WHAT IS CROSSFIT?
CrossFit is for everyone. We will get you in the best shape of your life no matter who you are.
When thinking about how to explain what CrossFit® is, we like to start with what CrossFit is not:
CrossFit is NOT…
…for people expecting results without hard work
…for people unwilling to try new things
…for people afraid to leave their egos at home
Greg Glassman, a former gymnast, founded CrossFit®, Inc. in 2000. In his years coaching elite athletes, Coach Glassman found that the best way to achieve optimal fitness was not through specialization but rather through “constantly varied, functional movement, performed at high intensity.” In short, this means combining elements of Olympic weightlifting, gymnastics, sprinting, rowing and core conditioning to improve overall flexibility, strength, speed, endurance and agility.
“Constantly Varied” means that every day brings a different workout (or “WOD”), incorporating any combination of these elements. At CrossFit Hard you (yes, you!) will jump rope, climb ropes, swing kettle bells and flip tires. You will work at pull ups, muscle ups, hand stands, pushups, and hand-stand pushups. You will practice squats, dips, cleans, jerks, snatches and deadlifts as well as rowing, running and box jumps. Each day will bring different exercises always specifically designed to work on different muscle groups and/or cardiovascular strength.
“Functional Movement” refers to maintaining the safest, most-efficient position to power through a movement. There are plenty of misconceptions out there about CrossFit; the truth is much of what we do in our workouts mirrors activities in our daily lives. To the uninitiated, flipping a tire looks like crazy, “he-man” work. But if you’ve ever had to move a mattress up a flight of stairs, you already know the movement. Cleaning a medicine ball may appear odd, but consider what your body does when you place your suitcase in a plane’s overhead compartment. If you’ve ever lifted a heavy bag of dog food or peat moss, no one needs to tell you the importance of arching your back. CrossFit Hard will help you maintain the correct position in a workout – both to keep you and other safe as well as to maximize efficiency.
“High Intensity” is a concept that at first can be difficult for new CrossFitters to grasp. For many people, a workout’s efficiency is only proportionate to the amount of hours spent in the gym. You will never hear a CrossFitter say, “I had a great workout; I was in the gym for four hours!” You are much more likely to hear, “I finished in 8 minutes.” People come here skeptical that a high-intensity workout, done in a fraction of the time as they are used to, can lead to faster, better results. But results don’t lie.
The beauty of our sport is that we are all in it together, motivating one another. It’s a sport where the person last to finish the workout receives more high fives than the person first to finish.
We encourage you to learn more about the CrossFit® philosophy and methodology at www.crossfit.com
You can read all you want about our definitions but to truly understand you just have to jump in and give it a try.
CrossFit is Functional
Functional movements in the gym are those that replicate movement in real life or sport. For example, nearly every day in life, you bend over and pick something up. We ‘practice’ that with a movement like the deadlift. Now think for a moment - when’s the last time you did a bicep curl during your normal day? Can’t remember? Neither can we. That, in our definition is NOT function - neither are flys, lateral raises, tricep kick backs, or any other isolated joint movement for the purpose of making one muscle bigger or stronger. Are those movements bad? No. But in terms of the functionality of your body, don’t really have a place in training (unless you’re rehabbing an injury).
CrossFit is Intensity
How much work can you do in a given period of time? The more you can do, the fitter you are, and the higher the intensity of your training. To get this intensity, we we push it right to the edge of “the cliff”... and practice staying there. This ‘red zone’ is extremely risky. One false move, and you’re off the edge… pukie, injury, extreme soreness. But when you’re not close enough, it usually means your results are compromised. CrossFit will challenge you to train in that zone. It’s neither easy nor simple, and is something that takes desire, commitment, and practice. One thing to remember, intensity is determined by your ability to hold good form - we never recommend speed at the expense of form.
CrossFit is Variety
In CrossFit’s definition of fitness, being functionally capable across a broad array of fitness related skills is of primary importance. These skills include strength, flexibility, endurance, stamina, speed, power, agility, balance, coordination and accuracy. If you want to be good in ALL of these areas, variety is a must. To get this variety, we use movements and training techniques and skills from the sports of weightlifting, gymnastics, and metabolic conditioning. We also sprinkle in the use of kettle bells, plyometrics, medicine balls, calisthenics, and sprinting. CrossFit specializes in NOT-specializing. Any athlete from any sport can use CrossFit as a training method, and return to their sport better, faster, stronger, more capable.
I’m not that fit. Is CrossFit for me?
The only difference between the training needs of an elite athlete and an ‘average joe’ is weight, volume, and speed. What does that mean? Essentially it means that all the movements we do in CrossFit are universal in their ability to improve performance. Making an adjustment in a workout for a beginner is something we call ‘scaling’ a workout. What's scaling? That's the part of CrossFit many people don't understand. They see those crazy YouTube videos or The CrossFit Games on ESPN and conclude CrossFit isn't for them. Wrong!
Scaling means we will always adjust the workout to your individual ability level. Whether its reducing the total reps or rounds, reducing the distance, eliminating the clock, reducing the weight, and/or reducing the complexity of a movement. This is something we do all the time and we’re really good at at CrossFit Hard. We will meet you where you are, starting in our On-Ramp program.
If you are someone who:
Is looking to get in shape but can’t face going to a gym
Has lost interest in your gym routine
Thinks you don’t have time to exercise
Is looking to get faster or stronger in your sport
Is no longer seeing results with your current training regime, OR
Just plain wants to look good in a bathing suit
Then CrossFit is for YOU.
Our classes take place at our beautiful, brand new, state of the art facility in North Bethesda, MD. Every workout is different, and since you will rarely do the same thing twice, you are less likely to lose interest or get bored than if you were doing the same circuits at the gym three days a week. Because our workouts are rarely more than 45 minutes long they can fit into even the busiest schedules. To learn more about what people from all walks of life have to say, check out two videos below:
World-Class Fitness in 100 words:
"Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar. Keep intake to levels that will support exercise but not body fat. Practice and train major lifts: Deadlift, clean, squat, presses, C&J, and snatch. Similarly, master the basics of gymnastics: pull-ups, dips, rope climb, push-ups, sit-ups, presses to handstand, pirouettes, flips, splits, and holds. Bike, run, swim, row, etc, hard and fast. Five or six days per week mix these elements in as many combinations and patterns as creativity will allow. Routine is the enemy. Keep workouts short and intense. Regularly learn and play new sports."
- Greg Glassman
Contact us for a Free No Sweat Intro – we would love to get to know you!
See the article How to Pick the Right Box for You