What Is CrossFit

Many people have come up with many different "definitions" of what CrossFit actually is, and I was about to just take a definition found on the CrossFit main website; but I think that's the beauty of this fitness methodology is that it truly is open to interpretation by its trainers.  So, below you will find three things:  CrossFit Courage's definition of what CrossFit is, the responsibility of all coaches and athletes involved with CrossFit Courage, and a great quote taken from the creator of CrossFit, Greg Glassman.
What Is CrossFit?                                                  
Quite simply, CrossFit is a method of physical and mental training that prepares the trainee for any and all physical challenges.  The goal is to be Generally Physically Prepared.  This means CrossFitters do not focus purely on any one aspect of physical training like an Olympic lifter, a body builder, a cyclist or a runner (to name a few).  The CrossFitter welcomes all aspects of training, utilizing any tool to increase his or her ability to perform the following ten basic skills of athleticism:
  1. Cardiovascular Endurance
  2. Stamina
  3. Strength
  4. Flexibility
  5. Power
  6. Speed
  7. Coordination
  8. Agility
  9. Balance
  10. Accuracy
The bought into concept is, if one can create a balance in all ten of those skills, that person will be overall more athletic.  The more athletic one is, the better, healthier and happier one will be.  Decreased body fat, increased lean muscle, decreased risk of injury and desease, and an overall healthier outlook on life.  The added benefit of training with this goal in mind is, that if you do specialize in a sport (triathlon, running, golf, baseball, football, ultimate frisbee etc.), becoming more athletic will inevitably result in an increased ability to perform the skills required for your particular sport.

To truly achieve general physical preparedness, one must practice a combination of everything functionally physical.  As CrossFit states: "constantly varied functional movement performed at a high intensity".  What this means is that all CrossFitters should:
  • Use their bodies in the all ways: stabilized (isometrically), eccentrically, concentrically, always with the greatest ranges of motion the movements call for, and in control (this is "functionality")
  • Always do different things, be outside, inside, use barbells, dumbbells, sandbags, cinderblocks, trees, climb, crawl, throw, run, swim etc (this is "constantly varied") 
  • Always put forth 100% effort (this is "high intensity")
It is the last point that gets confused a lot.  High intensity does not always mean passed out in the corner in a pool of sweat and vomit.  While sometimes it can mean that, it really just means the amount of effort you put forth based on the demand of the work you are doing.  A 1RM (one repetition max) deadlift for example will be a very, very slow movement, but to lift the weight, one must put forth absolute maximal effort.  The same holds true for holding your body in the plank position for an extended period of time.  Simply put, whatever the demands of the movement, put all your energy in to doing it!

The final goal of CrossFit is to be able to see measurable results.  The CrossFit nerds use this phrase: "increased work capacity across broad time and modal domains".  Makes perfect sense, but usually just confuses people.  What it means is that we all work this hard to see measurable results in everything we do.  If you run a mile, training CrossFit  would help to speed up your mile time, while also helping you use your body more efficiently.  If you ran an 8 minute mile on day one, then trained intelligent CrossFit for a month, it is safe to assume your mile time will be muh faster, and you will feel more in control as you do it (I know someone who increased his mile by 1 minute and 30 seconds in just two weeks with CrossFit style training, not bad).

The final aspect of CrossFit, that I think is not written about very much, but is understood by all CrossFitters, is that it is more than just a way to work out.  It is a lifestyle.  After you begin to work in this manner, with other people, yo begin to get a sense of belonging to a greater entity, of being part of a big family that likes to sweat, eat healthy and laugh together.  This is, without a doubt, the best part of CrossFit, you will never be unsupported.

As you can see, the actual definition of CrossFit, while pretty basic, is also pretty vague and generalized.  But if you keep the base concepts of max effort, many different movements, and sweating with other people, you'll be able to grasp what it really means to be a CrossFitter.

CrossFit Courage Dedication                                

I am dedicated to:
  • Giving each athlete the attention they deserve, and more
  • Supplying each athlete with the means to become healthier and fitter
  • Supplying constant motivation
  • Practicing what I preach
  • keeping things fun
  • Supporting a healthy, fit-minded community
  • Always giving back
I expect all athletes to:
  • Give 100% effort
  • Embrace fitness in some way into their lives
  • Help others 

Elite Fitness In 100 Words Or Less                      
"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 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 or 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."
Coach Glassman (Creator Of CrossFit)