Saturday, October 22, 2011

What Is CrossFit - Beyond just the WOD

According to, CrossFit is broad, general, and inclusive fitness.

Okay, so in my last post i charged myself with task of defining through my experiences what i believe CrossFit is and how it's so much more than the 00:00:00 on the clock and a few happy hour drinks on a Friday night with your WOD mates (haven't had much of this during Sober October though).

Most of us have all drank the CrossFit Kool-Aid to some degree and can mostly agree that one of the things we enjoy most about it is the Community aspect that we feel on a daily basis and this is an enormous portion of the "what is CrossFit" question.

By definition, a Community is - a social, religious, occupational, or other group sharing common characteristics or interests and perceived or perceiving itself as distinct in some respect from the larger society within which it exists. Now, this seems pretty straight forward and for the most part seems quite in line with the "elitest" that we think we are. The funny thing about all this Community talk is that the entire fitness community outside of CrossFit (at the end of the day CrossFit is part of the same industry as Curves) is happy to pigeon hole us on our very own (we usually don't help ourselves here) when at the end of the day aren't we all trying to accomplish the same thing? In its simplest form, we're all trying to be as healthy and live as proactively as possible so we are able to enjoy life to it's maximum potential are we not (of course aesthetics are sometimes nice as well)?

One of the reasons so many of us are attracted to CrossFit in such an addictive way is because the whole thing is extremely open source, and you can find the answers without having to search wickedly hard and let's be honest, you be independent doing so. This open source format allows us, at the click of a button to access information and knowledge in one place that has never been available before. Sites like the, CrossFitEndurance.Com,,,, Crossfit discusion board and our crown jewel the CrossFit Journal (if you do not subscribe, get on it!). Not only are these tools available for free (the Journal is $25/yr), they are catered to everything that we're working on every day. These tools give us an enormous amount of info to use at our own digression but leave us with few excuses for poor performance or execution. CrossFit and good ol Greg Glassman had this figured out years ago and it's as important today as the day he first posted a WOD online for free. Besides posting the workout, he gave it a blog format so at anytime anywhere in the world you can post your thoughts about the WOD and discuss it with other community members online. Not to mention the hundreds of WOD demos and instructional videos posted daily as well. Many individuals first introduction to CF is through one of those sites listed.

All of the things above help us to understand what we're trying to accomplish in CF and are an important role in defining what CF is. In my opinion (take it for what it is) CF like i previously stated, is more that this "broad, general, and inclusive fitness". In fact, CF is much more broad and general than i think Glassman ever intended.

The broad and general portion of CF's definition helps us track our daily achievements and struggles during a WOD into every aspect of how we attack our daily lives; our work ethic, our nutritional habits, who we associate ourselves with and many other lifestyle traits that are typically positive in nature. For most of us, the WOD's we encounter during the week are much more difficult than what we have to do in our day jobs, and likely make them that much more tolerable.

The Inclusive Fitness part of CF is undeniably clear from the minute you walk into any box or check Mainsite for the next day's WOD. Everything we do is easily translated into real life use no matter the task and is continuously varied which keeps us on our toes, prepared for anything.

I just feel that CrossFit is much bigger than that basic definition that mainsite gives us. It's hard to sum up all of what it actually is, but in attempt to do so here is what i have:

CrossFit is a lifestyle that facilitates a long healthy existence through community engagement with like minded individuals sharing the passion to push one another above and beyond their potentials via a broad, general and inclusive fitness model.

The community of CrossFit is it's most important aspect and is absolutely imperative to the long term success...the area that some of us struggle with is; how can HQ maintain it's high quality unified community feeling when the requirements for affiliating a box are so easy to achieve? The topic of affiliating and choosing affiliates is a topic for another day but i wanted you to start thinking about it. Have you given yourself the opportunity to visit multiple boxes in your area and see first hand which may be a better fit, or do you take 1 affiliates word for it that the other couple down the street are not as "Elite". Trust your own judgement people and make informed decision based on your own experiences.


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

MIA but not Lost

I couldn't believe my eyes when i pulled up the blog today that it has been 362 days since my last post...what a SLACKER!!! It's not that i'd fallen off the wagon or anything, infact quite the opposite. As my last post for Oct 2010 stated, i'd pushed my motivation in a slightly different area that i felt was needed to assist my athleticism as a whole, but between that and the fact that i already spend a majority of my day behind a desk staring at a computer, it was just dang difficult to spend my "free-time" to type up a blog entry.

Through the last year while maintaining my passion for CrossFit I also dabbled in a couple other programs including a 10 Week GOMAD/Starting Strenth program, a 12 Week Mikes Gym Program, and am currently on a 10 Week SS/CrossFit Hybrid program including 1 dedicated day to Oly technique. These progams have given me a huge apprecition for not only moving heavy things but also how to move them efficiently which has only improved my CrossFit ability and enabled me to continue to set frequent PR's accross the board. One other item i think about quite often while doing these programs and working out at 1 of Fargo's local affiliates, is what do box's owe athletes and what should an athlete expect from a box in terms of programming, knowledge, and community?

I've had the great pleasure of spending my time in a number of boxes, met amazing coaches, associated with Games athletes and also got to be a judge at the 2010 CF Games. Through my next few weekly posts, i'm going to bring up a few topics that have been on my mind in regards to the people that I introduce to CrossFit:

What is CrossFit (think bigger than WOD)

How to choose the right Box/Affiliate

How to know if the trainer has the athletes best interests at Heart

Does my Affiliate project a Community Attmosphere

Sometimes we're so excited to have someone experiance a WOD, we forget that CrossFit can mean so much more for our athletes & friends than simply the nervous jitters before 3..2..1..GO or the 00:00:00 on the clock when the time runs out as they fall to the floor creating their first perfect little sweat angel only to post a pic of it on Facebook moments later!

We've all heard the expression of Driking the Kool-Aid, I just want to be sure you're not ingesting some of that off-brand not so fruity beverage that looks so legit in presentation yet only promises to leave discolored teeth and a nasty after taste in your mouth for a long time!

Stay Tuned!