What is "Your" CrossFit?

  • Sep 17, 2012


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    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 the efforts.


    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 safely. 


    What are your thoughts??

    • Gravatar of Meghan blum

      Meghan blum

      Posted Monday, September 17, 2012 at 12:18:56 PM

      Well put Jenny. :)