I frequently hear the buzzword, "crossfit" from several of my coworkers.

What is crossfit?. Is it a type of workout or philosophy?

What does it loosely consist of? What are the goals of crossfit training?

A cheap google brings up a crossfit website and some type of gym or website. Further research shows a pretty high-level description of crossfit.

  • 3
    Considering that the website you found, has a What is Crossfit link (and FAQ, and Q&A) - what about their explanation was unsatisfactory?
    – John C
    Feb 18, 2012 at 13:32
  • The description was very high-level and lacking specificity as my question had indicated.
    – chrisjlee
    Feb 18, 2012 at 17:01
  • 1
    And is the description you found here any more specific?
    – Ivo Flipse
    Feb 22, 2012 at 17:21
  • @IvoFlipse I was looking for someone to confirm my understanding of this. Should i reword my question that way? Or should i delete it because of SE standards? I'm willing to do both.
    – chrisjlee
    Feb 22, 2012 at 17:28
  • Well what are you going to do with the information? It feels like its asking for a trivia. If we simply summarize their own description, then we're not 'making the internet better'. So I'd rather see you start doing CrossFit and come back with questions you have along the way :-)
    – Ivo Flipse
    Feb 22, 2012 at 17:30

1 Answer 1


Crossfit is high intensity cross training to develop unspecialized fitness. The most important goal of a crossfit training program is to improve "work capacity across broad time and modal domains." Work capacity is the ability to do work in the sense of physics, that is to exert moving force. Time domains refer to the duration and intensity of the work, and modal domains refers to the body movement(s) that is being performed.

In practice, successful crossfit training prepares an athlete to perform well in unpredictable situations, and for this reason is often inappropriate for specialized athletes. When you know what actions your body will be required to perform on game day, you can train in a very specialized manner (e.g., run 100m, row 50km, deadlift 500kg, swing a golf club). For people who do not know what actions will be required, crossfit helps to develop general, unspecialized fitness. For this reason it is popular among military and firefighting communities, since they face a variety of physical challenges that are often unpredictable.

Greg Glassman, one of the developers of crossfit, offers the following advice: "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."

More information on the philosophy and practices of crossfit: What is fitness? What is crossfit?


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