Canadian moms are embracing CrossFit workouts—they can’t seem to get enough of this form of fitness! Walmart chats with an expert who tells us why CrossFit is gaining momentum with moms across Canada and around the world.
Canadian moms are getting healthy and spreading the word about CrossFit. With some 14,000 certified trainers in 144 countries and an estimated four-million active users, CrossFit has changed what it means to go to the gym which, in CrossFit lingo, is called a box. CrossFit’s founder and CEO, former U.S. gymnast Greg Glassman, combined intense, varied workouts with a low-carb, high protein, no sugar diet. CrossFit moms are loving the sensible get-off-the-couch and drive-past-the-drive-thru approach to getting—and staying—healthy and strong.
CrossFit’s popularity has grown by word-of-mouth. Like the old shampoo ad, she told two friends, and they told two friends, and so on. After all, there’s no better spokesperson than a woman who’s enthusiastic about her lifestyle and able to keep up with everything that a busy life brings her way. Walmart sits down with CrossFit trainer and coach, Peter Roberts, who answers some of our biggest questions about CrossFit and its popularity with Canadian moms.
Peter Roberts is a certified trainer and coach who opened Quantum CrossFit in Toronto in 2010. He works with athletes of all levels, from novices to elites. He also travels the continent, teaching other coaches about weight-lifting techniques, assessment and program design.
Table of Contents:
- Why is CrossFit called CrossFit?
- What is CrossFit training good for?
- What is a CrossFit workout for beginners?
- How many times a week should you do CrossFit?
Why is CrossFit called CrossFit?
CrossFit got its name because the CrossFit workouts cross various types of fitness regimens, says Roberts. “It borrows from the methods used in track and field, weightlifting, gymnastics, and endurance training among others to create a Frankenstein-of-fitness effect,” he explains. “Turns out when you regularly practice a little bit of everything, you’re ready for just about anything the world can throw at you.”
According to Roberts, CrossFit training combines the best of all worlds to deliver a whole-body experience. “Many popular fitness programs focus primarily on improving one key physical attribute at the expense of the others,” he says. “At the risk of over-generalizing, yoga aims to improve flexibility, running programs are geared to deliver endurance and stamina, while pumping iron in the gym is for building strength, he continues. “But what happens if, instead of specializing in one area, you want a little bit of everything? That’s where CrossFit comes in.”
What is CrossFit training good for?
In brief, says Roberts, CrossFit training is great for four things: fat loss, strength and endurance, lifestyle improvement and, finally, fun!
Roberts and his team at Quantum coach their clients on an effective nutrition program, which helps lead to a loss of fat. Who wants to hang onto fat? At CrossFit’s core is healthy eating paired with its intense workouts. When a mom is also the family cook, her improved eating habits can’t help but lead to better nutrition for the whole family.
Roberts believes stamina-building is key for busy moms who are on the run all day, trying to keep up with kids whose batteries never seem to run low. “[CrossFit] is incredible for building a phenomenal combination of strength and endurance that you’ll notice in your everyday life,” he says.
The lack of pretension surrounding CrossFit, says Roberts, is another reason why CrossFit is so popular with moms across the country. Worrying about what to wear is enough to stop some women at the gym door. “Sometimes a gym isn’t the most inviting, motivating place,” he admits. “It can be intimidating and [seem] boring. The atmosphere and energy in a CrossFit gym is something completely different,” he says. “That’s the secret sauce that keeps people coming back. And if you keep coming back, you’ll see real results. As with everything, consistency is crucial.”
According to Roberts, CrossFit workouts can be tailored to anyone, regardless of age or ability. “We work with several seniors who feel like they did twenty or thirty years ago,” he says. “All the training they do in the gym helps them stay healthy and [helps] them keep up their favourite activities for the long haul.”
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What is a CrossFit workout for beginners?
An example of a simple beginner regimen is a five- to eight-minute routine of burpees. A soft place to land such as a yoga mat could come in handy for such an exercise. A burpee is a four-step movement, starting from a standing position. Move to a squat with your hands on the ground in front of you, drop to a plank with your arms extended, jump back up to a squat and then return to a standing position. If that sounds like too much for you, start with something less intense. The official CrossFit website offers loads of information on all aspects of the regimen.
This oversized, latex-free yoga mat by Everlast is big enough for your CrossFit workout and shouldn’t slip when your burpee takes you from a squat to a plank. It features yoga poses printed right on the mat, in case you decide to slow down and trade burpees for a downward dog.
The very nature of CrossFit for beginners is that it’s different for everyone. A good coach will consider everything, says Roberts, including injury risk and current fitness level. He offers exercise tips for beginners and experts on his blog. That’s where you can learn the kettlebell exercise called the Bulgarian Goat Bag Swing! Lots of people want to become more flexible, says Roberts, who advises devoting 10 minutes every day to stretches to achieve that goal.
The individuality of CrossFit is another reason why moms love it, says Roberts. You won’t have to do exactly what everyone else is doing and possibly feel like you’re not keeping up by comparison.
According to Roberts, variety is crucial to getting results from a CrossFit workout. “Instead of just running or biking for 20 minutes, we might have a new client do a circuit of pushing a weighted sled, carrying a heavy sandbag, or throwing a ball against a wall,” he explains. “Each movement is carefully selected to mimic real-life activities to challenge the trainee in new ways.”
How many times a week should you do CrossFit?
Like the program itself, Roberts explains that the frequency of CrossFit workouts all depends on the person. “For the average healthy individual looking to get in shape we say that twice a week is the minimum,” he says. “Less than that and you’ll never develop much momentum. Three times a week is a nice sweet spot of many where you can see real progress. Others can train four or five times per week.”
Roberts advises CrossFit newbies to shop around for a gym, or a box, that fits their style. He says a coach should understand your goals and know how to help you achieve them. Ask around for reviews and references. You won’t have to look very hard to find someone in your circle of friends who’s already loving the CrossFit lifestyle.
As for Roberts’ final thoughts on CrossFit’s popularity with Canadian moms? “It’s fast, effective and fun!” he exclaims. “What else could someone want?”
See also: How to Start CrossFit Workouts at Home
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