What is CrossFit?
Crossfit is: Constantly varied, functional movements, performed at high intensity. This is the text book definition of what CrossFit is. My definition of CrossFit is a fun, challenging workout with intent. All of this while using weightlifting, gymnastics and cardio (ie. Metcon, running, rowing, swimming, biking) techniques and working with an amazing community. Let’s talk about the textbook version and you can decide on what CrossFit means to you.
This one is pretty simple, just as it sounds we constantly vary our workouts. Each day when you come in there are different workouts with different movements and different equipment. We use this as a base and change up the movements, weights used and length of workouts to constantly vary our programming to get you ready for whatever life may throw at you. Not to be confused with a “random” workout. Every workout is thought out and programmed to improve your fitness level. Varying the workouts better prepares you for the unknown and unknowable. We call this GPP (General Physical Preparedness). You never know when you will have to get up and sprint, or be required to lift something heavy. Being prepared for any task can potentially save your or someone else’s life someday! Training in this manner can be valuable if life decides to hand you a challenge.
Functional movements are natural, follow universal motor patterns, essential and safe. They are multi-joint and move from core to extremity. You see this in the dead lift, squat, press, cleans, throwing a ball, muscle ups, pull ups etc.. Everything we do is multi-joint. If you drop a pen how do you pick it up? Probably looks similar to a dead lift. When you go to drop a deuce (hey we all have to poop!) or get out of bed how do you get into that position? Squat!
Have you ever taken a 55lb bag of dog food from the bottom of your cart and placed it in your car? You, dead lift with a little extra force and bring to your chest (clean) and then press it into your car right? In real life you’ve just performed a “Clean and Jerk”. Let’s say you fall into a pool and need to get out, how is that achieved? Looks similar to a muscle up right? Now we are getting somewhere… you can clearly see that these are functional movements. The main thing that makes them functional is that they are all performed from the core to extremity. Meaning they start at the core, initiated by the hips and then the power is transferred out to the extremities. Try throwing a ball or lifting weight over head without using the hips. Not very efficient and the power output is weak. This is why you will not see isolation moves in CrossFit. There is little functional use for curls or single joint movements, they are not functional.
Functional Movements move large loads, long distance quickly. This is geeking out, but the equation for power is force times distance / time (Power = Intensity). We use this to improve our fitness. What is fitness? Fitness is increased work capacity across broad time and modal domains. How do we accomplish this? Intensity!! Using this formula, intensity can be achieved by increasing speed or increasing weight. This is all done without sacrificing mechanics/good form. This is the reason why we use the clock in CrossFit. It gives us a way of measuring intensity. Over time if we can prove that your intensity is increasing you will know you are getting fit! Like mentioned before power output = intensity and intensity = RESULTS. Now your fitness can be quantified and it is all backed by data. This why it’s important for you to keep track of weights used and times completed in Wodify or a journal.
There you go! Now you know what CrossFit is! Well…at least what the technical meaning is. What do you think CrossFit is? What keeps you training? Keep up the hard work and I will see you in the box for some constantly varied, functional movements performed at high intensity with our amazing community!