Why CrossFit? Top Goals of the CrossFit Training Program
So what’s the big deal about CrossFit? Isn’t working out with weights enough? The fact is that CrossFit teaches you to push yourself and take your fitness regimen to a whole new level. The CrossFit fitness program is composed of an endless series of unpredictable and challenging workouts that build extreme cardio and functional strength. CrossFit uses intense interval training to elicit as many muscle fibers (both slow and fast) as possible per workout to get you into the best shape of your life. The entire program is based on the philosophy of founder Greg Glassman: “The belief in the improvability of ourselves and each other.” Here are some of the basic goals implicit in the CrossFit training program.
- Cardiovascular Fitness: One of the top goals of a CrossFit program is to build cardiovascular capability. In fact, CrossFit seeks to improve heart fitness by incorporating jump ropes, box jumps, and plenty of running into its workouts. Indeed, it goes further by combining weight training as well as gymnastics with cardio exercises, eliciting the highest possible cardiovascular response from participants.
- The Three S’s: The way CrossFit exercises are sequenced focuses on building the three S’s: strength, stamina, and speed. CrossFit has at its core a focus on building strength while crossing that focus with exercises that boost stamina and speed. Many CrossFit workouts are timed and others include working each exercise to total muscle failure.
- Flexibility and Power: Power and flexibility go hand in hand in so many sports and are important goals in CrossFit. The founder of CrossFit, Greg Glassman, was a gymnast in his youth and focused much of CrossFit training on attaining the perfect fusion of raw strength and extreme flexibility. This is one reason why so many Olympic runners, swimmers, gymnasts, and power lifters also do CrossFit to improve their performance in their given sport.
- Coordination and Agility: Building both coordination and agility are intrinsic goals of the CrossFit program. CrossFit looks past conventional fitness ideologies and instead to seeks to make participants not only strong and fit, but also agile, graceful, and coordinated by building muscle that supports this.
- Balance: Balance might be the best word to describe the goals of CrossFit: not just balance in terms of muscular coordination, agility, and flexibility, but balance between muscle and cardio, between upper body and lower body strength, and between fast twitch and slow twitch muscle fibers.
- Safety: Many don’t realize that a major goal of CrossFit is to achieve maximum safety in the gym with every exercise performed. This is why there is such a strong focus on proper form and mechanics in CrossFit, and why beginners are encouraged to achieve this first before moving on to higher levels of weight, speed, and intensity.
CrossFit provides a unique way of training the body to achieve peak fitness in so many areas. One of the reasons it’s so effective for so many people is because it provides a complete workout, focusing on strengthening and improving multiple systems in the body in a safe way.