What is CrossFit?

The simplest definition of CrossFit is “constantly varied, functional movement performed at high intensity”. Breaking down each component allows us to better understand the method and purpose behind the training philosophy and more importantly how it works to help you reach your health and fitness goals.

Constantly varied – Routine is the enemy when it comes to developing a well-rounded fitness program. In CrossFit you will rarely perform the same workout more than once with the exception of benchmark workouts to test progress towards your goals.

Functional Movement – These movements translate to everyday life, which is what a true fitness program should do. CrossFit prepares you to “do” life better. It’s no coincidence that a clean and jerk is a lot like picking something up and putting it on a shelf. We utilize movements that are natural to human beings such as running, jumping, pulling, pushing, etc. As humans we spend most of our lives outside of the gym, why wouldn’t we prepare for that? If you’ve ever moved or helped someone move you know exactly what we’re talking about here. Training that translates to life will give you the fitness results you want, while also improving everything else you do.

High Intensity – The best definition for intensity is the difference between a jog and a sprint. Sprinting is going to challenge your body in ways jogging never could and as a result create positive changes in your health and physiology. The vast majority of our workouts will be less than 20 minutes; however, the amount of work completed during that time will be substantial. When you add intensity to constantly varied, functional movement you have created the recipe for significant physiological change and more importantly improved overall fitness.

CrossFit is designed to provide a high level of fitness, with fitness being defined as work capacity across broad time and modal domains. The translation is CrossFit training allows you to perform well in anything from short, heavy workouts to long time and distance workouts and anywhere in between. CrossFit provides a general physical preparedness that addresses all 10 of these General Physical Skills:

  1. Cardiovascular/Respiratory Endurance
  2. Stamina
  3. Strength
  4. Flexibility
  5. Power
  6. Speed
  7. Coordination
  8. Agility
  9. Balance
  10. Accuracy

We encourage everyone to take a look at this two part video series of a lecture by Greg Glassman, who is the founder and CEO of CrossFit, Inc. Coach Glassman describes in great detail the purpose and methodology behind CrossFit (please be advised there is some strong language in these videos).

Courtesy of CrossFit, Inc.

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CrossFit Journal: The Performance-Based Lifestyle Resource

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