THE W’s of CROSSFIT: Who, What, Where, When, Why?

Fitness can be described as being “generally physically prepared” for anything life can offer.  How might this apply to you?

  • Ever face the challenge of lifting something heavy?
  • Ever go swimming, or skiing, or play with your kids only to be exhausted after 5 minutes?
  • God forbid you should be in a car accident or be chased by an attacker.

The work that one puts in ahead of such challenges directly impacts their success or failure under these circumstances.  Fitness, regardless of the method by which it is achieved, should be an essential goal.

Also, there’s always the appeal of “LGN”…looking good naked.

What is Crossfit?

You may have heard about Crossfit from a friend of a friend, but have no idea what it really is and whether it is a fit for you.  Crossfit is defined by its creators as “constantly varied functional movement performed at high intensity.”  Crossfit is a strength and conditioning program designed to produce as broad a physical adaptation response as possible, through combining Olympic lifting, running, basic gymnastic moves and plyometrics into ever-changing workouts of the day (WODs).  The appeal of Crossfit is that the workouts are short, intense, and constantly changing – and in this way the exact opposite of the long, monotonous, and unsatisfying workouts most gym-members are familiar with.

Crossfit is not a specialized fitness “program” but rather a strategic attempt to maximize performance in ten recognized fitness domains:

1.  Endurance – The ability of body systems to gather, process, and deliver oxygen (cardiovascular / respiratory).

2.  Stamina – The ability of body systems to process, deliver, store, and utilize energy. (capacity to maintain repetitive muscular movements)

3.  Strength – The ability of a muscular unit, or combination of muscular units, to apply force.

4.  Flexibility – the ability to maximize the range of motion at a given joint.

5.  Power – The ability of a muscular unit, or combination of muscular units, to apply maximum force in minimum time.

6.  Speed – The ability to minimize the time cycle of a repeated movement.

7.  Coordination – The ability to combine several distinct movement patterns into a single distinct movement.

8.  Agility – The ability to minimize transition time from one movement pattern to another.

9.  Balance – The ability to control the placement of the body’s center of gravity in relation to its support base.

10.  Accuracy – The ability to control movement in a given direction or at a given intensity.

Most importantly, by design Crossfit is completely scalable to match the abilities and goals of its participants.

Why Crossfit?

To many, Crossfit is the most effective and enjoyable way to “forge elite fitness.”  Crossfit offers a social team-like environment, the thrill of competition, and constantly varied programming.  In this type of setting, athletes and those seeking fitness are able to create habits, routines and ultimately a lifestyle of health and fitness.  For many, Crossfit is not the first fitness program they’ve ever tried.  It is merely the first they’ve ever enjoyed enough and therefore done consistently enough to see appreciable results.

Who does Crossfit?

Crossfit is the primary strength and conditioning program for everyone from military special operations teams and elite athletes to hundreds of thousands of kids, soccer-moms/dads and other everyday people worldwide.  The needs of Olympic athletes and grandparents differ by degree not kind.

Where and When to do Crossfit?

While Crossfit can be practiced anywhere, with or without a wide variety of equipment or facilities, an official Crossfit gym is called a “Box” or “Affiliate”; there are thousands of “Affiliates” in the United States and around the world.  The only way to get ready for Crossfit is to DO Crossfit.  Most of these Boxes will allow those curious to try a class for free.  Thereafter, the world of Crossfit has evolved since its early days to maximize the chances of success by creating introductory courses, often called “On Ramp” or “Start Up” which typically range from one to two weeks.  The point of these courses is to educate athletes on the foundational movements and methods of Crossfit as well as prepare them for the intensity and physical demands.  For those who haven’t worked out in some time, coaches will teach how to scale down each workout and skill and manage progression.

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So now you know.  Whether you choose to try Crossfit or another method, we hope you take your health and fitness seriously and begin challenging yourself to maximize your physical performance in life.  Along the way, feel free to enjoy the journey!

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