What is CrossFit;
Can Everyone Really Do It?
We've all heard it: "Anyone can do CrossFit". Sure, by definition, everyone really can do CrossFit.
1. a strength and conditioning program consisting of constantly varied functional movements executed at a high intensity across broad time and modal domains
Often under-explained is that CrossFit, by definition, is a strength and conditioning program that consists of exercises mimicking movement patterns that we often use in our day to day life. This is the "FUNCTIONAL FITNESS" piece of the definition outlined above. There is no set workout routine like Mondays are "chest and tricep" or Thursdays are "leg" days because in most cases and on most days we do multiple exercises that will hit most of your entire body. This allows us to train the way our bodies in the way we naturally move, not just target training.
The "CONSTANTLY VARIED" piece comes into play when we look at the different types of functional exercises we incorporate into our work outs. The varieties of movements we utilize span across several exercise modalities which include powerlifting, weightlifting, monostructural and calisthenics (this is the modal domains part in the definition of CrossFit) . When we mix up the movements in our programming we end up doing a lot of different things so we don't get bored. Here are a few examples of each:
Powerlifting: we sit down and get up or pick things up from the ground everyday, these are your squats and dead lifts
Weightlifting: using our hips to generate power is a big part of weightlifting, so to put it into context, have you ever lifted a heavy suitcase or a box of books and needed to heave it up into your trunk or a high surface? That is us using our hips to generate power.
Monostructural: often misconstrued as "cardio" (which we will touch on this more in another blog post), these movements are things like running, rowing, skipping, biking.
Calisthenics: otherwise known as gymnastics. These are our body weight movements and some might say these are probably the most important movements. These movements allow us to build the strength to control our body in space (and helps us with body spatial awareness)
Lastly, we come to the "HIGH INTENSITY". This is probably the most subjective of the three. Intensity can be described as strength, speed, power, force and the list goes on. So take speed for instance, what is fast for one person may not be fast for another or in terms of strength, what is heavy for one person may not be heavy for another and vice versa. This is why we talk about intensity in percentages here at Black Tusk. If 100% of your capacity means you are sprinting, emptying the tank and you have nothing left afterwards, this type is intensity is a 10/10 hard. If you are maintaining a pace that is manageable for longer periods of time, it might only be 70% of your capacity or a 7/10 hard. As long as you are working at the relative intensity level your coaches are asking for, you are doing CrossFit.
BUT CAN EVERYONE ACTUALLY DO IT?
In short, yes. Everyone can absolutely do it; EVERYONE can participate in constantly varied functional movements executed at a high intensity. The caveat is that for some people CrossFit in a group class setting might not be the best idea. In some cases and scenarios, individuals may require more time and attention than others. This can be for a variety of reasons: pre-existing injuries, poor mobility or some people just need more time and attention generally speaking. So can everyone do CrossFit? Yes. Should everyone do CrossFit in a group setting? Not necessarily.
Book a No Sweat Intro with us and find out what your best fit is!