What Is CrossFit?

If you were to ask a large group of people the question, “What is CrossFit?” you might get a few different answers. 

Potential Answer #1 — It’s a high intensity workout, like HIIT or P90X.

Potential Answer #2 — It’s a military style bootcamp style circuit class

Potential Answer #3 — It’s an unsafe exercise regimen that tends to hurt people.

So which is answer is right? In a sense they all have elements that are correct but by and large they each are missing some things as well.

Yes CrossFit is a relatively high intensity workout. I say relatively because this element is based on the individual. What is intense to one person may not be so intense to someone else. The key here is the intensity is relative to the individual. A more intense workout can yield quicker more potent results, but that doe not mean it is 150% each and every time. If done correctly the intensity will vary throughout the week to ensure that participants do not over do it.

Yes many people in the military and first responder community follow this type of workout. In fact, this was a large influence in the origins of CrossFit as first responders were some of the first adopter of this training style. However, today we see just about anyone taking on these workouts regardless of their fitness or professional background. And they are all reaping tremendous benefits for their health and wellness.

Yes, CrossFit can be unsafe. Then again so can crossing the street right? The only thing one can do with almost no chance of injury is being a couch potato. However, this would have severe health consequences in the long run. CrossFit stresses and teaches a certain progression for all participants. First, learn the mechanics of the movement. Develop perfect execution of the exercises before ever progressing. Next demonstrate a consistency in these movements. In other words demonstrate that you can do these movements under a variety of different scenarios. Then you can add intensity — move faster or add more weight or both. People get hurt when they ignore this progression and rush to get to the intensity first.

In the end CrossFit is designed to be broad general and inclusive. What does that mean? It means we can combine your strength training AND your cardio work if we choose exercises that use all of your body at once.

It means that if you’ve done P90X, that’s great because you have experience with HIIT style workouts. Now we can add some specific strength work to round out your overall fitness.

It means that if you are a runner, that’s awesome! We run regularly in our workouts. Usually it is interval based, 400m or 800m repeats, but every once in a while we run a 5K or 10K TT as well. We also regularly program longer distance runs for homework too. We even recommend the POSE running method. Perhaps we can help your running efficiency. At a minimum adding some strength work can help you bounce back from longer runs more quickly. 

At CrossFit The Rack we don’t have a lot of machines. What we DO have is a gym full of knowledge, and world class coaching. We change the gym everyday to match your workout. The facility conforms to the exerciser, not the other way around.

We are unlike the regular gym, where you do your own thing. At CrossFit the Rack, you will be coached each and every time you walk through the door.

Isn’t it boring to workout on the same machines all the time doing 3 sets of 8-12 reps?

Our workouts change every single day. You will rarely do the same things twice.

We recently had a member whose deadlift went from 150 pounds to 350 pounds.

It can get you there too! 

I personally never thought I would run more then a 5 or 10K but in 2015 I ran the New York City Marathon. And I used a CrossFit style methodology to train for it.  

CrossFit combines the best parts of weightlifting, sprinting, calisthenics and kettlebell. Plus we do a little bit of basic gymnastics. By sticking to the most effective exercises from each, we can do these really efficient workouts in about 30 minutes. They’re hard, but they have to be. It takes a couple of years to be really good at CrossFit, but you can be good in a few months. Want to try it?

Whether you try CrossFit or not, whether you ever walk through the doors at CrossFit The Rack, we hope you will continue to rely on us as a resource on your health and fitness journey. We will not opine in these posts as we believe that knowledge expands and opinion isolates. We are all in this together and we wish you all the very best!