CrossFit: all about this new fashionable sport!

Definition: what is CrossFit sport?

If the term CrossFit is widely used in everyday language, it is above all a commercial brand promoted by the company. CrossFit Inc.created in the United States in 2000 by the former university gymnast Greg Glassman and his wife Lauren Glassman. This company, initially rather confidential, today has some 12800 training rooms – say CrossFit Boxs – worldwide.
And nothing is left to chance in the global company, because to be able to teach CrossFit, a sports coach must have validated one of the three CrossFit ® Trainings (Level 1, 2 or 3), provided by CrossFit Inc.

But then, what exactly is CrossFit? Both presented by his followers as a discipline, a sport and even an art of living, CrossFit redefines the codes and contours of simple physical activity. Because as the Level 1 Training Guide mysteriously describes, CrossFit is “being prepared not only for the unknown, but also for the unknowable.” Yes, but still?

Hind Mahmoudi CrossFit Level-1 Trainer: The objective of CrossFit is to optimize our physical condition through a global and inclusive approach, based on functional movements, performed at high intensity, in constant variation.

These functional movements being essential to everyday life : push, pull, lift… with the aim of prepare its followers for any physical eventuality in life.

And if CrossFit may seem impressive, even reserved for an elite of athletes at heart, it is in reality open to all profiles and at all levels. “You can come with your parents, your children, or even your grandparents if you want, because if the training routine remains the same, there is a notion of scaling – namely adaptation to each profile – which means that everyone comes out of a session in the same state“explains the coach.

Finally, what also makes CrossFit so successful is its international, benevolent and close-knit community, thanks to which any CrossFitter can practice all over the world without being out of place. “It’s ultimately a universal sport, since as soon as you find yourself in a box, wherever you are, you feel a little at home. It’s the principle of home away from home” sums up the certified trainer.

Who is CrossFit for?

CrossFit is a highly inclusive practice by nature since it adapts to all ages: from children (kids) to seniors (masters) with pedagogy and expectations of course adapted to different audiences. But it is undoubtedly with the community of athletes with disabilities (called adaptive) that CrossFit stands out, on the one hand in its ability to strengthen all audiences in their skills necessary for the daily challenge while allowing them to train included in a course with able-bodied people. It is therefore common to come across blind people, amputees and other wheelchair athletes around a box.

Exercises in crossfit: the WOD

A CrossFit session is built around the WOD – or Workout Of the Day – which corresponds to the training session of the day. This sequence, which can last from 5 to 35/40 minutes, must be short but intense. The WODs are made up of several exercises, which come from the different areas that make up CrossFit: gymnastic (pull-ups, push-ups, muscle up…), the cardio or metabolic conditioning (rowing machine, ski erg, skipping rope, bike…), theweightlifting (snatch, clean and jerk, squats…). If the WODs can be programmed by each trainer or each box, there is a series of more than 130 reference WOD benchmarks. “The Cindy, for example, consists of performing the following sequences of exercises for 20 minutes, AMRAP (as many round as possible): 5 pull-ups / 10 push-ups / 15 air squats” indicates Hind as an example. Each of these benchmark WODs is like a thorough test of one’s strength and endurance, and they’re what benchmarks against the global CrossFit community.

Course of a session

A CrossFit session usually lasts 1 hourand always starts with a brief on the board – the famous whiteboard – where the coach explains the session and its composition.

Then comes the warm-up or warm up, which takes less than 10 minutes. “We then continue with a part of muscle strengthening called strenght – and / or, a skill (technical skill) which allows the work of a specific technique or the learning of particular movements” details the coach. These strengths and skills are a preparation for the upcoming WOD.

Finally, the WOD, which therefore corresponds to the heart of the CrossFit session.

“We can also find a work of mobility, sometimes associated with the return to calm (cool down) or the warm-up (warm up)” concludes Hind Mahmoudi.

The CrossFit box: a training room dedicated to it

The practice of CrossFit is done exclusively in an affiliated room, called Box, with coaches trained to apply the method, in addition to their state diplomas as sports educators. A box is a room equipped with the equipment adapted to the realization of the multiple exercises proposed in CrossFit. You can find rowers, jump ropes, dumbbells, weighted balls, weightlifting bars, traction bars or even kettlebells.

