The Foundational Mission of the CrossFit Program


I’m certainly not trying to sell anything here, but as I continue to try bits and pieces of an exercise philosophy as different as CrossFit’s, I’ll be sharing bits and pieces of what I’m digesting, perhaps for others to comment or critique with their own thoughts of it’s viability

CrossFit is a core strength and conditioning program. We have designed our program to elicit as broad an adaptational response as possible. CrossFit is not a specialized fi tness program but a deliberate attempt to optimize physical competence in each of ten recognized fi tness domains. They are Cardiovascular and Respiratory endurance, Stamina, Strength, Flexibility, Power, Speed, Coordination, Agility, Balance, and Accuracy.

The CrossFit Program was developed to enhance an individual’s competency at all physical tasks. Our athletes are trained to perform successfully at multiple, diverse, and randomized physical challenges. This fi tness is demanded of military and police personnel, fi refi ghters, and many sports requiring total or complete physical prowess. CrossFit has proven effective in these arenas.

Aside from the breadth or totality of fi tness the CrossFit Program seeks, our program is distinctive, if not unique, in its focus on maximizing neuroendocrine response, developing power, cross-training with multiple training modalities, constant training and practice with functional movements, and the development of successful diet strategies. Our athletes are trained to bike, run, swim, and row at short, middle, and long distances guaranteeing exposure and competency in each of the three main metabolic pathways.

We train our athletes in gymnastics from rudimentary to advanced movements garnering great capacity at controlling the body both dynamically and statically while maximizing strength to weight ratio and fl exibility. We also place a heavy emphasis on Olympic Weightlifting having seen this sport’s unique ability to develop an athletes’ explosive power, control of external objects, and mastery of critical motor recruitment patterns. And finally we encourage and assist our athletes to explore a variety of sports as a vehicle to express and apply their fitness.

One of the things that keeps me looking around the next corner and coming back to try more of the program are statements like these:

Well, at CrossFit we work exclusively with compound movements and shorter high intensity cardiovascular sessions. We’ve replaced the lateral raise with pushpress, the curl with pull-ups, and the leg extension with squats. For every long distance effort our athletes will do five or six at short distance. Why? Because compound or functional movements and high intensity or anaerobic cardio is radically more effective at eliciting nearly any desired fitness result.

Anaerobic activity also benefits cardiovascular function and decreases body fat. Anaerobic activity is unique in its capacity to dramatically improve power, speed, strength, and muscle mass. Anaerobic conditioning allows us to exert tremendous forces over a very brief time. Perhaps the aspect of anaerobic conditioning that bears greatest consideration is that anaerobic conditioning will not adversely affect aerobic capacity! In fact, properly structured, anaerobic activity can be used to develop a very high level of aerobic fitness without the muscle wasting consistent with high volume aerobic exercise!

That’s enough for now…. I’m still absorbing other information (e.g. the effectiveness of Olympic-Style lifting to induce positive neuroendocrine responses in the body… kinda like steroids without the negative side-effects)

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