Benefits you can measure:
- You’ll build muscle and improve stamina.
- You’ll see it in the numbers. Health indicators like body mass index, blood pressure, and resting pulse all improve.
- You’ll have better range of motion.
- And all this will translate into improvements in other sports, including climbing, soccer, skiing, and cycling.
Benefits you can feel:
- Our clients say they look better, move better and feel better.
- They have more energy and sleep better.
- They see a difference in their daily activities. Things that once seemed hard—gardening, carrying groceries, climbing stairs—get easier.
- And they look forward to going to the gym. Seriously.
What is Crossfit?
CrossFit is an effective way to get fit. Anyone can do it. It is a fitness program that combines a wide variety of functional movements into a timed or scored workout. We do pull-ups, squats, push-ups, weightlifting, gymnastics, running, rowing, and a host of other movements. Always varied, always changing, always producing results. Kids, cops, firefighters, soccer moms, Navy SEALS, and grandmas all do CrossFit. In fact, hundreds of thousands worldwide have followed our workouts and distinguished themselves in combat, the streets, the ring, stadiums, gyms and homes. Havent heard about Crossfit, let me tell you about Crossfit.
Does CrossFit make women big or bulky?
No, women do not get big doing CrossFit, they get fit.
What’s the first thing you train people on?
The first order of business is teaching proper use of the hips, and the way to do that is with the unweighted, or bodyweight, squat. The foundation of all safe, effective, powerful human movement is being able to control the shape of the torso, and flex and extend the hips, thereby getting your strength and power from your legs instead of from the little muscles in your back. This is a skill that almost everybody lacks, and it’s useless to build strong shoulders if you don’t know how to control your core and use your hips. So without a decent squat, everything else is building a building without a foundation.
What if I can’t squat because of knee problems or some other problem?
Lots of people can’t squat properly. Generally, the knee and hip problems people have are caused by the fact that they didn’t know how to squat right. So by changing the range of motion or decreasing the load, providing whatever the advantage is that they need to begin to squat properly, we start to strengthen the proper muscles and help the client start to obtain the proper range of motion and almost without exception, this fixes the knee and hip problems. Sometimes we talk instead about sitting down and standing up. Everybody has been able to sit in a chair. So we stack mats under them to limit the range of motion to that of sitting in a chair, or even less, so that we can start building the squat. It’s such a fundamental movement that we absolutely have to address it. We have to get a decent movement pattern with the squat.
I play sports. Why shouldn’t I just practice my sport and skip these extra workouts?
Our primary goal is not training people in a specialized way for a sport. What we do is help you build a solid foundation of athleticism, no matter where you start or where your fitness level is. You’re going to do better at your sport once you’ve learned how to move like an athlete, using your hips and legs, the strongest parts of your body. You can get more value out of sport-specific training with the foundation of work capacity, strength, and flexibility that we train.
Your workouts contain push-ups and pull-ups. I can’t do a single one of either. How can I work out with you?
Lots of people can’t do a push-up or a pull-up. We decrease the load, change the angle, provide some supported analogue of a pull-up, so that even the most deconditioned person, or elderly people, or children, who start off not being able to do a pull-up eventually can do a pull-up. It’s about progression and starting with what the client can do, and working in reasonable steps toward what the goal is. It doesn’t really matter how long it takes. It just matters that steady increments of progress are made.
What are some of the modifications you use most often to help people do the exercises?
Boxes to support squatting, or holding onto something for stability in the squat; really anything that keeps a movement within a safe range of motion for the individual. Modifications help people feel comfortable and capable of doing partials, such as a partial squat. With any kind of weighted exercise, a lighter load is a good modification. If it’s a bodyweight drill, you can use any modification to support part of their weight—like doing push-ups with their hands on a bench or their knees on the floor. Or using the rubberbands for assisted pull-ups.
Can you help me lose weight?
A lot of people think they can get to their weight-loss goals just by working out. We make clear that working out provides a foundation for weight loss and for healthy bodies, but weight loss is primarily about eating right. We direct clients to resources that can help them eat right.
Do beginners get extremely sore? If so, how long before that goes away?
Soreness is not always an indication of how hard you worked out. Chances are, after your first workout, you’ll be sore for a few days. For soreness we recommend stretches, contrast showers, more movement. We try to fit in some stretches at the end of the workouts and we suggest you stretch before you go to sleep. Over time, soreness can decrease, but at the same time your ability increases, so you can always get sore because you’re working harder.
On the other hand, you don’t get sore from things that used to wear you out. For instance we’ve had people say, “I cleaned out my whole garage this weekend, and I wasn’t sore at all,” or “I worked all day in the garden, and my back doesn’t hurt.”
What are some of your clients’ specific goals?
We have clients who are working on losing fat; preparing for the ski season; heavier O-lifts; being able to walk normally after a hip resurfacing; lowering cholesterol and blood pressure; regaining lost movements and strength; and improving specific sports skills.
What are the advantages I will notice in CrossFit-style workouts when I start doing them? How long does it take to get results?
Between two weeks to a month you will notice changes. Clients who aren’t in good shape or active start slower, but they see changes in their work capacity even from one workout to the next. Everybody finds in their first workout that they have huge gains to make. Even people who are athletes—they push hard and are thrashed at the end. Maybe they expected to be because of hard work or training in their background. Still, they end up thrashed. And they say, “This is a good workout.”
I’m worried about overtraining injuries from the exercises you use, which are new to me. How do you prevent injury?
The coaches are there to make sure you use good form. When you can do a full range of motion, then you need to be doing a full range of motion. When you can’t, we use modifications to support the movement and slowly increase the range without putting strain on other joints. Joint mobility drills, done unweighted, can relieve tension on tight muscles and connective tissues.
What would you say to people who are nervous about a strenuous workout or about being coached?
If you’re not used to a strenuous workout, that’s perfectly fine. The trainers have a way of pushing you appropriately and backing off. Some people aren’t used to having a lot of stress on their body, and that’s okay. This is the kind of training that will let you progress in strength and work capacity. As for the trainers, their job is to make sure you get the training you need to progress, and they have years of experience with these exercises, so their suggestions are valuable. If you do the hard work of working out, you’ll be surprised how fast you progress.
What should I expect when I arrive at the gym for my first session?
Expect to see a gym that’s not typical, in a really fun way. You’ll see some different equipment, such as kettlebells, pull-up bars, parallel bars, and Olympic-style weightlifting equipment. The great thing is you will be trained and coached on all these things. And you’ll see people having fun and working hard!