Crossfit has become a global fitness phenomenon, but for those of us who aren’t members at a Crossfit gym and haven’t done a Crossfit work out, it can seem a little intense.
As part of the CKNW health series Simi Sara and Producer Tim Dickert went to Studeo55 Crossfit in Downtown Vancouver to get a better understanding of why Crossfit has taken off the way it has, why the people who do it are so committed… and to put Tim through the paces of a Crossfit workout.
First off – what exactly is Crossfit? It’s a strength and conditioning regime that incorporates everything from gymnastics to power lifting, to high intensity cardio intervals.
But for those of us who’ve seen it but not tried it, it can have the image of being a workout just for the super-fit.
Matt Reid, Studeo55’s General Manager says that’s a misconception.
He says what you see on TV are the super-elite, people who are trying to do things no one else can do. But in the gym, Crossfit is designed to be flexible to whoever is doing it.
“The way that the methodology was first developed was a form of fitness that can be modified for anyone’s ability. So when friends who are in Crossfit tell you how hardcore it is, they might not tell you that certain exercises have been modified for their ability, and they’re not necessarily doing what the people on TV are doing.”
Reid says the personalized aspect of Crossfit is more than what makes it accessible. He says it’s also what makes it effective.
“It’s intended to be difficult. The challenge with any fitness routine is, the results are directly correlated to frequency and intensity. How often you go and how hard you try. So it’s developed to be challenging, but challenging to everybody’s different version of what difficult is.”
SEE: CKNW producer Tim Dickert pushes himself to his Crossfit limits
Flash in the pan?
But while Crossfit is all the rage right now, will it last? Or will it go the way of the aerobics classes of the 1980s?
Reid says he thinks the program has staying power, for one specific reason.
“Traditionally with exercise there are trends. But the thing about Crossfit that’s a little bit different is that Crossfit hasn’t invented any exercises. These are all exercises we’ve used for years. They’re traditional exercises that work. So in layman’s terms we’re just exercising.”
He says the social aspect of Crossfit, sometimes jokingly referred to as cultish, is also a part of its success – creating a community that pushes and inspires people to test their limits.
And he says interest only seems to be growing, with plenty of people curious about what it’s all about.
“That means that this style of exercise is getting people interested in activity, which is a huge positive, because that’s sometimes the challenge.”