Why CrossFit is effective

CrossFit has grown so fast compared to many other sports. CrossFit is not even 20 years into its existence and it already has a worldwide network of gyms, members, competitors, well-run competitions and die-hard fans. If you compare this to a sport like American football, they were still running around wearing leather helmets with no face guards to protect themselves 20+ years into their sport. This sport and method of fitness has grown so fast because of a couple different reasons. First of all because technology was already starting to come up by then, so it was way easier to find out about new things going on, like CrossFit.

Second, the CrossFit community is like no other. You go through the same hard and rewarding workout, you suffer together, you meet new friends, hang out with them outside of the gym and some of those people end up being your best friends. At what other gym or fitness facility does that happen?

Third, CrossFit is infinitely scalable. It looks like CrossFit is a one-size fits all method but the workout of the day will always have different options for everyone’s capability, fitness level and injury background. In a class with 10 people, you probably see about 10 different variations of that same workout.

Fourth, because it works! The CrossFit methodology works, period. We have a saying that we like to use on a regular basis; CrossFit is for everyone but not everyone should do CrossFit. Your 10-year-old son or daughter, your 35-year-old neighbour and your 70-year-old grandma could all be doing CrossFit. Going back to my last point, obviously all of these different age groups and people would be doing a completely different workout but based on the same fundamental principles of CrossFit. These principles make it that CrossFit works.


I cannot not start this off by talking about intensity. Intensity equals results. CrossFit is focused on solid movement patterns and using that in a high intensity workout. Your high intensity workout could be one where your heart is beating out of your chest because you have just finished a row, wall ball, pull up workout, OR, it could be 7 sets of 1 back squat at a 100 percent of your max. These workouts are both intense, they will both get your results, they both work, in different ways.

Your body needs the intensity behind the stimulus in order to force itself to grow and adjust. Think of it like a diamond, carbon needs an insane amount of pressure and heat to shape and grow into a diamond. If you just put your bodyweight into it, nothing will happen. The same thing goes for fitness, workouts have to be done at your level of intensity to let your body develop. Obviously, with the right movement patterns to keep you from injuring yourself.

Repeatable / measurable

If you have ever been to a CrossFit seminar or watch any of the CrossFit documentaries, you will hear these 2 terms come up, repeatable and measurable.

Every workout needs to be repeatable and measurable. If you were to do this same workout 6 months from now, would you be able to go back and compare your score? By re-doing workouts and re-testing lifts is how we measure our progress.

Increased work capacity over broad time and modal domains

Capacity is the ability to do real work, which is measurable using the basic terms of physics (mass, distance, and time). Life is unpredictable (much more so than sport) so real world fitness must be broad and not specialized, both in terms of duration and type of effort (time and modal domains).


The whole philosophy of CrossFit is built upon this idea of increased work capacity over broad time and modal domains. What the hell does that even mean you ask?

Increased work capacity over broad time is pretty simple. Can you work through all lengths of duration? (extremely) Long (1 hour +), short (10 seconds), and everything in between?

Increased work capacity over modal domains means can you do everything your body is capable of doing? Think of running, throwing, jumping, swimming, punching, cycling, pull ups, push ups, weight lifting and everything in between.

Increasing these 2 pillars is what we’re focused on inside the walls of our CrossFit gyms. The pillars are what we try to improve upon by doing ”constantly varied functional movements performed at high intensity”. The very definition of CrossFit.

We will build upon this explanation of CrossFit and its methodology during part 2 of this mini-series. Be on the lookout for part 2 next week!

Categories: FitnessTags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: