In gyms and health clubs throughout the world the typical workout consists of isolation movements and extended aerobic sessions. The fitness community from trainers to the magazines has the exercising public believing that lateral raises, curls, leg extensions, sit-ups and the like combined with 20-40 minute stints on the stationary bike or treadmill are going to lead to some kind of great fitness.
Well, with CrossFit, we work exclusively with compound movements and shorter high intensity cardiovascular sessions. We’ve replaced the lateral raise with push-press, the bicep curl with pull-ups, and the leg extension with squats. For every long distance effort, you will do five or six at short distance. Why? Because compound or functional movements and high intensity or anaerobic cardio is radically more effective at eliciting nearly any desired fitness result. Startlingly, this is not a matter of opinion but solid irrefutable scientific fact and yet the marginally effective old ways persist and are nearly universal. Our approach is consistent with what is practiced in elite training programs associated with major university athletic teams and professional sports. (Courtesy of CrossFit Inc.)
Is Warrior Pride Fitness CrossFit for me?
Absolutely! Your needs and the Olympic athlete’s differ by degree not kind. Increased power, strength, cardiovascular and respiratory endurance, flexibility, stamina, coordination, agility, balance, and coordination are each as important to the world’s best athletes as they are to the overweight, the sedentary, the sick, casual athletes, and even the elderly. The amazing truth is that the very same methods that elicit optimal response in the Olympic or professional athlete will optimize the same response in all these populations. Of course, we can’t load your grandmother with the same squatting weight that we’d assign an Olympic skier, but they both need to squat.
If the program works for Olympic Skiers and overweight, sedentary homemakers then it will work for you. (Courtesy of CrossFit Inc.)
What can I expect during a CrossFit workout?
A dynamic warmup, followed by: Running, and rowing. The clean & jerk, snatch, squat, deadlift, push-press, bench-press, and power-clean. Jumping, medicine ball throws and catches, pull-ups, dips, push-ups, handstands, presses to handstand, pirouettes, kips, cartwheels, muscle-ups, sit-ups, scales, and holds in an endless variety of drills. We make regular use of the track, rowing shells, and ergometers, Olympic weight sets, rings, parallel bars, free exercise mat, horizontal bar, plyometrics boxes, medicine balls, and jump rope. All of these placed into high intensity workouts in random combinations that typically last no longer than 25 minutes, and in some cases, may only last 10 minutes (not counting warm-up and instruction, of course).
But I don’t wanna be an athlete, I just want to tone, I don’t want to get bulky, etc. etc…
Let me just say that we hear this one A LOT from women. Let me start off by pointing out a point that Mark Rippetoe made in the CrossFit Journal :
“The fact is that aesthetics are best obtained from training for performance. In both architecture and human beauty, form follows function. Always and everywhere, the human body has a certain appearance when it performs at a high level, and depending on the nature of that high-level performance, this appearance is usually regarded as aesthetically pleasing, for reasons that are DNA-level deep. The training through which high-level performance is obtained is the only reliable way to obtain these aesthetics, and the only exceptions to this method of obtaining them are the occasional genetically-gifted freaks—people who look like they train when they were just born lucky. As a general rule, if you want to look like a lean athlete—the standard that most active people strive to emulate—you have to train like an athlete, and most people lack the “sand” for that.”
…and how many time do you think they took the “body sculpting” class using 5 pound weights at the local globo gym?
“Appearance can’t change unless performance does, and the performance changes are what we quantify and what we program. We pretty much know how to improve that, but the industry is based on the fiction that appropriate training proceeds from an assessment of aesthetics. Your appearance when fit is almost entirely a function of your genetics, which are expressed at their best only when your training is at its highest level, and this level is only obtainable from a program based on an improvement in your performance in the gym.”
So in other words… You want to get lean? work on reducing your “Helen” time. You want that defined v-shape in your back? Work on increasing your pull-ups. You want your thighs to looks better? Eat Paleo and increase your squat and deadlift weight. Remember what Mark Rippetoe (and 99% of legitimate exercise science) says:
- Your muscles cannot get “longer” without some rather radical orthopedic surgery.
- Muscles don’t get leaner—you do.
- There is no such thing as “firming and toning.”, there is only stronger and weaker.
- The vast majority of women cannot get large, masculine muscles from barbell training. If it were that easy, I would have them.
- Women who do look like men have taken some rather drastic steps in that direction that have little to do with their exercise program.
- Women who claim to be afraid to train hard because they “always bulk up too much” are often already pretty bulky, or “skinny fat” (thin but weak and deconditioned) and have found another excuse to continue life sitting on their butts.
- Only people willing to work to the point of discomfort on a regular basis using effective means to produce that discomfort will actually look like they have been other-than-comfortable most of the time.
- You can thank the muscle magazines for these persistent misconceptions, along with the natural tendency of all normal humans to seek reasons to avoid hard physical exertion.
What if I have an injury? Will I still be able to train?
If you have an acute injury (for example, a sprain or a pulled muscle), chances are you will need to take some time off to rest, recover and regroup. That’s perfectly acceptable. But you don’t want to lose fitness from not exercising (also called detraining or deconditioning). You should still strive to maintain a base of fitness, there are ways to work out while recovering from most injuries.
However, 90% of injuries I see in new clients are chronic injuries. In other words, injuries that have bothered them for years. Often times, these injuries are due to biomechanical imbalances (certain muscles are too tight, and others are too weak), poor posture, and a multitude of other reasons. And likewise, 9/10 times, pain from these injuries can be severely reduced if not eliminated with functional weight training and exercise that emphasizes proper biomechanics and core recruitment patterns. Does your back constantly ache? Then you should be doing deadlifts (albeit starting with light weight) to strengthen it. Do you have alot of shoulder pain? Then chances are the muscles in your back are too weak to hold your shoulder girdle in the proper position. The perscription in this case, would be variations of pull-ups and rows. The injury usually has an easily identifiable cause, and is also very correctable.