Crossfit: how to get started?

Crossfit has become one of the most popular fitness trends in recent years. It's a high-intensity workout that incorporates cardio, weightlifting and gymnastics into a challenging program. If you're thinking of taking up Crossfit, here are some tips to help you get started.

What is Crossfit and why has it become so popular?

Crossfit is a type of exercise that focuses on functional movements. These are movements designed to improve your daily life, such as lifting, carrying and squatting. Crossfit workouts are usually short and intense, and can be adapted to all fitness levels

There are a number of reasons why Crossfit has become so popular in recent years. Firstly, it is a great workout for people who are short on time. Crossfit workouts are usually only 30 minutes long, making them ideal for busy lifestyles. Secondly, Crossfit is a very inclusive community. There are Crossfit gyms (called 'boxes') all over the world, and people of all ages and fitness levels can participate in Crossfit training. Finally, many people find that Crossfit is simply more fun than other types of exercise.

How do I get started in Crossfit?

If you want to start doing Crossfit, the best thing to do is to find a local gym (or 'box') and sign up for a class. Most Crossfit gyms offer a free trial class, so you can try it out before committing to a membership

When you first start Crossfit, you may be intimidated by the workouts. But don't worry: the moves can be adapted to your fitness level and the coaches will help you modify the exercises if necessary. The main thing is to keep showing up and pushing yourself a little bit more each time. Before you know it, you'll be hooked on that Crossfit feeling!

What will Crossfit do for you?

In its basics and the various definitions found on CrossFit, you will find a list of 10 physical qualities that are fundamental to this practice. Rather than listing them, let's look at the main effects that CrossFit will ultimately have on your body.

You will work a lot of muscles

Most of the movements you do in CrossFit like burpees, squat jumps or snatch are poly-joint movements. These are more effective in improving overall fitness than exercises that only involve one joint like the biceps curl.

You will burn a lot of calories

Based on the principle of high intensity, and reinforced by the type of movement mentioned above, CrossFit generates a very high caloric expenditure. You don't need to use weights to achieve this and a class like HIIT can help you achieve your goal.

The effects of CrossFit continue after the session

Most CrossFit WODs help you increase your metabolism. This means that throughout the day you will logically burn more calories. 

Another phenomenon is triggered by activities such as CrossFit: EPOC (Excess Post-exercise Oxygen Consumption). This is the result of an increase in oxygen consumption and metabolism that occurs after exercise as the body recovers, repairs itself and returns to its initial state. The extent and duration of EPOC depends on the intensity of the workout, but it can occur up to 24 hours after the workout.

You could lose weight.

If this is your main goal, CrossFit is one of the most effective activities for losing weight. The increase in muscle mass and metabolism helps to reduce body fat.

Don't expect to lose 5 kg after the first session either. Depending on how fit you are, you may not lose any, as the effects will drastically affect your body composition and fitness. Basically, your fat will turn into muscle...

CrossFit gives you a winning mindset.

CrossFit can also help you mentally. WODs have little or no rest time and the intensity is rarely moderate. So you often have to draw on your last reserves to finish the session and this is often where your mental strength comes into play.

At the end of the session, you will tend to reflect on what you have achieved as the task often seems unachievable at the beginning of the session. This can lead to a change of mindset for those who find it difficult to push themselves.

Once you get into a routine, you'll have a real winning mentality and will be constantly striving to excel in training.

You will improve your mobility.

Mobility is your ability to move a muscle or group of muscles through a range of motion with strength and control. Although CrossFit is a far cry from Yoga or Pilatesit is a very good exercise program to improve this quality.

Here is an example of a routine practiced for improving the squat

But no, it is not dangerous!

CrossFit has a bad reputation because the videos that circulate on the net show the competitive side of the activity with complex movements, heavy loads and athletes always in a pitiful state after their session...

But the Crossfit Wod practiced in an affiliated Box is always... supervised! Unlike traditional gyms, you will always find a certified CrossFit coach supervising a session for about 12 people.

This is for me the factor that will reduce the risk of injury the most because your trainer will be there to correct you and adapt the exercises according to your physical possibilities.

Training for everyday life

The best exercises to do in training are those that mimic the movements you do at home or outside, such as lifting a box or carrying your shopping bags.

These movements, which are called "functional", form the basis of many CrossFit WODs. The point of such a practice is to prepare your body for the demands of everyday life.

By learning to move your body correctly you will be much more efficient and safe when moving furniture, cutting wood or simply doing acrobatics with your children...

What should you expect from your first lessons?

Well, first and foremost, you can expect to be challenged. Crossfit is an intense workout program that is designed to push your limits. So, if you're looking for a workout that will really get your heart rate up and make you sweat, then Crossfit is definitely a good choice. However, don't let the intensity of the workouts scare you off. The great thing about Crossfit is that it's scalable, meaning that the workouts can be modified to fit any fitness level. So whether you're a beginner or a seasoned athlete, there will always be a way for you to participate in the workouts and see meaningful results on your health.

How often should you do Crossfit?

The general rule of thumb is that you should do Crossfit at least three times a week to get results. However, if you're just starting out, it's important to get familiar with the method and not try to do too much in your first few sessions. Start with one or two classes a week, then gradually increase your frequency as you become more comfortable with the workouts. Remember, the key is to listen to your body and not push yourself too hard. If you feel overwhelmed or like you're doing too much, stop and reduce your workouts until you feel ready to resume. In any case, the coach will be there to guide you, so trust him...

The Fitness Expert for Oktofit: