Hello My Friends
Welcome To The Vitality Project!
As a professional health coach concerned with the health and well-being of my clients it is my intention to improve your well-being and longevity by using the principles of nutrition, fitness, diet, lifestyle dynamics, and anti-aging medicine.
The new thing in fitness certainly has to be crossfit. The craze has literally swept around North America and now there are studios, classes and competitions in the crossfit arena. Although I have never participated in a crossfit class, I certainly have seen them in rehabilitation and fitness facilities.
Crossfit is a type of high-intensity circuit training protocol that incorporates some of the elements of cross-training taken to a new level. The exercises normally involve compound movements that involve large muscle groups. Some of the exercises involve pushing, pulling or lifting objects or weights and can also involve calisthenics and interval cardiovascular work. Although a crossfit class may look like just a gut-wrenching obstacle course requiring a great deal of effort from not so skilled people, there are some movements that require a great deal of skill and practice.
Crossfit utilizes the components of glycolytic training principles primarily, although these parameters can be changed. Glycolytic training is a type of training which utilizes blood sugar and stored carbohydrates as an energy source. It involves sub-maximal efforts for moderate periods of time and is an excellent way to improve your fitness level. It is also an excellent way to train your body to be more efficient at removing excess lactic acid from your muscles while using lactate as an energy source. This can improve the recovery time between episodes of high intensity exercise and thus can potentially improve your athletic performance in your chosen sport. However, the question remains, is it the type of exercise protocol that non-athletes can benefit from?
The answer is…..that depends upon the person in question.
If you are overweight, obese, have any special needs like heart disease, arthritis or osteoporosis, this is not the type of exercise protocol I would begin with. If you are out of shape and relatively inexperienced in a gym or with exercise, this would not be the type of exercise that I would recommend. The reason why I feel this way really has nothing to do with the type of training or the metabolic pathway utilized. It really just comes down to the issue of safety.
Although crossfit can be a valuable way to exercise and it certainly can be challenging and fun, I consider this activity to a much more advanced form of circuit training, involving a higher degree of motor learning, baseline fitness, experience and mental focus. The latitude for error relative to injury risk is much lower in crossfit than in other forms of exercise programming.
I have seen many beginners who have been in boot-camp, crossfit exercise classes become injured.
However, once the experience, level of fitness and degree of preparedness to become involved is realized, I recommend that you begin with a certified coach who can teach you the proper techniques, lifts and movements required to make your crossfit experience a meaningful one.
Remember, start slow and easy but when you are ready, begin to push yourself as your confidence builds. In my opinion, it makes sense to check with your health care provider before participating in a crossfit program.
Remember….your quality of life is the measurement of successful living regardless of your age.
Dr. Kevin. J. McLaughlin
Clinical Director: The Vitality Project