Is CrossFit a Sport?
Wednesday, 18 July 2018
[This article was written in July 2018 - following comments made by the CrossFit CEO In June 2020, Brookes Sport ended all association with CrossFit and it no longer features as part of our fitness offering]
Lot of my friends ask me if I go to the gym or not, I say yes. Then they ask me how many kilos I can chest /shoulder press etc. I politely reply saying I don’t do any of that, I do CrossFit. They surprisingly look into my face and say…...Cross what?
In my previous article I mentioned about different elements within CrossFit such as ‘Gymnastics, Powerlifting, High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) and Calisthenics (body weight exercises)’ while also emphasising the importance of the weighting lifting facet. I also gave a brief explanation of how CrossFit aids an athlete to excel at his/her respective sport.
I know you all must be wondering; is CrossFit a sport? Or just a form of fitness tool/technique? Well it can be both, that is the purpose of this article! Before even looking at what CrossFit is, let’s just look at the universal definition of a sport:
An activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment
CrossFit can be a sport only when it’s a sport, and is fitness tool only when it is used as that. For instance, within CrossFit competitions athletes from all around the globe compete against each other and this draws a growing fan base like any other sport such as Football, Cricket or Basketball etc. Whereas a regular individual who joins a CrossFit gym or participates in a CrossFit workout for health and fitness reasons might not consider it as a sport for them.
Crossfit has increasing number of athletes participating in the open each year. Last year alone there were half a million competitors in the open! And the individuals who compete at the Games (International Level) are widely considered amongst the world’s best athletes. The person who finishes 1st will be known as the earth’s fittest man/women (by CrossFit).
But what if an individual wants to pursue CrossFit as a sport?
Let’s dive into the stuff that professional CrossFitters go through, to become competitive in the ‘sport of fitness’.
Remember the Brookes Sport employee I have mentioned in my previous article? Yep, the 50th Fittest man in the UK- Steve Davis. Besides working at Brookes Stevie trains at least 5 days a week, for about 3 to 4 hours a day. Wait…… 3 to 4 hours a day? I know what you all thinking right now… it’s CRAZY! CrossFit will absolutely drain the individual out. These athletes have to make a lot of sacrifices throughout their sporting career including their social life. That means no drinking or eating crap. I mean let’s be honest, we do it at least once or twice a week! Poor diet leads you to get tired quickly during your workout, as simple as that.
Professional athletes usually follow a designed program which contains a blend of Olympic Weightlifting, Gymnastics, Strength and Conditioning and WOD (Workout Of the Day) at the end. These workouts can be 30 mins and are intense. Imagine doing like 50 burpees, 20 clean and overhead press with weights and a 100 calorie row, and 50 burpees again. Professional CrossFitters can manage to do at least 5/6sets or even more. I just gave this example for the ease of simplicity, trust me they can be more intense than that. To be honest, for regular individuals like you and me it would be a miracle if we get through 2 sets in 30 minutes. And they do this kind of stuff at least 3-4 times a week. Damn! I’m pretty sure they wake up with sore legs every morning, not very pleasant is it? Especially on a weekend!
Regional athletes like Stevie Davis go through this every day, some of their workouts during regional competitions include:
3,000 metre row, 200 double-under's, 3-mile run: Time: Sub 30 minutes.
Workouts like these show to what extremes a human can be pushed to.
This piece was written by Shravan Chinta, Brookes Sport Ambassador. You can find Shravan on Instagram
If you would like to try your hand at weightlifting or CrossFit, visit us here for our specialist courses!
Want to get into CrossFit? Sessions are being run multiple times a week at Brookes Sport Headington and starting next week will also be run even more frequently by our head CrossFit trainer Stephen Davis. You can find him here!