What is CrossFit Training?
Creating the “quintessential athlete” is the goal of CrossFit Training. It is a fitness training method that employs strength and conditioning, and involves a combination of gymnastics, sprinting, and weightlifting. Though it is not sport-specific, it promotes both broad and general overall fitness. The programs are performed in high intensity fashion and are based on functional movement, with workouts lasting 20 minutes or less in duration. Also, the method does not employ the use of any type of weight machines.
Where standard fitness training focuses on maybe a half dozen fitness domains, CrossFit requires proficient achievement in 10, specifically:
- cardiovascular/respiratory endurance
The method employs various calisthenics, free weights, gymnastic rings, kettlebells, and pull-up bars. Athletes are required to perform a variety of activities including carrying odd objects, flipping giant tires, jumping up on boxes, rope climbing, rowing, running, and skipping. Athletes have to perform at a fast and hard pace, oftentimes with no rest, and gymnasiums designated strictly as CrossFit gyms use ranking and scoring systems in order to transform the regimen into a sport.
- CrossFit also certifies its own trainers and publishes its own journal. The naysayers of the methodology basically define it as an insurgent type of movement wherein conventional fitness wisdom needs to be questioned. Introductory classes are available and called either Boot Camp or Elements of CrossFit. The adaptations of CrossFit are categorized as follows:
- CrossFit for Athletes
- CrossFit for Kids
- CrossFit for Seniors
- CrossFit for Soldiers in Austere Environments
- CrossFit in the Park
Fitness professionals and sportswriters are critical of CrossFit because so much intensity and technique are required, that it is felt that the participants are constantly at high risk of injuring themselves. The response to the criticism is that CrossFit cites the key element of its methodology, namely that workouts are scaled and varied on an individual basis. CrossFit also has an extremely high drop-out rate (nearly 80%) which opens the method up to even more criticism.
The common response to the critical remarks is that the competitive atmosphere and high intensity is not for everyone, claiming that the high drop-out rate is the same at conventional gyms. CrossFit also criticizes the conventional method saying that clients rely on machines, pay up front for memberships that are oftentimes abandoned early, and record minimal gains in performance.
CrossFit proponents see their training as a way to build whole-body functional fitness coupled with preparing a person for most physical challenges. This is contrary to the views of medical experts who view exercise as a habit that promotes health and nothing else. The CrossFit method involves a variety of sports and training techniques that builds functional fitness by prescribing a versatile, yet diverse exercise program. This exercise training method has become very popular, and is the technique of choice for both the US Navy Seals and decathlon training.