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Dossier: Trend sports

Keeping fit efficiently

Student Björn Wegberg (19) is a CrossFit enthusiast. In our interview, he outlines why CrossFit is the ideal workout.

Text: Clau Isenring

What is CrossFit?

CrossFit is a training programme that features a wide range of exercises aimed at achieving the ideal combination of power, stamina, coordination and flexibility. It incorporates elements from weightlifting, jogging, rowing and gymnastics. The key aspect is that all of the workouts are based on functional movements, i.e. movements that you also do in everyday life. You train at an extremely high intensity with the aim of doing "more work" in a shorter period. CrossFit is designed as optimum preparation for everyday life.

“The key aspect is that all of the workouts are based on functional movements, i.e.”

Can you describe a typical CrossFit class?

With CrossFit, you always train in a group led by a coach. The session kicks off with a warm up and stretching routine, followed by strength exercises and then the actual workout of the day comprising a range of exercises. A CrossFit session lasts exactly one hour. Afterwards you’re usually absolutely exhausted - with CrossFit you leave it all at the gym.

What’s so fascinating about CrossFit?

It’s the challenge and the camaraderie. Training in a group really spurs you on. You encourage each other to make sure you keep going even if you’re mentally exhausted. The training is also very varied. The workouts always offer something new – every day is different. This stops you from getting into a rut.

How often do you train?

Whenever possible, I try to train four to five times a week. Once a week isn’t enough, because many of the exercises are technically quite difficult. The coach explains each exercise and corrects you if you don’t do it properly. 

Do you need special equipment for CrossFit?

At the centre we have access to various weights, climbing ropes, rowing machines, and much more. However, you can also do CrossFit with just your own body weight. For example, there’s one exercise where you do as many sets of 5 chin-ups, 10 press-ups and 15 squats as you can in 20 minutes.

Do beginners make rapid progress?

Yes, mainly thanks to the group dynamic and encouragement from the coach. And beginners can join in straight away, because the intensity of each exercise can be adapted to suit each individual level of fitness. That means I can do the same workout as older participants who may be less fit. What’s more, registration for a CrossFit course is binding, which means you’re more likely to turn up for training even if you’re tired or don’t really feel like it.

Is CrossFit expensive?

It’s quite expensive compared to "normal" fitness centres, but every session is led by a coach and, because the groups are small, everyone is guaranteed an excellent level of personal training.