For months now, I have been running into a ton of people who are hooked on Crossfit. They do their “WODS”, bust out a high volume of pull ups, and other such exercises. I became very curious about Crossfit after catching some footage from this year’s Crossfit Games. I watched as these athletes pushed themselves through insane workloads to be completed as fast as humanly possible. Then I got to thinking…what the hell is all this Crossfit stuff?
YEP! We are talking Crossfit today folks! Yinz ain’t seen nothing yet!
Before we begin, I want to make it clear that I do not attend Crossfit gyms around Pittsburgh as I train specifically through Pittsburgh Kettlebells. HOWEVER, I am intrigued by this whole Crossfit thing because I have avid crossfit types contacting me about Beyond Organic, the paleo diet, and other primal friendly things (apparently if you put yourself on YouTube flipping tires, Crossfit just shows up all over your twitter feed. I know this from personal experience, and that’s real talk ya heard?) Now, I am no crossfit expert as I have already pointed out that my training is very kettlebell specific. Yet, I often find myself among the Crossfit community because of the nature of this blog. Since I know absolutely nothing about Crossfit, I decided to call upon a friend, fellow blogger, photographer and dedicated Crossfitter Katie Kiely of katiekdid.com for a crash course in Crossfit. First, Look at Katie’s fabulous face!
Warning: If you do visit Katie’s blog, be prepared to be bombarded by some serious food porn. This woman is a GENIUS when it comes to making primal eats and every time I visit her website, I end up drooling (no joke. It happens EVERY TIME!) . Now, Katie and I have gone back and forth with each other online over our training methodologies, and I was so curious about her training that I contacted this woman to explain the whole Crossfit thing to me. I have been meaning to talk to someone who is experienced enough with Crossfit to give me a basic run down on how this functional fitness training style works in real life. Katie was willing enough to rise to the challenge and answer some questions that have been swirling around my Burgher brain for far too long. Without further adieu, here’s the interview between Crossfit Katie and Kettlebell Janelle.
Kettlebell Janelle: What exactly is crossfit?
- Crossfit Katie: The sport of fitness. Highly varied exercise program that combines olympic lifting, gymnastics, sprinting and endurance training. It’s universally scalable and inclusive, not specialized training. It’s a lifestyle!
- Crossfit Katie: It doesn’t even compare. Only joking. It incorporates some general strength training principles but goes a lot further to utilize large groups of muscles in each movement to get the greatest metabolic changes in the shortest period of time. Instead of an isolated movement such as bicep curls, crossfit will incorporate a movement such as a thruster which combines a front squat and overhead press to utilize a large number of muscles.
- Crossfit Katie: Crossfit is appropriate for virtually all fitness and ability levels. Every movement is practically endlessly scalable whether it be adding or removing weight, using bands for assistance, or doing a movement that may look completely different to the original but works similar muscle groups. I work out along side 70 year old women and 13 year olds as well as every ability level and age group in between. It’s inspiring to see so many different kinds of people all come in and push themselves to new limits, whether the workout is as prescribed or scaled to their needs.
- Crossfit Katie: Yes, becoming certified has been on my radar lately as a way to further my knowledge on the sport and potentially get into coaching down the road. The certification is a 2 day workshop that incorporates several lectures on the business aspects as well as movements of the sport. It also involves doing 1 or 2 workouts and many of the fundamental movements. There is a written component at the end in order to pass and become certified, as well as a hefty price tag. Any can sign up and become level 1 certified if they complete these steps and pass the final exam.
- Crossfit Katie: Form is really the fundamental component to becoming a better crossfitter. You can never move faster or more weight unless you become more efficient with proper mechanics. It is true that there are plenty of people out there doing movements with improper form, but that can be found in each and every sport or fitness facility out there. I can only speak for my own coaches, but form is highly emphasized before speed or increasing weight, especially as a safety concern. Every coach and gym is different however.
- Crossfit Katie: Again, I think you find injury in most every sport out there. Whether it’s from overuse or improper form there’s always going to be chance of injury when you’re putting your body through new stress. I personally have healed a running knee injury through crossfit, and my body has never felt healthier or stronger. You need to train smart no matter what sport you’re participating in. If you have knowledgeable coaches and are smart about how quickly you choose to progress and how serious you take rest and recovery, no I don’t think crossfit induces more injuries than another given activity. In addition, you use muscles in constantly varying ways so the chance for overuse is far less.
- Crossfit Katie: A WOD is the workout of the day. Everyone in the gym does the same WOD no matter what time you take the class. A WOD is either for time or for rounds/ reps. In that sense you push yourself hard to complete the workout as fast as you can or do as much as you can in a certain period of time, usually between 8 and 20 minutes. It typically consists of a few or several movements that you cycle through several times in a circuit training style. For example the WOD may be 3 rounds through of 15 thrusters, 400 m run, and 20 pullups as fast as possible. Then a WOD is scored either by your total time or rounds/ reps. In that sense WODS have a competitive nature.
- Crossfit Katie: I love that there is a competitive side to crossfit. I’ve only dabbled into competitions but they are a blast to participate in. I think the Games are simply fun to watch and truly inspiring and impressive. It’s pretty cool that crossfit is becoming more popular and I think a big part of this is the Games. Those athletes are born with some good genes and work relentlessly for years…. not sure you’ll ever see me out there! Check for me at local competitions 😉
- Crossfit Katie: Haha soon I’m sure! I like probiotics 🙂
There you have it folks! The interview between two different people with two different training methodologies. This was a learning experience for me and I’d like to thank Katie Kiley for being so willing to educate me on the nature of Crossfit. I hope this post was helpful for those of you who may be curious about Crossfit. . If you are the type of person who find pleasure in lots of competition, Crossfit most certainly is for you. As for me, I side more with Dragon Door’s training style as I am more into self-mastery and empowering others to master themselves as well (plus my competitive basketball days are long behind me. I’m done competing. I’d rather teach, but that’s just me). Whether you choose Crossfit or Kettlebell training through Dragon Door, you will most certainly become fit as humanely possible. In the end, it just comes down to your particular training interests.
Remember to eat smart, train hard, and enjoy your life!
Special thanks to Katie Kiely of katiekdid.com for being so willing to take the time out of her day to conduct this interview. Katie, thank you so much! You truly are fabulous! Don’t ever forget that! 🙂