You’ve finished your first Foundations Sessions and perhaps have attended a few classes by now. You can tell that CrossFit is fun, welcoming, different, and HARD – but what exactly is it?

What separates CrossFit from and makes it superior to other forms of fitness? Why do people say, “It’s more than a workout?”

What is CrossFit?

CrossFit takes on a special meaning to every athlete at our shop (yes, you are an athletes!). CrossFit is a no-nonsense strength and conditioning program geared towards general physical preparedness (GPP). General physical preparedness simply means your fitness program is broad, general, and inclusive. You’re ready to take on any task or challenge that life, sport, or recreational activity throw your way.

The method we use to achieve GPP is constantly varied, functional movements, executed at high intensity.

CrossFit is constantly varied, functional movements, executed at high intensity and this is the foundation of our program – let’s break it down!

Constantly Varied

Because the unvaried and predictable is uninspiring, unrewarding, and does not yield results!

Much of what we see in modern fitness routines involve machines, repetitive motions, or gimmicks. This opens the door to boredom and plateau, injury, and long-term decline. Routine is the enemy. A fixed and predictable training program never even scrapes the surface of a person’s human potential.

A constantly varied program – one that develops an athlete’s abilities in speed, strength, agility, accuracy, balance, coordination, stamina, endurance, flexibility, and power – delivers a general physical preparedness for what life, career, sport, and aging throw at us.

Functional Movements

Because weight machines, ellipticals, and Bosu balls are not how we use our bodies outside the walls of the gym. 

Functional movements are universal to all humans. They are compound movements (multi-joint) that are generated by moving from core to extremity and occur naturally in everyday life. These movements were not invented in a gym, they were natural to human movement and codified for the gym. A classic example of a functional movement is the squat. Humans utilize the squat in life, career, and sport, and must maintain it such that it is accessible to them when needed.

Functional movements are vital for fitness and health in the immediate and long-term. In the present, functional movements provide highly effective ways to deliver an elite level of fitness to all ability levels. While getting in great shape now may be your goal, it is also important to think about the long term. Individuals who maintain strength as they age are far less likely to lose the ability to stand up easily, walk up the stairs, or carry their groceries.

Imagine the 70-year old with a half body-weight back squat – she is far less likely to fall and break a hip than her peer who can not stand from a chair. Functional movements provide an acute transference to everyday life. A deadlift is picking up a bag of mulch. A press is putting a bike on a roof rack. A squat is picking up your child. Transference from exercises to real life is paramount.

High Intensity

Because power output determines results!

Our program functions in the realm of high intensity. Functional movements enable us to move large loads, long distances; intensity allows us to maximize results. At high-intensity, we blur the line between “cardio” and strength training, maximizing the body’s adaptation and producing measurable results.

Learn More on the CrossFit Journal

Want to learn more? We highly recommend that you read Foundations – an article published in 2004. It’s practically mandatory reading for all CrossFitters!