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I’m always interested to see what new fitness programs are out there. Always wanting to mix it up and never get bored, I was impressed when I heard about CrossFit, which has been absolutely huge in the US and has already started to take off in Australia. And no wonder – you can lose weight and build muscle too.

What is it? Essentially CrossFit is a strength and conditioning program that’s used by police forces, military operations units, martial artists and elite athletes all over the world. Nervous? Don’t be. The best part about CrossFit is that the routines and movements used are universal, meaning that it can be applied across a range of ages from kids to the elderly, and for those with less CrossFit experience as well as seasoned pros. Even people looking to rehabilitate following an injury have been known to participate to help build up strength (check with your doctor first though, if this is you!).

The workouts, which are commonly referred to in CrossFit communities as “WOD” (workout of the day), are varied both in duration and in style. You can expect anything from push ups, to squats, to weights. Some of the techniques used in CrossFit come from gymnastics, others from weightlifting. You might use kettlebells one day, and do sprints the next. If you’re feeling like CrossFit has no two days the same, then you’re right. CrossFit is designed to be a general workout; there are no specialised routines here.

The exercises are designed to increase your fitness and strength as well as improve your posture. CrossFit also promises that if you train the WODs hard, eat right and get plenty of sleep, then you’ll also lose weight as well as build muscle mass. The workouts get pretty addictive. CrossFit fans often say that they feel like part of a community when they go to a class, with everyone cheering them on.

Here’s a little glimpse of what you can expect:

The best way to get started with CrossFit is to look for a class in your local area. Try CrossFit Revolution X, CrossFit Victoria, CrossFit Brisbane, CrossFit Sydney, CrossFIt Perth. For more information on CrossFit, visit one of these sites, or www.crossfit.com.