CrossFit provides speed and strength training for anyone

Max Stoneking, Sports Editor

Becoming “better than you were yesterday.”

That is why Amanda Wendland, senior, loves CrossFit. She has been a member of the CrossFit community for about six months and loves every part of the sport.

“I used to work at the Blue Valley Rec. Center with a couple of CrossFit athletes. They encouraged me to try it out, and I fell in love with it right away,” Wendland said.

A lot of CrossFit athletes obsess over the significance of the tight knit community that CrossFit provides.

“The CrossFit community is everything and having the chance to be a part of it is really something special,” Wendland said.

Meeting people with similar goals, whether it is at an athlete’s gym or at a competition, helps those athletes strive for greater goals and learn from other athletes.

The sport of CrossFit came onto the scene in 2000 after the foundation of CrossFit Inc. The company’s initiative was to promote physical exercise as well as competitions for physical exercise. CrossFit is a mixture of aerobic exercises, body weight exercises and Olympic weightlifting.

Typical CrossFit athletes will go to a one-hour session at the “box” or gym that they belong to. The athlete will warm up and then perform the workout of the day (WOD), focusing on increasing strength and fitness. Fitness gurus of all ages and genders can compete or partake in CrossFit. The level of CrossFit athlete ranges all of the way from beginner to professional.

There are numerous “boxes” in the Kansas City area, one of which is CrossFit 913. That is the “box” that Wendland is currently a member of.

From a training standpoint, CrossFit is quite rigorous. Workouts tend to focus on intensity, execution and quickness. Speed and strength are key aspects of a CrossFit athlete’s training program. There are a plethora of workout possibilities. Training typically includes an aerobic exercise, a body weight exercise and occasionally a weighted exercise. All with multiple repeats.

Wendland’s favorite workout is the “Hero WOD,” honoring Navy Lt. Michael Murphy, who was killed in Afghanistan in 2005. The objective of the workout is to complete a 1-mile run, 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups, 300 air squats and another mile run, all for time.

“[You can] partition pull-ups, push-ups and squats as needed but start and finish with a mile run. Advanced athletes add a 20-pound weight vest or body armor,” Wendland said.

She has not reached the point in her training where she can complete that workout with the 20-pound weight vest.

As the CrossFit community continues to grow, the promotion of basic physical fitness draws in a lot of beginners. At the professional level, athletes strive to make it to the Reebok CrossFit Games, which is the pinnacle of a CrossFit athlete’s success.