Is CrossFit Really For EVERYONE?

What is CrossFit;
Can Everyone Really Do It?


We've all heard it: "Anyone can do CrossFit". Sure, by definition, everyone really can do CrossFit. 

Cross·Fit
/ˈkrôsˌfit/
noun

TRADEMARK

1. a strength and conditioning program consisting of constantly varied functional movements executed at a high intensity across broad time and modal domains

Often under-explained is that CrossFit, by definition, is a strength and conditioning program that consists of exercises mimicking movement patterns that we often use in our day to day life. This is the "FUNCTIONAL FITNESS" piece of the definition outlined above. There is no set workout routine like Mondays are "chest and tricep" or Thursdays are "leg" days because in most cases and on most days we do multiple exercises that will hit most of your entire body. This allows us to train the way our bodies in the way we naturally move, not just target training.

The "CONSTANTLY VARIED" piece comes into play when we look at the different types of functional exercises we incorporate into our work outs. The varieties of movements we utilize span across several exercise modalities which include powerlifting, weightlifting, monostructural and calisthenics (this is the modal domains part in the definition of CrossFit) . When we mix up the movements in our programming we end up doing a lot of different things so we don't get bored. Here are a few examples of each:
Powerlifting: we sit down and get up or pick things up from the ground everyday, these are your squats and dead lifts
Weightlifting: using our hips to generate power is a big part of weightlifting, so to put it into context, have you ever lifted a heavy suitcase or a box of books and needed to heave it up into your trunk or a high surface? That is us using our hips to generate power.
Monostructural: often misconstrued as "cardio" (which we will touch on this more in another blog post), these movements are things like running, rowing, skipping, biking.
Calisthenics: otherwise known as gymnastics. These are our body weight movements and some might say these are probably the most important movements. These movements allow us to build the strength to control our body in space (and helps us with body spatial awareness)

Lastly, we come to the "HIGH INTENSITY". This is probably the most subjective of the three. Intensity can be described as strength, speed, power, force and the list goes on. So take speed for instance, what is fast for one person may not be fast for another or in terms of strength, what is heavy for one person may not be heavy for another and vice versa. This is why we talk about intensity in percentages here at Black Tusk. If 100% of your capacity means you are sprinting, emptying the tank and you have nothing left afterwards, this type is intensity is a 10/10 hard. If you are maintaining a pace that is manageable for longer periods of time, it might only be 70% of your capacity or a 7/10 hard.  As long as you are working at the relative intensity level your coaches are asking for, you are doing CrossFit.


Jane is our 73 year old personal training client. With Jane, we focus a lot on functional movements that allow her to continue golfing several times a week, travelling without issue and live a completely independent life!

Jane is our 73 year old personal training client. With Jane, we focus a lot on functional movements that allow her to continue golfing several times a week, travelling without issue and live a completely independent life!

BUT CAN EVERYONE ACTUALLY DO IT?

In short, yes. Everyone can absolutely do it; EVERYONE can participate in constantly varied functional movements executed at a high intensity. The caveat is that for some people CrossFit in a group class setting might not be the best idea. In some cases and scenarios, individuals may require more time and attention than others. This can be for a variety of reasons: pre-existing injuries, poor mobility or some people just need more time and attention generally speaking. So can everyone do CrossFit? Yes. Should everyone do CrossFit in a group setting? Not necessarily.

Book a No Sweat Intro with us and find out what your best fit is!

Staying Active While on Holidays

When our athletes go away on holidays for a week or two, we're often asked what they can do to stay active while vacationing. Sure, some of you reading this will have absolutely no interest in working out while you're away, some of you intend on walking well over 20km a day on your holidays but some of you may have a bunch of beach or poolside lounging lined up and would like some ideas on how to stay active with no gym or limited equipment access.

