CrossFit is a fitness regimen designed by Greg Glassman that aims to maximize Glassman's newfound, measurable definition of fitness; "Maximizing work capacity across broad time and modal domains." CrossFit is centered around constantly changing functional movements performed at high intensity to increase one's overall conditioning base. Exercises traditionally feature lower weights, but at very high reps to focus on muscular endurance rather than increasing muscular strength. The nature of CrossFit appeals more to the general public because of its emphasis on burning fat; the number 1 reason for insecurity and low self-esteem (Psychology Today). While CrossFit is advertised as a program for everyone, it is important to at least have moderate gym experience because good technique and proper form are essential in any workout. Measurable results are the foundation that holds CrossFitters accountable. Athletes make scoreboards, keep track of records, and run clocks not only for motivation, but to document the success of each workout in order to collaborate with other members of the community.
When athletes want to further improve at a specific sport or activity, they require a more specialized workout regimen that caters to the needs of their desired discipline. While CrossFit does a good job at forming the initial groundwork for fitness, additional exercises are required in order to boost any athlete to the top of their trade. Variability in routine comes from difference in sport and experience level. For instance, it is obvious that a professional football player will have a different regimen than a player at a high school level. Likewise, that same football workout would be useless to somebody looking to improve their cross-country times. Different sports require different types of movements. So, in order to excel, one must condition the muscles associated with the specific movements involved. One major difference among sport movements is the use of fast-twitch vs. slow-twitch muscle fibers. In distance running, athletes emphasize their slow-twitch muscle fibers because they are responsible for long-endurance feats and fatigue far less quickly than fast-twitch fibers. However, the fast-twitch fibers are responsible for explosive bursts of movement, which is why football players and sprinters focus on strengthening them primarily. Variability will also depend on the progression of an athlete's season. Performing at one level constantly doesn’t allow the body to be at its peak for an extended amount of time. Ideally, athletes will be ready to perform to their full potential by the end of their offseason or beginning of the regular season and try to maintain that level throughout the season. Then the offseason mainly revolves around recovery and rebuilding.
Which Form Of Exercise Should Athletes Do?
Athletes should stick with Sport Specific Training! Sport Specific Training helps an athlete progress properly and help them peak at the right time. Working on an athletes ability to produce optimal strength in certain planes of motion can help them succeed on the field. Also timing and the program will help the athlete peak at the right time. I am in no way saying CrossFit is bad for an individual, but athletes need to do sport specific training to be successful on the playing field.
Editor: Matthew Ellis