Crossfit in a nutshell

Crossfitters would describe Crossfit as “an environment too exciting and too welcoming to ever walk away from”. But officially speaking, it is “constantly varied high intensity functional movement” and ranges from Olympic lifting, to gymnastic moves, to basic cardio such as running and rowing. It is tailored to suit people of all fitness levels by using easier variations of traditional exercises.

Crossfit in action

In practice at Blackfriars

Despite being found over a decade ago by Greg Glassman in 2000, Crossfit has only joined the fitness craze cycle over the past few years. It’s now practised worldwide with the number of gyms growing from only 18 in 2005 to over 4500 in 2012.

The typical hour-long classes take place in a ‘black box’. They consist of a warm-up, skill-development, the WOD (Crossfit speak for Workout of the Day), followed by stretching. Each WOD is scored and ranked on a whiteboard which sits at the front of the box.

In action

In action

How is it different from other fitness training?

Community is a key component of what Crossfit stands for. Natural camaraderie and friendly competitiveness is encouraged.

The beauty of a crossfit box is you can have a 22 year old animal working out with a 60 year old monster and when you are going hard for the right reasons they will be able to come together and push each other just as hard.


The community belief is shared on social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter where most Crossfit gyms have their own accounts and pages. These are used for uploading photographs, discussing WODs, sharing motivational encouragement, and a bit of friendly fitness banter.

Screenshot of Crossfit Facebook groups

Crossfit Screen Shot Facebook

Crossfit, as with many other fitness trends, does not come without some controversy. It only takes two days for a Crossfit coach to achieve a qualified status which is arguably not enough training to prevent potentially life-changing injuries. There have been claims that Crossfit is a cult, that it pushes you past your limits and in some cases, can cause women to wet themselves.

The Crossfit Games take place every year and are renowned for testing the world’s toughest athletes. Participation and sponsorship have grown rapidly over the past few years and the prize money has increased from $500 to $250,000 in 2011-2012.

So, is Crossfit a passing phase or is it here to stay? 

Crossfit in action

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