CrossFit is promoted as both a physical exercise philosophy and a competitive fitness sport, incorporating elements from high-intensity interval training, Olympic weightlifting, plyometrics, powerlifting, gymnastics, girevoy sport, calisthenics, strongman, and other exercises. It is practiced by members of thousands of affiliated gyms, roughly half of which are located in the United States, and by individuals who complete daily workouts (otherwise known as "WODs" or "workouts of the day
CrossFit has been criticized for allegedly causing people to suffer from unnecessary injuries and exertional rhabdomyolysis, a possible life-threatening breakdown of muscle from extreme exertion. CrossFit is a strength, conditioning, and overall fitness program consisting mainly of a mix of aerobic exercise, calisthenics (body weight exercises), and Olympic weightlifting. CrossFit, Inc. describes its strength and conditioning program as "constantly varied functional movements executed at high intensity across broad time and modal domains.
It’s almost inevitable that you've scrolled past a sweaty selfie of a friend, co-worker or high school classmate bragging about their WOD and professing their love for CrossFit.
CrossFit became a super popular workout a few years ago when box gyms began popping up not only across the country, but the world. CrossFit is practiced by members of over 13,000 affiliated gyms in 120 countries. In the U.S. alone, there are over 7,000 gyms offering the program. It’s estimated that there are roughly 4 million CrossFitters, and its members are so devoted to the competitive approach to fitness that the community has even been described as cult-like.
With all this publicity, you may have wondered if this program could work for you. Before you jump into the “box” (ahem, that’s CrossFit speak for gym), here’s what you need to know about the workout craze — and how to determine if it's right for you.