What to know about Crossfit before you begin | PostIndependent.com

What to know about Crossfit before you begin

Trent Johnson
Special to the Summit Daily
Adriana Gillett, general manager and new owner of Crossfit Low Oxygen in Frisco. Before moving to Summit County, Gillett was a member at several Crossfit gyms on the Front Range, where she says the atmosphere can be much more intimidating for newcomers.
Phil Lindeman / plindeman@summitdaily.com |

It’s wintertime, and that means most people head indoors for fitness to avoid the cold weather. You start looking for a gym to see results, meet new people, have fun and get the support you need to push yourself that much further. You try many different gyms, but they are either too complicated or uncaring. You feel like the managers are only after your money.

Then you find this gym that has a giant garage door with loud music blasting inside. It looks intimidating, but you go to the door and find giant letters across the front, and suddenly, you make sense of where you are — it’s a CrossFit gym.

Most people look at and think of a CrossFit gym as a place where you lift until your bones break, you can’t walk and you push until you vomit. But this is not the case. CrossFit delivers fitness that is designed around multiple aspects of life, from military personnel looking for something that will help in combat to the Average Joes who are looking for a fitness program that will make them stronger and fitter, so that they can live a happy, healthy and long life.

When you do a CrossFit program, it is designed so that each individual can do the movements or modifications at their personal intensity level and weight. You are not supposed to push yourself until your body breaks — you are supposed to go until your body is tired and needs to rest, then see if you can do one last round.

The benefits of Crossfit

CrossFit has multiple benefits that many fitness professionals and enthusiasts tend to overlook. When you go to a CrossFit class, you have other CrossFit athletes cheering you on, giving you motivation to continue while your brain tells you that you are tired and need to stop.

These exercises (primarily Olympic lifting like cleans and snatches) keep you focused on the present movements, so you can tell exactly what your body is doing and keep your form accurate. This is how athletes stay free from injury. Every day that you lift, you increase your muscular strength, joint strength and muscle mass or muscle tone. Finally, you increase your body’s functionality through gymnastic movements, such as one-legged squats, overhead squats and even pull-ups/muscle-ups using gymnastics rings.

Avoid Crossfit OD

If you’re new to CrossFit you will probably start noticing the benefits rapidly. But that does not mean you should do this every day — until you are ready to avoid any risks that may result from CrossFit overdose.

When you get into consecutive days of hard exercise, your body will start to show signs of wear and tear. Unlike other fitness programs (ex. daily group fitness classes like kickboxing or spinning), you need to take a few days off from CrossFit to help your body properly recover from the exercises and movements.

In general, attending a CrossFit class three to four days per week ensures that you see the results you want. If you push it to five or more days, this can result in body damage that will put you out of exercising from a couple of weeks, or even a couple of months.

The diet question

Not only will your muscles and joints start showing strain, your metabolism can also get into trouble. This is because most athletes don’t eat enough calories in protein, carbohydrates and fats to allow for proper muscle growth and a healthy body. Your workout needs to match your diet. If you eat properly and exercise no more than four days per week, then your body will see some amazing results as a result of CrossFit workouts.

Many people who are new to CrossFit hear about diets that are guaranteed results. But, it is up to the individual athlete to decide whether the diet is a good fit or not. CrossFit is usually associated with the Paleo diet, which is designed to get you the best results from any and every CrossFit workout.

While this diet may work for some athletes right away, you need to think about how your body will respond to a diet based on proteins and vegetables. Talk to a nutritionist to see if this diet will work for you. This can help prevent any negative responses from a different diet.

As a trainer, I would recommend CrossFitt to anyone who is already physically active and can listen to the body. It’s not about listening to your ego or other athletes when your body is not ready. Give a CrossFit gym a try, but take it slow so your body can properly respond to the workouts.

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