The popularity of CrossFit has really started to explode that last couple of years. People see the amazing athletes that represent the sport at the CrossFit Games and see the incredible things that they can do. Obviously people want to be part of that. Because of this popularity, so many people have an opinion about what CrossFit is and what CrossFit isn’t. Those same people have an opinion on why people should and shouldn’t do it.
Obviously I chose to open a CrossFit gym so it shouldn’t be hard to understand what my opinion might be. But unlike so many who recently started following the Sport of Fitness, I was sold on CrossFit before the games were a part of the picture. I started doing CrossFit in 2005 and here are a couple of things that really stood out to me at the time. And are the things that REALLY still hold up today.
The primary goal of most fitness programs is to make people more fit, but CrossFit took that concept a step further. CrossFit HQ put out the very specific goal to “increase work capacity across broad time and modal domain”. Simply put CrossFit should help people do any task better, no matter how long it takes to do that task. In this simple mission statement. There is no mention of what people should look like. There is no bias towards bigger or smaller people. The programming for CrossFit simply puts a task (time and modal domain) out on the web, and people measure how much they can do. When we are doing what we’re supposed to be doing, we see the numbers getting better. When we have flaws in our approach (nutrition or injury maybe), we see the progress halt or even back slide. This is a very simple, yet elegant and measurable approach to seeing fitness gains.
The article “What is Fitness” really explains this well, and I still refer to it today. It honestly changed my life the first time I read it.
One of the phrases that really stuck out when I started doing CrossFit was how Virtuosity was defined by Coach Glassman (CrossFit Founder/CEO). Virtuosity is performing the common uncommonly well. This hit home at the Level 1 Certification. The approach to take with each movement and each client is to first ensure safety, then consistency, then after those are obtained start to increase the intensity. Simple movements were drilled constantly. Each step showing there was always something that could be done better. These simple movements were the foundation to other more complex movements. The Level 1 Certification and multiple CrossFit Journal Articles also articulate that Safety and Efficiency are not at odds. Many times people see an athlete sacrifice form to move quickly. At first this might give you a better time for your workout, but what are you gaining? Jon Gilson (Again Faster Founder) said it well when he talked about “An athlete with poor form and an ugly three-minute “Fran” will always have an ugly three-minute “Fran”, while a similar athlete with good form will soon find himself pushing the limits of possibility, utilizing the structural advantages of the perfect thruster to close in on two minutes.”
Read Jon Gilson’s Article here:
One of the other BIG reasons I chose CrossFit is it simply brings people together. Growing up I was always on a sports team. I had others that relied on me, pushed me and supported me (as much as high school boys can). As soon as I was in college those team sports went away and a that community did too. CrossFit has more than just replaced that community. Nothing can quite compare to putting everything you have into a workout to find out that you are the last person to finish. Then before you can be down on yourself for being slow, every person in the gym is cheering and supporting you. This community is seen at every level of CrossFit. Each CrossFit gym lives and breaths their community. Members of gyms spend time together outside the gym, spend extra time at the gym just talking about and enjoying life. And each one of them have a similar goal to become better than yesterday. These are the people that will lift you up when you need help and cheer you on when you are are your highest. And when you surround yourself with people that are of the same mind, incredible improvements follow.
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These are just a couple of the reasons I personally chose to help others by using the CrossFit model. The CrossFit Games are fun to watch, but the real fun happens in garages, and affiliates where everyone can be part of something.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]