CrossFit 101



What is CrossFit? Is CrossFit Right For Me? Why Should I Try It?


Before I dive into the answers, I want to thank Jason Dunbar of IronFire Athletics for chatting with me at his successful CrossFit studio in San Diego.


Watch the accompanying video and check out his cool set up, his infectious enthusiasm for CrossFit workouts, successful dieting tips and more!


What is CrossFit?


CrossFit is a fitness regimen developed by Greg Glassman over several decades. CrossFit is constantly varied functional movements performed at high intensity. All CrossFit workouts are based on functional movements, and these movements reflect the best aspects of gymnastics, weightlifting, running, rowing and more.


Glassman remains as the CEO of CrossFit and I admire the straight-forward manner he describes “World Class Fitness in 100 Words”:


“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, clean, squat, presses, clean and jerk, and snatch. Similarly, master the basics of gymnastics: pull-ups, dips, rope climbs, push-ups, sit-ups, presses to handstand, pirouettes, flips, splits, and holds. Bike, run, swim, row, etc, hard and fast. Five or six days per week mix these elements in as many combinations and patterns as creativity will allow. Routine is the enemy. Keep workouts short and intense. Regularly learn and play new sports.”


The CrossFit program is driven by data. Over 11,000 affiliates (and growing) use clocks and whiteboards to keep accurate scores and records to motivate members and keep them striving to achieve improvement and corresponding positive results.


Is CrossFit Right For Me?


While CrossFit challenges the world’s fittest, the program is designed for any committed individual, regardless of experience. The instructors will scale the load and intensity to accommodate different levels but they do not change the program stating, “The needs of Olympic athletes and our grandparents differ by degree, not kind.”


One of the allures of CrossFit that explains its popularity is the camaraderie among the participants. I witnessed this at IronFire Athletics and it was cool to see the participants working as a team and motivating each other to do their best.


If you enjoy a teamwork environment, competitive spirit and are motivated by established metrics and past performance record keeping, you’ll fit right in at CrossFit.  There is some negative hubbub in the media regarding issues with injuries so ensure that you seek out qualified instructors. As with any new exercise discipline, ensure that you modify according to your specific needs and injury issues. Listen to your body and if any exercises don’t feel right to you or illicit a pain signal: Don’t Do It! Ask your instructor for modifications so you stay injury free and have fun.


Why Should I Try It?


CrossFit touts covering the following 10 Fitness Domains:


  • Cardiovascular and Respiratory
  • Stamina
  • Strength
  • Flexibility
  • Power
  • Speed
  • Coordination
  • Agility
  • Balance
  • Accuracy


Other reported benefits include weight loss, increased muscle mass and thus increased

metabolism, improved athleticism, ongoing motivation and being included in a strong

support community. With all this potential upside and the opportunity to try a unique

fitness modality, the question becomes:  Why Not Try It?


Remember to take a peek at the video and if you live in the San Diego area, check out

Jason’s CrossFit studio, IronFire Athletics. Or, go to and

enter your location to get a list of affiliates in your area. CrossFit gyms are located in

142 countries across 7 continents so find yours today and get working out!

JayDee Cutting III, MBA

JayDee Cutting III, MBA is an Educator for the American Council On Exercise and holds 12 fitness certifications including Pilates, yoga, personal training, lifestyle and weight management. JayDee is a Total Gym master trainer and spokesmodel since 2004. He lectured and taught wellness at Rancho La Puerta Fitness Spa and is featured in over 10 fitness DVDs and over 40 fitness television programs. He developed his own Coregolf Fitness Program and founded the NiceDogYoga Company. His mission statement is: “My passion is inspiring people to enhance their lives through wellness, creating healthier, happier, higher qualities of life.”

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