What Is CrossFit?
Video Credit: Big thanks to the awesome Adam Morrell
This is the page where every other gym just copied and pasted something in about “core strength and conditioning program” for “police and fire, military, etc.” And that’s a good explanation, but I want to give you our definition of CrossFit, because that will reveal the most about Tacoma Strength and how we do it here.
CrossFit is firstly a philosophy about what it means to be fit. It’s the idea that fitness should be well-rounded yet measurable. One way of applying that idea is to break fitness into 10 component skills:
- Balance; and
The idea is that each of these skills is individually measurable and that you are fit to the degree that you are proficient in all of these areas.
You might notice that by this definition, someone who is very good at one of these, like say, a marathon runner, but is weak, slow, and inflexible, is not fit. Read that again, I know there were a lot of commas. Basically we’re saying that an elite specialist athlete might not be as fit as a weekend warrior who possesses more of those component skills. That may be counter-intuitive, but bear with me.
The word “fit” in the classical sense refers to your ability to survive long enough to pass along your genes. Think, “survival of the fittest.” When we think about what enabled humans to survive through the millennia as well as in today’s world, it’s our versatility. A fit human is one who can run, climb, crawl, hang, lift, carry, jump, wrestle, throw, hit, etc.
So yeah, we argue that someone like Paula Radcliffe who ran 26 miles in 2 hours 17 minutes but couldn’t deadlift her own bodyweight or do a pull-up is not as fit as someone who can do those things as well as run a marathon, albeit at a slower pace. For the record I don’t know if Paula can do those things or not, I’m just using her to illustrate a point and to marvel at the fact that she ran a 5:16 minute mile for 2 hours. But nature punishes the specialist and rewards the generalist.
Another concept to illustrate this is to think about the soldier who leaves on patrol into hostile territory. He doesn’t know what the day will bring. Will it be a long boring march all day, sprinting for cover, climbing over fences and walls, wrestling with bad guys, carrying a wounded buddy out, or all of the above? How should he train for the unknown and unknowable? With a program that focuses on all fundamental physical skills and movements.
OK, to be fit is to be well-rounded and versatile. What else? Fitness for us is also measurable, meaning that there is a skill that needs to be demonstrated. This is in contrast to another idea that fitness has something to do with body fat percentage or weight on a scale. Fitness is a result of what you can actually do. We care about performance:
- How well you move; and
- How much you can do
In that order.
For us, that’s it. CrossFit is an idea about what it means to be fit. Everything we do in our training sessions is the process of fulfilling that idea.
Most of you reading this page came here with some foreknowledge about CrossFit. Most likely someone told you about it and you’re investigating what’s in the area. So let me wrap up here with some myth-busting. We have coaches, good coaches at every class guiding you along. You don’t need to have any previous experience to fit in a group. This is not just for young people. We have world-class Masters athletes here, many of our best are over 40. You don’t need to be fit before you get here. Nothing you do is going to prepare you better than what we do.
What you do need if you want to train here, is an open mind, a willingness to be awkward while you learn, perseverance to get you through the soreness, and be coachable (if a trainer tells you it’s too heavy, it’s too heavy).
That all being said, we don’t automatically throw you to the wolves. We have a process to bring you a long and teach you what you need to know. That process starts with the Trial Month.