For the health of it

The Murph: A timed 1-mile run, followed by 100 pullups, 200 pushups, 300 body weight squats, finished off by another 1-mile run.

The Snatch: A weighted bar is quickly pulled from the floor to directly over your head with the arms held straight.

Thruster: This exercise begins standing upright with a weighted bar held in front of your shoulders. You squat down to the point where your thighs are parallel to the floor, then quickly stand up while pressing the weighted bar over your head.

Burpees: This is a body weight-only exercise that begins in a standing position, then quickly dropping to the floor and doing a push-up, then coming up to a squatting position and jump straight-up.

CrossFit is the fastest growing strength and conditioning program today and it is anything but traditional. With exercises called The Snatch, burpees, thruster and The Murph, it’s no wonder why only the tough survive this brutal exercise program.

Founder Greg Glassman created CrossFit to prepare the body “not only for the known, but also the unknown.” Unlike traditional aerobic workouts and isolated weight lifting exercises, CrossFit combines strength training, plyometrics, gymnastics, speed training and endurance exercises. Each highly intense workout only takes about 10 to 20 minutes to complete and they are all done in a circuit format with very little rest in between each exercise. The fast pace combined with movements that use multiple muscle groups helps even elite athletes burn major calories.

The main CrossFit exercises target the major components of physical fitness: cardiorespiratory fitness, stamina, muscular strength and endurance, power, speed, flexibility, coordination, accuracy and agility. Each exercise uses nontraditional equipment to stimulate the entire body and ensure maximum fatigue by the end of every session.

Instead of typical gyms which consist of cardio equipment and resistant machines, CrossFit gyms include plyometric boxes, kettlebells, pullup bars, medicine balls, climbing ropes, dumbbells, gymnastic rings and monster truck tires. The advantages that come from using this equipment paired with one’s own body weight attract athletes ranging from bodybuilders to marathon runners. Every athlete can benefit from training this way full-time or during their off-season because it works muscles that traditional programs often miss. CrossFit is also a good way to mix up one’s usual exercise routine because the routines are always changing.

CrossFit has been nicknamed “the no-gym workout” because it can be done at almost any fitness facility or home. As long as you have a foundation of good physical fitness and know how to safely perform each movement, your garage or backyard can easily be transformed into a CrossFit gym. But if you want extra motivation and competition that comes from working out in a group setting, then you can join one of the many CrossFit affiliates located across the U.S. and around the world.

Melissa Lindsey is a senior at Utah Valley University studying communication with an emphasis in journalism. Contact her at lindsey.mml@gmail.com

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