by Anastasia Prikhodko
Originating in America in the mid 1990, Crossfit has transformed itself from an underground phenomenon to a mainstream source of exercise and for many, a way of life.
Described by CrossFit Games America as the ninth fittest man in the world, Chad Mackay was first exposed to Crossfit in 2008, and by 2009 he was competing in his first Crossfit competition. “It wasn’t like anything I had tried before,” Chad says.
Crossfit focuses on functional movement, which translates into everyday life and helps with muscles as the person ages, for example by doing dead lifts this helps with lifting shopping bags or heavy objects. The exercise enables individuals to become all-round athletes; it is a combination of Olympic weightlifting, cardio and gymnastic aesthetics.
The exercises vary everyday so the muscles don’t get used to one exercise or another. In one session, the routine might consist of a five-kilometer run, squats, deadlifts and pull-ups.
Harriet Roberts has been training to compete in the Regionals Competition, which will be held this year in Wollongong. From there she aims to qualify for the Crossfit Games 2013 held in Los Angeles.
She compares Crossfit to “army training,” due to the exercises being high intensity and continually changing.
Chad Mackay has incorporated Crossfit into all aspects of his life, and says, “It is about competing against yourself.” In 2011, he gained 12th place and 2012 he came 9th at the Los Angeles Crossfit Games. His goal is to once again qualify for the World Crossfit Games this year. There are three stages to competing in Crossfit. The first stage is the Opens, this takes five weeks, and a different routine is emailed out from America weekly. Anyone can enter this event and post their results.
Then 48 individual athletes, men and women, and 30 teams get selected to compete in the Regionals, between Australia and New Zealand. From there, the top three men and women and top three teams are selected to compete in the L.A Crossfit Games.
“Crossfit creates a community, you see these people every day at training, they egg you on, it is the driving force behind the exercise,” says Oliver Smith, a co- owner and trainer at Crossfit R. gym, which he owns with fellow CrossFitter Jon Gomez.
Oliver says that the reason behind Crossfit heading into the mainstream is because “people know that it will help them lose weight.”