What is CrossFit?
From the early 70’s to the late 90’s, the mainstream fitness industry catered towards two distinct groups. There were the endurance athletes, and those who trained to build superhuman physiques. Outside of the mainstream, there were handfuls of weightlifters, strongmen, and gymnasts training in garages, who predated the fitness industry. Although these people were capable of superhuman feats, their training was generally not considered important by the masses. Most people who exercised did not venture far outside of their routines, but rather became specialized toward specific tasks.
CrossFit was founded in 2001 and would soon turn the entire fitness industry on it’s ear by giving the word “fitness” a meaning greater than what you looked like or how far you could run, and by giving us a training model by which to maximize general physical preparedness. The CrossFit modality of training proved to the world that the fittest person is the one who can perform the widest variety of physical challenges at short, medium and long durations with the highest proficiency and output. The elite endurance athletes, who were previously accepted as the fittest of all athletes, became exposed for their lacking in capacities outside of their one area of expertise. The ability to perform only one specific task well, while being deficient in most all other physical capacities would no longer suffice for true fitness. CrossFit also showed us that form follows function in the sense that the best aesthetic results are achieved by attaining the highest levels of strength and metabolic conditioning.
The explosive growth of CrossFit has changed how the entire industry views and trains for fitness. The undeniable results produced by the program have given new birth to the old school garage training methods, as they are now becoming widespread if not mainstream. The CrossFit community itself is filled with some of the most passionate and skilled coaches in the world. These people share a wealth of knowledge and creativity that is unmatched by any other organization. The true beauty CrossFit is that the training can be scaled or modified to match any ability level ranging from elite athletes and Special Forces military personnel to children and grandmothers. Any fitness program that refuses to acknowledge and emulate the training methods that have emerged from our constantly varied, functional movements at high intensity is a program that is quickly becoming obsolete.