How to Think About CrossFit

CrossFit is more than just about getting sweaty.  Don’t get me wrong, you will get sweaty, be out of breath, and feel sore, but you could get all that in a spin class.  So is CrossFit just another fitness program that makes you sweaty?  The answer is of course ‘No’. 

CrossFit is a program that can change lives.  CrossFitters are pursuing an elite level of fitness.  That elite level of fitness, being in the best shape of your life, means looking and feeling athletic and healthy, being able and prepared for life’s unknowns, whether it be pushing your car off to the side of the road, or hiking Half Dome in Yosemite.  Being in the best shape of your life can mean beating your friends in sports, doing pull-ups when you never could do them before, or running a half marathon.  Spinning, pilates, and gimmicky weight machines will not get you any of that, but CrossFit can. 

A more appropriate way to think about CrossFit is to think of it as going to college, where you take classes, study, develop skills, and then 4 years later, earn a degree.  It’s the same way with CrossFit.  You’ll take classes, develop skills in gymnastics, running, and weightlifting, and with time and commitment, develop into an athlete and earn a ‘degree’ in fitness.

Think about it, just like you wouldn’t sign up for a semester of Spanish, attend only a few classes, and expect to do well on the exam, you can’t do CrossFit sporadically and expect to get fit.  You have to work and show up consistently. 

You can’t enroll in upper division college courses without having the necessary tools and skills from the prerequisite classes, and you can’t excel in the more complex movements in CrossFit without first mastering the basics.  

In college, you take notes, learn new vocabulary, and study.  What other fitness program has you keep a journal, learn new terms like ‘active shoulders’, or study videos to better analyze human, athletic movement? 

Success in college is measured not in months, but in years; you don’t get a bachelors degree after a single semester.  A mastery of CrossFit will also take not months, but years.  Muscle-ups, handstands, rowing, a bodyweight snatch, are CrossFit milestones that you will have to earn over the course of years.

It is that sort of commitment and philosophy with regard to CrossFit that will get you toward an elite level of fitness and health.  The college student that attends the classes, participates in the lectures, and studies the material will succeed and graduate.  The CrossFitter that attends the classes, actively receives the coaching, learns how to move, and makes the commitment will also succeed.  

So, are you the student that drops in every now and then to physics 101, or are you studying quantum physics, in your final semester of school, getting ready to graduate with honors?

CrossFit is hard work and you will be challenged with new and difficult skills and tasks.  And while it may seem easier to just grab a spin bike, adjust the seat, and start pedaling, remember that nothing in life worth wanting ever came easy. 

Monday’s Skill:

Power clean

3 – 3 – 3 – 3 – 3

Workout of the Day (WOD):

For time:

20 front squats (165#/110# for women)

40 toes to bar

60 kettlebell swings (70#/53# for women)

80 double-unders

Beginner Skill:

Push Press

3 – 3 – 3 – 3 – 3


10 rounds for time:

Run 200 meters

15 jumping squats

Post times to comments

Chris is disciplined in his training and is starting to move heavier weight. 

Mateo drives the weight off his shoulders to finish his last front squat.

Christina dug deep to do the workout at 110# on her front squat.  Great work!


14 responses to “How to Think About CrossFit

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