Step Away From the Scale
CrossFit training isn’t about counting calories; it’s all about fitness and fellowship.
By Denise Bates Enos
One of the terms you’ll hear right off the bat about CrossFit is “universal scalability.” This has nothing to do with stepping on a scale and everything to do with a training program that can work for anyone.
“It means that any workout can be scaled to fit a specific individual’s needs or limitations,” says James Bellamy, a certified CrossFit trainer at CrossFit Kings Point in Orlando. “We like to say that the needs of elite athletes and those who are less than fit differ in degree, not kind.”
Universal scalability means you can expect to see martial artists and grandparents, professional athletes and stay-at-home moms flipping over tractor tires, jumping onto boxes and power-lifting sandbags during a CrossFit workout. Many police academies, military special ops teams and athletic programs use CrossFit as part of their training. As for the rest of us, CrossFit gyms are cropping up all over the country, including here in Orlando.
Bellamy breaks down the Crossfit formula this way:
Constantly Varied The one guarantee of a CrossFit workout is that it’s never predictable or boring. “We don’t do the same old routines over and over; you never know what the workout will be that day,” he says. A CrossFit session can be held indoors or out and includes a variety of exercises from sprints and pull-ups to rope-climbing, working with medicine balls, lifting and more.
Functional Movements Most of the movements in CrossFit involve more than one part of the body and more than one muscle group. “This is where functionality comes in,” says Bellamy. “Rarely in the real world do you perform a task that isolates a specific muscle. These exercises use multiple muscles throughout the body.”
High Intensity “This is one of the best parts of CrossFit, and another reason people are loving it and seeing results,” he says. “The high-intensity nature of CrossFit leads to shorter, but more intense workouts. You are getting more work done in less time.”
Certified CrossFit Coach, owner of CrosFitN30 in Sanford, Davina Frederick agrees: “CrossFit is really unlike any other fitness program; it is a paradigm shift in fitness training.”
Results are great, but the intangible benefits of CrossFit are even more important. CrossFit is about camaraderie, not competition, and one of the big draws is the sense of community the gyms foster. Says Frederick: “We in the CrossFit community take this as a compliment. We know what it feels like to be part of a strong community where everyone strives to be a stronger, healthier, happier individual.”
Talking the Talk
If you’re planning on checking out a CrossFit facility, it helps to know the lingo. Here, Davina Frederick of CrossFitN30 in Sanford defines the terms.
Box: A CrossFit gym.
WOD: Workout of the day.
MetCon: Metabolic conditioning (achieved by performing “explosive” moves and working intensely to improve cardiovascular and respiratory conditioning).
AMRAP: An acronym for “as many reps/rounds as possible.” AMRAP workouts challenge CrossFitters to complete as many rounds of a series of movements as they can in a specified time.
Whiteboard: The board where the WOD is written and where your time is recorded at the end of the WOD.