On Elegance

By Pat Sherwood

In CrossFit, Rest Day/Theory

February 24, 2013

PDF Article

Pat Sherwood addresses the concept of clever simplicity in fitness and life.

CrossFit places great importance on the concept of elegance.

In my pre-CrossFit life, I only associated the word elegant with “fancy.” I was half right. Fancy is shorthand for the first two definitions:

1. Tasteful in dress, style or design.

2. Dignified and graceful in appearance, behavior, etc.

Yet there’s another definition, with which I was unfamiliar:

3. Cleverly simple; ingenious. As in an elegant solution to a problem.

I’m now in love with the third definition.

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13 Comments on “On Elegance”


wrote …

an elegant article too


wrote …

I offen talk about Crossfit for ages and ages... This article sums it up I short and elegant terms. Thank you;)


wrote …

Good article, Pat. Ice cream and handstands all day!


wrote …

Great article Pat!


wrote …

wonderful! its always interesting when people ask you "so what is crossfit" without sounding like a pompous crazy ass hole who uses big words. attempt at making it sound more simple typically evoke a better response :-) excellent article


wrote …

Phenomenal content. Beautifully written. Thank you.


wrote …

Well written. I need to memorize parts of this so I can better explain it to the curios.


wrote …

Thank you for this awesome article Pat! As George Ryan would say, "You knocked it out of the park".


wrote …

Wow man!! For such a badass...that was extremely elegant! Well put:)


wrote …

This is a fantastic, yet short article; from my point of view it would fit the training guide perfectly (just after "Fundamentals, Virtuosity, and Mastery").
Thank you.


wrote …

Pat, interesting article. I have always been impressed with many of the simple 'one-liners' that from CrossFit. Here are two thoughts I had while reading.

First, with respect to the 'Equation for Fitness'. It is beautifully simple, and as you described, elegant, and describes how CrossFit makes you fitter. BUT, you would never say just that to a first-time CrossFit beginner. Elegant solution to a problem juxtaposed against a much more complex of explanation. For example, the link "What is CrossFit" off the mainpage, only mentions it in parenthesis in the second paragraph. Not a slight, just a thought I had. The sentence makes perfect sense to me because I understand it. What is the most effective (elegant?) way to help someone understand that concept?

Second, when you compared rep schemes and said "The second workout looks like someone threw up on the page. It’s not beautiful and it doesn’t flow. There’s nothing cleverly simple about it." My question to you is, so what?! Does one work better than the other? Do I get more gains, faster and safer with one route? If no, then so what? If yes, then the other should probably be thrown out.

Why not "Complete 45 reps each of 225-lb deadlifts and handstand push-ups for time" ?


wrote …

I would write a long comment, but I have the time.


wrote …

Thanks Pat - well put! - CC

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