CrossFit’s Global Impact on Health and Fitness
By Alex Cordier
If there were a prize for the biggest fitness phenomenon to sweep the world in the past decade, CrossFit would surely win the first-place trophy. With scarcely a fitness enthusiast on the planet remaining in the dark about the CrossFit training program, the brand has gone from strength to strength in past years, promoted by its CEO as a “religion run by a biker gang” and referred to fondly as a “fitness cult” by its thousands of devotees. Now boasting over 13,000 gyms in 120 countries, CrossFit is the most popular fitness franchise the world round.
Trainer-turned-entrepreneur Greg Glassman holds proud claim to founding CrossFit. Glassman, a former gymnast who had discovered that his own body weight was the most effective means of building up muscle tone and resistance, dreamed up the training program whilst he was working near Silicon Valley, using his business acumen to expand the brand across the US (where over half of the global CrossFit community resides). Glassman was looking to create a workout that would retain a semblance of the competitive edge found in sports like gymnastics, track running, and professional aerobics.
Who Should CrossFit?
The simple answer is: everyone! Both a physical exercise philosophy and a competitive sport, CrossFit training is an attractive option for casual gym goers and professional athletes alike. Enjoyed as a strength and conditioning program by the military as well as by office-workers, CrossFit truly does offer something for exercisers of all ages and stages. Moreover, there’s a fairly even gender split among its participants, proving that both guys and gals find the activity enjoyable and achievable. It’s tough, to be sure, but none of CrossFit’s workouts include movements that the human body is ill-designed to perform: Glassman values only the “core movements of life” for his CrossFit exercises (just pushed to their sweaty limit!). There’s an almost endless variety of different CrossFit workouts, with most gyms offering more relaxed workouts if you’re just starting to train, so check out your local fitness facility’s offerings to see what you’re able to sign up for.