If you want to be in shape for bikini season this summer, running on the treadmill and doing crunches may not cut it anymore. Young adults across America have become addicted to CrossFit, a type of workout that has become an increasingly popular way of getting in shape.

This past fall, juniors Marisa Lovallo and Jon Hayes began a CrossFit Club here at Villanova.

Greg Glassman, a former gymnast, founded CrossFit in the early 2000s.  CrossFit is normally called the sport of exercise and is always defined as constantly varied functional movements performed at relatively high intensity.

CrossFit combines weightlifting, powerlifting, gymnastics, sprinting, rowing, running and cycling in as many combinations and variations as possible.

The goal is to increase one’s fitness across broad time and modal domains. The first CrossFit gym (or “box”) opened in. The first CrossFit games took place in the summer of 2007 and have been held every summer since.

The games are now shown ESPN, and anyone can register to compete in the Open. Your scores from the CrossFit Open determine whether or not you can compete in the CrossFit games.

From there competitors go to Regionals and compete to be “the fittest on earth.”  In 2010, Reebok became the official sponsor and a long-term partner of CrossFit.

CrossFit itself is very competitive. Most of the workouts are timed and test one’s ability to get as much work done as possible in that given amount of time or the shortest amount of time.

If the clock isn’t running,  then most athletes go for heavy lifts and push the limits of their strength.

“Most of the people in the Villanova CrossFit club were high school athletes who have a competitive drive and are looking to be back in a team atmosphere,” Lovallo says.

For the fall semester the CrossFit club held workouts four days a week. This past semester they increased their workouts to six days a week (Monday-Friday at 3:30 and Saturday at 12). Their workouts take place at CrossFit Conshohocken.

The group switches up WODs, or workouts of the day. On Fridays, Villanova CrossFit does a wacky WOD pertaining to a theme. For example, in the past they have done tie-dye, green for St. Patrick’s day, superheroes and short-shorts for guys, long shorts for girls.

“One of the most important aspects of CrossFit is the internal transformation one can experience,” Lovallo says. “A CrossFit newbie will be faced with exercises and movements that they have never done or even heard of (snatch, clean and jerk, muscle up, tire flip or even a single pull up). You can truly become a better person and this willingness to go through the toughest work-outs and never give up no matter how much it hurts can translate and apply to activities.”

Although no prior knowledge of CrossFit is required to join, the club requires new members to attend an “elements session” before they join.

These sessions typically take place in the beginning of a semester. They give an introduction to new members about the unique type of working out and mentality that goes along with CrossFit training.

Lovallo sees this frequent meeting club as an opportunity to enhance students’ usual routines.

“There are several reasons why CrossFit is appealing than just a normal gym routine,” Lovallo says. “One of the most important aspects to CrossFit is the group/community atmosphere.

Regardless of one’s experience or athletic skills, the workout can be scaled so everyone can experience the same relative intensity and share in the experience. No matter if you finish the workout first or last, everyone is cheering the entire time and there is always an exchange of high fives and fist bumps after the workout.”



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