What is CrossFit Really About?


This November marks five years since attending my first CrossFit Level 1 seminar. Where does the time go?! The two-day seminar is a chance to learn the basic movements that we use in training, and to get an understanding for what the CrossFit methodology is all about.

CrossFit’s model is simple: constantly varied, high intensity, functional movement. This seems pretty straight forward, but there are many ways that this simple definition could be interpreted. I thought I would share what I find interesting about the definition, and how we put it to use at TwinTown.

Constantly Varied – The more wide-ranging your training, the greater variety of applications you will be able to use it in. Continuing to work on only what you’re already good at will certainly keep you progressing there, but your overall results and abilities would be more favorable if you were to spend some of your training time on what you are not good at.

CrossFit has been around for roughly 15 years now. That’s not an eternity, but it is enough time to gather data and analyze the results. What they (and we) have seen is that specializing in one area is only beneficial for so long.

Want to be able to move well, handle heavy weight with finesse, move quickly when needed, and be the most confident you can be? Well then, trust your programming, vary your training, and don’t hide. Cherry picking your workouts is only holding you back.

High Intensity – Remember your first CrossFit workout? I know I do. When you are first starting out, intensity is not hard to find. Most of us come from a background where workouts were well within our comfort zones, so pushing ourselves even a little bit changed the stimulus a lot.

A common pitfall in progressing is not adjusting your drive as your abilities increase. This looks different from person to person, but the idea that you need to challenge your capacity is a constant. As you’re starting out, just showing up to class will lead to improvements. Not getting too comfortable with where you’re at is what will keep that progress coming.

Functional Movement – I was devastated to learn that the skull crusher does not fall into this category. It’s cool though, I will get over it. Functional movements are the ways we get through our day-to-day lives. We might not be very good at them, but we do use them!

When you sit down you squat; when you pick something up you deadlift; when you put a heavy box on a shelf you push press, and when you pick up your child you snatch (just kidding – please don’t snatch your child!). We train these movements in the gym so you can perform them well in life, stay strong as you age, and avoid injury.

If you want to get get strong in ways that will allow you to function well, practice them. Your hour at the gym is not just an opportunity for you to get sweaty, but a chance for you to chip away at making yourself a more capable person. Dig in and embrace it.