CrossFit is a comprehensive fitness system that helps you build overall fitness in a variety of functional disciplines. Even non-athletes need to be strong, mobile and coordinated, and as we grow older, these needs become more and more relevant. Furthermore, at its core, CrossFit is a community of like-minded individuals who value strength and health. This support system is crucial if one is to change not only one’s activity level, but diet and lifestyle as well. Lastly, CrossFit is just plain fun, and we believe that movement should be a positive experience. Exercise shouldn’t feel like work; it should be enjoyable and fulfilling. Of course, CrossFit is a challenging pursuit and we’ll ask you to step outside of your comfort zone on a daily basis. But when you do, you’ll break through your own preconceived limits, build physical and mental strength, and grow as a person.
Is CrossFit for me?
Whether you’re already an athlete or just looking to get fit, CrossFit is for everyone. The program is designed with universal scalability in mind, making it perfect for any individual regardless of their experience level. Can’t do a pullup or a pushup? Not to worry. The workouts can be modified based on what you can safely do. The majority of the workouts we prescribe for each day take into account the fact that at our foundation, we all need to be efficient in the basic forms of movement. These movements includes walking, running, jumping, lifting, carrying, and balancing, along with a few others. Regardless of our activity level, our bodies have evolved to use these skills, and what we do not use, we lose.
What is this WOD you speak of?
“WOD” stands for Workout of the Day. This acronym originated with the original CrossFit.com site, along with other workout names like “Fran,” “Helen,” “Diane” and more. At CrossFit Love and at other CrossFit boxes, the “WOD” acronym is simply used to used to describe the full program we have prepared for a given day. It usually includes a strength component, a skill component, and a metabolic conditioning component.
Isn’t CrossFit just a lot of high-rep, low-weight movements done for time?
Although this is commonly what CrossFit is know for, it is by no means the only method of training. At CrossFit Love, we typically do a moderate weight, high-rep workout in a competitive environment at the end of our class. Typically, these workouts are short in duration and simple in design. For the rest of the class we are lifting heavy and practicing skills.
What if I can’t do the WOD as it has been prescribed?
The only prescription we care about is what works best for the individual. There is no one-size-fits-all exercise program and both our movements and weights are scaled for each individual. Just because we post a workout consisting of heavy back squats, pull-ups and handstand-pushups doesn’t mean that we expect everyone to do this workout. If a deconditioned elderly person came in, then we might instead have that person pulling themselves out of a chair followed by shoulder presses with PVC pipes. Notice they still squatted, they still did some pulling motion, and they still did overhead presses. Again, at our foundation, we all need these abilities.
What can I expect during a CrossFit workout?
Here is an example of a typical day at CrossFit Love:
foam rolling, active stretching, corrective exercises
5 x 5 deadlift
3 x 12 weighted back extension
Complete as many rounds as possible in 7 minutes of the following:
-200 meter run
-10/10 one-arm kettlebell swings
partner hamstring stretches
If this looks like another language to you, simply focus on the stages of the workout found on the right. Most of our WODs consist of a warm-up, strength, accessory move, conditioning, and then a cool own.
What is the difference between compound and isolation movements?
Compound movements are movements that require many different muscle groups and multiple joints within the body. A good example of this is the deadlift. In order for this to be performed the body utilizes the quads, the hamstrings, the glutes, the lower back, the abs, the lats, the forearms, and more. These movements are unique in that they naturally promote the release of growth hormone throughout the body. Finally, most compound movements mirror the movements that we utilize in everyday life such as sitting and lifting.
Isolation movements seek to isolate specific muscle groups within the body and are commonly done with the aid of specialized machines. An example of these exercises would be the seated calf raise. These types of exercises can be great for instances when one wants to target specific areas of the body such as for rehabilitation or for body-building.
Will I get big doing Crossfit?
Generally, getting big requires that you:
1) Lift VERY heavy objects
2) Invoke a hormonal response (testosterone, HGH, etc.)
3) Eat…a LOT.
In general, this is the prescription for gaining muscle mass, but there are few other ways to tweak ones training to encourage mass gain, such as doing large amounts of isolation exercises. In CrossFit, we definitely satisfy requirement #1, and most men will get a strong hormonal response (requirement #2) when doing compound movements such as squats and shoulder presses. This, too, is something we do a lot of. This natural hormonal response however, only takes the body so far.
