WHEN you enter what looks like a former warehouse with the inscription ‘leave your ego at the door’ over the entrance, you realise that this is not a traditional gym. Crossfit participants work hard, while also respecting each other and the rules of fair play; the reasons for the inscription.
The gym of Pressburg Crossfit in Bratislava’s Petržalka is full of metal bars and weight plates, ropes and rings hanging from the ceiling, kettlebells – metal balls with handles – lined up at one wall, as well as a board with prescribed exercises. It is the workout of the day – WOD, a set of exercises for the day that serves as a challenge and motivation for the participants.
What is Crossfit
“Crossfit is one of the fitness trends that focuses on functional training, which is popular amongst people,” Jozef Porubský, Crossfit Level 1 instructor from Pressburg Crossfit, told The Slovak Spectator. “New gyms are opening every year, which shapes the community, and there is also growing interest in the accompanying events.”
Crossfit uses a wide variety of exercises, training tools and methods, combined into workouts.
“Virtually, anything you think of can be applied in Crossfit,” said Porubský. “It does not specialize in any particular skill but the goal is to develop general physical preparedness so that the person can tackle all types of obstacles.”
The workout of the day – WOD – can combine body-weight exercises like push ups, weightlifting, such as power clean – when you rip the bar of the ground and lift it to your chest, and rowing on a rowing machine. People try to perform the WOD published on the official Crossfit.com webpage and also written in chalk on the wall of the gym and beat the times of their peers. This competitiveness also sets Crossfit apart from traditional fitness classes.
“One of the main ideas behind Crossfit is not to be the best in every ability but good enough to beat an average person in any of them,” said Michal Vanerka, Level 1 Crossfit trainer at Pressburg Crossfit. “It is really about people and motivation.”
Vanerka added that Crossfit is like a community that help and motivate one another.
“There is a large scale of exercises and tools that the people can try and it keeps them excited,” said Vanerka, adding that there is always something new that participants can try.
Scaling used to avoid injuries
Due to its competitive nature and use of heavy equipment, Crossfit presents a potential danger for beginners or people with health issues. In order to include everyone, the instructors use scaling.
“Everyone does the same exercise, but with modifications adjusted to their level of fitness and health,” said Vanerka.
For example, instead of pull ups on the bar, beginners do a variation with their feet on the floor or use special rubber bands that help them to elevate their body to the bar. Porubský added that if you pay attention to the above issues, Crossfit not only improves strength and fitness but also overall physical preparedness and mental resistance.
Crossfit is not demanding on finances for special equipment. According to Porubský, the main obstacle is the people – their laziness and unwillingness to move on.
“Also, one of the obstacles is the incompetent instructors and gym owners, who just benefit from the popularity of Crossfit without conscious education and experience,” said Porubský, adding that often, the will to make money at all costs gives a bad name to Crossfit.
Because of its versatility, Crossfit should not be limited only to a few enthusiasts. It is already used in the physical preparedness of armed forces and some schools organise competitions for their students.
“Functional exercises are the key to balanced development of the young organism,” said Porubský, adding that the competitiveness and variety can also be motivating for the children.
10. Sep 2015 at 7:05 | Erik Rédli