One of the fastest growing movements in fitness is CrossFit. For those of you not familiar with Cross Fit, it focuses on functional fitness. It favors compound movements, plyometrics, and Olympic lifts. It emphasizes 10 different areas of fitness which include: strength, flexibility, speed, power, cardiovascular endurance, stamina, agility, balance, accuracy, and coordination. Competitors are timed as they complete a series of intense exercises.
You typically won't see any weight lifting machines in a CrossFit gym. They do not focus on isolating a single muscle with an exercise, but rather on exercises that work the entire body. The common tools of the trade are kettlebells, barbells, ropes, pull up bars, plyo boxes, giant tires, etc.
I was originally critical that this type of training didn't places enough emphasis on cardiovascular endurance, but when I tried it myself and realized there is no rest period between the different exercises I changed my mind. This can really get your heart pumping. Some of the exercises are things you may have only seen gymnasts do in the past, like doing dips with Olympic rings. I'll admit this type of training is much more intense than most people's workout who work with free weights or machines at the gym and rest between each exercise. I thought I would include a couple videos to show you how intense these workouts can be.
CrossFit participants and traditional bodybuilders have often been critical of each other. This might be expected since they are training in different ways and are looking for different results. Regardless of their differences, or what any critics might say, I think Cross Fit is a good trend for the fitness industry since many people are trying something new and getting into better shape.