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What Actually Is CrossFit

 “Difficulties strengthen the mind, as labor does the body”

In the world of fitness, there are many modalities. There is weight training, bodyweight or calisthenics, cardio, and many others. Any of these will get you ”fit”, but depending on what your true goals are you have to tailor your program around those goals. Enter CrossFit. CrossFit is defined as constantly varied, functional movements, executed at high intensity. Lots of words that mean nothing if you do not know it’s a purpose in the world of fitness. Let’s dive in.

CrossFit is described as a core strength and conditioning program and a general physical preparedness program or GPP. What this means is we encompass everything and anything in our program. On our fitness pyramid we have at our base nutrition, then metabolic conditioning, then gymnastics, then weightlifting and throwing, and finally sport. CrossFit is a core is designed to build a base of fitness to prepare you for anything life throws at you. Now the common misconception is The CrossFit Games are CrossFit and they are not. I stress this at every On-Ramp (foundations course) that I do. If you just do CrossFit workouts you will only be good at CrossFit. CrossFit workouts, or metcons as they are known in the community, are designed to create a base of fitness to get you ready for everything else in life. If you only do metcons you will only be good at metcons. If you want to be good at “sport” then you have to do what is called special physical preparedness (SPP). Meaning, if you want to run a 5K or 10K you have to run along with your metcons. If you want to be good at football, you have to practice football. CrossFit creates that base of fitness that allows you to be able to walk into SPP training with a base of fitness already. I can not train strict CrossFit style metcons and expect to just be able to be great at weightlifting. I need to practice the skills of weightlifting to be able to compete in weightlifting. Now if I want to be good at CrossFit and CrossFit style competitions then I just need to practice CrossFit. But again this style of training will only make me good at CrossFit and not make me better at everything else. I have to train in my sport to be better at my sport of choice. Think of any professional sport. CrossFit is the perfect supplement to your training during the offseason but as you get closer and closer to in-season training, you must switch to sport-specific training. CrossFit will create that base of fitness that you need to jump right into that style of training. This is an important concept to understand as many fail to realize that you have to eventually switch to SPP. Now for the general population who aren’t trying to be good at any particular sport, CrossFit is a great program for you because again it will get you ready for anything life throws at you and make you good at anything but it will not make you great at any specific sport.

Fitness has many meanings. Whether you do yoga, Pilates, HIIT, Spartan Races, or CrossFit you can become fit as long as you follow a basic idea. Focus on your nutrition and get moving. It doesn’t have to be complicated. I hope that I can inspire people to be fit by doing CrossFit as a sport, as a way to get ready for their sport in the offseason, and just to be a healthier individual in everyday life. CrossFit isn’t the only method but it is a great tool to use.

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