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Fitness Is … Outside by Blair Morrison - CrossFit Journal

Fitness Is … Outside

By Blair Morrison

In Rest Day/Theory

February 18, 2011

PDF Article

Greg Glassman asked the question, “What is fitness?” Blair Morrison offers some of his own thoughts to help you discover what fitness means to you.

What is fitness?

That question is one of the foundations of the CrossFit program, and asking it will make you question just about everything you know about training. In answering it, Greg Glassman created a new way of training and a new way of thinking about health and human performance. He also got people thinking and answering the question for themselves.

In this final installment, two-time CrossFit Games competitor Blair Morrison argues that you might train in a gym, but true fitness is found by mastering the challenges of life—whatever they might be.

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15 Comments on “Fitness Is … Outside”


wrote …

A very good series of articles, thought provoking and motivational, not a bad little couplet!..


wrote …

I train beginners at our box and always encourage them to go hiking or try a new or old sport and see how far they've honed the 10 general physical skills. It's fun in the gym to see how far you can push yourself, but the experience in the open air, at the summit of a mountain is 10 times more satisfying. I'll be out back with Blair. Great post.


Bryan de la Puente wrote …

If I'm not mistaken that's one of the traditions of crossfit "play sports" ...but none of the less a very provocative insight :)


wrote …

Crossfit has helped make me happier, healthier, and far more fit than ever before. I don't do it for looks, I don't do it for women, I do it because i love it. I enjoy the personal competition. I love always increasing my level of fitess. When a person feels they can no longer progress they become depressed, but with crossfit that is impossible. I feel that if at any point you think you can no longer improve you haven't given it all you got! To all my fellow crossfitters nothing is better to me than knowing you all enjoy life. You all seek a better life both physically and mentally. My hat is off to all of you. Thanks for giving me a place to call home.


wrote …

I am with you all the way. Nothing beats hearing the sound of a bird as you drive to complete the last rep of the WOD, smell the fresh air and where I live the real smells of the country. Building a natural stone wall requires the squat, dead lift and many more moves we practice on a daily basis. Get out there and enjoy all that is around you.


wrote …

very good article. Anyone who is intrested in functional training outdoors should have a look at some exelent stuff going on there.

keep up the good work


wrote …

I think this is spot on Blair. In fact, I just wrote a giant post about "outdoor CrossFit" for my blog this week! For me, it's not enough just to be technically good and strong in the gym, I want that to translate to the outdoors as well. And it seems like the best way to do that is to actually get out there and do it.

At #6: I think MovNat is going to be a HUGE addition to the CrossFit community in coming years.

For those who are interested in my musings about CrossFit, Functional vs. Natural movements, etc., you can check out my post at:

Sorry, not trying to spam, just to add to the conversation!

Another great article from the CFJ! Keep up the amazing work!


wrote …

I resisted joining a gym for years for this very reason. Why should I pay to train indoors when i can run/cycle/hike/play in the outdoors. Fortunately i gave in and joined a gym, found crossfit, and now get the benefit of both.


wrote …


Fantastic article. This is the side of CrossFit that calls to me. The essence of preparing for the "Known and Unknown". I firmly believe that unless our "edges" are constantly being pushed in every aspect of our lives - not just our fitness- we slowly become the "walking dead". We all see those people and interact with them on a daily basis, the ones who are just filling time and waiting for the sands to run out of their hourglasses.

The ability to "move that weight" because some day you might have to is an essential tool to have in our mindsets. Applying "Fitness" with this type of rationale and challenging people to get out of the gyms and experience LIFE once in a while will go much farther than plugging into the internet to check whether your "FRAN" time is still standing up against your peers.

Thanks for such a well written and timely article. Crossfit should be "Timeless" not "Timely".



Thomas Schmitt wrote …

Love this. CrossFitters have this philosophical side that you don't find anywhere else. The globodroids seem so concerned with how the world sees them. This article reminds me that us CrossFitters train to change how WE see the world. We train that its challenges aren't insurmountable.


Dominic Munnelly wrote …

thanks for that Blair - i was trying to decide on doing a 'gym' workout but after reading that will hit the fresh air of my local park.
inspiring as ever


wrote …

Vanity fair!


wrote …


Thanks for another great article. I know I spent all my years before CF getting "fit" (not really) indoors. Dealing with the elements is definitely crucial in expanding the margins of our experience and truly being prepared for anything.

Keep it coming!



wrote …

Great article! As founder and owner of Balance Gym, where I was lucky enough to work and train with Blair, we spend many days in the park training. If any of you are in the DC area, look us up. I also do free workouts outside that are posted at All free, all outside.


wrote …

Great article Blair I have all my gym equipment in my front garden and train outside regardless of the weather. This article has helped to validate outdoor fitness- it's intent that counts the most, I love training with the most basic equipment too. Kind of reminds me of the training montage in Rocky IV where Drago has the hi-tech equippment while Rocky trains outdoors. It's about finding the intensity and motivation regardless of circumstances and not using gyms and equipment as props. Back to basics is great!

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