CrossFit: A Hot New Workout Trendby Ariane Boisvert
published April 09, 2012
The 411 on this intense fitness program
While we were searching for a new physical activity to take up—the arrival of spring obliging—CrossFit experts at Reebok graciously invited us to take part in an early morning workout. Perfect, we thought. We discovered an intense but fun discipline that is gaining popularity around the world. Below, our report on this new fitness trend… and our ensuing body aches!
The ABCs of this accessible discipline
Upon our arrival at the sparkly new Reebok CrossFit YUL gym in Montreal, we were greeted by three fitness experts. One of them, Mike Deboever, asked us with a grin, “Know what Zumba is?” Before we could answer, he continued: “CrossFit is not Zumba." The mood was set, and the stellar athlete and owner of the premises then proceeded to outline the basics of this workout we were about to submit ourselves to.
Firstly, contrary to what you may believe, anyone, from active women looking to develop their strength and endurance to women wishing to regain a healthy weight, can take up CrossFit. The goal is to improve our overall fitness level and be in the best shape to tackle everyday tasks. In that sense, muscles we frequently use for said tasks (e.g. lifting heavy bags, climbing the stairs to the office, carrying our kids in our arms) are the same muscles targeted during these sessions.
Many CrossFit exercises draw on weightlifting and gymnastics training. These exercises aim to develop our overall stamina and flexibility. What tools do these require? Weights and dumbbells, a skipping rope, gymnastics rings, as well as the rowing machine, which stimulates both cardiovascular and muscle functions. At first sight, the sport looks far from glamorous.
An ideal workout for us gals!
Introduced to us during our WOD (Workout of the Day, in CrossFit parlance), 23-year-old athlete Camille Leblanc-Bazinet reassured us that the training isn’t as unglamorous as it seems. Bazinet has participated in numerous CrossFit competitions, and even ranked fifth at the last CrossFit Games, a world-class event. Upon initial observation, despite her significant muscle mass, her physique is indeed that of a young woman’s. She’s stylish and girly (note the glittery nail polish adorning her tips) and all smiles, exclaiming without restraint, “Women with muscles are sexy!”
We must admit: she’s right. Now motivated, we proceeded to tackle a series of push-ups, sit-ups, and squats as prescribed by our trainers for the day. And given that CrossFit emphasizes intensity and not performance, they encouraged us to give it our all, constantly congratulating us on our efforts. In sum, we left this CrossFit workout bursting with energy!
And while the training session ended in less than 30 minutes (a WOD lasts approximately 20 minutes), we felt the effects of it days afterwards. Watch out for muscle aches!