What is CrossFit?
CrossFit is a core strength and conditioning program. We have designed our program to elicit as broad an adaptational response as possible. CrossFit is not a specialized fitness program but a deliberate attempt to optimize physical competence in each of ten recognized fitness domains. They are Cardiovascular and Respiratory endurance, Stamina, Strength, Flexibiltiy, Power, Speed, Coordination, Agility, Balance, and Accuracy.
The CrossFit prescription is “constantly varied, high-intensity, functional movement”. Functional movements are universal motor recruitment patterns; they are performed in a wave of contraction from core to extremity; and the are ompound movements-i.e., they are multi-joint. They are natural, effective, and efficient locomotors of the body and external objects. But no aspect of functional movements is more important than their capacity to move large loads over long distances, and to do so quickly. Collectively, these three attributes (load, distance, and speed) uniquely qualify functional movements for the production of high power. Intensity is defined exactly as power, and intensity is the independent variable most commonly associated with maximizing favorable adaptation to exercise. Recognizing that the breadth and depth f the adaptation it elicits, our prescription of functionality and intensity is 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.
The CrossFit Program was developed to enhance an individual’s competeny at all physical tasks. Our athletes are trained to perform successfully at multiple, diverse, and randomized physical challenges. This fitness is demanded of military and police personnel, firefighters, and many sports requiring total or complete physical prowess. CrossFit has proven effective in these arenas.
Aside from the breadth or totality of fitness the CrossFit Program seeks, our program is distinctive, if not unique, in its focus on maximizing neuroendocrine response, developing power, cross-training with multiple training modalities, constant training and practice with functional movements, and the development of successful diet strategies.
We train our athletes in gymnastics from rudimentary to advanced movements garnering great capacity at controlling the body both dynamically and statically while maximizing strength to weight ratio and flexibility. We also place a heavy emphasis on Olympic Weightlifting having seen this sport’s unique ability to develop an athletes’ explosive power, control of external objects, and mastery of critical motor recruitment patterns. And finally we encourage and assist our athletes to explore a variety of sports as a vehicle to express and apply their fitness.
Is This For Me?
Absolutely! Your needs and the Olympic athlete’s differ by degree not kind. Increased power, strength, cardiovascular and respiratory endurance, flexibility, stamina, coordination, agility, balance, and coordination are each important to the world’s best athletes and to our grandparents. The amazing truth is that the very same methods that elicit optimal response in the Olympic or professional athlete will optimize the same response in the elderly. Of course, we can’t load your grandmother with the same squatting weight that we’d assign an Olympic skier, but they both need to squat. In fact, squatting is essential to maintaining functional independence and improving fitness. Squatting is just one example of a movement that is universally valuable and essential yet rarely taught to any but the most advanced of athletes. This is a tragedy. Through painstakingly thorough coaching and incremental load assignment CrossFit has been able to teach anyone who can care for themselves to perform safely and with maximum efficacy the same movements typically utilized by professional coaches in elite and certainly exclusive environments.
Who Has Benefited from CrossFit?
Many professional and elite athletes are participating in the CrossFit Program. Prize- fighters, cyclists, surfers, skiers, tennis players, triathletes and others competing at the highest levels are using the CrossFit approach to advance their core strength and conditioning, but that’s not all. CrossFit has tested its methods on the sedentary, overweight, pathological, and elderly and found that these special populations met the same success as our stable of athletes. We call this “bracketing”. If our program works for Olympic Skiers and overweight, sedentary homemakers then it will work for you.
What is the CrossFit Method?
The CrossFit method is to establish a hierarchy of effort and concern that builds as follows:
- Diet – lays the molecular foundations for fitness and health.
- Metabolic Conditioning – builds capacity in each of three metabolic pathways, beginning with aerobic, then lactic acid, and then phosphocreatine pathways.
- Gymnastics – establishes functional capacity for body control and range of motion.
- Weightlifting and throwing – develop ability to control external objects and produce power.
- Sport – applies fitness in competitive atmosphere with more randomized movements and skill mastery.
What if I don’t have time for all this?
It is a common sentiment to feel that because of the obligations of career and family that you don’t have the time to become as fit as you might like. Here’s the good news: world class, age group strength and conditioning is obtainable through an hour a day six days per week of training. It turns out that the intensity of training that optimizes physical conditioning is not sustainable past forty-five minutes to an hour. Athletes that train for hours a day are developing skill or training for sports that include adaptations inconsistent with elite strength and conditioning. Past one hour, more is not better!
(The above information was borrowed from the CrossFit Inc. Journal. Click here to view entire article.)