CrossFit and Fitness

You show up, hustle, sweat, rip, gasp for air and push through the toughest WODs everyday, but do you even know what “CrossFit” and “Fitness” means? Why do we push ourselves this way? What is the end goal? Many of you don’t know that it’s way more than you think. Let’s explain…

In the simplest of forms CrossFit is defined as “constantly varied, high intensity, functional movements.” We are constantly changing the stimulus of our training to broaden the adaptations that it produces. Why do we train at every variance? Simply, because we need to be prepared for the unknown and the unknowable, if we don’t then what are we really training for? Often times, we see a marathon runner that only trains for marathons and a powerlifter who only lifts. Would either of these athletes be a good gymnast? No, but on the other hand, could a gymnast that only trains gymnastics back squat 300 lbs? Negative. They have a specialty. In CrossFit, our specialization is not specializing. We are preparing ourselves for the unknown. The moment we need to lift something heavy at home or run along the sidelines as our kid scores a goal or chase our 2 year old around the house or god-forbid run away from a threat. We do this to be healthy, to be prepared, to be fit. CrossFit is the method by which we become “fit”. But what does it mean to be “fit”?

Webster’s dictionary defines “fit” as:

(1): adapted to an end or designsuitable by nature or by art

(2): adapted to the environment so as to be capable of surviving

“Capable of surviving!” Don’t you want to be capable of surviving? What if the Zombie Apocalypse really happens? Okay, maybe that’s an exaggeration, but you get the point. Be prepared for the unknown and the unknowable in life.

In CrossFit, there are three different standards to evaluate and measure a person’s level of fitness. One is based on the human body’s performance of athletic tasks, the second is based on the human body’s energy systems and the last is based on the ten general physical skills. Ten General Physical Skills…what are those you ask? They are cardiovascular/respiratory endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, speed, coordination, agility, balance and accuracy. The more competent you are in each of these ten skills, the more “fit”.

Over the next few weeks, we will be focusing our “Wednesday Wisdom” on explaining these ten physical skills and how we train for them on a daily basis. Surprisingly, there is a method behind the madness that is called our program each day. It’s not random. But for now, we will leave you with an explanation of CrossFit’s World-Class Fitness in 100 Words:

Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar. Keep intake to levels that will support exercise but not body fat. Practice and train major lifts: Deadlift, clean, squat, presses, clean and jerks and snatch. Similarly, master the basics of gymnastics: pull ups, dips, rope climbs, push ups, sit ups, presses to handstand, pirouettes, flips, splits and holds. Bike, run, swim, row, etc, hard and fast. Five or six days per week mix these elements in as many combinations and patterns as creativity will allow. Routine is the enemy. Keep workouts short and intense. Regularly learn and play new sports.

CrossFit Journal: What is Fitness?

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