Whenever I walk into a gym I’m always a little creeped out. There are a bunch of awkward machines with people on them in unnatural positions doing unnatural movements that they wouldn’t do anywhere else in their normal day to day life.
Tell me the last time you needed to be able to sit in an upright position and lift something heavy with your lower legs? Or the last time you needed lay face down and lift something heavy with your lower legs? Or when you needed to squeeze something in front of you with your forearms/elbows?
These are not natural movements. Natural movements that we do in every day life are things like picking something heavy up off the floor, or putting that something heavy on a shelf above our head, or jumping over a fence etc. These are rel-world movements, and these are the types of functional, multi-joint movements that we should use when we strength train.
Why am I writing a post about this? Last night I went to my first Crossfit Fundamentals class and loved it! The fundamentals program at this particular box (this is what Crossfitters call their un-gyms) goes over proper form of basic movements, and the movements are all functional multi-joint movements… in other words, they’re movements that we do in real life!
My fiance’ gave me a bit of a hard time since, as you know, I’m not a fan of gyms… and while I do technically have to drive to the Crossfit box, find parking etc, the box is so completely un-gym-like that I actually enjoyed myself.
On top of being a completely different approach to exercise than your standard gym, Crossfitters are also very social versus simply a bunch of people in the same room not talking to each other, or worse yet only showing up to stand around and gossip rather than sweat.
I arrived early to watch the more advanced class that was just before the fundamentals class, and I noticed the participants encouraging others in the class to push harder, or to join in with them in completing that day’s WOD (workout of the day) or other challenge.
One last thing I noticed about the box… all the equipment they have is equipment that I could have (and for the most part do have) at home. It’s like my home gym but better! While I’m not giving up the freedom and convenience of my home workouts, I am loving Crossfit so far.
Photo by GeorgeStepanek
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