CrossFit is defined as “Constantly varied, functional movements, performed at high intensity.” This means that every time you come to a CrossFit class, you will be coached by a CrossFit
Trainer through a variety of skills that are classified as gymnastics (ie. push ups, squats, sit-ups, pull ups), weightlifting (ie. deadlifts, cleans, presses, kettlebell swings), or metabolic conditioning (ie. running, rowing, bike riding). The combinations that are put together are almost endless, so you will rarely do the same workout twice- CrossFit specializes in not specializing.
In a typical 60 minute class, you will go through a general warm-up, a skill specific warm-up, a Workout of the Day (WOD), and then a cool down. Your performance in the WOD will be recorded, so you can track your improvements over time. All the activities that are programmed in a WOD can be modified (scaled), so that every individual can be safe, challenged, and worked to a high intensity that will lead to results.
Community and nutrition are also key aspects to the success of CrossFit. A box should be a welcoming, friendly, and supportive place where people help and push each other to progress. A box is a very different environment from your traditional gym where people wear headphones and rarely interact in any meaningful way. At a CrossFit box, people interact, work together, and cheer each other on. Nutrition is key because without a healthy diet, working out can only take you so far- the adage that you can’t outrun your fork remains true. Some simple dietary advice is to eat real food by avoiding the middle aisles in a grocery store.
Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar. Keep intake to levels that will support exercise but not body fat. 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. Regularly learn and play new sports.
—Greg Glassman, CrossFit Founder