What is CrossFit?

I started my journey into CrossFit almost 6 years ago. My life both physically and mentally have never been stronger. As a first post, I'm including an exert from their site which describes the essence of “what is CrossFit”. Read on and enjoy as I did.

CrossFit is the principal strength and conditioning program for many police academies and tactical operations teams, military special operations units, champion martial artists, and hundreds of other elite and professional athletes worldwide. It is also being implemented in nursing homes with the elderly…..if you fit somewhere between it can probably help you.

Our program delivers a fitness that is, by design, broad, general, and inclusive. Our specialty is not specializing. Combat, survival, many sports, and life reward this kind of fitness and, on average, punish the specialist.

The CrossFit program is designed for universal scalability making it the perfect application for any committed person regardless of experience. We've used our same routines for elderly people with heart disease and cage fighters one month out from televised bouts. We scale load and intensity; we don't change programs.

The needs of Olympic athletes and our grandparents differ by degree not kind. Our soldiers, skiers, mountain bike riders and housewives have found their best fitness from the same regimen.

CrossFit was developed in Santa Cruz California by Greg Glassman in the Late 90's. Greg's mission was to develop a CODE for FITNESS via Clinical trial, i.e. measuring inputs and outputs. Much like the LINUX operating system was created out of a gift culture and is free for anyone to download, CrossFit is open source, there are no franchising fees, no gimmicks to sell and anyone can use this “code” via www.crossfit.com


  • Download a free copy of the CrossFit Journal titled “What is Fitness”
  • Download a free copy of CrossFit Foundations

The CrossFit Community has taken what works best and eliminates what doesn't, if an exercise provides superior results it stays in the program, if not it is banished to the scrap heap. CrossFit is what remains – bar none, the most effective fitness program created to date. Through years of ongoing clinical trial (20,000 people a day do Crossfit now) this quest has developed into a fitness movement that is spreading rapidly around the world. From the “average Joe/Jane” to the military, police, professional and amateur athletes Crossfit is delivering results like no other fitness program before it.

The Code for Fitness is essentially uncomplicated and comprises three elements

  1. Functional Movements
  2. Intensity
  3. Variance

This “Code” addresses the fitness of the elderly as well as that of an elite athlete the only difference being load and intensity need to be scaled for the individual. What we have found is that the best results from both groups and everyone in between are produced when training with Functional Movements (that which replicates life movements), at High Intensity and with Constant Variety. Any exercise program that meets these three criteria can be considered CrossFit; from shoveling dirt, hauling rocks and cutting down trees to weightlifting, pull ups and sprinting.

CrossFit has been called “The Sport of Fitness” because it re-introduces personal athletic achievement and performance to training. The mindset at the start of each workout is to be stronger, move faster, more efficiently, with better form than ever. This is why even after years of training CrossFit style, scores and times in workouts continue to drop and athletes continue to improve. Its hard, fun, exciting, challenging, and will push you to be your absolute best!

CrossFit is by design broad, general and inclusive. Its specialty is in not specializing, and its workouts elicit a maximal neuroendocrine (neuro = Brain & Central nervous system, Endocrine = Testosterone, Human Growth Hormone, Insulin like growth factor) response from your body by taxing your body to its core with variety, intensity, and multiple joint, full body, functional movements. As our friends at CrossFit Los Angeles and CrossFit North say of the workout of the day, It should CRUSH YOU.

10 Components Of Fitness

There are ten recognized general physical skills. They are cardiovascular/respiratory endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, coördination, agility, speed, balance, and accuracy. You are as fit as you are competent in each of these ten skills.

A regimen develops fitness to the extent that it improves each of these ten skills.

Importantly, improvements in endurance, stamina, strength, and flexibility come about through training. Training refers to activity that improves performance through a measurable organic change in the body. (1 – 4 below)  By contrast improvements in coordination, agility, balance, and accuracy come about through practice. Practice refers to activity that improves performance through changes in the nervous system. (7 – 10 below)

Power and speed are adaptations of both training AND practice. (5 & 6 below)

  1. Cardiovascular / respiratory endurance:  The ability of body systems to gather, process, and deliver oxygen.
  2. Stamina:  The ability of body systems to process, deliver, store, and use energy.
  3. Strength:  The ability of a muscular unit, or combination of muscular units, to apply force.
  4. Flexibility:  The ability to maximize the range of motion at a given joint.
  5. Power:  The ability of a muscular unit, or combination of muscular units, to apply greatest force in least time.
  6. Speed:  The ability to reduce the time cycle of a repeated movement.
  7. Coordination:  The ability to combine several distinct movement patterns into a singular distinct movement.
  8. Agility:  The ability to decrease transition time from one movement pattern to another.
  9. Balance:  The ability to control the placement of the body's center of gravity in relation to its support base.
  10. Accuracy:  The ability to control movement in a given direction or at a given intensity.

9 Fundamental Movements

  1. Squat
  2. Front Squat
  3. Overhead Squat
  4. Press
  5. Push Press
  6. Push Jerk
  7. Deadlift
  8. Sumo Deadlift High Pull
  9. Medball Clean

Why Crossfit? Results. Period.

What is the CrossFit Difference?  In gyms and health clubs throughout the world the typical workout consists of isolation movements and extended aerobic sessions. The fitness community from trainers to the magazines has the exercising public believing that lateral raises, curls, leg extensions, sit-ups and the like combined with 20-40 minute stints on the stationary bike or treadmill are going to lead to a great fitness. Well, at CrossFit we work exclusively with compound movements and shorter high intensity cardiovascular sessions. We've replaced the lateral raise with push-press, the curl with pull-ups, and the leg extension with squats. For every long distance effort our athletes will do five or six at short distance.

Why? Because compound or functional movements and high intensity or anaerobic cardio is radically more effective at eliciting nearly any desired fitness result. Startlingly, this is not a matter of opinion but solid irrefutable scientific fact and yet the marginally effective old ways persist and are nearly universal. Our approach is consistent with what is practiced in elite training programs associated with major university athletic teams and professional sports. CrossFit endeavors to bring state-of-the-art coaching techniques to the general public and athlete who haven't access to current technologies, research, and coaching methods.

Pin It on Pinterest