• What is CrossFit?

    João Victor Ribeiro by Felipe Pilotto CrossFit RJ 1046

    João Victor Ribeiro by Felipe Pilotto CrossFit RJ 1046


    CrossFit, dubbed as an elite fitness regime, has emerged as the new favourite strength and conditioning program for those seeking ‘elite’ like training routines. In 2014, there were approximately 9,000 gyms around the world that practice the CrossFit regime.

    Despite the use of the word ‘elite’, according to CrossFit, their training ‘is designed for universal scalability making it the perfect application for any committed individual regardless of experience’.

    CrossFit’s primary aim is to improve cardiovascular/respiratory endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, speed, coordination, agility, balance, and accuracy. Said to be used by elite forces, marines and police forces.

    CrossFit workouts incorporate a range of exercises from;

    • high-intensity interval training,
    • Olympic weightlifting,
    • plyometrics,
    • powerlifting,
    • gymnastics,
    • girevoy sport,
    • calisthenics, and
    • strongman exercises.

    CrossFit uses many of the exercises you would be used to in a circuit class at a gym, including Kettlebells, Jump Ropes, Burpees, Sqauts, Lunges, Sit Ups, Push-ups, Pull-Ups and more. These exercises are done at a high intensity, high repetition across different time periods.

    Every CrossFit session is taken by a qualified trainer, so you’ve always got someone to guide, motiviate and walk you through your sessions, but more importantly ensuring you do each exercise correctly to get the most out of it and reduce the risk of injury. Qualified trainers also assist with nutritional guidance, which is a large part of any exercise regime, not just CrossFit.

    The methods used in CrossFit are designed around increase fitness and functional movement that are used every day, not just in exercise. Workouts are all recorded just like your session with a Personal Trainer, so you can increase the intensity and further challenge yourself if you wish.

    Can I do CrossFit?

    According to CrossFit, anyone can do it. Despite the high-intensity routines, the CrossFit approach challenges you at your current fitness level.

    Will it be difficult?

    Yes, for most people there will be exercises that are challenging. After all, isn’t that why we go to the gym? To challenge ourselves?

    What’s the difference between Personal Training and CrossFit?

    Here’s just a quick checklist of the difference between Personal Training and CrossFit;

    Personal Training

    • Performed in one-on-one environments, typically at gyms or studios
    • Focused on helping you achieve your fitness goals, whether they be weight loss, muscle gain, cardio endurance among others.
    • Generally focused around exercising particular body parts during each set.
    • Typical equipment used would be those found in a regular gym.


    • Generally performed in groups, typically at CrossFit designated gyms.
    • Aims to improve conditioning and endurance, however weight loss, muscle gain are undeniably by-products of the CrossFit exercises.
    • CrossFit with its varied workouts can scale to workout multiple muscle groups at once (including ones you never knew you had!)
    • Equipment varies from run-of-the-mill gym equipment, right through to gymnastic rings, plyo boxes, climbing ropes and more.


    For all of CrossFit’s perceived benefits, there has been some criticism of the program, including promoting a unhealthy and potentially dangerous atmosphere of encouraging people to training well above their limits, resulting in injury or the potential or long-term damage. For highly competitive people, it’s worth knowing when to stop!


    Still interested in CrossFit? Get down to your local CrossFit centre and talk to some of the people down there and perhaps watch a session or two to see if it’s for you!