What Is CrossFit?
IN THE FIRST OF THIS FOUR-PART SERIES, MUSCLETECH AMBASSADOR JOHN PORTER JR. GIVES YOU A CRASH COURSE ON CROSSFIT.
CrossFit is a global phenomenon. The training regimen has basically transformed (figuratively and literally) how we define, quantify and qualify the term “fitness.” In fact, their tag line is, “Forging Elite Fitness.” Tens of thousands of people have benefited from applying the CrossFit methodology to their daily lives as well as their given sport. Love it or hate it, CrossFit is here to stay and it’s not going away any time soon.
Despite CrossFit being around since the year 2000, there are many that still don’t know what CrossFit actually is. It is because of this that people have deduced their own interpretation of the system (mostly based of countless vids of people doing CrossFit to their own detriment due to lack of proper coaching and/or improper movement patterns). At this moment, I’m going to do my best in describing to you what CrossFit is.
CrossFit is defined as the following:
“Constantly varied functional movements executed at high intensity across broad time and modal domains.”
Now, looking at this definition, those unfamiliar with the terminology are probably saying, “What the heck does that mean?” Let me break it down.
“Constantly varied functional movements”
First of all, this refers to the exercises that have real-world application and relevance. In other words, the movement patterns typically performed in daily life., such as squats, lunges, hinges, push-ups, pull-ups, carries, as well as rotational and antirotational movements. We do these movements in some way, shape or form every day in order to complete an activity or a daily task. The CrossFit rationale is that if one can improve on these movement patterns, then their quality of life will be enhanced, leading to empowerment to achieve their ultimate goal. Whether it be weight loss, strength, general performance or injury prevention, CrossFit can encompass them all.
Secondly, this is about constantly varying the exercise selection, setup and overall goal. This prevents workouts from being boring and mundane. Your muscles never get an opportunity to plateau because your workouts change daily. One rarely does the same workout more than three times a year in CrossFit.
“Executed at high intensity”
This section goes into how much work one has to put forth in order to elicit change. Nothing in life adapts without stress and pressure. The number one training methodology that stresses this is High Intensity Interval Training or HIIT. Those that do HIIT workouts benefit from greater weight loss, increase in stamina, strength, endurance and mental fortitude, among other things. You can witness these benefits in CrossFit.
“Across broad time and modal domains”
If you are to qualify your progress or success, you have to have some form of measure. CrossFit has many workout variations/types that allow one to measure one’s performance in any given workout. Some of the popular workout types include For Time, AMRAP (as many reps as possible) and EMOM (every minute on the minute). CrossFit workouts also include measures of strength as well, as strength carries over into just about everything that we do.
For example, let’s say you perform Workout “Fran” (21-15-9 reps of 95 lb thrusters and pull-ups) in 6 minutes. Four months later, the same workout shows up but this time, you complete the workout in 4 minutes. In those four months between the last time you did the workout, you have improved in work capacity, strength, speed, power and total body control due to working out. The results you got are proof of that. Along with the improved time, you feel better, look better and are empowered to keep going. That’s the beauty that comes from consistently doing CrossFit (or any workout regimen for that matter).
Hopefully this opens your eyes as to what CrossFit is and, if you do it properly, you’ll achieve all of your fitness goals.
BY JOHN PORTER JR.