What is crossfit, why are folk so obsessed... and is it really terrifying?
Some people call it a cult. But if you get abs like that in a cult... SIGN US UP.
There is some seriously fit looking people in Crossfit, and although slightly concerned that there could be a no-shirt policy (people get very sweaty), the ladies of Her want to learn more about the sport that's taken the fitness world by storm.
'The Fittest on Earth' - It's a bold statement, but that's the title held by the winner of the Crossfit Games every year. Crossfit has over 13,000 affiliated gyms (or boxes) across the world and each year, after competing in a grueling worldwide open, athletes battle it out to become the 'Fittest on Earth'. So what is this sport that claims to churn out the fittest athletes on the planet?
Created in 2000 by Greg Glassman and Lauren Jenai, Crossfit is a branded fitness regime that incorporates elements of Olympic Weightlifting, plyometrics, powerlifting, gymnastics and high-intensity interval training, sounds relaxing right?
Don't be scared. We decided to try out a class at Crossfit Perpetua in Dublin and chatted with coach Kathryn Fearon. We asked how she got into Crossfit in the first place?
"I simply tried it out, I was rowing and going to the gym for 3 or 4 hours every night but felt slightly stagnant, when a friend of mine suggested that I try Crossfit, the change I saw in my body within a few weeks was incredible... I was hooked"
Crossfit can sometimes be hard to explain, and although we know the definition of what it is, we asked Kathryn to break it down for us...
"I would call it a mixture of rowing, running, gymnastics and weight lifting, if you're already involved in fitness but you feel like you've plateaued it's incredible for getting you out of that rut and improving your strength".
We had to ask about the cost. It's expensive to do Crossfit, definitely more expensive than any run of the mill gym, so how do you justify the cost of joining?
"You are getting a much more personal level of coaching when you join a Crossfit box, even within the classes on average you're looking at 12 - 15 people max. You also get one on one sessions with your coach and are continuously working towards goals. It's like a personal trainer experience wrapped up within the membership, but yeah we know it's expensive, you get out of it what you put in."
When the ladies at Her were chatting about Crossfit one of the words that kept cropping up was 'BULK', a lot of women are afraid of bulking up too much, and some of the professional Crossfit athletes are seriously ripped, what would you say to women who are afraid of getting bigger?
"These women are training for 6 or 7 hours a day, you won't bulk out unless you want to. For people who want to get fit and lean Crossfit is ideal, it increases your metabolism and your muscles will grow with weight training, but you can talk to your coach about your individual goals even from an aesthetic point of view. The whole point of Crossfit is to increase your base level of fitness and get healthier."
How did we do in the class we hear you ask? Well... after we managed to get off the ground and walk again, we felt great. Seriously the workout of the day (or WOD, see how we know the lingo) was intense. The classes are divided into three sections: a warm-up, strength section, and then the WOD. The hour absolutely flies by and if we're being honest we were sweating throughout the whole thing.
Yes it's expensive, so it's not for everyone, but the competitive element and community atmosphere is really quite intoxicating.
It's definitely NOT a cult, they didn't make us sign away our monthly wage or take our shirts off as previously feared.
It's actually just a group of people who enjoy fitness and pushing themselves mentally and physically. The workouts change constantly, it's not monotonous and we're very excited about our impending abs which we presume are in the post.
Give it a try!