Coaching Moment: What the hell does CrossFit mean?

Josh Melendez
April 27, 2023
Coaching Moment: What the hell does CrossFit mean?

The definition of CrossFit is constantly varied, functional movements executed at high intensity. 

What the hell does that mean?

Constantly Varied

Constantly varied means each day will be different. We vary the way workouts are built, we vary loading, we vary volume, we vary timeframe, we vary distance, we vary movements, we vary equipment, we vary workout order, we vary complexity, and any other way we can vary we will. We do this because CrossFit is a GPP program. GPP stands for general physical preparedness. What that means is the program you receive from CrossFit prepares you for anything in life. We understand that true fitness is a compromise. We don't want to specialize at anything because when you specialize you are sacrificing something that can help your overall fitness. This is what variance does for you. Variance allows for a broad, general and inclusive fitness. Variance allows you to be good at everything while not being the best at anything. Variance allows for true fitness.

Functional Movements

There are (6) ways we characterize functional movements in CrossFit. Those (6) characteristics are natural, essential, safe, core to extremity, universal motor recruitment pattern and compound yet irreducible. The movements we do in a CrossFit gym are just as normal as a dog wagging their tail or a bird flapping their wings. We naturally squat to sit down. We naturally deadlift to pick up a case of water. These movements are essential for us to move in life. In order for us to function on our own, we have to be able to squat, deadlift and press. These movements are anatomically safe in nature. The way we are built as humans, performing these movements are safe for us. What is unsafe is not performing any functional movements. When performing functional movements all of our power starts in our core (midsection, hips, glutes) and travels to our extremities. It is just like when a pitcher is pitching a ball. Universal motor recruitment patterns means the ability to use all your muscles to move in symphony efficiently, effectively, and quickly from one place to another. Life requires you to be able to move your body as a whole. Functional movements are compound movements meaning multiple joints are being utilized. Compound movements also only get strong if they are being built together versus doing isometric work and thinking that will build your compound movement. These are the (6) characteristics of functional movements but the way CrossFit defines functional movements is by the ability to move large loads, long distance quickly. This is what functional movements do for you. Performing functional movements in a gym allows you to lift heavy boxes safely to the moving truck in a fast manner when you move apartments. 

High Intensity

Intensity is the independent variable most commonly associated with maximizing the rate of return on favorable adaptation. What this means is that intensity leads to the results we desire. But before we introduce intensity to workouts we must first demonstrate mechanics and consistency. We must also know that high intensity does not mean maximal intensity. We don't want you to go extremely hard each day, we want you to keep your high intensity relative to you. Relative means challenging your individual intensity based on your psychological and physical tolerance. When you do move at your relative intensity, you are moving with power. Intensity and power equal each other and we associate power with how much work you accomplished (work capacity).

Respectfully Sent,

Josh Melendez

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