Feature: The Cross-Fit

All you need to know about Cross-fit: discover this modern sport which has more and more followers. Its history, its codes, its stars and its flagship events.

Have you heard of these athletes who train hard in what are called "boxes"? If you went to visit them, you would see them jump, climb, lift, run ... Running after a body on top form and a steel mind, without forgetting the pleasure of pushing its limits. Welcome to the intense world of Cross-fit. They have their specific vocabulary and there are more and more each year, these beginners or experienced athletes, of all ages, men and women to adopt this sport!

What is Cross-fit and why is it so trendy?

What is Cross-Fit?

"The whole body put to the test"

cross fitjpgAbbreviation of Cross Fitness meaning crossed physical training, certainly Cross-Fit did not invent the circuit training but it did bring it new life.

It is a mixture of functional movements from several activities: weight lifting inducing the control of an external load, endurance (running, jump rope, rower) and finally gymnastics (pull-ups, rings, suspensions, jumps etc.) …).

This training aims to prepare its practitioners for any physical effort encountered in everyday life and sport in general through the variety of training, the use of poly-articular movements and high intensity.

The method arrived with its vocabulary and its specific abbreviations, such as for example:

Box : the Cross-Fit room, your (future) home.

Girls : The names of WOD.

AMRAP : To repeat as many times as possible

For time : as quickly as possible without stopping, the elapsed time serves as the result

What is a WOD and how does a session work?

Le WODis the abbreviation for “Workout of the Day”. It designates the sequence of exercises to be performed during the session, at high intensity. It is generally different at each session, it's a bit of the surprise of the day and the moment when you let off steam. However, nothing prevents you from creating your own WOD, and it can even be fun when you include chance in the choice of exercises, the number of repetitions, etc.

Here are some examples of WODs to give you an idea of ​​the variety of WODs that already exist:

Cindy : 5 Tractions - 10 Pumps - 15 Squats, AMRAP (As many round as possible) in 20 minutes

Chelsea : Every minute, for 30 minutes: 5 pull-ups - 10 push-ups - 15 squats

Barbara : 5 rounds for time: 20 Tractions - 30 push-ups - 40 sits up - 50 squats (3min break between each round)

The session is generally one hour in an affiliated room and is composed as follows:

10min of Warm up, dynamic warm-up, where we execute movements without intensity which will warm up the stressed joints during the WOD, in order to avoid injuries.

20min of technical work where we can review certain movements to improve technically.

10 to 20min from WOD, the real training of the day with a goal and a strong intensity.

10min of self massage or stretching, a return to calm where you stretch the muscles that have been used and the opportunity to improve your flexibility.


Cross-Fit, from 7 to 77 years old?

Cross-fit can correspond to everyone, regardless of age and sex, provided that you do not have any health problems that contraindicate your practice. Of course, good physical condition is an advantage to start with, because although the method adapts to many profiles, it should not be forgotten that it aims for a high intensity during exercise. It is very often possible to adapt the exercises to your level, by replacing it with a simpler variant but targeting the same muscles, with a view to training safely above all, in order to be able to progress.

If your body wants more, there are Opens that serve as regional preselection and the official international championships "CrossFit Games", 4 days of intense confrontations during which the athletes must pass 12 events that they do not know and what in the best possible time. It is therefore not without reminding the 12 works of Hercules ! Likewise, we come back to one of the peculiarities of CrossFit which is to prepare for all physical tests, without any specialization.

"No one can ever leave their couch, and a year later, participate in CrossFit Games" Jason Khalipa.

Despite that CrossFit Games require a certain level, Jason Khalipa, Winner of the Championships in 2008 specifies all the same that for example in the field of American Football, some have experience of high intensity training for years and that in 1 or 2 years they can get good results.

Jason khalipa
Jason khalipa

History of CrossFit

" From the shadow to the light "

Born in a garage in 1974 in the USA, the imagination of Greg and Lauren Glassman was used in particular to train the police forces of Santa Cruz where the same year opens the 1ages room in 1995.

Cross-fit was therefore developed from a single room in 1995. It has up to nearly 11560 members today compared to 18 in 2005 and around 1700 in 2010. Of course, initially the Internet and a site created in 2001 may have helped to publicize this method, but it is very recently that we have seen a boom in what has become a sport, with the Cross-fit Games. These championships were held for the first time in summer 2007 and have been repeated each year since. Rewarded at the start with the modest sum of € 500, today € 275 is donated to the winners, male and female. This is certainly not unrelated to the fact that the championships were renamed Reebok CrossFit Games from 000 thanks to the partnership with the famous sports brand. Indeed, before that, there were no large sponsors, no real monetary gains, and there were not as many participants as currently. Beyond what can bring the money of the sponsors, this promotion allows to attract a maximum of people and therefore to offer championships of an always higher level.

Advantages of CrossFit

"Assets that made it successful"

Camille Leblanc-Bazinet, winner in 2013, declares to have a “ feeling of power, being in control of your life, not being afraid, being able to face the vagaries of life »

camille leblanc

This sport tends to make us become everyday athletes, developing many physical qualities, with functional movements transposable to everyday life, but also by strengthening the mind and self-confidence. Your main competitor is yourself because you will constantly have to push yourself and push your limits.

The variety of exercises takes away the feeling of weariness and routine that we can sometimes experience in bodybuilding or fitness, and we can completely complement CrossFit with another sport, respecting the rest times if necessary.

Also, the dynamism of Crossfit, through movement and rapid sequence of exercises is also very attractive.

For this, the CrossFit community is of great support in addition to being very active.

"It's an individual sport, but not really in fact ..." Rich Froning Jr, Winner 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 at the Crossfit Games.

Rich froning jr

For many, it is a real strong point for this sport, which is true in general in all sports, but I think that the enthusiasm and the feeling of novelty around this sport plays an important role in generous behaviors and altruistic between followers.

Indeed, in the box there is always someone who is there to encourage you when you need it or better than you in a field, stronger or more gifted in Gym for example, and therefore everyone can learn from other. This promotes progression and the fact that you can always learn something, especially since there is a lot to experience in CrossFit. Finally, coaches play a key role in the progress of practitioners, through their monitoring and knowledge, validated by levels of certification.


"Everyone should do it" Rich Froning Jr & Jason Khalipa.

CrossFit can be an alternative, a supplement or even a very good introduction to the sport because it is a sport that can be approached with different objectives, whether it is fitness, modifying your silhouette or even for competition. It is a very dynamic and complete method which however requires precautions with regard to the security of movements and postures, without forgetting stretching and heating. Do not necessarily give in to the temptation to make poorly executed movements to grab some repetitions, it would be a shame to rush straight towards an injury while the Crossfit Games are waiting for you!

Finally, CrossFit offers a social bond and a group spirit not necessarily unique in their kind, but very precious and almost confusing when you are not really used to it and when you train alone at home. habit, for example.

It's up to you, or do I say sweat, try the experience too!

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