Why does CrossFit work? (Hint: Exercise vs. Training)

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Why is Crossfit such an effective strength and conditioning program?

This is a very common question. Many have come up with their own set of reasons. I’m going to throw another view into the mix. Basically it boils down to Exercise vs. Training. “Wait. Isn’t exercise and training the same thing?” I hear you say. Not exactly! While many of us use them interchangeably, they are very different! 


Exercise is doing physical activity simply for the sake of it. It involves going ‘through the motions’ with no longer-term goals or purpose. You can see these people at every globo gym in the land. On the recliner bike with no focus, no intensity, looking uninspired and bored! Training, on the other hand is motivated by a distinct purpose and longer-term goals (to get faster, stronger, etc). Training generally occurs with a group of like-minded individuals, and is highly quantifiable. It can only be called a successful training program if the goals were achieved. Sounds a lot like Crossfit doesn’t it?


  If your skeptical friends are anything like mine, they may take a line from Kenny Powers as an excuse to avoid Crossfit - “I'm not trying to be the best at exercising!” While amusing, this misses the point completely. Crossfit is not about exercising. Crossfit, when used properly, is a TRAINING PROGRAM designed to elicit large and quantifiable improvements in performance.  


    Exercise     Training
1. No goals or purpose 1. Distinct purpose
2. Motivation is difficult 2. Motivated by goals
3. Unfocused and lacks intensity 3. Focused and intense
4. Uninspired and boring. Going 'through the motions' 4. Generally in a group setting of like-minded individuals