So you’ve heard about CrossFit, but you’re not clear what exactly it is. There’s a lot of information floating around. nSome good, some bad, just like any industry or movement. So here is some information to help try make sense of it all.
CrossFit is defined as
Constantly varied, functional movements performed at high intensity.
CrossFit is a fitness regimen developed by Greg Glassman over several decades. Glassman, CrossFit's Founder and CEO, was the first person in history to define fitness in a meaningful, measurable way: increased work capacity across broad time and modal domains. He then created a program specifically designed to improve fitness and health.
CrossFit is constantly varied functional movements performed at relatively high intensity. All CrossFit workouts are based on functional movements, and these movements reflect the best aspects of gymnastics, weightlifting, running, rowing and more. These are the core movements of life. They move the largest loads the longest distances, so they are ideal for maximizing the amount of work done in the shortest time. Intensity is essential for results and is measurable as work divided by time—or power. The more work you do in less time, or the higher the power output, the more intense the effort. By employing a constantly varied approach to training, functional movements and intensity lead to dramatic gains in fitness.
The community that spontaneously arises when people do these workouts together is a key component of why CrossFit is so effective, and it gave birth to a global network of CrossFit affiliates that number over 11,000. Harnessing the natural camaraderie, competition and fun of sport or game yields an intensity that cannot be matched by other means.
The CrossFit program is driven by data. Using whiteboards as scoreboards, keeping accurate scores and records, running a clock, and precisely defining the rules and standards for performance, we not only motivate unprecedented output but derive both relative and absolute metrics at every workout. This data has important value well beyond motivation.
Overall, the aim of CrossFit is to forge a broad, general and inclusive fitness supported by measurable, observable and repeatable results. The program prepares trainees for any physical contingency—not only for the unknown but for the unknowable, too. Our specialty is not specializing.
While CrossFit challenges the world’s fittest, the program is designed for universal scalability, making it the perfect application for any committed individual, regardless of experience. We scale load and intensity; we don’t change the program. The needs of Olympic athletes and our grandparents differ by degree, not kind.
CrossFit is a health and fitness program that achieves a very broad, general fitness that is applicable to everyday life. CrossFit is a blend of nutrition, metabolic conditioning, gymnastics, weightlifting (Olympic and Power), and throwing.
CrossFit is a method, a way to do things. Like the workouts, the methods it utilizes continuously change, evolve, and adapt towards best practices. At its foundation, the CrossFit prescription is to perform constantly varied, functional movements, done at a relatively high intensity. But what does that mean? Well, let’s break it down.
Have you ever noticed that, when you join a traditional gym, you make amazing leaps and bounds at first but then seem to plateau and not improve? Most people are taught to workout the exact same way week-in and week-out. With the traditional gym training program, your body becomes accustomed to this routine and stops progressing. The other, and probably bigger, problem with this type of training program, is that training begins to become mundane. It’s the same thing over and over and over and….. You get the picture.
With CrossFit, it’s rare that you will repeat the same workout twice. This means your body won’t ever become accustomed to a routine and the workouts will be fun and different. There are only a handful of “benchmark” workouts that are used as a yardstick to measure progress. These workouts even create a bit of friendly competition with yourself, others in your box (CrossFit gym), or those around the world. You’ll often hear people talk about “PR’ing on Fran,” or some other benchmark workout.
Functional movements are movements you do everyday day or they’re a core element to a common everyday movement. Every exercise, and movement, in CrossFit must meet the following 7 criteria for it to be included:
Performed at a High Intensity
Intensity is what brings it all together and this gets the results. Intensity is relative to the person, but at the same time we measure intensity based on power output (Read the next section to learn how we scientifically measure performance through work and power output).
But all you really need to know about High Intensity is:
So push yourself and watch as you lose weight, get stronger, and reach your goals quickly.
In CrossFit, we don’t rely on heart rate to determine our fitness level or set our pace. The heart rate is as dependable as a digital clock without a battery. Too many things can affect your heart rate, such as: