Forging Elite Fitness
CrossFit begins with a belief in fitness. The aim of CrossFit is to forge a broad, general and inclusive fitness. We have sought to build a program that will best prepare trainees for any physical contingency — not only for the unknown, but for the unknowable. After looking at all sport and physical tasks collectively, we asked what physical skills and adaptations would most universally lend themselves to performance advantage. Capacity culled from the intersection of all sports demands would quite logically lend itself well to all sport. In sum, our specialty is not specializing.
CrossFit is many things. Primarily, it’s a fitness regimen developed by Coach Greg Glassman over several decades. He was the first person in history to define fitness in a meaningful, measurable way (increased work capacity across broad time and modal domains). CrossFit itself is defined as that which optimizes fitness (constantly varied functional movements performed at relatively high intensity). CrossFit is also the community that spontaneously arises when people do these workouts together. In fact, the communal aspect of CrossFit is a key component of why it’s so effective.
CrossFit is an evidence-based fitness program. Meaningful statements about safety, efficacy and efficiency — the three most important and interdependent facets of any fitness program — can be supported only by measurable, observable, and repeatable facts, (i.e., data). The CrossFit methodology depends on full disclosure of methods, results and criticisms, and we’ve employed the Internet as our primary means to support these values. Our charter is open source, making co-developers out of participating coaches, athletes and trainers through a spontaneous and collaborative online community. CrossFit is empirically driven, clinically tested and community developed.
We offer the world’s most useful definition of fitness: increased work capacity across broad time and modal domains. Capacity is the ability to do real work, which is measurable using the basic terms of physics (force, distance and time). Life is unpredictable (much more so than sport) so real world fitness must be broad and not specialized, both in terms of duration and type of effort (time and modal domains).
The magic is in the movements. All of CrossFit’s workouts are based on functional movements. These are the core movements of life, found everywhere, and built naturally into our DNA. They move the largest loads the longest distances so they are ideal for maximizing the amount of work done in the shortest time (intensity).
By employing a constantly-varied approach to training, these functional movements at maximum intensity (relative to the physical and psychological tolerances of the participant), lead to dramatic gains in fitness. Intensity is essential for results and is measurable as work/time. The more work you do in less time, the more intense the effort.
In implementation, CrossFit is, quite simply, the “sport of fitness.” We’ve learned that harnessing the natural camaraderie, competition and fun of sport or game yields an intensity that cannot be matched by other means. The late Col. Jeff Cooper observed, “the fear of sporting failure is worse than the fear of death.” It is our observation that men will die for points. Using whiteboards as scoreboards, keeping accurate scores and records, running a clock, and precisely defining the rules and standards for performance, we not only motivate unprecedented output, but derive both relative and absolute metrics at every workout. This data has important value well beyond motivation.
While it challenges the world’s fittest, the CrossFit program is designed for universal scalability, making it the perfect application for any committed individual, regardless of experience. We’ve used our same routines for elderly individuals with heart disease and cage fighters one month out from televised bouts. We scale load and intensity; we don’t change programs.
The needs of Olympic athletes and our grandparents differ by degree, not kind. Our hunters, skiers, mountain bike riders and housewives have found their best fitness from the same regimen.
The CrossFit Games
The CrossFit Games are the world’s premier test to find the Fittest on Earth™. They are world-renowned as a grueling test for the world’s toughest athletes and a thrilling experience for spectators. Since its inception in 2007, the CrossFit Games have become “one of the fastest growing sports in America,” according to Forbes.
There is no other true test of fitness.
The Games were created to fill a void—no other true test of fitness existed. From Ironman triathlons to the NFL, all other athletic events neglected to accurately test fitness. Even decathlons, while testing a relatively wide range of abilities, missed vital components of physical fitness.
The CrossFit Games events are made up of a broad range of functional movements. Functional movements move large loads, long distances, quickly. These movements also form the basis of our exercise program. Make no mistake—the CrossFit Games are designed to test, not train, fitness. The goal is to find the fittest athletes, not to produce an easily replicable workout program.
The Games season is broken up into three stages. The first stage is the Open. This five-week, five-workout competition is held in the winter in CrossFit affiliates and garage gyms around the world. Workouts are released online each Thursday, and athletes have until the following Monday to submit their scores. Anyone who’s at least 14 years old can sign up, and join in the first stage of the CrossFit Games season. This year’s Open kicks off February 25, 2016.
The top athletes from each of the 17 regions qualify for the second stage of the competition—regionals. The regionals are live, three-day competitions that are held over three weekends in May (May 13 – 29, 2016). The top athletes from two or three regions combine, and compete for the five qualifying spots for the CrossFit Games .
The season culminates in the 2016 Reebok CrossFit Games at the StubHub Center in Carson, California on July 19 – 24, 2016. At this point in the season, the field has been whittled down from hundreds of thousands of athletes in the Open to the world’s fittest 40 men, 40 women, 40 teams, 40 teenagers, and 200 masters. The CrossFit Games rank the world’s fittest, and determine who is the Fittest on Earth.