In the last few years in the United States and all around the world there has been a new fitness sensation. After the surge in popularity of fitness activities like bodybuilding, yoga, and Pilates, the new hot thing around is CrossFit training.
CrossFit was first introduced by Greg Glassman 12 years ago and has been growing ever since. As of today there are around 3,400 CrossFit gyms in the world. Unlike bodybuilding or traditional weight training, CrossFit focuses more on functional movements while incorporating strength training and conditioning.
A CrossFit workout is typically fast paced and involves multiple exercises to be completed in succession. Workouts are often different and focus on unexpected exercises being combined into workouts that push the human body to its limits to increase ones overall fitness including strength, endurance, and conditioning.
Since 2000, CrossFit training has become so popular that the CrossFit Games were created in 2007. Thousands of participants from around the world come together to battle it out to see who is the fittest in the world.
The three main categories of the CrossFit Games include a men’s champion, a women’s champion, and the Affiliate Cup, which is the team title. Teams are made up of three women and three men.
This year the men’s winner was Rich Froning. The 24-year-old Froning is the first man in CrossFit Games history to win the title in two consecutive years.
Second place in the event was Matt Chan. Third place was taken by Kyle Kasperbauer.
Not to be outdone by Froning, Annie Thorisdottir became the first woman in CrossFit Games history to win the title in back-to-back years. The woman from Iceland is one of the younger competitors at just 22 years of age.
Second place was taken by medical student, 23 year old, Julie Foucher. Third place went to Talayna Fortunato. Kristan Clever, a former women’s champion, grabbed fourth place. And Valerie Voboril took fifth place as 23-year-old French-Canadian Camille Leblanc-Bazinet rounded out the top six.
Thorisdottir and Froning won by dominating in events such as the O-Course, Ball Toss, Track Triplet, Rope Sled, Clean Ladder, Chipper, and custom exercises Elizabeth, Isabel, and Fran.
Hacks Pack UTE
In the team competition Hacks Pack UTE worked there way to a dominating win. Second place was taken by SPC CrossFit and third went to Diablo CrossFit Anejo.
Events for the team competition included the Sprint Relay, Team Chipper, and the Yoke.
A common element of typical CrossFit workouts is bodyweight exercises. Many workouts will feature some of the same exercises performed at the CrossFit Games. These exercises include the box jump, handstand pushups, muscle-ups, ring dips, pull ups, and toes-to-bar. In addition, exercises with weights are also performed. These include the dead lift, clean, kettle bell swing, overhead barbell press, the snatch, squats, and tire flips.
Many of the routines in the CrossFit Games are combinations of the various typical CrossFit exercises that athletes perform throughout the year as they train.
The popularity of CrossFit
No one can deny the growth in popularity of CrossFit. Gyms are sprouting up everywhere in the United States that center on CrossFit training. The aspect of functional training is attracting more and more men and women into the sport.
Some questions of the sport do exist. Many are not completely sold on the benefits of CrossFit. The lack of warming up muscles in certain competitions is bothering some. Also, the order of some exercises and the way they are performed has been questioned by doctors.
Regardless, the challenge of seeing how fit one can get and how far the human body can go is driving Americans to enter CrossFit. The thrill of testing one’s endurance in a fast paced, high intensity workout is far more appealing to many than not working out or doing something less intense and more monotonous.
Based on the impressive growth of the sport in just 12 short years, it is safe to say that it will only continue to soar higher in popularity in the future as gym memberships become cheaper and more people get involved in CrossFit. Before long the CrossFit Games might become one of the most anticipated weekends of the year for all fitness enthusiasts.