CrossFit is a strength and conditioning program that combines a variety of functional movements to form high intensity workouts. The intensity and variety has attracted fitness enthusiasts and athletes from around the world to join their local CrossFit affiliate gyms. While the general CrossFit program says, “routine is the enemy” with no specific routines in the training schedule, you can follow a broad, general and inclusive pattern for designing your workouts based on your fitness goals.
The CrossFit training program is designed so each workout and exercise trains one or more general physical skills. These skills include cardiorespiratory endurance, stamina, strength, power, flexibility, coordination, accuracy, agility and balance. According to Greg Glassman, founder of CrossFit, the best training pattern to develop these skills includes training five to six days per week with a general pattern of three days on and one day off. Incorporate a variety of major lifts such as deadlifts, squats and presses with bodyweight movements such as pullups, pushups and squats with metabolic conditioning activities such as rowing and running.
If you are just starting CrossFit or don’t have access to a CrossFit affiliate gym, you can follow a beginner’s routine that incorporates running, deadlifts and push press for a total body training program. The program is built on a five-day schedule with the workouts lasting less than 30 minutes each day for 12 weeks. While this program requires no gym membership and limited equipment, it has the goal of introducing CrossFit workouts to eventually progress into advanced programming of following a regular CrossFit training cycle. The schedule for the beginner’s routine starts with deadlifts and running on Monday, running on Tuesday and Thursday, push press and running on Wednesday and squats and running on Friday.
CrossFit workouts incorporate various strength training exercises, but some CrossFit athletes incorporate an additional strength training routine to complement the regular CrossFit schedule. After a total body warm-up, choose one fundamental lift and perform at a “moderately comfortable pace” for three to five sets and three to five repetitions per set. The fundamental lifts can include back squats, overhead squats, front squats, deadlifts, shoulder press, snatches and cleans. You can also choose from a list of exercises based on your individual weaknesses. After the strength training routine, complete the regular CrossFit WOD -- workout of the day.
Developed by Brian MacKenzie, the CrossFit Endurance program is designed to complement the regular CrossFit workouts with a focus on improving performance, fitness and endurance sports potential. The CrossFit Endurance program is typically used by athletes competing in marathons, triathlons and other endurance sports but can also be used by general athletes and workout enthusiasts wanting extra running, swimming or cycling in their workout routine. The CrossFit Endurance training schedule focuses on power and intensity by incorporating interval workouts, time trials and speed training.