To get muscles like Arnold, one would need…unnatural levels of growth hormones, and steroid use if definitely not something we condone. For this reason, even dedicated members won’t get as big as some of the bodybuilders seen in magazines and on TV. As for #3, well, that’s dependent on you. Do you want to get big? If so we recommend eating a lot of healthy fats and getting as many calories as possible. Don’t want to get big? That’s cool too, just eat enough real, healthy food to sustain energy levels and you’ll be fine.
We know that “getting big” can be a concern for women considering starting CrossFit, and we respect that. We aren’t here to dictate your values, but we do believe physical and mental health should never take a back seat to aesthetics. We encourage everyone to understand why “getting big” is a concern and what it really means. There’s a big difference between a bodybuilder’s physique and that of an athlete’s. Regardless, we encourage you to define your own image of beauty, devoid of external pressures and media stereotypes.
Through CrossFit, you will get more muscular, but most women simply don’t produce enough testosterone to support a large amount of muscle gain. Regardless, everyone, including and especially women, can benefit from being strong. Strength training should be a part of every woman’s regime.
Many of the benefits of CrossFit for women extend far beyond developing a toned physique. CrossFit helps all of us celebrate what our bodies can do, what they were made to do, and not what they look like. You won’t be the only girl in the weight room, and you won’t be spinning your wheels with no results. Instead, you’ll be among a group of passionate, confident, like-minded ladies, all with the goal of being the best, strongest versions of themselves.
Where can I learn more about CrossFit?
If you haven’t already, head over to www.crossfit.com
and learn from the site that started it all. Also, the CrossFit Journal is a comprehensive resource of CrossFit and fitness related articles. To access the majority of the articles you will need to purchase a yearly subscription ($20), but you can also visit http://journal.crossfit.com/start.tpl
to read a few essential articles for free.
What if I currently compete in a sport?
We have trained both professional and amateur athletes with great success. Although we believe that every athlete needs a general strength and conditioning program such as CrossFit we also know that certain activities require a higher degree of sport specific training and we are happy to modify an athlete’s program as needed. Furthermore, if desired, we offer private consultations which map out extended programs that account for competitions as well as the off-season.
Should I/ can I do more than just the WOD?
That depends. What are your goals? How often are you planning on training with us? What is your sleep and diet like? How much of a beating can you take? In general, we are wary of people adding to their training regime simply because in our experience, most people end up over-training. We are very methodical with our program and most people will do just fine with the WOD 4-5 times a week plus a few tweaks here and there. If you want to get even more specific, please consult with us and we can give you the proper guidance. Click here for more information.
Why is there a test to get into the group classes?
Our on-ramp and Level 1 programming is specifically designed for beginners. CrossFit involves some incredibly complex movements, and we want to make sure you learn everything you need to know before you start doing regular CrossFit programming. It helps prevent injury and will make you more successful in the long-term.
Also, we want to give everyone in the class as much attention as possible. If we allow a complete beginner into a Level 2 class, then we coaches will have to either ignore the group and focus on the beginner or vice versa, which isn’t good for anyone. Even though we want everyone to join the group classes as soon as possible, we find the Level 1 test to be necessary.
What do all those funny abbreviations mean?
If you’re new to the sport and need to learn to speak CrossFit, the definitions for all of these can be found here
Why are some of your workouts named?
These workouts are have been created by Crossfit HQ and are commonly used as “benchmarks” or workouts that we use to measure progress. The female named workouts all carry the names of some of CrossFit’s first female members, all of whom kick serious ass). The WODs that have male names represent some of our nation’s fallen heroes. These workouts are similar to the men they honor; tough as hell and completely unforgettable.
What’s up with all this kipping nonsense?
In general, we are not as concerned with developing specific muscles as much as we are with developing efficiency in specific movements. A kipping pull-up might be easier on the bicep than a strict pull-up, but we’re not necessarily concerned with isolating development of the bicep. Instead, we are concerned with developing one’s ability to pull to a particular point. From this perspective, we believe that the kip has its place in number of different movements. That said, we also believe that the kip is an advanced movement and should be developed only after developing the strict version of the given movement.