Ever wondered if Crossfit is for you? I spoke with Crossfit coach Jeremiah Strother over at Crossfit Medford of New Jersey, and the insights he provided helped to dispel a few popular myths about the wildly controversial “sport of working out”. Here’s an insider’s examination of all things Crossfit from how the sport was created, to what your first class will be like, and even the Crossfit Games.
What is Crossfit?
The official Crossfit website defines the sport as a series of “varied functional movements performed at high intensity.” It involves a variety of movements that incorporate gymnastics, running, weight lifting, rowing, and much more. Defined by measurable statistics, Crossfit will track your progress on huge white boards in the gym in order to ensure you hit your fitness goals. The program prides itself on its universal scalability and its sense of community at every gym.
The origins of Crossfit
Crossfit was founded by Greg Glassman and took several years to develop. The first official gym started in California in 1996, but Crossfit was truly born in the years prior. From humble beginnings, the phenomenon came to life out of a garage where Glassman and his buddies started competing in timed exercises, such as, who could do more jump ropes in a fifty seconds. Noticing the camaraderie this built amongst his small group, he decided to start that very first gym, and the rest, as they say, is history. Now known as Crossfit Inc, there are more than 13,000 affiliates nationwide.
What you should wear
The one thing Strother stressed the most was to wear comfortable workout clothing. You will sweat and your workout will challenge you, so be sure that your sneakers fit well, your yoga pants or shorts allow for mobility, and your attitude is positive.
What to bring with you
The nice thing about most gyms is that they will almost always have everything you need. Crossfit is no exception to this rule. All the equipment you need to get your workout in will be provided for you and, in most cases, will be quite new and well-maintained. While you can likely buy drinks or snacks and rent towels at your gym, you’ll save money by bringing your own. You should always call in advance to see if your gym offers these items to buy or rent if that’s what you prefer. Most gyms also provide access to water fountains. The most important thing to do before, during, and after any workout is to hydrate, so be sure to bring your water bottle with you and make sure to fill it up before you start your workout. A towel would also be a great asset here. Crossfit prides itself on being able to challenge people of all fitness levels. This means that you will sweat and that towel will come in handy more than once. A light snack or protein shake might be a good idea for after the workout. However, before taking any supplements, consult your physician to ensure that you aren’t putting yourself at risk for certain side effects.