We often overlook using our own bodies as resistance and think that we need equipment or machines to get a tough workout in. If you are staying at an Airbnb while on holidays, it's pretty unlikely that you will take time out of your vacation to drive to a gym, spend an hour working out, then trek back to shower and get ready (that's an easy 2-3 hours taken out of your day). So here are some tips on how to get a quick and dirty workout in, with minimal equipment:

1) Always have a time parameter; when there is a time domain, the intensity of the workout increases which means that your heart rate will increase! You don't want to be spending more time than necessary working out, so why not be efficient.
2) Use your body (or a pair of dumbbells); you don't always need a barbell. A few movements we gravitate towards when there are space restrictions include (but not limited to) lunges, push ups, sit ups, squats, burpees, mountain climbers. Movements that are static can be made dynamic, like jump lunges, jump squats and even clap push-ups. If there are dumbbells where you are staying, turn your squats into thrusters or your plank holds into renegade rows to make the movements extra spicy. Access to a running path? Running can easily be incorporated into your holiday workout
3) Mix it up and be creative; there is no right or wrong when it comes to holiday workouts. Try to incorporate a pushing, pulling and squatting motion into each workout and change up your rep schemes. You are just staying active so have some fun with it!

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Here are a few workouts that we've actually done on a beach, in a hotel or even in a backyard. Bear in mind, all of these work outs are intended to be done as fast as you can.


WOD 1

5 Rounds:
10 Pike Presses
10 Squats
10 Burpees
10 Sit-ups
10 Jump Lunges

WOD 2

2 Rounds:
50 Mountain climbers
40 Situps
30 Burpees
20 Push-ups
10 Jump Squats

WOD 3

8 Rounds of:
8 Pistol Squats (4 each side)
8 Push-ups

WOD 4

Run 1 mile
*10 jump squats at the top of every
minute until 1 mile is complete*

WOD 5

With Dumbbells
10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 of:
Russian Twists
Thrusters
Renegade Rows

WOD 6

40-30-20-10 of:
Hollow Rocks
Goblet Squats
Arch Rocks
Burpees


Hopefully this helps some of our you who are gearing up to go away! Sprinkle a couple of these into your vacation and let us know how it goes. Good Luck :)

What Makes CrossFit Different?

One of the main reasons why CrossFit is different from any other gym or group class method is because we focus on everything and nothing at the same time. CrossFit incorporates a variety of exercise domains into one training methodology. This means that we have no specified target training. We work on our body weight movements (push ups, pull ups), our power lifting (squats, dead lifts, presses), olympic lifting (cleans, jerks, snatches) and of course our endurance exercises (rowing, running, skipping, biking).

What makes this special is that when we integrate all these different domains into one heart-racing-out-of-your-chest-lung-burning-muscle-fatiguing workout, we elevate ALL aspects of our fitness. We get stronger, we get faster, we get more explosive, we get more flexible. This is the beauty of CrossFit; we don't have to choose what we want to get better at because we are getting better at everything.

For us, getting stronger without losing our speed is equally important as gaining speed without losing our strength. For us, CrossFit has never been something that you can just drop into once in a while and expect to get better. For us, this isn't a gym that you can just show up and blend into the background. For us, our priority is to coach you, to get you faster, stronger and more skillful. 

This is why CrossFit is different. 

One of our athletes, Lauren. She currently wears multiple hats, including new graduate, server and volunteer. Lauren recently ran her longest distance ever of 14.7km, PR’d her clean at 135# and achieved her goal of unassisted pull ups!

One of our athletes, Lauren. She currently wears multiple hats, including new graduate, server and volunteer. Lauren recently ran her longest distance ever of 14.7km, PR’d her clean at 135# and achieved her goal of unassisted pull ups!

What Keeps Us Motivated?

When people ask us how we stay motivated to work out, instead of trying to answer with one or two singular reasons, our perspective is "what is the alternative"? If you look at motivation, it boils down to what you are willing to sacrifice. For us, we know that if we do not work out and eat well for an extended amount of time, we will sleep poorly, have low energy levels, mood will be crummy and generally feel sluggish (and probably feel a bit self conscious) in our bodies. That is the alternative to not working out.

Yes, we know working out is uncomfortable but if you think about the discomfort in terms of sacrifice: when you work out, you are sacrificing being comfortable for 1 hour in your day in exchange for having energy, sleeping better, feeling happy and confident the other 16 hours of your day (our remaining waking hours). Conversely, when you do not work out, you are sacrificing your entire day feeling uncomfortable because you are either tired, lethargic or irritable (in some cases maybe all three) in exchange for 1 hour of comfort.

Next time you are looking for motivation to get into the gym, to start making better choices with your diet or when you need that extra little push to take that initial step towards starting a new journey, think about that you are actually sacrificing if you don't do it.

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