What Is CrossFit?

Who uses CrossFit?:
CrossFit originated in the Santa Cruz, CA area by Greg Glassman circa 1995.  Coach Glassman utilized his methodologies to train his clients and local law enforcement officials.  By the mid-2000s, the practice of CrossFit had gained significant traction becoming the principal strength and conditioning program used by many law enforcement agencies, military special operations forces, and professional athletes world-wide.  Today, our terrorist hunters, public defenders, firefighters, and elite athletes continue to use CrossFit as their core exercise regimen, but now are joined by moms and dads, grandmothers and grandfathers, teens and kids, high school and collegiate athletes, business people and entrepreneurs, teachers and administrators, medical professionals and lawyers, youths and seniors…and everyone else.

What is fitness?:
CrossFit argues that a healthy and fit person requires proficiency in each of the ten general physical skills: strength, cardio respiratory endurance, stamina, flexibility, speed, power, balance, coordination, agility, and accuracy and defines fitness as increased work capacity across broad time and modal domains.  In other words, the ability to move larger loads, further, and in a shorter period of time.

What is CrossFit?:
CrossFit is the systematic execution of constantly varied, safe and natural functional movements, performed at elevated intensities, relative to each individual’s physiological and psychological tolerances.  The central objective of CrossFit is to forge broad, general, and inclusive fitness yielding quantitative results that are measurable, observable, and repeatable.  The overall goal is to improve fitness over time through effective training and practice.

How does one CrossFit?:
This objective is achieved using three general movement modalities: weightlifting, gymnastics, and mono-structural.  In other words, we lift heavy objects from the floor, push them overhead, and put them back on the floor.  We squat…a lot.  We pull ourselves up on bars and jump onto tall objects.  We throw weighted balls and climb ropes.  We run fast and sprint even faster.  We row and bike and swim and move continuously.  We play sports and games.  Our workouts are short and intense.  We work hard and have fun.  We compete constantly with each other and support each other always.  Routine is our enemy, so we alter our training, every day by varying the time, load,movement, environment, equipment, and even attire.

Specifically, we perform movements that are functional in the form of dead lifts, squats, clean and jerks, kettle bell swings, pushups, sit-ups, pull-ups, rope climbs, running, rowing, biking, swimming, cross-country skiing, and many, many more.  We execute these movements intensely by making the training priority one of the following:  1) the elements 2) the tasks or 3) time.

For additional reading, please visit the Comprehensive Explanation of CrossFit page and the Articles page listed under Recommended Reading.