Conor Colangelo is a fitness enthusiast who enjoys CrossFit workouts as part of his routine. In the following article, Conor Colangelo discusses ways people of all fitness levels can get started with these high-intensity workouts.
CrossFit isn’t just a workout — it’s a movement.
Now nearly 25 years old, the popularity of high-intensity CrossFit training shows no signs of slowing down. That’s especially true in the United States, which is home to over 5,000 CrossFit-affiliated gyms, by far the largest number in the world.
According to industry experts, more than 5 million people practice the fitness philosophy across 120 countries.
Conor Colangelo says that it’s practiced by the young and not-so-young. It has spawned its own Olympics-style games, the largest fitness chain in the world, and a never-ending lineup of new exercises posted every day on the website.
Below, Conor Colangelo explains how these workouts became one of the most significant fitness movements in history.
Conor Colangelo Explains the Origins of the Brand
Greg Glassman is the celebrated name behind the CrossFit brand.
Working in the 1970s and 1980s as a fitness trainer and gymnast in California, Glassman began to hone his unique fitness brand when he began training police officers with high-intensity workouts in the 1990s. Glassman’s first CrossFit gym opened in 1995 in Santa Cruz, California.
Conor Colangelo reports that Glassman’s work with police officers meant providing a wide range of fitness options and approaches to accommodate different experience levels and schedules. In 2000, Glassman and his wife, Lauren Jenai, launched his official CrossFit Inc. concept.
Soon, affiliate gyms popped up everywhere offering a fitness technique that worked well across all skill levels and focused on creating well-rounded athleticism.
Conor Colangelo explains that CrossFit doesn’t pretend like it isn’t a challenging fitness approach. It can be brutal and intense and almost military boot camp-ish. But it can also be adapted to accommodate seniors and children. It can be done solo, one-on-one with a coach, or as part of a group class.
It may not be quite the right fit for everyone, but it has proven to be a good fit for millions.
The key to CrossFit’s effectiveness and popularity is variety — there’s a workout of the day (WOD) posted without fail on the website. It includes functional fitness movements and elements of weight training, gymnastics, and resistance training.
Conor Colangelo explains that together, these modalities engage all of the body’s different muscle groups and increase overall strength. The aerobic fitness element of these exercises also helps to burn large amounts of calories in short periods of time.
Compound movements such as handstands and muscle-ups, along with weightlifting, encourage calorie burning throughout the day. CrossFit is many things, but at its core, it’s a type of high-intensity interval training made up of functional movements to create a highly effective conditioning workout.
It’s also popular among those looking to drop pounds and keep them off. Fitness movements combined with a sensible dietary plan have been lauded as a simple yet amazingly effective lifestyle change. When paired with unprocessed foods and no sugar intake, these high-intensity workouts become even more valuable over the long term.
Conor Colangelo says that fitness goals are popular New Year resolutions, but 73% of people who make them fail. Many find it difficult to squeeze in exercise time at the gym. Some experience injuries or burnout too quickly. And many others become easily bored by repetitive exercises.
One of CrossFit’s most significant benefits is that it eliminates many of these fitness pitfalls. By encompassing a vast range of ever-changing workouts and movements, it’s tough to get bored, even over the months and years.
That’s another big benefit. Yes, it can include such intimidating workouts as rope climbs and Olympic weight lifts, but it may also include familiar pull-ups, push-ups, and squats. Each day is different, and each workout can be adjusted to any level of fitness.
Conor Colangelo explains that another big benefit of CrossFit is that it has been shown to increase cardiovascular fitness. One American Council on Exercise study found that compared to traditional exercises, high-intensity programs worked better because they place higher demand on the body’s anaerobic and aerobic systems.
Those with packed schedules also find CrossFit to be the best fitness approach. Classes are comparatively short but intense, offering reliable results over shorter amounts of time. Programs have been shown to improve body composition and cardiovascular fitness more effectively than exercises that are low or moderate intensity.
CrossFit is a community and there’s a benefit there as well. People can take classes with others and offer encouragement in ways that don’t often happen just by heading to the gym and working out.
Conor Colangelo notes that the workouts themselves get the blood pumping and body moving, but it’s the shared experience that keeps many practitioners engaged for the long haul.