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By 3Marshas

Push the envelope on your fitness routine with CrossFit

Living a healthy lifestyle requires some extreme changes in exercise routines from time to time. It should be wholesale and not just around the edges. CrossFit is considered one of the extreme fitness routines that take stamina through the paces with challenges from several types of workouts. This phenomenon has been growing since its introduction in 2000.

There are more than 13,000 nationwide gyms offering this program, as well as the chance to become a certified trainer. Followers have become devoted to the results they have achieved with more lean muscles and explosive energy. Here is a brief look at what can be expected should you join this fitness revolution.

What is a WOD?

This is an acronym for "workout of the day." A trip to the official CrossFit website has listings of specific exercises. Examples include 95-pound thrusters and pull-ups in 27, 21 and 15 reps or hang power clean for seven reps of three. For more intense workouts, there may be 20-minute rounds of five chest bar pull-ups, 10 ring dips and 95-pound overhead squats in 15 reps.

There is also a comment section for enthusiasts to offer insight and feedback about their experience with the protocol. To keep things orderly, a six-digit number is used to categorize each day's routine. This makes it easy to track in a journal. Another rationale for the numbering system is the ability to repeat the WODs that works best. A comparison WOD may also be listed immediately following the suggested information. Rest days are listed as a reminder to let the body recover.

Type of equipment used

  • dumbbells
  • barbells
  • pull-up bars
  • resistance bands
  • kettlebells
  • plyo boxes
  • gymnastic rings
  • medicine balls
  • jump ropes
  • bikes

CrossFit also opens up the competitive fitness arena between participants. This invigorating aspect has created the CrossFit Games held every summer. The following is not an exhaustive list of competing sports, but includes those targeted regularly.

  • Olympic weightlifting
  • gymnastics
  • calisthenics
  • high-intensity interval training
  • power-lifting
  • plyometrics
  • Strongman events
  • body weight exercises
  • swimming
  • aerobic exercise
  • indoor rowing
  • running
  • biking

How to become a certified trainer and coach

Requirements to become a CrossFit expert are not for the faint at heart. The program is accredited by the ANSI (American National Standards Institute) with best practices developed by the in-house certification department. The first step is eligibility in the categories below.

  • age
  • education
  • experience
  • medical
  • standards of profession practice
  • verification of eligibility

This is followed by completing the rigors of trainer certification with a specific number of practical training hours, two exams, one-on-one coaching session observations and a long-term commitment to continuing education. Coaches have this threshold to meet in addition to a full-day performance observation with a CrossFit small group. Application, examination and re-certification fees apply.

When it comes to extreme fitness routines, health enthusiasts will find this an intriguing proposition to exceed personal expectations. With all exercise programs, a discussion with your doctor is a prudent idea. A caveat is that injury is higher due to the intensity involved. This should not be an issue for those that take care on the way to a healthy lifestyle.

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