Monthly Archives: February 2010

Fitness is a skill.

The fitness we seek to instill into our athletes comes from “constantly varied movements executed at relative high intensity”.*CrossFit recognises that the compound movements (movements employing more than one skeletal joint) need to be taught and consequently re-taught, or at the very least revisited each time before our workouts.
The functional movements we employ have “points of performance” and all of these need to be adhered in order to move well, thusly improving fitness and the avoidance of injury. Some potential clients approach us and say “how much is a class? others say “I want to learn CrossFit-show me how?”
Everybody that comes to us to train will start their education with the basic fundamentals of functional movement, and learn these before they join classes. This is how we start your training at CrossFit Hove.

“Mechanics, consistency-then relative intensity”*

This of course raises the question of intensity, and its relation to scalabilty for differing clients, dependent on fitness, conditioning, possible movement issues and age. The workouts we do are scaled and suited to the ability of the individual.
“The fitness needs between olympic athletes and our grandparents differ by degree not by kind.”*

Quotes from CrossFit creator Coach Greg Glassman. Further reading can be found by clicking on the CrossFit Journal link.

Form follows function

What do we look for in our fitness?
To directly answer this we need to think about a definition of fitness, aspects of movement that we need, ability to be flexible yet strong (as opposed to weak) cardio endurance with power, speed with coordination and accuracy, and stamina with agility.

What occurs if we specialise in one energy pathway at the bereft of the others, what about if we isolate our musculature yet twist our back unloading the washing machine?

In CrossFit we seek to address general physical skills combining all of the ten points in the first paragraph, and use all our energy pathways and train compound multi-joint movements. We do this because it is functional for life. Fitness should not be the pursuit of an asthetic, it needs to be defined as the ability to perform tasks quickly and efficiently and the tasks are often variable as is the nature of human existance. Choosing not to squat or deadlift because nobody sees your legs is an inherently weak statement, it suggests narcissistic vanity more unattractive than a skinny leg. We are bipeds, if we cease to lose that ability our quality of life is severly diminished.

If training for appearance is what defines your fitness then how do you know how fit you are? Is it measurable? Does it involve any data-does your mirror have a score card system?

We train functional movements, this is defined as GPP (general physical preparedness) or the ability to perform well at any or every task imaginable. Thusly our training sytem is a constantly varied programme involving many different stimuli, we do this as nature very seldom gives us tasks that are periodized with rest phases and sets. We train to be better at life and consequently the movements we utilise focus on what will keep us functional as opposed an appearance of fitness.

CrossFit is a training system designed to enhance the individuals quality of life. The individual themselves addressing what is important, whether its a 2.14 Fran time, increasing general fitness for their sport or martial art, or having the ability to pull or push themselves upright if they fall or sit without the need of an aide to do so.

The search for the asthetic in fitness will highlight weaknesses in the individual when their fitness is needed to be functional, the same as the quest for great strength yet indulging in a diminished range of movement will always be a flawed strength.

The purpose of an increased fitness is to create a better quality of life and this needs to be done via functional movements. The use of isolation machines, mirrors and shallow squats will not achieve this, nor should the inexperienced individual be fooled into thinking that it will.