Survival of The Fittest


Fitness studios pride themselves on having the hippest, shiniest and coolest atmosphere. How then did a fitness trend, which takes place in what looks like a garage, become so popular? Girlfriend Guide went to find out what CrossFit is all about.

An idea is born

After being fired for not sticking to gym protocols, Santa Cruz fitness coach Greg Glassman created an online fitness tutorial in his garage with daily workouts for home use. CrossFit was born.

Glassman developed CrossFit on the principle that the best workouts come from the same regimens. Whether you are training for the military or chasing your grandchildren around the garden, Glassman believes that workouts differ by degree and not type. This means that everyone can use the same routine but gear it to personal fitness and desired intensity level.

Reebok CrossFit Zurich co-owner and head coach Ozren Durdevic explains that CrossFit is about pushing limits, setting goals, sweaty hard work and ‘community’. His center welcomes 240 members, from company CEOs to pregnant housewives and rugby players, who may participate in a class at the Zurich facility or tackle the workout at home. Although the participants all have individual goals, they work together in what Durdevic terms ‘individual teamwork’. The fitness trend’s triangle logo represents the connection between this sense of community and mental and physical stamina.

What is it all about?

Combining activities like sprinting, rowing and Olympic weightlifting, and using objects such as gymnastics rings and kettlebells, CrossFit makes use of varied movements to produce high-intensity training. CrossFitters aim to push the repetition of each activity to the limit in the least amount of time. This helps increase lean mass (body mass minus fat), reduce fat, and improve performance.

Girlfriend Guide’s 60-minute class consists of a warm-up followed by four 400-metre sprints with a one-minute rest in-between. Afterward, we opt for the ‘easy’ option–kettle bell swings and sit-ups in alternating reps of 50, 40, 30, 20 and 10. The short spurts of activity and mix of exercises help to keep our minds alert.

Each 60-minute routine–whether completed at home or in a group class–corresponds to a Workout of the Day (WOD). We quickly realize that there is a lot of lingoes to learn with CrossFit. This is why each new CrossFitter must take part in an induction that explains the acronyms and abbreviations. To keep up the good work after the workouts, CrossFit recommends a healthy diet that includes meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit and a little starch with no sugar.

The future

CrossFit is currently offered in over 3,000 affiliated locations worldwide. These global CrossFitters can unite in the CrossFit Games, an annual event that began in 2007 in California. Alongside Reebok’s partnership with the fitness trend since 2010, this is creating a strong commercial push and overall awareness of CrossFit.

CrossFit was introduced to Switzerland in 2009 and now 1,500 CrossFitters train at 10 facilities. The Swiss market offers some extensions of the traditional program. For example, CrossFit Geneva has classes for children. There is also a Swiss Challenge, where Swiss CrossFitters in teams of four fight to be crowned the ‘fittest in Switzerland’.

Ready for the challenge yourself? Give it your best shot!

Girlfriend Guide

Co-founders Angelica Cipullo and Deja Rose launched Girlfriend Guide to help women explore local events. establishments and lifestyle offerings.

Leave a comment: