October 01, 2004
Coach Greg Glassman offers a beginner’s guide to CrossFit that focuses on problems and solutions. Nearly every aspect of our model is at odds with the fitness magazines and programming in commercial facilities. CrossFit is a leader in the fitness community.
By definition functional exercises call for an essential bit of human capacity. Due to strength or injury, often a particular exercise is not immediately possible. In nearly every case what we do is find a method to reduce the load to insignificant levels while preserving precisely the line of action or substitute movements of similar lines of action that will prepare for the missing capacity. Any weightlifting exercise can be done with a broomstick or PVC pipe. Every bodyweight exercise can be substituted with gateway movements.
The CrossFit approach is to embrace, study, practice, and train for functional mastery. CrossFitters at every level are on the same path - moving from functional competence to functional dominance.
Not being able to complete a WOD doesn’t mean that you can’t do CrossFit. Taking a WOD and reducing the load, cutting the reps, dropping a set, taking longer rests, and sitting down three times during the workout is still doing CrossFit. In making these modifications the athlete is merely turning down the intensity.
Expecting elite fitness from comfortable efforts is naïve, while going too fast is dooming. Our simple charter of functionality, intensity, and variance gives so much latitude that resources cannot be a serious obstacle to CrossFit training.