06 Feb Functional Athletes
I have loved competing in running races and other athletic events since high school. I remember a few years ago I said to my wife I would like to develop a competition that would test athletes in different categories to see who would be the “fittest” or “best overall athlete.”
This past weekend I competed in the Crossroads Crossfit Competition in Jackson, MS and I have to tell you they took the idea I had in my head and multiplied it times 10. It was an awesome experience and I am looking forward to doing it again sometime soon.
The competition tested overall athletic ability. A total of six events challenged an athlete’s endurance, speed, stamina, coordination, strength, power, agility, flexibility, balance, and accuracy in different ways.
Some strong athletes did not have endurance while others were fast and flexible yet did not possess much strength. The athletes’ who proved to be the best were not great at one specific thing but were very good at several and had most of the physical skills listed above.
I have been training and “working out” this way formally at Crossfit Tupelo for about seven months now, but I was exercising on my own using some of the same movements for about two years before. I began exercising and lifting weights like most people in a regular gym, but this almost became routine and boring.
As I began to learn more about how the body works and moves, I decided that isolated movements such as bicep curls, tricep extension, hamstring curls, etc were almost a waste of time. I know I probably just made some people mad, but hear me out on this. Whether your goal is to lose weight, gain muscle mass, or be a well rounded athlete the best way to do this is by compound movements that work more than one muscle group at the same time such as pushups, pull-ups, squats, and deadlifts.
These activities are much more functional, meaning they translate to activities we do in our everyday lives. We squat when we go to sit in a chair or go to the toilet and perform a deadlift every time we drop something and have to pick it up from the ground.
Another reason I enjoy Crossfit more than the conventional gym is that every workout is different. The body gets accustomed to the same routine and once it does this is where we hear the term “plateau” used. Constantly changing movements, weight, and intensity is how you make progress.
Whether you are an athlete who wants to be better at your sport or you just want to be able stay in shape to keep up with the kids this type of workout can be beneficial for all individuals.
In March I hopefully will obtain my Crossfit Coaching Certification and begin training individuals this way. You can learn more about Crossfit and its local affiliate Crossfit Tupelo at www.crossfittupelo.com.
If you have any health, fitness, or nutrition questions or have a topic you would like me to write about feel free to contact me at Corypropt@gmail.com.
We will be beginning our next fitness class on March 4th so if you missed out on our first one and would like to participate in this one contact us at Pro Physical Therapy at 662-282-4949 or by email at email@example.com.
Cory Lee, LPTA, RRCA-Certified Running Coach, Advanced Proficiency in Musculoskeletal Physical Therapy
Kimberly Lee, Doctor of Physical Therapy