What is Fitness?
(Courtesy of The CrossFit Journal)
What Is Fitness and Who Is Fit? Outside Magazine crowned triathlete Mark Allen “the ﬁttest man on earth.” Let’s just assume for a moment that this famous six-time winner of the IronMan Triathlon is the ﬁttest of the ﬁt, then what title do we bestow on the decathlete Simon Poelman who also possesses incredible endurance and stamina, yet crushes Mr. Allen in any comparison that includes strength, power, speed, and coordination?
Perhaps the deﬁnition of ﬁtness doesn’t include strength, speed, power, and coordination though that seems rather odd. Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary deﬁnes “ﬁtness” and being “ﬁt” as the ability to transmit genes and being healthy. No help there. Searching the Internet for a workable, reasonable deﬁnition of ﬁtness yields disappointingly little. Worse yet, the NSCA, the most respected publisher in exercise physiology, in their highly authoritative Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning doesn’t even attempt a deﬁnition.
For CrossFit the specter of championing a ﬁtness program without clearly deﬁning what it is that the program delivers combines elements of fraud and farce. The vacuum of guiding authority has therefore necessitated that CrossFit’s directors provide their own deﬁnition of ﬁtness. That’s what this issue of CrossFit Journal is about, our “ﬁtness.”
CrossFit’s Fitness – Foundations
Courtesy of The CrossFit Journal
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 ﬁtness program but a deliberate attempt to optimize physical competence in each of ten recognized ﬁtness 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 ﬁtness is demanded of military and police personnel, ﬁreﬁghters, and many sports requiring total or complete physical prowess. CrossFit has proven effective in these arenas.
Aside from the breadth or totality of ﬁtness 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.
CrossFit teaches 9 Foundational Movements. The mastery of these 9 movements correlate directly to the efficiency of the exercises performed during your workouts and transfer to the development of other skills you see often in WODs. They are:
- Air Squat
- Front Squat
- Overhead Squat
- Shoulder Press
- Push Press
- Push Jerk
- Sumo Deadlift High Pull
- Medicine Ball Clean
All of these movements are covered in our Intro program to guarantee your comfort in executing them properly and effectively. Other movements/exercises include:
- Pull Ups
- Push Ups
- Sit Ups
- Jump Rope
- Box Jumps
- Gymnastic Ring Work
- Dumbbell Work
- Kettlebell Swings
- Wall Balls
- Static Holds
- And various others
While this list may seem foreign or intimidating, please note that every one of them is modiﬁable and scalable to meet your skill level and needs.