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Thinking about trying CrossFit?

You pull up to a small rustic building with loud music blaring. Even louder than the music are the people, lots of people, who seem to be running around all over the place. Some are throwing weights up over their heads, some are jumping over boxes, others seem to be tangled up in different colored bands on what seems to be a pull up bar connected to a million other pull up bars. You’re feeling intimidated, a little confused, maybe even a little frightened.  Before you shift the car into reverse and floor it out of there, let me stop you. I’m the CrossFit trainer running that chaotic class and I want talk about what’s really going on by answering some questions I get all the time.images

What’s CrossFit?

  • CrossFit is a fitness system created by Coach Greg Glassman that utilizes constantly varied (meaning all kinds of different things) functional movements (meaning movements that translate into everyday life) performed at high intensities (meaning giving it all you’ve got) to produce fairly impressive results.
  • The CrossFit specialty is in not specializing, meaning that the program is designed to produce a broad, general, inclusive fitness so that you can become stronger, faster, and able to do more work across various disciplines. You could do CrossFit anywhere, but the best place would be at a CrossFit affiliate or “box” with a CrossFit trainer.

So… What’s the big deal?

 Will it help me reach my goals?

Well that depends on your goals. If you want to become fitter, stronger, more athletic, and more mobile then yes, incorporating CrossFit into your weekly routine could be a great idea. I have seen members trim down, tone up, and just feel all around better. It is helpful to balance CrossFit with other healthy lifestyle habits such as yoga, stress management, and proper nutrition.

Will I be able to do it?

ABSOLUTELY. One of the best things about CrossFit is that ANYONE, and I mean anyone can dokellierow-s it. I currently work with kids as young as 15 and adults as old as 75. CrossFit is infinitely scalable because we use functional movements. Can’t do a pull-up? We can use bands, or rings to help you work your pulling. Can’t squat? You can sit to a chair or low box and stand back up. Trainers like myself will want to keep your safety our top priority and make these scaling options known to you. As long as you work hard, trust us, and keep an open mind to trying new things, you’ll be good to go!

But doesn’t everyone say it’s dangerous?           

Many skeptics claim that CrossFit results in injuries. Let me just say that there is risk for injury with ANY type of movement. If you follow directions, practice the proper movement patterns, and scale down when necessary than you are at no greater risk doing CrossFit than any other sport. This is, however, where finding a good affiliate with good trainers is key. Do your research, talk to members, read reviews and use your gut to find a gym that puts your needs and safety first.

Do I have to eat paleo?

No, you do not HAVE to eat paleo if you do CrossFit. Some gym owners, myself included, may suggest it as an alternative to the highly processed Standard American Diet or as a way to get members back to the basics of whole foods. The important thing to remember is that when you are engaging in exercise, especially at the high intensity of CrossFit workouts, your nutrition becomes paramount. According to Betsy, the Paleo Diet may not be in the right balance for your activity level. Here are the Pro’s and Con’s of the Paleo Diet.images

The Bottom Line: I personally have fallen in love with CrossFit and the potential it holds as part of a healthy, active life. But as always in life, balance is the key.  CrossFit is an intense exercise so make sure to balance it with activities that promote flexibility and relaxation, like yoga.  Also, when engaging in vigorous activities, it is essential to be on top of your diet.

This post was written by Corie Adamucci. Corie is currently working with Betsy on her journey to become a Registered dietitian. She is a Certified Level 1 Trainer and CrossFit Kids trainer at her father’s Cross Fit Studio, Devil CrossFit in Hammonton, NJ .

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