Over the years, the sport of CrossFit has grown tremendously. The CrossFit Games started as a small competition on Dave Castro’s family ranch in Aromas, California. Since 2007, the CrossFit Games have evolved to find the fittest and most capable athletes in the World. CrossFit HQ has made some recent changes designed to refocus on its core mission of preventing and reversing chronic disease. With the visibility of the Games, it seems as if many CrossFitters are blurring lines between using CrossFit for sport and using it for health. Here is a some ways to distinguish between CrossFit as a sport and CrossFit as a lifestyle-enhancing training program.
Sport: In today’s CrossFit world, to compete at a high level in the sport you need your own coach, an individual training plan, and different accessory programs. Competitive athletes practice their gymnastics skills and develop their endurance on top of their main training sessions. They also put hours and hours of time towards focusing on recovery to manage the training volume necessary to compete. These serious athletes have made CrossFit their main sport and many now do it professionally.
Health: Most people become encapsulated by CrossFit because they want to be healthy, look better or be better at their main sport. They want to improve their general physical preparedness, so that they can be better in their real lives: be a better mom, manager, teacher, or nurse. They want to avoid injuries, boost their energy, and feel good about themselves. For these people, a constantly varied and balanced programming with high levels of intensity should provide these results! Avoid getting sucked into the idea that high volume training and multiple coaches are necessary to help you reach your goals. If health and aesthetics are your main goals, keep it simple: be consistent, have intensity in your training, eat well, and sleep often!
What ever your long term goals are, be sure to keep your focus clear and remember why you train!