When thinking about how to explain what CrossFit® is, we like to start with what CrossFit is not:
CrossFit is NOT…
- …for people expecting results without hard work
- …for people unwilling to try new things
- …for people afraid to leave their egos at home
Greg Glassman, a former gymnast, founded CrossFit®, Inc. in 2000. In his years coaching elite athletes, Coach Glassman found that the best way to achieve optimal fitness was not through specialization but rather through “constantly varied, functional movement, performed at high intensity.” In short, this means combining elements of Olympic weightlifting, gymnastics, sprinting, rowing and core conditioning to improve overall flexibility, strength, speed, endurance and agility.
“Constantly Varied” means that every day brings a different workout (or “WOD”), incorporating any combination of these elements mentioned above. At EVF, you will jump rope, climb ropes, swing kettle bells and more. You will work at pull ups, muscle ups, hand stands, pushups, and hand-stand pushups. You will practice squats, dips, cleans, jerks, snatches and deadlifts as well as rowing, running and box jumps. Each day will bring different exercises always specifically designed to work on different muscle groups and/or cardiovascular strength.
“Functional Movement” refers to maintaining the safest, most-efficient position to power through a movement. There are plenty of misconceptions out there about CrossFit; the truth is much of what we do in our workouts mirrors activities in our daily lives. To the uninitiated, flipping a tire looks like crazy, “he-man” work. But if you’ve ever had to move a mattress up a flight of stairs, you already know the movement. Cleaning a medicine ball may appear odd, but consider what your body does when you place your suitcase in a plane’s overhead compartment. If you’ve ever lifted a heavy bag of dog food or peat moss, no one needs to tell you the importance of arching your back. Our team will help you maintain the correct position in a workout – both to keep you and other safe as well as to maximize efficiency.
“High Intensity” is a concept that at first can be difficult for new CrossFitters to grasp. For many people, a workout’s efficiency is only proportionate to the amount of hours spent in the gym. You will never hear a CrossFitter say, “I had a great workout; I was in the gym for four hours!” You are much more likely to hear, “I finished in 8 minutes.” People come here skeptical that a high-intensity workout, done in a fraction of the time as they are used to, can lead to faster, better results. But results don’t lie.
The beauty of our sport is that we are all in it together, motivating one another. It’s a sport where the person last to finish the workout receives more high fives than the person first to finish.
CrossFit®’s mission is “to fuel a revolution in fitness based on the pursuit of function.”
It’s the People, People!
At most big box gyms there is no need or desire to get to know the people next to you on the elliptical trainer or Stairmaster®. In any case, they’re probably too busy watching a movie on their iPad or reading a magazine. CrossFit, on the other hand, is one hundred percent all about the people you train with every day. As CrossFit increasingly becomes a bigger part of your life, so, too, may your fellow CrossFitters.
World Class Fitness in 100 Words
- Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar. Keep intake to levels that will support exercise but not body fat.
- Practice and train all major lifts: Deadlift, clean, squat, presses, C&J and snatch. Similarly master the basics of gymnastics: Pull ups, dips, rope climb, push-ups, sit-ups, presses to handstand, pirouettes, flips, splits, and holds. Bike, run, swim, row, etc, hard and fast.
- Five to Six days per week mix these elements in as many combinations and patterns as creativity will allow. Routine is the enemy. Keep workouts short and intense.
- Regularly learn and play new sports.
10 Domains of Fitness
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. 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. Power and speed are adaptations of both training and practice
A Theoretical Hierarchy of Development
A theoretical hierarchy exists for the development of an athlete.
It starts with nutrition and moves to metabolic conditioning, gymnastics, weightlifting, and finally sport. This hierarchy largely reflects foundational dependence, skill, and to some degree, time ordering of development. The logical flow is from molecular foundations, cardiovascular sufficiency, body control, external object control, and ultimately mastery and application. This model has greatest utility in analyzing athletes’ shortcomings or difficulties. We don’t deliberately order these components but nature will. If you have a deficiency at any level of “the pyramid” the components above will suffer.
The Fitness Continuum
This is another aspect to the CrossFit brand of fitness that is of great interest and immense value to us.
We have observed that nearly every measurable value of health can be placed on a continuum that ranges from sickness to wellness to fitness. See table above. Though tougher to measure, we would even add mental health to this observation. Depression is clearly mitigated by proper diet and exercise, i.e., genuine fitness.
We are happy to talk with you more about our program! Contact us and we’ll get back to you within 24 hours.