CrossFit is defined as a strength and conditioning program that
involves constantly varied, high-intensity, functional movement to
improve work capacity across broad time and modal domains.
Huh? What was that? Come again? ...Exactly...a
bunch of big words put together to define what we all know works to
help us reach our fitness goals and push us beyond where we ever
thought we would be able to go. Let me break it down a bit
for you in how I interpret the definition and please feel free to
comment on what you get out of those words.
Constantly-varied: This just
means that it's not the same thing day after day, week after week,
month after month. You may lift heavy things on a regular
basis, but how you do them differs. You may get your heart
rate pumping, but how you do this changes. You are trying new
skills, you are breaking down the skills a refining technical
components of them to make them more efficient. You may use
equipment, you may not...but it's not the old school days of
legs/bis/tris one day, chest/shoulders one day, back and abs
another day with cardio somewhere in between.
High-instensity: You are pushing
your body to it's limits. Now...those limits may change day
to day depending on how you're feeling...but going for daily "long
slow distance" runs and lifting light weight/high reps for "toning"
purposes is out the window. Science proves that lifting heavy
(with good/safe form) and doing more interval/sprint workouts is
better for your body inside and out.
Functional: I can't lie, in the
past I have done my fair share of "skull crushers" and "calf
raises". Besides looking good in heels and tank tops, how
were those movements helping me to be a better athlete and function
better in life? CrossFit took me out of the globo-gym, body
building exercises and made me realize the importance of moving in
a way that will reflect into other movements in the gym and tie
into everday life activities.
Work Capacity: Without getting to
geeking on this one...basically it means to be able to do more in
less time. Work is force applied over a distance.
Capacity is doing that work faster or farther. So, in
CrossFit you can move the same amount of weight more repetition in
less time. Or you can increase the amount of weight you move
in a certain amount of time. This can refer to body weight,
loading, etc. It can mean, moving faster, lifting more,
improving time on a prescribed number of reps/set of a combination
of movements. Basically getting more done is less time.
Broad Time: To me, this just means
varieity in length of workouts. It could be 1 minute, it
could be 2 hours. A sprint vs a marathon and everything in
between. Our body uses different energy systems for different
lengths/types of activties and in order to reach a state of general
physcal preparedness, it's imporant to vary the length/intensity of
Modal Domains: Back to
"constantly-varied"...modal domains just means a variety of
activities. Anything from barbell work to pushing sleds to
hammering blocks to swimming in the ocean to doing
gymnastics. Pretty much being able to accomplish any random
task thrown your way.
It's hard to define something that involves so much, but I think
that Coach Glassman and the CrossFit crew have done a great
job. However, sometimes, at least for people like me, it
needs to be "dumbed down" a bit to understand what it is we are
actually doing each day to improve our fitness. So....to
break the definition down...in my eyes I think CrossFit is a way to enhance our
ability to do a variety of movements of varying duration
What are your thoughts??