What is crossfit?

While CrossFit might seem to some like the newest trend in a line of cultish fitness fads, it is actually a well-researched, scientific approach to increasing and measuring fitness. It is not designed to get you “shredded” in just 14 minutes a day or to lose 10 pounds in a week. It is, in fact, a lifestyle approach to to measuring and increasing an individual’s overall fitness.

Founder Greg Glassman sought to find a way to define fitness in a meaningful and measurable way. Looking at the functional movements humans need to perform in day-to-day life (such as picking up a baby, putting a box on a high shelf, etc…), Glassman (or Coach, as he is fondly called) set certain key areas of measurement:

  • Cardiovascular and Respiratory Endurance
  • Stamina
  • Strength
  • Flexibility
  • Power
  • Speed
  • Coordination
  • Agility
  • Balance
  • Accuracy

Movements are put together in a way that works on the key areas listed above and gives you a total body workout. CrossFit promotes constantly varied training at relatively high intensity. Whiteboards, clocks, and rep schemes are used as a way to measure how much work is being done in a certain amount of time. Because workouts are measurable and repeated you can easily track your improvement (aka your increasing fitness over time).

One of the best things about CrossFit has to be the amazing community that is involved in the sport. I have never met a single CrossFitter who was not insanely positive and encouraging. Whether I am the first or the last person to complete a workout I get so much love and encouragement. That will keep me coming back no matter how sore I am. There is a reason why everyone who does CrossFit loves to talk about it–because they LOVE doing it! CrossFit is endlessly scalable and really is for everyBODY. I came into it not even able to do a single push up or burpee. Through encouragement and proper technique I have learned so much and absolutely become fitter.

people giving encouragement

Below is a CrossFit workout that I recently did. As always, I list the WOD (workout of the day) as it is posted on crossfit.com and then list it the everyBODY (aka modified) way.

daily wodThis workout comes from the CrossFit Games, which happened this past weekend in Carson, CA. The Masters division (age 40+) completed the following workout:

The Crossfit.com Way: Masters Event 1

For time:
8 deadlifts
40 GHD sit-ups
80 double-unders
4 rope climbs
80 wall-ball shots
4 rope climbs
80 double-unders
40 GHD sit-ups
8 deadlifts

Men use 365 lb. for deadlifts and a 20-lb. ball.
Women use 245 lb. for deadlifts and a 14-lb. ball.

The everyBODY Way:

For time:
4 rounds of-
12 deadlifts
15 thrusters
20 reps knee ups (knee should make 90 degree angle. Right leg, left leg counts as 1 rep)
15 cable pull-downs
Farmers carry to the end of the room and back

Some tips:

  • For the deadlifts, choose a weight that is heavy but not too heavy. You don’t want to injure yourself, and keep in mind that you have 4 rounds of this. Also remember to not round your back as you pull.
  • I used a 10lb. weight for the thrusters. Start by holding the weight close to your chest near the collarbone. Squat as low as you can while keeping your heels to the floor and your chest up. As you come up from the squat, push the weight overhead while moving your head out of the way. Return it to your chest for the starting position.
  • For the farmers carry, grab a dumbbell in each hand and get walking. The goal is to keep your core stabilized.
  • It is better to start off with a lower weight and work your way up.


Let’s create community! Post your time and any additional modifications or questions you have to the comments.