CrossFit is Consistently Varied, Not Random

CrossFit: constantly varied, never random
Even though functional fitness looks like chaos, it is seldom random.
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Published on: September 3rd, 2019
Updated on: August 15th, 2021
This article is in categories: Articles | Fitness | Short Articles

I wanted to share with you a typical battle I have with the non-CrossFit/functional fitness crowd (Pagans), specifically regarding the CrossFit methodology lacking scientific reasoning. Here’s something I often hear from naysayers:

‘If the most significant selling point on CrossFit is that the exercises are always changing, then how do you get better at specific exercises? A program of random activities performed at random times is unscientific. It will not take people of different genetic builds, athletic abilities, and training goals to one common goal. ‘

My first instinct was anger. Then it dawned on me from an outside perspective, CrossFit may look like a jumbled up mess of exercises with puke at the end, with no rhyme or reason.

My response is that defining CrossFit as random exercises performed at random times is not an accurate representation. CrossFit contains nine foundational movements: three squat variations, three press variations, deadlift, and two clean variations. Ninety percent of the workouts contain pieces of these movements. Therefore, the overload principle comes into effect by performing variations of these movements consistently. We are always covering these nine movements in our Daily PT Whiteboards and our training plans like the Free 30-Day Med-Ball Foundational Program.

Also, if customizing workouts to illicit specific metabolic responses isn’t scientific, I need to reread the definition. How-hard-and-for-how-long is at the heart of what we do. In loads close to one-rep maxes and in short explosive movements like sprinting, glucose is broken down in an oxygen-free environment with a limited capacity. We train primarily in the fast breathing, glucose powered aerobic/anaerobic portion of the spectrum. For us to be stronger and faster or have a high state of general physical preparedness, we must train two of the metabolic pathways. These pathways are the Phosphocreatine and Glycolytic, which support sprint and mid-distance activities. 

The secret is to create a program that is continuously varied but not random. That’s the magic.

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