CrossFit gyms use equipment from multiple disciplines, including barbells, dumbbells, gymnastics rings, pull-up bars, jump ropes, kettlebells, medicine balls, plyo boxes, resistance bands, rowing machines, and various mats. CrossFit is focused on "constantly varied, high-intensity, functional movement," drawing on categories and exercises such as calisthenics, Olympic-style weightlifting, powerlifting, Strongman-type events, plyometrics, body weight exercises, indoor rowing, aerobic exercise, running, and swimming.
The "CrossFit Games", directed by Dave Castro, have been held every summer since 2007. Athletes at the Games compete in workouts they learn about only hours beforehand, sometimes including surprise elements that are not part of the typical CrossFit regimen. Past examples include a rough-water swim, a softball throw, and a pegboard climb. The Games are styled as a venue for determining the "Fittest on Earth," where competitors should be "ready for anything."
You start to talk a language nobody understands – talking to a CrossFitter is like talking to somebody in a foreign language. CrossFit people oftentimes forget that nobody outside of CF understands what half the stuff they say means, so they shout out achievements or accomplishments and explain how quickly they did specific exercises…but they don’t realize nobody really cares!
During this program there is no calorie counting, no measuring, and no weighing yourself for the entire 30 days. I know that can be hard — especially if you’re feeling totally bloated (which can happen in the beginning) or particularly svelte in the later weeks. Just don’t do it. Even though a lot of people’s weight begins to normalize during the 30 days, the program focuses a lot on the “non-scale victories,” as in how you’re feeling. Is your sleep better? How’s your skin? Do you feel like doing cartwheels with that extra energy? Cool.
Update: So I just finished Day 23 of my Whole30 Journey and I feel good, aside from the fact that I caught a cold. Weighing myself today, I discovered that I lost 19.5 pounds so far! I measured myself and immediately noted that I lost 19 inches over all (I measure my chest, both arms, both legs, waist, and hips). I think when I am done with my first round, I'll take a day off then start a second round. I just feel that great overall.
With a very simple shift we not only remove the foods that are at odds with our health (grains, legumes, and dairy) but we also increase our intake of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Here is a great paper from Professor Loren Cordain exploring how to build a modern Paleo diet: The nutritional characteristics of a contemporary diet based upon Paleolithic food groups. This paper also offers significant insight as to the amounts and ratios of protein, carbohydrate and fat in the ancestral diet.
For most people the fact the Paleo diet delivers the best results is all they need. Improved blood lipids, weight loss, and reduced pain from autoimmunity is proof enough. Many people however are not satisfied with blindly following any recommendations, be they nutrition or exercise related. Some folks like to know WHY they are doing something. Fortunately, the Paleo diet has stood not only the test of time, but also the rigors of scientific scrutiny.
"We settled, because I don't want to spent 50 to 75 grand getting sued," says Jason Janke. "I covered up the sign." Saran, CrossFit's general counsel, says it's all part of the fight against "the road to genericization." If people can sell "CrossFit equipment" the way they sell "baseball equipment," says Saran, then it becomes crossfit. Soon anyone will be able to coach crossfit or promote a crossfit tournament--effectively killing the value of being an official affiliate, or being CrossFit, for that matter.
This 2003 CrossFit Journal article captures an early conception of a universal, multi-event test of fitness that laid the foundation for CrossFit competition, including what would become the CrossFit Open and the CrossFit Games. The design requirements for such a test "included but were not limited to the following: quantifiable results; consistency with the CrossFit fitness concept; raising our commitment to improving absolute strength, relative strength, and gymnastic foundations; balancing intrinsic abilities of smaller and larger athletes; emphasizing exercises critical to and foundational to advanced training; mixing training demands within each test and, of course, over the total competition; a design that would identify an athlete’s weaknesses and possibly stand as a workout plan for improving overall fitness; and, finally, we wanted to design a competition that would be 'hard as hell.'"