CrossFit is a training and fitness company founded by Greg Glassman in 2000. The first affiliated gym was powered by CrossFit in Seattle, USA. By 2005, there were 13 CrossFit gyms. There are now approximately 4,300 CrossFit affiliated gyms worldwide.
The CrossFit programme is intended for strength and conditioning and is described as ‘constantly varied, high intensity, functional movement’ to help improve overall levels of fitness.
Work Out Of The Day
Work out of the day, or ‘WODs’, are posted daily on the CrossFit website for members to follow the circuits. WODs are short, high intensity workouts and often include the most common CrossFit movements for body weight training:
- Air Squats
- Back Extension
- Box Jump
- Handstand push ups
- Jump Rope
- Muscle Ups
- Ring Dips
- Pull Ups
- Push Ups
Work outs are often named after girl’s names such as Angie, Cindy, Helen and Jackie. Each workout is timed and repeated. The aim is to beat your personal best each time.
‘Angie’is a key example of what a WOD consists of:
- 100x Pull ups
- 100x Push ups
- 100 x Sit ups
- 100x Squats
So is CrossFit beneficial for MMA?
Many top fighters, including former UFC champion BJ Penn, use CrossFit when preparing for a fight. A ‘work out of the day’ was, in fact, later created with BJ Penn in mind. The CrossFit routines claim to optimize fitness levels and help fighters reach their goals. However, these claims have caused controversy in the MMA industry.
Some people question whether performing CrossFit WOD’s on a daily basis would assist all types of fighters needs in order for them to develop and strengthen within their field. Whilst, others follow the daily routines like a religion.
Supplementing some of the WOD’s with alternative training, including grappling and striking, would undoubtedly be beneficial to MMA training.
A large number of fitness and health professionals have raised doubts over CrossFit. They believe the ‘for time’ mentality causes rushed repetitions, taking away form and therefore, inviting injury. However, this could be the case with any form of physical activity.
Overall, the movements and exercises in CrossFit WOD’s are practical, varied and include explosive movements that a fighter needs. When completed along side other MMA training, it can only lead to improved strength and fitness.