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Fitness training the way the Marines do it.

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CrossFit is a unique kind of fitness training that is used by everyone from military personnel to stay-at-home training for a marathon. In essence, it is a core strength and conditioning program that developed to enhance an individual’s competency at all physical tasks.

From sports to gymnastics and weight lifting, CrossFit encompasses a breadth of physical activities. Started by gymnast Greg Glassman in the 1980s, the number of CrossFit gyms has expanded to more than 1,000 as of 2009. Its community via the Internet has also helped to popularize this intense form of training.

Many of the CrossFit principles and exercises have been adopted by the United States Marine Corp and by many U.S. and Canadian police and fire departments.

Trainings are also available to become certified CrossFit instructors. A monthly membership allows you access to the program as well as the website which is a community of workouts and followers.

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  • Very challenging and comprehensive fitness program
  • Offers classes for beginners
  • Strong online community
  • Gyms nationwide
  • Full body exercises
  • Utilizes functional training to improve overall strength
  • Workouts are always different
  • Requires very little equipment
  • Loose standards and regulations to become a certified CrossFit trainer
  • The intensity of the programs often leads to injury
  • Many injuries can prevent you from participating

There is not a diet or nutrition plan affiliated with the CrossFit program.


The CrossFit training program combines ten kinds of different exercises into its core plan: Cardiovascular, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, speed, agility, balance, coordination and accuracy. In addition, exercise props are used like kettlebells, gymnastic rings and others.

Workouts are designed around the Workout of the Day posted on the CrossFit website. These are a list of exercises that either need to be completed a certain amount of times, or for a certain interval of time and your only goals are to complete the workout, and beat your own best time.

Workouts include body weight exercises like push ups, burpees, foot races, pull ups, rowing intervals, gymnastics moves, tire flipping and more. Most exercises can be modified based on equipment available.

Regions across the country have CrossFit gyms, some of which use a ranking system that turn the exercises into a sport. Some studios may also have tailored programs for beginners, children and the elderly.

The CrossFit Workout of the Day, or "WOD," is featured on the program's Web site. Its strong virtual community allows practitioners to follow the program simply by downloading workouts and accessing the CrossFit Journal, an online library of workouts, tips and information.


There is little arguing that CrossFit is an incredibly intense fitness program that will get you into shape and prepare you for any physical task. But its sheer intensity and cult-like following have generated criticism from former practitioners.

The exercises are tough and produce fast results, be the intensity of it all has been known to injure many along the way. If you have the "whatever it takes" mentality towards fitness, CorssFit may be a great fit.

If you're curious about this program, elements of which have been adapted by the U.S. armed forces, then checking out a regional affiliate in your area will likely allow you to get a good feel of what the program is all about. But if working out until you drop is not your thing, then it's best you continue paying your membership dues to your local fitness gym.

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