but by speed and heavy weight, the likelihood of injury increases many times over.

Not all professional athletes accept and endorse CrossFit. For example, the famous athlete Sergey Badyuk speaks extremely negatively about CrossFit, believing that intensive training has a detrimental effect on the myocardium (muscle tissue of the heart) and contributes to its wear.

When asked “is CrossFit harmful?” each athlete is ultimately responsible for himself. Obviously, this discipline is more suitable for those athletes who already have experience in bodybuilding or other strength disciplines.

Types of crossfit workouts

There are several types of stress, each develops different functions and abilities of the body.

Cardio load (M)

CrossFit aerobic or metabolic exercises such as rowing, running, jumping rope, and other forms of cardio can help improve the athlete’s endurance. With such loads, the pulse rises, respectively, the metabolism accelerates, and at low intensity the ability to train for a longer time develops.

Gymnastics (G)

All exercises that are performed with their own weight or on equipment, including pull-ups, push-ups, rope and many others, develop the athletic form of muscles, flexibility, coordination, and agility.

Weightlifting or weightlifting (W)

This category includes all exercises that are performed with weights – barbells, kettlebells, bags. Exercise develops strength, power, endurance, balance.

Each type of load is indicated in English capital letters, when drawing up a day’s workout, for example, MG – it will mean that aerobic and gymnastic exercises are present in the complex.

Exercise examples

You will not be able to conduct a training without shells at all. You need at least a horizontal bar and a pair of dumbbells. It is also advisable to have a small sandbag for weight training.

Examples of simple and effective exercises:

  1. The fastest pull-ups on the horizontal bar, which are done in jerks. 15 repetitions are done in one round.
  2. Explosive squats. They are done like regular squats, but at the moment when you need to get up, you need to jump up as much as possible. 15 repetitions are also done.
  3. Raising legs on the horizontal bar. Hanging on the horizontal bar, quickly and intensively pull your legs to your stomach.
  4. Burpee. Sit down, pulling your legs up to your chest and resting your hands on the floor. Throw your legs back, standing at the support, then return to the starting position and make the highest jump up.
  5. Explosive push-ups. Regular push-ups, in which at the top of the palms the palms are lifted off the floor.

There are hundreds, perhaps even thousands, of strength intensive programs, with each practitioner choosing exercises according to their personal preferences. General advice – do not force loads from the first exercises, performing the maximum number of repetitions and circles, let the body adapt to extreme conditions.

Crossfit training method and regimen

Next, we will tell you about the methodology and mode of training, dwelling in detail on the three main components of this sport: aerobics, gymnastics and weightlifting. What is each of them for?

Cardio (aerobics)

The aerobic exercise that is part of a CrossFit training regimen is also called Metabolic Conditioning. By developing with their help, the athlete improves the ability to work at low load power for a long time.

CrossFit cardio exercises help train the heart muscle and overall physical endurance. They are accompanied by an increase in the heartbeat, as well as an increase in heart rate and improved blood flow in the body. These include running, swimming, rowing, cycling, etc.

Thanks to a well-designed cardio program, the following occurs:

  • Intensive fat burning and, as a result, weight loss. Of course, provided the correct diet. This is one of the main reasons why CrossFit workouts are so popular with those looking to lose weight.
  • Progressive increase in effective lung volume for easier access and processing of oxygen.
  • Strengthening the heart muscle, due to which blood flow improves, since a trained heart does not experience problems with the transport of blood through the vessels.
  • The combination of cardio with other physical activities can reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes, diabetes, as well as stabilize blood pressure.
  • Metabolism improves: metabolism speeds up and you feel better.

Gymnastics (bodyweight exercises)

Any crossfit training system includes a set of gymnastic exercises that allow you to develop:

  • flexibility;
  • coordination;
  • equilibrium;
  • accuracy;
  • kinetic receptors of muscles and joints.

The main method of crossfit training in a gymnastic set involves working on the following apparatus:

  1. Rope climbing, working out the muscles of the arms and affecting the development of flexibility and dexterity.
  2. Pull-ups on the rings, effectively affecting the development of the upper body – back, shoulder girdle.
  3. Pull-ups on the bar.
  4. Exercise “corner” – on the uneven bars, rings or horizontal bar, which improves not only the physical fitness of the hands, but also the abdominal area.
  5. Work on the uneven bars – push-ups.
  6. Various types of push-ups from the floor.
  7. Squats – body weight, jumping out, on one leg.
  8. Lunges.
  9. Burpee is a combination of push-ups and jumps that engages most muscle groups.

