The definition of CrossFit is “constantly varied, high intensity, functional movement”. While this seems to be self explanatory, let’s explore the meaning a bit further…
CONSTANTLY VARIED –Do you work out in the same outfit to the same music each WOD? What about the temperature in the gym? Do you prefer the workout inside or outside?
The CrossFit athlete is able to work with any of these scenarios based on the fact that we are working towards constant variation. The application of variation should be integrated in to every aspect of our training. This idea can also be applied to our approach towards WOD’s; a fixed workout schedule (3 sets of 10 reps or legs-back-arms routine etc.) is counterproductive to the athlete striving for a higher level of fitness. Not to say that you can’t excel at certain exercises or scenarios, but we challenge you to step outside your routine and work on your weakness movement in a new environment.
Imagine the situation arises in your life that requires you to perform a heavy deadlift outside of the gym, are you going to first change into your workout attire and then perform the task?
HIGH INTENSITY: What would a CrossFit WOD be if you had an hour to perform Annie (150 Double Unders and Sit-ups)? It would be easy and ineffective. Intensity is different for any athlete, but it is paramount to a successful workout. Intensity is not always screaming and cursing your way through a workout, but the focused application of drive and energy toward a specific task. Your intensity directly affects those around you and remember that the days you might be lacking intensity, someone else can help you to refocus. (Look for upcoming entries for the Form/Quality vs. Speed/Intensity debate…)
FUNCTIONAL MOVEMENTS: What are we training for?....LIFE! The exercises that we perform in our WOD’s are based on the premise that these will help us in everyday life. Take a day and keep track of the number of times you make a movement that is mirrored in a WOD and you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Or, after a workout reflect on how sore you are and the difficulty in performing day to day tasks. You may be cursing at first, but the reality is you are in the midst of improvement and strengthening these everyday movements.
Preparedness for random physical challenges and performing the simple tasks exceptionally is the main goal for the CrossFit athlete.
While we are just touching on the details that make CrossFit unique, quietly remind yourself of these three things before and after each of you workouts and you may see a renewed sense of direction and application.
By Mike Thurk