What Is CrossFit?

CrossFit is for you.  You are what we call an athlete.  You want to live a vibrant life, you want to exceed your present limits, you like the idea of working hard for three hours per week in order to have vastly increased appetite for life for the remaining 165 hours.  You prefer getting older to the alternative, but have a vision for aging that does not include infirmity – you see mobility, confidence, vigor and fearless activity in your future.  Maybe you’ve realized running isn’t helping you age the way you want to, and are looking for a better option.  Maybe you’ve experimented with ‘cardio’ and ‘toning’ and realized that’s not enough for you.  Maybe you used to love running, but now running hurts and you aren’t willing to give up on being strong and fit.  Maybe you like to golf, but your back pain and decreasing strength and conditioning is hurting your game.  Maybe you like to hunt, but fear the day you can’t get up a tree or dress the animal by yourself.  Maybe you see the muscle melting away and the flexibility decreasing each year, despite your active life, and you see the writing on the wall – and you want to write a different script.  Maybe you’ve never been fit, don’t know a barbell from a bike horn and never once dreamed of going to a gym – but know that you must in order to live well.  Maybe you saw CrossFitters working out, or saw a YouTube or CrossFit.com video and thought "Wow that looks like fun!"  You are an athlete, and CrossFit is for you.
CrossFit spread from a small gym in Santa Cruz, California to a world wide fitness phenomenon for one reason - the results!  Folks tried CrossFit and discovered they got results they had not previously been able to get.  But what is CrossFit?
CrossFit is a core strength and conditioning program, which is to say it is designed to give an athlete a base of strength and conditioning.  It is not a specialists’ program – it is intentionally broad, inclusive and unspecialized.  CFers run but are not ‘runners.’  We lift weights but are not ‘weightlifters.’  We climb, and hang and manipulate our bodies in space but are not ‘gymnasts.’  Why?  CF prepares an athlete for the unknown and unknowable challenge.  In life, sport and combat, the generalist is better prepared than the specialist.  On the other hand, if you happen to be a specialist, the base of strength and conditioning, or general physical preparedness (GPP) which CF provides is essential to achieve and sustain peak performance.
What will you do as a CrossFitter?  "Constantly varied functional movements executed at high intensity."  That means you'll do what your ancestors did to survive - you'll lift heavy objects from the ground, you'll climb, you'll throw, you'll run, you'll jump, you'll carry stuff, and you'll do those things in every imaginable combination (or occasionally only one per workout).  High intensity means, technically, you'll be working out by moving large loads (like, for instance, your whole body, but also barbells, dumbbells, medicine balls, and sand bags), long distances (feet per rep not inches per rep), quickly - just like you would if you were in a fight for your life.  But that prescription is tempered by your present athletic reality - 'large loads moved quickly' is a different prospect for:
-my 9 year old
-a champion 22 year old CrossFitter
-a 60 year old in good shape
-a 60 year old who is getting into the game for the first time in years
That's where the coaching comes into play.
Yes, CrossFit IS designed for military and law enforcement professionals, professional athletes, and hard core competitive athletes – but the same program, properly scaled, will transform grandmothers, children and ‘just plain folk’.  Need to lose 100 pounds?  Need to regain the ability to effortlessly mount a staircase?  Wish you could haul your own five gallon water bottles to and fro?  Wish you could pound a golf ball all day, haul your own carcass, and be ready for more the next day?  With coaching, scaling, and a bit of gumption, CF works exquisitely well for each of these outcomes.