The physical aspect of CrossFit is defined as a core strength and conditioning program. The philosophy of CrossFit is that core strength and conditioning will help you to be generally fit which will contribute to athletic performance in any sport and overall quality of life. CrossFit prescribes constantly varied functional movement performed at relative high intensities to most effectively achieve this broad, general fitness from which excellent performance is built.
Constantly varied represents two aspects of CrossFit. First, we practice movements from a number of disciplines to include gymnastics, Olympic and power lifting, and endurance sports. This allows us to become good at a number of different movements thus improving our readiness for any type of physical challenge. Second, workouts differ from day to day. Everyday sees a new combination of movements, weights, or time intervals. This constantly varied and sometimes unexpected stimulus keeps the body ready for any challenge. In addition, it encourages increased mental engagement in learning and mastering new skills and keeps boredom at bay.
Functional movement uses multiple muscle groups and joints as it is the way humans naturally move. CrossFit uses functional movements, like jumping and squatting, as opposed to isolated movements, like bicep curls. Many of the movements we train, like back squats and deadlifts, are movements used in everyday life as in getting out of bed or picking something up off the floor. Other movements we train are not exact analogs of everyday movements, but they mimic the muscle and neurological patterns necessary for natural movements. These patterns move from core (not arm, legs, head or neck) to extremity (arms, legs, head and neck). CrossFit trains both your muscles and your neurological pathways to be exceptionally efficient at these natural movements so that small, everyday tasks, like bringing in the groceries, are done properly and with ease. Training the body in these patterns can help to prevent injury and elevate our physical capacity as we age.
To be honest, this is what makes CrossFit hard, but it is also where many of the health benefits are. High intensity is exactly what it sounds like. During a CrossFit workout, you will be uncomfortably out of breath, you will feel yourself weaken and your muscles burn, but the trade off is that, once you are done, normal, day- to-day activities are easy. Also, high intensity and resistance exercise are the two most effective ways to activate a healthful neuroendocrine response. This response can, among other things, increase muscle mass, and bone density, and postpone age-related chronic diseases.
Everyone can benefit from this because it is relative intensity that matters. An Olympic athlete’s relative intensity is much higher than my grandmother’s, but they can have the same physical responses doing the same exercises that are scaled to their abilities. Our coaches are skilled in customizing workouts for each individual so that they may safely reach maximum intensity during workouts.
CrossFit is a holistic fitness program, as you increase your performance you increase your health. You lose fat, you gain muscle mass and bone density, you lower your blood pressure, elevate your mood and you increase your flexibility among other measurable benefits. Often we are so focused on losing weight or building muscle that we go too far in one direction, ignoring the whole, physical, and mental state of our person. CrossFit is designed to address needs evenly, and as you perform better at each CrossFit workout, you become healthier.