Why do we do CrossFit? Sickness and Wellness
Why do we do CrossFit?
Well for a start there are many reasons, but I’m going to touch on what I feel are the most important. Including why YOU should be doing CrossFit. For myself it is to live as long as possible with as much freedom to do exactly what I want and when I want, most people assume that this is achieved with money. What if money cannot buy you health like so many believe it does, like vitamin pills and meal replacement shakes and detoxes, what if taking a painkiller doesn’t actually help your pain, it doesn’t resolve it and strengthen a once weakened area. If actually it masks it temporarily until they wear off and the pain comes back again? Take them for life? What if you have all the money in the world but are unable to get out of your chair to experience wildlife like you would like to or if you’re unable to squat down and play with your grandkids because your back is always sore. These are certainly things I don’t want to be held back from doing.
How does CrossFit help fight this? It gives us increased work capacity across broad time and modal domains. Amongst many other things, how does this relate to longevity of health and why we should do CrossFit? Do you know someone who is ‘fit but not healthy’ or ‘healthy but not fit?’ Well I’m afraid that these things do not exist and I’ll explain why.
First let’s understand what is unhealthy, healthy and fit. (sickness, wellness and fitness). Can a person’s health be measured, and if so how? By their ten kilometre run time or the amount of ‘healthy’ smoothies they drink? Their abs?
Let’s take a look at the sickness to wellness to fitness continuum
You must surpass sickness to reach wellness (healthy) and surpass wellness to become fit.
Let’s understand that we can quantify measures of sickness, wellness and health.
40% body fat = morbidly obese = sickness
15% body = normal = wellness
8% body fat = expected elite athlete = fitness
This can be done for something like resting heart rate as this can also be done for any of the ten general physical skills such as flexibility and endurance. We consider all values to be apart of this chart, completing constantly varied, functional movement, performed at a high intensity (CrossFit) will increase (or decrease relatively) each of these values.
All of these measures that naturally change as we age, such as increase in resting heart rate and decrease in flexibility yet CrossFit as a program is periodised to to excel in these areas and therefore it is an anti ageing program? Now these ageing processes will happen without a doubt but we can and should be doing our best to retain as much of these into wellness and fitness as possible. The further down the continuum we fall to sickness will inevitably end in death, meaning the more factors we control in staying upwards of the continuum will result in a prolonged life.
What plan of action do we take?
To increase health and fight ageing we need to increase, or at least maintain, work capacity across broad time and modal domains. In other words, climb our way up the continuum from sickness to wellness to fitness. To do this you should…
Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar. Keep intake to levels that will support exercise, but not body fat. Practice and train major lifts: Deadlift, squat, presses, clean, jerk and snatch. Similarly, master the basics of gymnastics: pull-ups, dips, rope climb, push-ups, sit-ups, and presses to handstand, pirouettes, flips, splits, and holds. Bike, run, swim, row, etc… Five or six days per week mix these elements in as many combinations and patterns as creativity will allow. Routine is the enemy. Regularly learn and play new sports.
This is in fact the definition of CrossFit and why myself and many others follow this and why you should too.