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9 Fundamental Movements

The Front Squat

CrossFit Seminar Staff member Julie Foucher demonstrates the front squat. View

The Overhead Squat

CrossFit Seminar Staff member James Hobart demonstrates the overhead squat. View

The Shoulder Press

CrossFit Seminar Staff member Julie Foucher demonstrates the shoulder press. View

The Air Squat

CrossFit Seminar Staff member James Hobart demonstrates the air squat. View

The Medicine-ball Clean

CrossFit Seminar Staff member Julie Foucher demonstrates the medicine-ball clean. View

The Push Press

CrossFit Seminar Staff member Julie Foucher demonstrates the push press. View

The Push Jerk

Julie Foucher, CrossFit Level 1 Seminar Staff member, demonstrates the push jerk. View

The Deadlift

CrossFit Seminar Staff member James Hobart demonstrates the deadlift. View

The Sumo Deadlift High Pull

CrossFit Level 1 Seminar Staff members James Hobart and Adrian Bozman break down the sumo deadlift high pull. View

Latest Gym News

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February 28, 2018 by chris (0) Comments

ESSMC is a proud sponsor of CrossFit Tantrum and specifically of Week 2 of the CrossFit Open . As a fitness facility we choose…

Ankle Flexibility at the Bottom of a Squat

February 26, 2018 by chris (0) Comments

Ankle Flexibility at the Bottom of a Squat As fellow CrossFitter’s, we are always working on improving our squat. Most of us want to increase…

How to Set A Goal.

October 5, 2017 by chris (0) Comments

To set successful goals for yourself, they must be able to motivate you. Motivational goals are of value to you. Choose 3 to 5…

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General Fitness Related FAQs

What is Crossfit?

CrossFit is the principal strength and conditioning program for many police academies and tactical operations teams, military special operations units, champion martial artists, and hundreds of other elite and professional athletes worldwide.

Our program delivers a fitness that is, by design, broad, general, and inclusive. Our specialty is not specializing. Combat, survival, many sports, and life reward this kind of fitness and, on average, punish the specialist.

The CrossFit program is designed for universal scalability making it the perfect application for any committed individual regardless of experience. We’ve used our same routines for elderly individuals with heart disease and cage fighters one month out from televised bouts. We scale load and intensity; we don’t change programs.

The needs of Olympic athletes and our grandparents differ by degree not kind. Our terrorist hunters, skiers, mountain bike riders and housewives have found their best fitness from the same regimen.

Why Crossfit?

In gyms and health clubs throughout the world the typical workout consists of isolation movements and extended aerobic sessions. The fitness community from trainers to the magazines has the exercising public believing that lateral raises, curls, leg extensions, sit-ups and the like combined with 20-40 minute stints on the stationary bike or treadmill are going to lead to some kind of great fitness.

Well, with CrossFit, we work exclusively with compound movements and shorter high intensity cardiovascular sessions. We’ve replaced the lateral raise with push-press, the bicep curl with pull-ups, and the leg extension with squats. For every long distance effort, you will do five or six at short distance. Why? Because compound or functional movements and high intensity or anaerobic cardio is radically more effective at eliciting nearly any desired fitness result. Startlingly, this is not a matter of opinion but solid irrefutable scientific fact and yet the marginally effective old ways persist and are nearly universal. Our approach is consistent with what is practiced in elite training programs associated with major university athletic teams and professional sports.

Is Crossfit for me?

Absolutely! Your needs and the Olympic athlete’s differ by degree not kind. Increased power, strength, cardiovascular and respiratory endurance, flexibility, stamina, coordination, agility, balance, and coordination are each as important to the world’s best athletes as they are to the overweight, the sedentary, the sick, casual athletes, and even the elderly. The amazing truth is that the very same methods that elicit optimal response in the Olympic or professional athlete will optimize the same response in all these populations. Of course, we can’t load your grandmother with the same squatting weight that we’d assign an Olympic skier, but they both need to squa

If the program works for Olympic Skiers and overweight, sedentary homemakers then it will work for you. (Courtesy of CrossFit Inc.)

What can I expect in a Crossfit workout?

