What is CrossFit?
CrossFit is the principal strength and conditioning program for many police academies and tactical operations teams, military special operations units, champion martial artists, and hundreds of other elite and professional athletes worldwide.
The CrossFit prescription is “constantly varied, high-intensity, functional movement.” No aspect of functional movements is more important than their capacity to move large loads over long distances, and to do so quickly.
- Constantly Varied: You will rarely do the same workout twice at CrossFit. By doing something different every time you work out you keep the body guessing and eliminate plateaus and boredom common in traditional programs. Certain “benchmark” workouts, however, are repeated every 2-3 months to measure performance increases.
- Functional movements: Our goal is to prepare our athletes for life’s obstacles. We do that by using training that mimics life – running, jumping, throwing, squatting, pulling, pushing.
- High intensity: Performing vigorous exercise in a high intensity way is the most effective way to elicit positive changes in performance and body composition. We do this by timing most of our workouts and completing them as fast as safely possible.
CrossFit increases work capacity across broad time and modal domains. This is a discovery of great import and has come to motivate our programming and refocus our efforts. This far-reaching increase in work capacity supports our initially stated aims of building a broad, general, and inclusive fitness program.
CrossFit’s Ten recognized general physical skills
If your goal is optimum physical competence then all the general physical skills must be considered. You are as fit as you are competent in each of these ten skills.
- Cardiovascular/respiratory endurance - The ability of body systems to gather, process, and deliver oxygen.
- Stamina - The ability of body systems to process, deliver, store, and utilize energy.
- Strength - The ability of a muscular unit, or combination of muscular units, to apply force.
- Flexibility - the ability to maximize the range of motion at a given joint.
- Power - The ability of a muscular unit, or combination of muscular units, to apply maximum force in minimum time.
- Speed - The ability to minimize the time cycle of a repeated movement.
- Coordination - The ability to combine several distinct movement patterns into a singular distinct movement.
- Agility - The ability to minimize transition time from one movement pattern to another.
- Balance - The ability to control the placement of the bodies center of gravity in relation to its support base.
- Accuracy - The ability to control movement in a given direction or at a given intensity.
Importantly, improvements in endurance, stamina, strength, and flexibility come about through training. Training refers to activity that improves performance through a measurable organic change in the body. By contrast improvements in coordination, agility, balance, and accuracy come about through practice. Practice refers to activity that improves performance through changes in the nervous system. Power and speed are adaptations of both training and practice.
Courtesy of CrossFit Inc.
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