500m assault bike
by Greg Glassman
Our commitment to evidence-based fitness, publicly posting performance data, co-developing our program in collaboration with other coaches, and our open-source charter in general has well positioned us to garner important lessons from our program—to learn precisely and accurately, that is, about the adaptations elicited by CrossFit programming. What we’ve discovered is that CrossFit increases work capacity across broad time and modal domains. This is a discovery of great import and has come to motivate our programming and refocus our efforts. This far-reaching increase in work capacity supports our initially stated aims of building a broad, general, and inclusive fitness program. It also explains the wide variety of sport demands met by CrossFit as evidenced by our deep penetration among diverse sports and endeavors. We’ve come to see increased work capacity as the holy grail of performance improvement and all other common metrics like VO2 max, lactate threshold, body composition, and even strength and flexibility as being correlates—derivatives, even. We’d not trade improvements in any other fitness metric for a decrease in work capacity.
The modest start of publicly posting our daily workouts on the Internet beginning six years ago has evolved into a community where human performance is measured and publicly recorded against multiple, diverse, and fixed workloads. CrossFit is an open-source engine where inputs from any quarter can be publicly given to demonstrate fitness and fitness programming, and where coaches, trainers, and athletes can collectively advance the art and science of optimizing human performance.