Hind Mahmoudi: The box is also a place of life, sharing, exchange, where you create links with your coaches, and your WOD partners.

CrossFit home: can you do CrossFit at home?

If box practice, supervised by certified coaches, is certainly the best way to practice CrossFit, practice at home is also possible, with or without equipment. “It was also developed a lot during the confinement, during which the site published open source videos, in order to allow the community to continue to practice during this period” explains the coach to us.
But practicing in a group and in a box allows you to create an emulation, which pushes you to surpass yourself and give the best of yourself.

What is the purpose of CrossFit?

As the Level 1 Trainer Guide (1) explains, regular practice of CrossFit allows you to be versatile, work your whole body and develop all his athletic qualitiesnamely: theendurance, strength and cardiovascular training, power, speed, strength, flexibility, agility, balance and coordination. “CrossFit of course allows you to be in good health and to be ready for any physical activity, whether in everyday life or during an unexpected event” recalls the certified trainer.

The leitmotiv of CrossFit, which sounds like a mantra, is also and above all to “become the best version of yourself”, whether inside or outside the gym.

CrossFit how long before result?

As with any sports practice, the time required before the appearance of the first results depends partly on theathlete’s personal investmentbut also of his overall way of life. “Food, the good hydrationthe sleep and lifestyle in general, are essential to obtain results on the body and health” insists Hind.
By practicing 3 sessions per week, associated with a healthy lifestyle, you can appreciate the results of CrossFit on shape and silhouette after 4 to 6 weeks.

CrossFit or bodybuilding to lose weight?

If the primary vocation of CrossFit is not so much weight loss, as well-being in one’s body, it nevertheless combines effective elements to see one’s silhouette become more refined. “On the one hand, CrossFit is intense on the cardiovascular level, and therefore generates a large calorie expenditure. On the other hand, it allows you to strengthen muscle mass, which is very energy-intensive, since it is what burns calories even when we are at rest” recalls the coach.
If it is associated with a healthy and balanced dietand to a healthy lifestyle, CrossFit is therefore clearly a assistance-slimming efficient.
Bodybuilding alone, on the other hand, puts much less strain on the cardiovascular system and therefore generates lower calorie expenditure: it will therefore be less effective than CrossFit for weight loss. Weight loss is not the effect expected by weightlifting enthusiasts, who are on the contrary looking for muscle mass gain, and therefore weight gain!

CrossFit or bodybuilding to gain muscle?

While bodybuilding has the sole objective of increasing muscle mass and sculpting the body, CrossFit, on the other hand, includes the notions health and wellness in its purpose. Unlike bodybuilding, it does not focus on targeted parts of the body, and goes sculpt the silhouette globally and harmoniously. If the primary objective is aesthetics, with precise targeting of one or more muscle groups, the wisest choice will therefore be bodybuilding.

Dangers of CrossFit for health?

Intense efforts, sometimes heavy loads, often complex movements… CrossFit is often accused of being dangerous to health. As with many sports, all the more so when props are used, CrossFit must be well framed and well executed for avoid any risk of injuryespecially for people who are just starting out or those who suffer from health problems or musculoskeletal weaknesses.
During a session, it is also important to ensure that youmaintain a balance between intensity and recoveryso as not to increase the frequency cardiac at rest. “But in the end, the goal of a physical activity – and more from CrossFit – is become strong enough to avoid injuryand not to provoke it!” recalls the coach.

The CrossFit Games: what are they?

CrossFit athletes – also called CrossFitters – can compete inan international competition, called the “CrossFit Games”. “Organized every year, they bring together professional CrossFit athletes from all over the world, who compete in a multitude of different WODs, chained over several days in a row” summarizes Hind Mahmoudi. The idea is to determine which man and which woman will be “the Fittest on Earth”!

In France, it is the athlete willy george who best defended the tricolor, finishing in 3rd place in the final phase for his first participation in the CrossFit Games in 2018.

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