When did everyone start CrossFitting?

Is CrossFitting even a word?

Within the past handful of years, the CrossFit exercise philosophy has exploded. Lots of gyms claim to promote it, lots of folks like you and me are beginning to try it, and here at Mediplan Diet Services, we’ve decided to look into a little more deeply on this blog to ensure you have plenty of information on what it is and how it works before launching headfirst into the CrossFit craze yourself.

The post you’re reading right now is part one of a two-part article on the origins, history, growth, and elements of the CrossFit regimen and the benefits and results we believe you may experience as a CrossFit exerciser.

First, a little history lesson.

CrossFit is more than an exercise philosophy. It’s actually a brand name.

CrossFit, Inc. was founded in Santa Cruz by fitness professionals Greg Glassman and Lauren Jenai in 2000. Within five years, there were 13 CrossFit-associated gyms throughout the United States and today, some 10,000 American gyms promote the CrossFit, Inc. brand and base their training upon the foundation laid by Glassman and Jenai in that Santa Cruz gym some 15 years ago.

Along the way, many more gyms across the country and around the world have incorporated elements of the CrossFit, Inc. philosophy despite not being explicitly affiliated with the brand.

What’s that mean?

Well. It leads me to ask questions like “When did everyone start CrossFitting?”

So, what kinds of exercises fall under this CrossFit philosophy?

Let’s rewind to the year 2000. Back in that gym in Santa Cruz, California, CrossFit, Inc. founders Glassman and Jenai conceived it this way:

CrossFit is a strength and conditioning program consisting mainly of a mix of aerobic exercise, gymnastics (body weight exercises), and Olympic weight lifting.CrossFit Inc. describes its strength and conditioning program as “constantly varied functional movements executed at high intensity across broad modal and time domains,”with the stated goal of improving fitness, which it defines as “work capacity across broad time and modal domains.”Hour-long classes at affiliated gyms, or “boxes”, typically include a warm-up, a skill development segment, the high-intensity “workout of the day” (or WOD), and a period of individual or group stretching. Some gyms also often have a strength focused movement prior to the WOD. Performance on each WOD is often scored and/or ranked to encourage competition and to track individual progress. Some affiliates offer additional classes, such as Olympic weightlifting, which are not centered around a WOD.

CrossFit gyms use equipment from multiple disciplines, including barbells, dumbbells, gymnastics rings, pull-up bars, jump ropes, kettlebells, medicine balls, plyo boxes,resistance bands, rowers, and various mats. CrossFit is focused on “constantly varied, high-intensity, functional movement,” drawing on categories and exercises such as these: calisthenics, Olympic-style weightlifting, powerlifting, Strongman-type events, plyometrics, body weight exercises, indoor rowing, aerobic exercise, running, and swimming.

Are CrossFit-style exercises for you?

As always, we encourage you to visit us and consult with your own doctor to learn more about the nature of these specific exercises and whether or not your current health and fitness level is compatible with integrating them into your workout regimen.

Watch for part two of this blog post in which we’ll dissect a few specific CrossFit-style exercise regimens and outline the potential benefits of these exercises.