“Before CrossFit the fitness industry was like a dick measuring contest with the raincoats closed. All CrossFit did was bring out a tape measure and open up those jackets.”
The industry is filled with unsubstantiated fitness claims. There is always a new product promising the “fitness you have always dreamed of”. Maybe it’s Bowflex, maybe it’s P90X, this week it is F45. And we consumers hope that this time they will actually deliver, that we have finally found the answer to our fitness hopes.
But wait a second, what is it all these competing products are offering? Fitness. And what is that exactly?
Ask them and they’ll tell you that you’ll know it when you see it. But will you?
In the fitness industry everyone is selling a product without ever defining what that product is. Can you see the problem with that?
CrossFit founder Greg Glassman realized that to have integrity we first needed to define our terms.
The CrossFit definition of fitness and what CrossFit promises to deliver is:
“Increased work capacity across broad time and modal domains”
That means whatever type of work (mode) that you are required to do, CrossFit will make you capable of increasing your work capacity over whatever time domain (long or short) is required of you.
Now I’m not saying that the CrossFit definition of fitness is perfect but at least we have defined our promise. And having done so we can measure our success at delivering said product.
When you hire a personal trainer to help you get fit how do you know if it is working? Measuring is an important accountability piece for both trainer and client. Without it we cannot know if the trainer is doing his/her job or if the client is getting value for their dollar.
CrossFit has set aside vague subjective measures like “I feel more energetic” in favour of more quantifiable data “I completed 22 rounds in 20 minutes”. This provides both coach and athlete some hard data to back up the sensation of improved energy and allows both to accurately chart progress over time.
Data is difficult to debate. It tends to override opinion. CrossFit is a bit like gravity in this respect: You do not need to believe in either of them in order for them to work. People like me who approached CrossFit with reserved skepticism can’t help but be impressed by the measurable results that follow the adoption of CrossFit training principles.
Can you imagine a fitness debate between a triathlete, a power lifter and a martial arts instructor? The triathlete would claim to be fittest because he can finish an Iron Man faster than the other two. The power lifter would point out that he must be fittest because he can deadlift 600lbs off the floor. And the martial arts instructor, noting that the other two cannot come close to performing a jumping spin kick, would conclude that they are horribly out of shape.
They could argue all day without coming to an agreement about who was truly fit and because they would each be valuing a completely different quality they would each be right (and wrong).
CrossFit’s definition of fitness is broad and inclusive as we give value to and take measure of all 10 general physical skills:
This inclusive definition of fitness values the skills of the endurance athlete, power lifter and martial artist while also pointing out where their fitness is underdeveloped.
Much of the power of the CrossFit program lies in first defining and then measuring fitness. It gives our program power and integrity matched by no one else in the industry.
And even seeing CrossFit’s explosive success, other fitness products have still neither moved to define nor measure fitness. While loudly shouting out about their product being the best they still hold their raincoats tightly closed. Do you ever wonder why that is?
CrossFit. Bringing integrity & accountability to the fitness industry. Come in and give us a try.
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