So you stumbled into the gym, either on your own or after being referred by a friend of yours. You tried us out, loved it, and joined our community, but do you know how CrossFit works?
CrossFit is a training methodology based off of a measurable definition of fitness: "fitness is work capacity over broad time and modal domains". The idea here is very simple, but incredibly sophisticated; fitness means being proficient at a multitude of tasks from rowing to swinging a kettlebell to deadlifting heavy weights to jumping rope to pressing, etc. Being fit means you're able to run for a while, squat properly, and do pull ups. Improving capacity across any of these tasks improves your fitness, and the fittest person is the person who's best across all those domains and more.
Once we have a measurable definition of fitness, the question becomes how to best develop fitness. That's where CrossFit comes in. CrossFit is a method of developing fitness through constantly varied functional movements executed at high intensity. This is where the workouts start to shine and this is usually one of the first things people notice when they first start off at the gym: the movements are different, the workouts change every day, and it seems like we're constantly trying to kill ourselves with the level of effort. Let's break this down:
The real world requires us to be ready for anything. Some days you'll have to run to catch a bus, some days you'll have to put your heavy luggage in the overhead compartment, and some days you'll have to play with your nieces and nephews for a few hours. We've gotta be prepared to apply ourselves across many different tasks and possibilities, so our training has a huge amount of variety.
You may have noticed some workouts are longer or shorter, some are heavier or lighter, some are more gymnastics based and some are more barbell based. We carry heavy things, we lunges with and without weight, we do multiple styles of both weighted and unweighted squats, we jump ropes and jump on boxes, etc. Variety is key, and routine is the enemy of fitness.
Functional movements are those that move large loads long distances as quickly as possible. A back squat moves more weight a longer distance than a leg press does. A pull up requires more body control than a lat pull down. Using large muscle groups together is better than isolating muscles and moving quickly is better than moving slowly. Take a barbell curl and compare it to a hang power clean. The bar moves through the same general range of motion (hip to shoulders), but where the curl is about just using the arms and focusing on the biceps as much as possible, the hang power clean is an explosive shrug of the hips combined with a quick and coordinated drop to catch the bar. Moreover, you can hang power clean more than you can curl with a bar.
In CrossFit, we use the phrase "high intensity" to mean that you're at high levels of effort. This is important because we're looking to get as much work done as possible, and it's really the secret sauce that makes CrossFit so effective.
Lastly, CrossFit is about measurable, observable, and repeatable results. This is why we score our workouts, this is why we ask you to write down your scores, and this is what makes CrossFit such a game changer in the world of fitness and exercise. We can suddenly measure and compare fitness and see very black and white improvements in our individual development: if you repeat a workout from 6 months ago and do it faster with heavier weights, then you've definitely gotten fitter. Period.
I hope this has given you a better idea of what CrossFit is all about. If you have any questions, let me know!
A. EMOTM for 12 Minutes
*Add weight after every 3 minutes
B. Snatch "Nancy"
15 Power Snatch (95/65)
Posted by Armen.