CrossFit is many things
Primarily, it’s a fitness regimen developed by Coach Greg Glassman over several decades. He was the first person in history to define fitness in a meaningful, measurable way (increased work capacity across broad time and modal domains).
CrossFit itself is defined as that which optimizes fitness (constantly varied functional movements performed at relatively high intensity) and its aim is to forge a broad, general and inclusive fitness.
CrossFit is also the community that spontaneously arises when people do these workouts together. In fact, the communal aspect of CrossFit is a key component of why it’s so effective.
The magic is in the movements
All of CrossFit’s workouts are based on functional movements. These are the core movements of life, found everywhere, and built naturally into our DNA.
By employing a constantly-varied approach to training, these functional movements (at maximum intensity) lead to dramatic gains in fitness. No workout is ever the same. Intensity is essential for results and is measurable as work/time. The more work you do in less time, the more intense the effort.
Using whiteboards as scoreboards, keeping accurate scores and records, running a clock, and precisely defining the rules and standards for performance, we not only motivate unprecedented output, but derive both relative and absolute metrics at every workout.
While it challenges the world’s fittest, the CrossFit program is designed for universal scalability, making it the perfect application for any committed individual, regardless of experience. The same routines are used for elderly individuals with heart disease and professional cage fighters.
We scale load and intensity; we don’t change programs.
The needs of Olympic athletes and our grandparents differ by degree, not kind. Our marathon runners, mountain bike riders and housewives have found their best fitness from the same regimen.