CrossFit is an evidence-based fitness program dedicated to small-group personal training, which is quite simply “The Sport of Fitness”. The aim of CrossFit is to forge a broad, general and inclusive fitness. We have built a program that will best prepare trainees for any physical contingency – not only for the unknown, but for the unknowable. [Courtesy of CrossFit Inc]

Our typical class follows a robust template with sessions that flow thus:

  • Group warm-up and mobility/flexibility work;
  • Skill review and instruction;
  • Constantly varied intense Workout Of the Day a.k.a. The WOD, lasting between a few minutes and half an hour and incorporating movements from “cardio” (such as running, rowing, skipping), basic gymnastic techniques (such as air squats, box-jumps, push-ups) and Olympic weightlifting (including medicine balls and kettle bells);
  • Mobility/flexibility work and cool down.

The intensity of the WOD is scaled to suit each individual’s physiological and psychological tolerances while preserving the stimulus of each exercise. Some people want and need more intensity while others benefit from less. There are no treadmills, cross-trainers or any other such machine. We move our bodies as nature intended them to in as many ways as possible thus eliminating the inevitable boredom that eventually strikes the typical gym member.

What is Fitness?

Increased work capacity across broad time and modal domains. Capacity is the ability to do real work, which is measurable using the basic terms of physics (force, distance and time). Life is unpredictable (much more so than sport) so real world fitness must be broad and not specialised, both in terms of duration and type of effort (time and modal domains).

What exactly will I be doing?

The technical definition of CrossFit is “Constantly-Varied High-Intensity Functional-Movement”.

Functional Movements are the core movements of life, found everywhere and built into our DNA for example standing up from a seated position on the floor/chair (squat), picking up your baby from the ground (deadlift) or lifting your bag up and placing it on the upper rack in a train (clean and press). These movements safely transport the largest loads the longest distances so they are ideal for maximizing the amount of work done in the shortest time i.e. High Intensity. By employing a Constantly-Varied approach to training, these functional movements at maximum intensity (relative to the physiological and psychological tolerances of the participant), lead to dramatic gains in fitness. Intensity is essential for results and is measurable as work/time. The more work you do in less time, the more intense the effort.

Is it for me?

While it challenges the world’s best and fittest, the CrossFit Program is designed for universal scalability, making it the perfect application for any committed individual, regardless of experience. We have used the same routines for elderly individuals with heart disease as for cage fighters one month out from televised bouts. We scale load and intensity; we do not change programs. The needs of Olympic athletes and our grandparents differ by degree, not kind. Our hunters, skiers, mountain bike riders and housewives have found their best fitness from the same regimen.

What is GongFu?

GongFu/Kung fu is a Chinese term referring to any study, learning, or practice that requires patience, energy, and time to complete, often used in the West to refer to Chinese martial arts, also known as Wushu. It is only in the late twentieth century that this term began to be used in relation to Chinese Martial Arts by the Chinese community. The Oxford English Dictionary defines the term “Kung-fu” as “a primarily unarmed Chinese martial art resembling karate.” This illustrates how the meaning of this term has been changed in English. The origin of this change can be attributed to the misunderstanding or mistranslation of the term through movie subtitles or dubbing.

In its original meaning, kung fu can refer to any skill achieved through hard work and practice, not necessarily martial.

In Mandarin, Gōngfu (功夫) is a compound of two words, combining 功 (gōng) meaning “work”, “achievement”, or “merit”, and 夫 (fū) which is alternately treated as being a word for “man” or as a particle or nominal suffix with diverse meanings (the same character is used to write both). A literal rendering of the first interpretation would be “achievement of man”, while the second is often described as “work and time/effort”. Its connotation is that of an accomplishment arrived at by great effort of time and energy. In Mandarin, when two “first tone” words such as gōng and fū are combined, the second word often takes a neutral tone, in this case forming gōngfu.

Originally, to practice kung fu did not just mean to practice Chinese martial arts. Instead, it referred to the process of one’s training – the strengthening of the body and the mind, the learning and the perfection of one’s skills – rather than to what was being trained. It refers to excellence achieved through long practice in any endeavour. This meaning can be traced to classical writings, especially those of Neo-Confucianism, which emphasize the importance of effort in education.

In the colloquial, one can say that a person’s kung fu is good in cooking, or that someone has kung fu in calligraphy; saying that a person possesses kung fu in an area implies skill in that area, which they have worked hard to develop. Someone with “bad kung fu” simply has not put enough time and effort into training, or seems to lack the motivation to do so.

Our goal at CrossFit GongFu is to continually pursue excellence and virtuosity in all that we do!

You may also find the following links useful:

– CrossFit.com

CrossFit Journal: The Performance-Based Lifestyle Resource