What Is CrossFit?
If you have ever searched online for fitness programs, then you have definitely come across this term. The truth is, CrossFit is a relatively new way of training – CrossFit, Inc was founded in 2000. In just 18 years over 13000 affiliated gyms have sprouted up all over the world. So what is CrossFit exactly and what is all that fuss about it?
Looking For A Definition
What’s nice about CrossFit is that it is a philosophy, that can be found in many daily activities. It is the preparation for the unknown through the lens of functional training, a way of working out that can help us overcome any challenge in our path.
In other words, CrossFit is within you, me and all of us. It can be found in the joy of the kid, who wants to climb, jump and run with no breaks inbetween. It is the sprints a teenager soccer player does in a local tournament match. It is the race of the firefighter against the clock to climb all the way to the third floor of a burning building to save the residents that did not get out in time. It is the stamina of the biker who has to cover incredible distances at Tour de France under intense heat. It is the effort of the triathlete, who has to excel at swimming, rowing and running under time pressure. It is the technique of the rower, who has to maintain a steady rhythm throughout the race in order to have a podium finish. It is even the effort of a senior citizen who takes the stairs all the way to the third floor holding two full bags of groceries. Quite simply, CrossFit is everywhere around us. From the simplest of daily activities to the most gruelling Olympic-level athletic endeavor.
Why are we telling you all this? It’s because CrossFit training builds up skills that prove their usefulness in several areas of our lives without us even realizing most of the time.
As per the formal definition given by its founder Carl Glassman, CrossFit is a training plan that consists of constantly varying high-intensity functional exercises. What does this mean practically? It means that each workout is different from the last not only in regards to the sets and the reps but also to the trials and tribulations you will come across each time. And the best part? It’s infinitely scalable. CrossFit workouts can actually be modified to pose a challenge whether the athlete is a champion in an Olympic sport or an older individual who has not trained for many years. CrossFit can certainly provide something to everyone regardless of their experience or age.
83-year old in the midst of a CrossFit workout (photo by the official CrossFit Instagram account)
Why all this fuss?
Well, that is a simpler question to answer. CrossFit is our individual effort to surpass our old selves. Simultaneously, however, it is its team spirit and the sense of community that pushes us to be better each time we hit the gym. And that is exactly why it has taken over the fitness world by storm.
A major contributor to this is the WOD(Workout Of the Day). The WOD is the daily workout plan, that gets uploaded every day on the official CrossFit website and all members of this community have to complete it. This is a brilliant system. Not only does it make the workout assessable as the athlete has to complete it in a predetermined timeframe and satisfy specific requirements but it also forces the athletes to compare themselves to each other regardless of the geographical distance inbetween! Try to imagine what happens inside a gym whenever groups of friends hit the gym together and try to surpass each other with their performances… We mean it when we say that the sense of community and competitive spirit within CrossFit is unrivalled.
To sum up…
So what is CrossFit? If we had to sum up all of the above in one sentence, we would say that CrossFit is the exploration of the unknown through training with the help of our friends! This is ultimately the secret to its success and its most legitimate definition.