What is CrossFit?
Definition of CrossFit
Constantly varied functional movement preformed at a high intensity.
What Does This Mean?
CrossFit does not specialize in any single aspect of fitness. CrossFit is designed to optimize physical competence in all of the 10 fitness domains, which include: Cardiovascular Endurance, Stamina, Strength, Flexibility, Power, Speed, Coordination, Agility, Balance and Accuracy. To accomplish this we train using numerous different methods; gymnastics, Olympic weightlifting, plyometric, body weight exercises and variety of different styles of “cardio”. Furthermore we train in all of the three metabolic pathways to elicit the most benefits possible.
The term functional movement has been thrown around a lot in recent years, but the true definition is that it mimics natural motor recruitment patterns. These are movements that you use in everyday life. Such as the squat (standing from a seated position) and deadlift (picking an object off the ground). Functional exercise is not about isolating individual muscle groups because in real life you will not find that type of movement. Functional movements are natural multi joint (compound) movements that can translate to everyday life.
CrossFit is all about improving yourself. To do this, one has to push their own boundaries. The intensity for each person is relative and is linked directly to their work capacity. Intensity is important because it affects your body hormonally and neurologically. This is defined as a “neurodoctrine response”. These adaptations help the body produce muscle mass and increases bone density. This means that whether you are a professional athlete or grandparent, intensity is an important factor for you to improve yourself. Every workout can be scaled to fit your current capacity, which will result in an effective, high intensity workout. As you get into better shape there is less scaling to keep the intensity high and the improvements coming.
Benefits Of CrossFit
CrossFit is a “core strength and conditioning program”, this not only means the exercises used work your “core” but also the movements used not only are beneficial to everyday movement but also essential, whether the need is to assist everyday life or improve athletic performance. For example squatting is not just an athletic movement; it is also the act of getting up from a chair. As Greg Glassman (Founder of CrossFit) said, “your needs and the Olympic athlete’s differ by degree not kind”. CrossFit will help improve anyone’s fitness whether the goal is to lose weight, put on lean mass, increase athletic performance or even improve an elderly person’s mobility.