CrossFit is a brand name; however, the ideas and methods behind this licensed training regimen actually have a long history. CrossFit training and the effective CrossFit workouts used in the program were developed by an athlete looking to do what everyone else was doing, which was to getting fit as effectively as possible.
Every one of the CrossFit exercises used in CrossFit training programs were carefully developed with one main goal in mind: to produce the strongest and most overall fit body. In order to achieve this, program developer Greg Glassman learned early on that it required training in many areas, not just one.
The Theory Behind CrossFit
Glassman, who was a gymnast during his teenage years, made an interesting discovery while training for competition. By adding weights such as barbells and dumbbells to his workouts, he was able to increase his body strength and surpass his peers, who trained only with body weight. He also realized that other fitness activities that he enjoyed, such as his favored bicycling, attributed to his overall fitness. Since he participated in a number of different athletic activities that constantly improved his strength, stamina, and flexibility, Glassman eventually realized that his body was much more fit than most other athletes. He was not the best at every single event; however, he became the best at more than just gymnastics due to his focus on multiple training methods.
What Does This Mean?
What Glassman proved through his training routines is that it is possible to gain greater overall fitness when incorporating a variety of training methods, as opposed to sticking to only one traditional method. Thus the idea behind CrossFit training and the incorporation of multiple exercises into the same CrossFit workouts was born. By understanding that athletes could gain better fitness overall by not concentrating on only being the best at just one thing, Glassman built the CrossFit program. He designed the many CrossFit exercises to provide participants with a way to achieve this fitness.
The Mindset Behind CrossFit
Beyond understanding how to achieve the greatest fitness, CrossFit provides participants with a social and competitive means to do just this. One main component of CrossFit training is its competitiveness; with athletes competing first against themselves and then against each other. Yet in the proper environment, the competition remains productive rather than damaging, encouraging athletes to keep pushing themselves even further. Despite the seriousness and intensity of this program and the competitive nature behind CrossFit workouts, there is also the social and even humorous aspect involved, which helps encourage participants to keep going.
Workouts bear first name and acronym names, which largely comprise the so-called “CrossFit language” used by participants, making it easier and more fun to discuss the different routines. Glassman realized early that athletes enjoyed participating in CrossFit exercises in groups, where they were able to provide critical encouragement and assistance to each other so that the group as a whole would be more successful. These are all principals that became the core of the CrossFit training mentality and still exist today.
The social aspect of CrossFit, combined with its competitive nature and unique approach to total body fitness, succeeds in ways that keep athletes coming back for more, readily adopting the CrossFit mentality. Competition and reward, whether against oneself or peers, is a primary component for success with CrossFit training and in getting the most from CrossFit workouts. Ironically, this entire program started quite by accident through Glassman’s own personal desire to become better than his peers, at least in some things. Yet the training program he developed has been proven to provide the most fun, competition, and results of any fitness program. It is easy to see how this mentality can be adopted to promote success for those who decide to try CrossFit exercises!