What is CrossFit? You could ask a bunch of people and I’m sure you will get a lot of the same responses, and I think a large portion of these responses will circulate around “lifting” or weightlifting. Not the average Joe sense of weightlifting but the olympic style of weightlifting involving the clean, clean and jerk, and of course the snatch (insert childish giggle) are some of the staples of the CrossFit world. While these are extremely important to the world of CrossFit, for reasons ranging from strength to skill, its seems that they are starting to overshadow what “CrossFit” is really about. We all get caught up in PRs, insane displays of strength with a barbell, and the wonderful world of Instagram; and because of this I think the true idea of what CrossFit is becomes lost behind the stack of 45s on the bar.
So what is CrossFit? I can tell you, definitively, what it is NOT. CrossFit is NOT a weightlifting competition, and this is evident especially in the CrossFit Games that just past. While moving a large load one time may be required at some point (and the ability to do so is always nice), it is just the smallest piece of what makes up the CrossFit pie. (Side note – if weightlifting is your thing and CrossFit helped introduce you to it, and at some point you want to pursue that, then by all means pursue that and enjoy it, but the line between the two needs to be drawn) If you are a “CrossFitter,” stop being so focused on trying to build the most insane 1RM and start focusing on the whole pie! CrossFit as a fitness routine is about “Increasing work capacity across broad time and modal domain,” i.e. moving yourself, as well as load, many times, faster and for longer. CrossFit as a sport holds these same ideals, highlighting metabolic condition and skill as the most important part of determining the most “Fit” athletes in the world.
Then why are 99% of IG (Instagram for you less tech savvy folks) videos #CrossFit have something to do with a lift? 1. It’s a controlled time and space so its easier to take your own video in the allotted 15 second span 2. No one wants to see your mid Fran pain face 3. The above stated over emphasis on Olympic Lifting 4. It looks cool, and who doesn’t want to be a cool kid?
If you are a “CrossFitter” here is what you need to do well…. EVERYTHING! Have great conditioning, develop great skills, be strong enough (absolute strength, “1RM,” counts for nothing in almost every WOD), understand your own capacity and where you can take risks to push, so on and so forth you get the idea. Understand that this wonderful thing we all love called “CrossFit” is more than just being strong, its about being “strong” in every area of what we consider fitness. Now get out there and put the time in to be a more fit version of yourself!