The 4 Horsemen will usher in a new age of fitness. The traditional versions of Conquest, War, Famine and Death are represented in our focus on Goals, Competition, Nutrition and Metabolic-conditioning. We firmly believe that strength, power and fitness are best achieved by utilizing CrossFit methods and the 4 Horsemen of Lifts: Squats, Presses, Deadlifts and O-lifts.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

What is Crossfit?

Crossfit (noun): General fitness program which uses Constantly Varied Functional Movements done at High Intensity!

But what does all that really mean? ... To answer this question I have summarized a lecture by Pat Sherwood given my Level 1 cert. in Toronto.

Basically, Crossfit is a program that is designed to provide an individual with a broad general and inclusive fitness level. At Crossfit their specialty is not specializing, crossfitters are generalists because frankly, life requires the skills of the generalist (good at many tasks) not the specialist (good at only a single/few tasks), specialization is for insects! Crossfit works to extend ones exposure to as many stimuli as possible because most often you fail at the margins of your experience. By continually pushing those margins or boundaries with new experiences or constantly varied stimuli we can better prepare ourselves for whatever life may throw at us. The way to push these boundaries is through the use of the most basic movements such as the squat(standing up with something), deadlift(picking up something) and overhead press(putting away something), which are essential to independent living. These are safe, prehistoric, biomechanically sound movements for which the human body was designed to do. Nobody had to teach you how to stand up out of a chair, you just knew how to do it. These movements use the universal motor recruitment patterns found in almost every movement we do. They are truely unavoidable excercises. They are compound movements working mulitple muscle groups with multiple joints and by their very nature can not be reduced into simpler, more beneficial movements. However, they can be combined and made more complex in order to become increasingly useful and generate more power. Their greatest effect is how the muscles must all work in symphony for the action to occur. Additionally, these are all core to extremity movements in that the midline must remain stable for the power to be transferred from the ground by our legs, through the trunk and into our arms which are holding the object we wish to lift. Thus, all these movements will improve core strength and contribute greatly to overall strength, that is why they are functional movements. With these Functional movements we are capable of moving large loads a long distance in a short amount of time and that means we can generate more power. This is important because Intensity is directly equal to Power (Power = [Force x Distance] / Time). For all intents and purposes all one needs to know is that intensity is almost always the independent variable most commonly associated with favourable adaptations in fitness. Heart rate is only a correlate to intensity, true measureable intensity is all about power - how much you lifted, how far you lifted it and how long it took you to do it. Basically, all the good stuff comes through high intensity. How high? It is relatively high to each individuals abilities, so by maximizing individual intensity we are maximizing our individual results. Therefore, high Intensity is our shortcut to both fitness and results, which we will notice almost immediately in the improvements to our everyday life.

Stay tuned for What is Fitness?

"The Magic is in the Movements, the Art is in the Programming and the Science is in the Explanation." - Pat Sherwood quoting Greg Glassman.


Sean B-H said...

that was a good lecture eh? Pat is a really good speaker.

Michael Murphy said...

Great speaker! His tangents were almost better than the lectures.

Sean B-H said...

did he joke about doing wrist curls and other old body building antics? Or what about being in the navy and wiping up and down instead of side to side because it makes your butt jiggle?

Sean B-H said...

murph how as your trip? How are you liking the Italian women?