CrossFit: Fitness Personified

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In a continuation of our Fit Friday series, blogger Paula Jager shares more about traditional movement as personified by Crossfit. Paula does a regular TV spot for ABC Action News in Tampa, FL and writes a monthly column for Natural Muscle magazine.  Paula follows the principles of traditional eating in her home and teaches her clients not only how to move properly but how to eat properly. 

By Guest Blogger Paula Jager CSCS
Last week we discussed the benefits of moving like traditional man through a fitness regimen called “CrossFit”. Let’s take an in depth look at what CrossFit is and what exactly it can for you. . .
CrossFit is a core strength and conditioning program long used by the military, law enforcement officers, firefighters and many athletes. It is fast becoming the workout of choice for the average individual. Why? Because it works. What it is not is the typical workout you see in the “Globo Gyms” where boundaries are placed between strength and cardio, the focus is on isolating muscles rather than movements and the insistence is on endurance exercise as the primary choice for fat burning. That mentality is still living in the 80’s.
As we previously established, the CrossFit prescription is functional movements, constantly varied and performed at high intensities. The methodology is a hierarchy of effort that builds as follows. Nutrition lays the foundation for fitness and health–as well established on this blog. Participants are trained to run, bike, swim and row at short, middle and long distances building capacity in each of the three metabolic pathways or energy systems. Basic to advanced gymnastic movements establishes functional capacity for body control and range of motion. Olympic Weightlifting develops control and produces power. Athletes (everyone is an athlete) are encouraged to explore a variety of sports as a vehicle to express and apply their fitness as well as enhance activities of daily living.
Let’s take a closer look at the CrossFit prescription:
Functional Movements: The body does not work–in life or sport–in isolation so we do not train that way; compound movements with application are the main focus. Bodyweight gymnastics movements, Olympic Weightlifting and cardiovascular modalities are used. Machines are not –there are no padded seats in life. Instead we use barbells, dumbbells, kettle bells, sandbags, tires, sledgehammers, ropes, rings and other objects limited only by the imagination.
Constantly Varied: The above are then utilized in various combinations, rep schemes, intervals and rounds; changing constantly so the body never knows what to expect. Programming is not random but designed to support this and sometimes per iodized.
Performed at High Intensities: This is not to be confused with sacrificing form and range of motion for increased speed. Nor are beginners encouraged to work beyond their capabilities. You are encouraged however, to dig deep, put aside any preconceived limitations and give it everything you have. You do not save it, you do not hold back–when you are done you have nothing left.

The workouts, for the most part are short in duration–but very effective. They change people and bring forth amazing transformations. Athletes are a breed that will usually do whatever it takes. CrossFit brings forth this mentality within the average individual. Many of them come in deconditioned, overweight, with little self esteem and can barely walk 400 M let alone sprint it. The intensity often needs to be scaled appropriately and introduced in small amounts gradually. Improvements are usually seen within the first 2 weeks of training. First, their form improves, they get comfortable with the movements, and they are able to do more reps and then more weight. A distance they could barely walk, they can now jog, run or sprint in much less time. Their body composition begins to change. They are more aware of what they are putting into their bodies as fuel. They start liking themselves better, they become more confident, it begins to affect their relationships, their careers and families. CF creates an environment conducive to empowering you to choose the life you want to lead. It is not a place where machines are used – it is a place where you turn your body and mind into a highly functional and efficient machine. While this enlightenment is not new to the fitness arena the enormity of it in this type of training is. This is CrossFit–and what it can do for your life. What are you waiting for–unleash your inner beast.

Stay tuned for next week as we work our way up the hierarchy of the CrossFit methodology. . .
Paula Jager CSCS and Level 1 CrossFit and CF Nutrition Certified is the owner of CrossFit Jaguar.
Her exercise and nutrition programs yield life changing results
Posted under: Fitness

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