Crossfit: A sport of fitness

Are you tired of the same gym routine? Do you feel like giving up? Do you sense a lack of enthusiasm around you?

If yes, welcome to Crossfit - intimidating at first sight, but a guaranteed full body workout that brings with it - sheer fun. On 6th March 2012, Reebok Crossfit joined the ranks of Crossfit facilities in India; Mumbai's CrossfitOm being the first. To launch this fitness franchise, Reebok invited five celebrities - Sarah Jane Dias, Kunal Kapoor, Gautam Gambhir, Sandeep Singh and Sardar Singh to train under the watchful eyes of International Crossfit coach Denise Thomas. We caught up with Denise and asked her a few basics about Crossfit training and how it applies to all of us.

What is CrossFit?
Denise Thomas breaks it down for you, "Crossfit is functional movement, constantly varied and executed at high intensity. Functional movements are what we do everyday like sitting down and getting back up; that is called a squat; or if you bend down and pick something up, that is called a dead lift. Life demands these movements; they are safe, natural and essential for living, but beyond that they produce a lot of power and we get really good results."

She further explains, "Constantly varied - Crossfitters are greedy, we want to be good at every thing, so we don't want only a strong guy, fast guy or flexible girl, we want everything. We have varied the program so we can be good at everything. Intensity - when we peep into a Crossfit gym, the intense workout can be intimidating, but Crossfit programs are designed for individual capacity."

"You can do these workouts anywhere but community is the core of fitness, you will meet people you have never met before and they will have an impact on your lives. Crossfit is more than a workout, it is way of life, and it gives you confidence." concludes Denise.

Why is it a sport?
Crossfit is about team work and cheering each other, it's not a solo workout. At a Crossfit gym, the group is divided into two groups. Crossfit is a game; it is an online open workout that spans five weeks. Every week you do your workout and submit your scores online, we have a global online database and at the end of the five weeks we take the top 60 teams from each region from across the world. From the regional competition, we select the top man, woman and team, and we take them to the Crossfit game final. We believe the winner of the final is the fittest in the world.

How is it beneficial to health?
Other workout regimes are valued no doubt, but Crossfit covers so many different areas, if you want fitness Crossfit is the way to go, if you want to be stronger, faster, lose a lot of weight Crossfit will do that for you. It prepares your general physical skills and uses every part of your body. With the exercise and relative intensity you know everything is going to get better.

How has it been scaled for different age groups?
Each person has different athletic abilities, which a crossfit trainer takes into account to scale the exercise to give you a good workout. It is scaled for the relative intensity of the general public. If you're injured, the workouts are scaled at different levels. However, the exercises are never changed; only the degrees of intensity vary.

What should beginners keep in mind?
Just go to the gym, the trainer will give them workout exercises best suited for them. Denise recommends it two or three times a week. "Listen to your body, as you grow with Crossfit you will know what your body can take," she says.

What are the key movements and benefits of crossfit training?
Crossfit covers weightlifting, gymnastics and metabolic conditioning, so it includes push ups, squats, pull ups and sit ups. When you're traveling, each hotel has a gym, you have your dumbbells. If you want more info you can go online, Welcome to CrossFit: Forging Elite Fitness that lists a plethora of exercises.

How many hours a day should one spend on crossfit training?
Like any other workout, crossfit training depends on your physical skills, abilities and goals. While its compact and compound movements enable you to cover more ground in shorter time, the sky's the limit when it comes to testing your body within your self-set parameters. Therefore, how much time you spend training depends entirely on your trainer, your enthusiasm and your ability.

What about the kids?
Kids have a different course, but they too can make the most out of Crossfit. The four general physical skills that are improved through practice are co-ordination, agility, balance and accuracy, which result in changes in the nervous system. The benefit of training in these areas is an increased ability to control one's body.

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