That is, all those exercises in which the athlete’s own weight is involved.

Weightlifting (free weights)

If you have only heard something about CrossFit approximately earlier, then you probably do not know about weightlifting yet. Weightlifting is exercises with free weights, that is, weightlifting or powerlifting, the training modality of which is based on jerks and jerks with weights – a barbell, kettlebells and other similar apparatus.

If we talk about weightlifting in CrossFit, it should be noted right away that this is one of the most difficult and traumatic training sets. It requires skills and a carefully designed program. For beginners, the presence of a trainer is desirable.

Otherwise, such exercises allow you to improve the following parameters:

  • strength endurance;
  • development of muscle volume and their resistance to increased loads (strength factor);
  • limiting concentration;
  • stability;
  • balance.


If you do decide to do CrossFit, then you should approach drawing up a training plan with a cool head. And also monitor nutrition, recovery and exercise regimen. And these are not the only useful tips.

  • Warm up. Warming up not only significantly reduces the risk of injury, but also has a positive effect on the results. But in the case of CrossFit, the former is much more important. Due to the frequent change of pace, as well as explosive work, muscles and joints are subjected to severe stress. And, if they are not warmed up first, you can get serious injury.
  • Eat better. Many athletes underestimate the importance of nutrition. This is especially true for beginners, but a lack of calories will negatively affect your health. Even if you came to CrossFit in order to burn fat, it is better to eat high-calorie and wholesome food for the first time, and only after the body gets used to the stress, it will be possible to adhere to a calorie deficit.
  • Work with a partner. Together, you will not only be able to motivate each other, but also help with advice. You do not see yourself from the outside during the exercise, and your partner will see and give a couple of useful recommendations.
  • Quality is more important than quantity. Don’t try to do 200 reps in a minute or set a record for weight. Better to do less, but better. Always follow the technique, and especially at first, when you are just learning the exercises.

How to start your CrossFit workout

When you start circuit training, you need to understand that CrossFit is a powerful and high-intensity exercise. Many exercises require proficiency in complex techniques such as snatches, jerks, rings. An untrained person needs to start his training very carefully, always under the supervision of a doctor and trainer. It is necessary to understand that it is physiologically impossible to train various physical qualities as efficiently as possible. Correctly distributed loads – this is excellent physical fitness and good health.

How to prepare for CrossFit at home

Before starting complex functional crossfit complexes in a gym or fitness club, you can start with the simplest exercises at home. I have prepared for you an effective complex that does not take much time.

The complex includes five exercises that can be performed in turn in 3-4 sets of 12-15 repetitions or in a row without stopping in a circuit training mode.

  1. Do squats with dumbbells in your arms weighing 5-10 kg.
  2. Push-ups from the floor. If you find it hard to do push-ups from your feet, then do them from your knees.
  3. Do back lunges without dumbbells.
  4. Row of dumbbells weighing 5-7 kg., While standing in an incline.
  5. Crunches on the press.

Jumping rope can be used as a warm-up or additional endurance exercise in circuit training. Usually, the number of jumps or the duration of the exercise is counted. If all this already seems too simple, you can count the number of jumps per unit of time.

The recommended complex will prepare your muscles and cardiovascular system for harder and more intense workouts.

You need to monitor your well-being, primarily your heart rate (HR). Be sure to check your starting heart rate before starting your workout. Immediately after completing a series of exercises (circle), it should not exceed 70-75% of the maximum for beginners. The heart rate calculation is simple: maximum = 220-age. After a minute of rest, your heart rate should drop to the initial + 20%.


In addition to all of the listed benefits and indicators that CrossFit affects, sports also contribute to weight loss by reducing body fat due to high speed and intensity of the load. Correctly selected workouts by the trainer, while observing the execution technique, will help bring the body into the desired shape. Before training, it is important to warm up the muscles, and after exertion, it is imperative to stretch them.

Sources used and useful links on the topic:—kto-eto-samyie-izvestnyie-krossfiteryi-spisok- dostijeniya-i-istoriya https: // bodybuilding- https: //www.marieclaire .ru / stil-zjizny / krossfit-chto-eto-takoe-is-chego-nachat /

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