What is CrossFit?
A no-nonsense strength and conditioning program designed for anyone from the elite athlete to any committed individual. Hand pick the movements that elicit the greatest response and adaptation, drop those that don’t, and then apply the movements into an always changing intense format. CrossFit defines strength as a productive application of force…that being said, curling dumbbells at a leisurely pace while staring in the mirror simply is not an effective means to practical fitness. CrossFit trains cardiovascular/respiratory endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, speed, coordination, agility, balance and accuracy. A non-specializing, broad and inclusive program that offers these general physical skills creates people who perform better in sport, work or everyday life.
The CrossFit program can be scaled to any individual regardless of experience and current fitness level. Be it a military special forces unit or an elderly individual, the program does not change…load and intensity do. The needs of these two people differ by degree, not kind. Times and loads are recorded…no gimmicks, just evidence based results. – Courtesy of CrossFit Inc.
How do group sessions function?
Generally, group sessions will last about 1 hour beginning with a warm-up. Following the warm-up, skill work or a lift may be performed. Finally, after making possible adjustments to weight or equipment with the trainers assistance, the WOD (workout of the day) is tackled in a competitive yet supportive environment. This style environment helps push athletes to that better time or heavier weight and creates a family atmosphere that is fun and motivational. Time permitting, a mobility WOD may be performed at the end courtesy of Kelly Starrett at http://www.mobilitywod.blogspot.com/. Mobility work will make for a healthier and more efficient athlete so it’s always a good idea to work on your movement in the gym or at home.
Why do I need to be fit?
It’s a pretty simple task to explain how a high fitness level will benefit an athlete or someone that is very active in sports. What is not easy to explain is how non sport specific training still shows increases in an athletes overall performance. Paraphrasing a statement by the creator of CrossFit, Greg Glassman, we don’t know why pull-ups improved the times of the Women’s Olympic Ski Team we just have the data to prove it. The ability to do more work or move heavy weight quickly, improves athletic performance.
The average working adult on the other hand works very hard on a day to day basis to maintain a certain quality of life. A beautiful house with a perfect yard, a nice car, vacation money…the list could go on and on. Let’s say you work 8 hours a day, and sleep another 8 hours each night. That leaves 8 hours maximum to enjoy the fruits of your labor. You work so hard to enjoy 8 out of 24 hours and that’s being optimistic as far as available time is concerned. The one certainty is that for all 24 of those hours your body and it’s health and ability to function optimally or not optimally is inescapable. Why not give yourself the same attention you give to all of your possessions? It’s pretty easy to argue that it’s certainly your most important possession…so why do so many people neglect it? Harness your bodies true potential and learn to dominate the physical world around you making for a truly improved way of life.
Furthermore, fitness is not only for youth and young adults. As we age, the majority of people that enter nursing homes get there due to lack of strength and the capacity to do the daily necessities of living so someone else has to do it for them. Older people fall easier because they lack strength. Excluding significant injury, they get put into wheelchairs because they lack strength, and they get disabled and lose their independence because they have lost their muscle and their strength. For all of the benefits that high cardiovascular/respiratory endurance gives us, notice that the common theme above is strength. CrossFit provides a fitness that will increase your ability to move through life.
To quote a well known CrossFitter Blair Morrison, “The good news is that physical potential does not expire. It has no shelf life. Whatever state you’re in at whatever moment, you can always be better. So be better.”