What is CrossFit?
At its core it is a GPP (general physical preparedness) program. It’s defined as “Constantly varied, functional movements performed at relatively high intensity across broad time and modal domains”.
What the heck does that mean? Let’s break it down:
- Constantly varied (but not random) means that we have infinite combinations of movements, rep ranges and time domains that we strive to practice and gradually and continually improve upon.
- Functional Movements mean that the majority of our training is done with movements that translate well into real world activities–more emphasis on multi joint movements, free weights, etc and less emphasis on single joint, isolation movements and machines.
- Relatively high intensity means that we lift heavy, move fast and take our level of exertion to its 10/10 maximum level on a regular basis, relative to our own individual and unique strength, conditioning, skill and experience levels.
- Broad time domains means we are not specializing in either sprints or long endurance–we do it all from very short / heavy efforts (i.e. 100m dash, 1 RM lifts) through long efforts (Murph, marathon run, row or swim) and everything in between.
- Broad modal domains means that we also do not specialize in a single or small set of movements, single sports and/or skills. We are constantly and gradually striving to develop virtuosity and increased skill and capacity in the “10 general physical skills” of CrossFit using all types of modalities (body weight calisthenics, gymnastics, resistance training, monostructural conditioning, etc). We specialize in not specializing!
CrossFit Journal Article From 2002 – What is Fitness?
Of course, as most of us are aware, but some of our newer folks may be less familiar with, CrossFit has grown beyond being simply a methodology for lifelong fitness training. It has also evolved into The Sport of Fitness with The CrossFit Games and other functional fitness competitions, locally and across the globe. We feel that it’s necessary to help our member athletes and the general public to have a solid understanding of the difference between CrossFit for health and CrossFit for sport because this is where CrossFit has sometimes received a bad rep as “unsafe”.
CrossFit for GPP, Health and Fitness, like we do in our typical 60 minute Class, is incredibly safe when compared to other common training methodologies (“Is CrossFit Safe?”). When done at least 3 days per week, our classes are sufficient to achieve the minimum recommended physical activity requirements (ACSM Standards) for adults. We recommend gradually building up over time to training 5-6 days per week in order to go beyond the bare minimums, while also observing adequate sleep/recovery, hydration, nutrition and stress / lifestyle management routines in order to truly optimize your health, wellness and fitness.
THE CROSSFIT PYRAMID
People that are following our program 5-6 days per week and also optimizing those other areas of their lifestyle should be able to not only achieve optimal wellness, but they may begin to post CrossFit / Functional Fitness results that are impressive in local competitions or this routine may allow them to qualify for the newly established CrossFit Quarter Finals.
For those with competitive CrossFit ambitions at the CrossFit Quarter Final level or beyond (regionals, sanctionals, CrossFit Games, professional athletes, etc), the training is no longer simply about optimizing health and fitness. It goes beyond health and fitness (this focus on sport and professionalization is also where there can be increased likelihood of injury just like with any recreationally competitive or professional sport where participants are pushing the bounds of what their bodies are capable of).
Typically, training requirements at this level are increased beyond the 60 minute GPP class to a total of between 75 minutes to 180+ minutes per day, 5-7 days per week including additional, more specialized training in Olympic Weightlifting, Gymnastics and both mixed modal and monostructural Conditioning (engine building) to meet the minimum strength, skill and conditioning requirements of the “unknown and unknowable” at the recreational competitive or elite/professional level of the sport of CrossFit and functional fitness competition.
Want to learn more about the history of CrossFit–for health or competition? Let us know! We love talking about this stuff and love learning more about each of our individual member’s goals.
New to CrossFit and MouseTrap? Head to MouseTrapFitness.com to sign up for a 15 minute free zoom video call where we will discuss your goals and our programs.
Yours In Health,
*Credit to CrossFit.com for the methodology, history and definitions paraphrased above.