CrossFit Style Ladder Workout (WOD Challenge)
CrossFit: A Serious Exercise Challenge
Want to spend minimum time on exercise, but still want maximum results? Then consider CrossFit, a high-intensity workout combining gymnastics, body control, weightlifting, and cardiovascular training.
By Madeline R. Vann, MPH
Medically Reviewed by Pat F. Bass III, MD, MPH
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Feel like burning between 300 and 500 calories in 20 minutes? Try the CrossFit program, a high-intensity workout that can have you running, squatting, powerlifting, and jumping rope in any given workout.
“CrossFit is a research-based, results-driven strength and conditioning program,” says CrossFit- certified trainer and strength and conditioning coach Hollis Molloy, of the CrossFit studio in Santa Cruz, Calif. “We are an assembly of dedicated trainers who want our clients to become stronger, leaner, faster, and more coordinated.”
CrossFit, first developed in a garage gym, eventually made its way to the Internet, challenging participants across the country to make their workout times and workloads public. Known for its “WOD,” or workout of the day, you can do the WOD for free by checking out , or you can find a trainer to teach you the moves.
“We help mold our clients into better-functioning beings,” Molloy says. “We mix gymnastics, body control, weightlifting, and cardiovascular training in as many ways as possible.” The goal: total fitness with an emphasis on core strength.
CrossFit: A High-Intensity Challenge
The program is really about overall fitness with a competitive edge, says Kelly Robbins Guillory, National Academy of Sports Medicine-certified and CrossFit-certified personal trainer at Crossgates Athletic Club in Slidell, La.
“If you have a competitive bone in your body, this is the program for you,” Guillory says, explaining that CrossFit workouts are based on the principle of high-intensity interval training, which means working hard for relatively short periods of time. “I recently went to a certification workshop. One third of the attendees were trainers like me — the other two thirds were military, law enforcement, or firefighters.”
And that makes sense, Guillory says. “Think about how those people work — it’s a sudden burst of activity and then they stop: high intensity for 20 minutes, wide open in terms of what they might have to do physically. That’s why with CrossFit you’re getting your cardio and your weight training in at the same time. CrossFit is not about how much can you bench, but how fit are you.”
CrossFit: Introductory Exercises
According to Molloy, beginners in the CrossFit program learn nine basic maneuvers, many of which are also used in powerlifting and other fitness programs. They are:
- Shoulder press
- Front squat
- Sumo deadlift high pull
- Push press
- Overhead squat
CrossFit: Form Comes First
Form is extremely important in doing these exercises correctly and safely, says Guillory. “I really think there’s a lot to be said for people who do what I do, who show you and correct your form. If not, you won’t know that you did it incorrectly — and that can hurt you,” says Guillory, who found that even she needed correction on her form during her recent workshop.
Additionally, she points out that repetition can tire you and as you get tired, your form slips. It’s a helpful safety measure to have someone there to spot you and keep you on track. You will know you are working with the right load at the right intensity when you can complete the right number of repetitions with a little challenge but no risk, says Guillory.
A CrossFit workout can also include:
- Air squats without the use of weights
What’s more, CrossFit allows you to get more creative, such as flipping tractor tires, but always under the direction of your trainer. Mixing up the kinds of physical challenges you perform is what improves your total fitness, says Guillory — and adds to the fun.
Video: CrossFit - Friday Challenge with Rich and Dan
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