It’s not uncommon for us to be asked what exactly sets a CrossFit class apart from the crowd. Whilst there might be a number of similarities and common aspects between group fitness sessions, CrossFit classes differ from traditional fitness classes in several key aspects. From the workout structure and programming philosophy to overall training approach, some difference might be more subtle than others, but the overall effect can mean an entirely new, effective and enjoyable experience. Read on for 7 ways in which a CrossFit class typically looks different from other fitness classes.
1. Constant Variation
CrossFit is known for its emphasis on varied workouts. Unlike many traditional fitness classes that follow a specific routine or focus on one modality, CrossFit incorporates a wide range of movements and exercises from various disciplines, including weightlifting, cardio, gymnastics, and more. Each day’s workout, known as the Workout of the Day (WOD), is designed to challenge participants with new and different movements, ensuring constant variation. This constant variety means participants will keep adapting and keep improving, where they find they otherwise plateau when repeating the same routine again and again.
2. Functional Movements
CrossFit prioritises functional movements that mimic real-life activities and promote overall fitness. Instead of isolating specific muscle groups, CrossFit workouts focus on compound movements that engage multiple muscle groups simultaneously. Squats, deadlifts, cleans, kettlebell swings, and pull-ups are examples of common functional movements found in CrossFit classes.
3. High Intensity
CrossFit workouts are typically performed at a high intensity level. The goal is to push participants to their relative limits and achieve maximum effort in a relatively short amount of time. CrossFit classes often incorporate timed workouts, such as AMRAPs (As Many Rounds/Reps As Possible) to encourage intensity and and add an element of fun competitiveness.
4. Group Atmosphere
CrossFit classes foster a strong sense of community and camaraderie. Participants often train together, encourage one another, and push each other to perform their best. The group atmosphere creates a supportive environment where individuals can challenge themselves and draw motivation from the collective energy of the class. No more keeping-to-yourself-with-your-headphones-in!
5. Coaches and Individualised Scaling
At CrossFit UV (and many other CrossFit Affiliates across the globe!), classes are led by trained, experienced coaches who provide guidance and instruction throughout the session. Coaches offer modifications, adaptations and scaling options to accommodate participants of all fitness levels, abilities and limitations, ensuring that each and every person can participate safely and effectively. This individualised approach allows CrossFit to be totally accessible to beginners and members of all ages, whilst still challenging seasoned athletes.
6. Performance Tracking
CrossFit places a strong emphasis on tracking performance and progress. Participants are encouraged to record their results (such as weights lifted, time completed, or repetitions achieved) to monitor their improvement over time. This focus on data and measurable results not only helps individuals set goals and measure their success, but also celebrate new PBs (Personal Bests) and improvements!
7. Competitive Spirit
CrossFit has a fun, competitive aspect built into its culture. While the primary competition is against oneself, some CrossFit gyms organise in-house competitions or encourage participation in external CrossFit events. This competitive element can add an extra layer of motivation and drive to push individuals beyond their perceived limits, but is not an essential part of a typical class. The focus remain primarily on individual effort and progress.
So there we have it – 7 key ways that CrossFit sets itself apart from a typical group fitness class! These elements create a unique and dynamic fitness experience for members which keeps them coming back again and again, seeing results year after year, as part of long-lasting, supportive community.
Thinking about trying CrossFit? Get in touch to book your Free Intro! We’d love to meet you.