What actually is the sport of crossfit? It must be a form of weight lifting…but wait there is pull ups and handstand push ups. So it must be acrobatics…circus stuff…but wait they are doing back squats. There is no way this person can last on a mile run…wait they begin and end with an 800m run? What are they doing on the pull up bar? That “WOD” only lasted 7 minutes and they are acting like they ran 5 miles…wait…whats a “WOD”. WHOA look at her 6 pack!! Confusion and Excitement set in.
This might be a conversation one might have with him or herself when viewing the sport of crossfit for the first time. According to, The Crossfit Training Guide, given to all those who attend the Crossfit Level 1 Certification, “The CrossFit prescription is “constantly varied, high-intensity, functional movements”” (p.1). To break that down even more:
(1) Functional Movements:
- Natural – found in nature/ occur on a daily bases
- “Universal Motor Recruitment Patterns; they are performed in a wave of contraction from the core to the extremity; and they are compound movements – i.e., they are multi-joint” (p. 1)
- Safe Movements of Life
- Compound yet inducible
(2) High Intensity: Intensity = Power. Independent variable most commonly associated with maximizing favorable adaptations to exercise
(3) Constantly Varied: “[We] believe that preparation for random physical challenges – i.e., unknown and unknowable events is at odds with fixed, predictable, and routine regimens.
Crossfit is based on 3 “Fitness Standards”.
(1) The 10 General Physical Skills widely recognized bye exercise physiologist
(2) The performace of athletic tasks
(3) The energy systems that drive all human action: phosphagen (highest power, 10sec), glyolytic (moderate power, several mins), oxidative (lowest power, >Several Mins)
Another aspect to crossfit is the sick to fit continuum. “Sickness” at one end and “Fitness” at the other, and “wellness” in the middle. Healthy crossfit athletes remain between “wellness” and “fitness”. When an athlete is on this side of the continuum, he/she will see a positive change in things such as blood pressure, body fat, bone density, triglycerides, good/bad cholesterol, flexability, muscle mass, etc.
The beauty of crossfit is it is made for everyone. The WODs are programmed to the elite athlete, but scalable to ANY level. All “boxes” (crossfit gyms) have a sense of community. Because the sport is becoming ever so popular, there is a box near you. To sum up the above, check out the document below!