A dynamic warmup, followed by: Biking, running, and rowing. The clean & jerk, snatch, squat, deadlift, push-press, bench-press, and power-clean. Jumping,medicine ball throws and catches, pull-ups, dips, push-ups, handstands, presses to handstand, pirouettes, kips, cartwheels, muscle-ups, sit-ups, scales, and holds in an endless variety of drills. We make regular use of bikes, the track, rowing shells and ergometers, Olympic weight sets, rings, parallel bars, free exercise mat, horizontal bar, plyometrics boxes, medicine balls, and jump rope.

All of these placed into high intensity workouts in random combinations that typically last no longer than 25 minutes, and in some cases, may only last 10 minutes (not counting warm-up and instruction, of course). (Courtesy of CrossFit Envy)

Will I/Can I get big from doing Crossfit?

Do you want to? Weight loss/gain depends solely on diet; the quality of the diet, training, training history, recovery (sleep, low stress, etc.), and genetics help determine what amount of that gain/loss is muscle or fat. If you don’t want to get big (eg. a woman), you must eat only at or slightly below your maintenance level of calories.

Now on the other hand, If you train the WODs hard, and eat right (and slightly above maintinence calories) and get lots of sleep, you will definitely lose fat build muscle mass with the crossfit protocol.

For all you guys doing workouts you found in the fitness magazines (i.e. bodybuilding workouts)… consider this…

According to Coach Glassman, the founder of Crossfit, the bodybuilding model is designed around, and requires, steroids for significant hypertrophy. The neuroendocrine response of bodybuilding protocols is so blunted that without “exogenous hormonal therapy” little happens.

The CrossFit protocol is designed to elicit a substantial neuroendocrine whollop and hence packs an anabolic punch that puts on impressive amounts of muscle though that is not our concern. Strength is.

Natural bodybuilders (the natural ones that are not on steroids) never approach the mass that our ahtletes do. They don’t come close. Those athletes who train for function end up with better form than those who value form over function. This is one of the beautiful ironies of training.

What if I have an injury? Should I still train?

If you have an acute injury (for example, a sprain or a pulled muscle), chances are you will need to take some time off to rest, recover and regroup. That’s perfectly acceptable. But you don’t want to lose fitness from not exercising (also called detraining or deconditioning). You should still strive to maintain a base of fitness, there are ways to work out while recovering from most injuries.

However, 90% of injuries I see in new clients are chronic injuries. In other words, injuries that have bothered them for years. Often times, these injuries are due to biomechanical imbalances (certain muscles are too tight, and others are too weak), poor posture, and a multitude of other reasons. And likewise, 9/10 times, pain from these injuries can be severely reduced if not eliminated with functional weight training and exercise that emphasizes proper biomechanics and core recruitment patterns. Does your back constantly ache? Then you should be doing deadlifts (albeit starting with light weight) to strengthen it. Do you have alot of shoulder pain? Then chances are the muscles in your back are too weak to hold your shoulder girdle in the proper position. The perscription in this case, would be variations of pull-ups and rows. The injury usually has an easily identifiable cause, and is also very correctable.

What about ABS? We never do crunches

Abs (“the core”) work to stabilize and support the body with most CrossFit movements: squats, deadlifts, the O-lifts, burpees, pushups, pullups (especially the kipping variety), etc. These movement patterns place greater emphasis on the abs working in concert with the rest of the body and will result in stronger muscles than the isolation of crunches.

Now again, whether these new strong abs are going to be visible or not, depends largely on your diet.

This sounds complicated. Why no machines?

Stay away from them. While barbells, dumbbells, bodyweight, sandbags, kettlebells, medicine balls and certain other equipment is on the approved list; machines are almost always on the bad list. This is

because any strength gained from machines does not effectively carry over to real world strength.

You can leg press a ton but that doesn’t mean you will be strong enough to pick up your friend’s washing machine since you only worked your legs in ‘pseudo isolation’ before; but now you must use all of the muscles in your body in unison. Your muscles have to know how to work together and with the assistance of stabilizer muscles. You don’t use stabilizer muscles with machines.

Another draw back is that overuse injuries injuries such as tendonitis are more common with machines since the path of the movement has no variation as it would if you were press a ‘free’ weight. Using machines often puts ‘more stress’ on your lower back than picking up a weight off of the floor! While the definition ‘machine’ could be any number of different pieces of equipment there are with few exceptions no machines worth even glancing at.

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