Sunday, March 7, 2010

The CrossFit Connection to Pose Running

I'm often asked how I first learned about Pose Running. My answer is that I learned about the Pose Running after I joined a CrossFit gym. The people at CrossFit have long been advocates of the Pose Method, and Pose Running Technique in particular.

At this point most people ask, "What's CrossFit?" Well I'm glad you asked, because I'm very enthusiastic about CrossFit. However, first let me give everyone at the gym I attend, CrossFit New England in Natick, MA, a shout out, especially the owners and head trainers Ben Bergeron and Heather Keenan.  If you live near the Metrowest area of Boston, and you are interested in getting into best shape of your life, I encourage you to check out CrossFit New England. Another CrossFit Gym worth checking out is Vagabond CrossFit in Brockton, MA. The owner and head trainer is Kevin O'Malley. Where ever you live, I encourage you to check out a CrossFit Gym in your area.

What is CrossFit?
There is a lot of information out there about CrossFit, so I not going to go into great detail here, but let me tell you a little bit about CrossFit and why I'm a big advocate. In fact, the only thing I regret about joining a CrossFit gym is that I didn't find and join one sooner.

CrossFit promotes functional fitness:
This basically means training to use your body the way it was meant to be used to accomplish real world tasks, hence the connection to Pose Running Technique. Pose Running is about running the way you body was designed to run.

CrossFit is focused on general fitness and health:
Traditionally fitness has been defined by a specific activity and the ability to perform well at that activity. Improved health was not necessarily a part of the equation. However, CrossFit has a more comprehensive and a more general definition of fitness that encompasses improving one's health as well as ten elements of physical performance that they have identified.

Since CrossFit is focused on general fitness, it is a great method of cross training regardless of what your primary sport or activity is.  This is especially true for runners and other endurance athletes. Running is a very important, but a very specific element of functional fitness and CrossFit training is a perfect way for runners to prevent themselves from becoming overly specialized as athletes. As a result of improving general fitness, many runners will see a dramatic improvement in their running performance.

CrossFit training is done with good technique at high intensity:
Finally, CrossFit is also very focused on technique and intensity. Technique is an important part of performance and injury prevention for any athletic activity. At a CrossFit gym, you will not be allowed to learn and practice with bad technique. You will also be pushed to do everything to your maximum potential, and because of this, you will quickly improve your level of performance while training.

My Advice:
Currently, CrossFit Gyms vary a lot in the quality of the trainers. I recommend looking for a CrossFit Gym with a Certified Level 2 head coach. That's not to say there aren't great Level 1 coaches out there, because there definitely are. However, level 2 Coaches are almost always guaranteed to be very good trainers, but if you find a great Level 1 CrossFit trainer go for it.

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