Drawing on Olympic weightlifting, calisthenics, and aerobic exercise, CrossFit achieves a uniquely high intensity, all-over workout.
The weightlifting influence helps to build strength and power, calisthenics takes care of your flexibility, agility, balance and co-ordination and the aerobic exercise will push your speed and respiratory endurance, all packaged together in a 30 to 45-minute workout. Neat.
What does EMOM mean?
It’s probably important to note at this point that CrossFitters love an acronym, an abbreviation and an appellation. So much so that at first glance the workout on the whiteboard looks the midpoint of an episode of Wheel of Fortune.
There are a few basic terms you’d be best to arm yourself with, the rest you can pick up as you go. Just nod along til you figure them out.
To get you started, WOD is “workout of the day”, EMOM is “every minute on the minute”, METCON, metabolic conditioning and AMRAP is “as many rounds as possible” – this one usually comes with a time limit and an end to look forward to.
Your at-home workout
To get a taste of the CrossFit burn, try this 35 minute at home workout. You’ll need a good timer app, so jump on the AppStore and search AMRAP or EMOM to download everything that you’ll need.
20 minute AMRAP
Set your timer for 20 minutes and then complete the following circuit:
- 10 burpees
- 15 sit ups
- 20 lunges (alternating legs)
Completing all three exercises is equivalent to one round. The goal is to do as many rounds as you can until your timer goes off. (The aim is to increase how many rounds you can do in the timeframe.)
After a well-deserved five minute break, treat yourself to an EMOM (ever minute, on the minute):
10 minute EMOM
- 20 push ups complete within in one minute, using your remaining time as rest
- 30 air squats, again within one minute
Continue alternating these two exercises for 10 minutes. Guaranteed, by the end, you’ll be a sweaty wreck.
Who is it for?
CrossFit is suitable for anyone – there is a modification for every movement to allow for all fitness levels. Age is also not a barrier. Fun fact, one of Australia’s top elite CrossFit athletes is a ten-time CrossFit Games competitor and a grandma. Mostly though, you’ll find folks like yourself, a lot of hard-working like-minded people trying to get fit and looking for balance.
“I think it’s a positive environment and that rubs off on a lot of people. Coming in and working hard each day does great things for the mind” says Active Co-Director Patrick Fitzsimons.
Not all CrossFit gyms are created equal. Fitzsimons recommends trying a few bowls of porridge before settling on the one that’s right for you. “One thing I would say is that all CrossFit gyms are different. We always say to people, try a couple to find what works best for you. They are privately owned; privately run however they want so like anything there are good ones and there are bad ones.”
Fitzsimons and his team at Active have launched virtual classes to keep you fit from home, that can be joined live or watched later to fit in with your day. Find out more here.
A version of this story first appeared on Executive Style.