CrossFit is a fitness and conditioning system developed by Coach Greg Glassman. It was developed through many years of watching, working with, and coaching all types of people. – from those considered “normal and average”, to top athletes. Coach Glassman's idea was to take what worked best from the sports and movements that create the most versatile athletes (gymnastics and weightlifting), and throw the rest out. Actually, the system really created itself - if a workout or an exercise proved functional and got great results (e.g., challenged you to the bone), it stayed in the system. If not, well, you got the picture. CrossFit is what remains - bar none, the most effective fitness and conditioning system in the world!
One of the things that makes CrossFit unique is that it addresses the fact that the fitness needs of an "Average Joe" are identical to that of a top athlete – the only difference being intensity (speed & weight) and volume. In all cases, the best results come when training included functional movement (that which replicates real life movement), at high intensity and with constant variety. Any exercise program that meets these three criteria can be considered “CrossFit,” from shoveling dirt, hauling rocks and cutting down trees to weightlifting, pull ups and sprinting.
CrossFit has been called "The Sport of Fitness" because it re-introduces personal athletic achievement and performance to training. The mindset at the start of each workout is to be stronger, move faster and more efficiently, with better form than ever. This is why even after years of training CrossFit style, scores and times in workouts continue to drop and athletes continue to improve. Its hard, fun, exciting, challenging, and will push you to be your absolute best!
CrossFit is by design broad, general and inclusive. Its specialty is in not specializing, and its workouts elicit a maximal neuro-endocrine response from your body by taxing your body to its core with variety, intensity, and multiple joint, full body, functional movements.
The CrossFit Dietary Prescription:
Protein should be lean and varied and account for about 30% of your total caloric load. Carbohydrates should be predominantly low-glycemic and account for about 40% of your total caloric load. Fat should be predominantly monounsaturated and account for about 30% of your total caloric load. Calories should be set at between .7 and 1.0 grams of protein per pound of lean body mass depending on your activity level. The .7 figure is for moderate daily workout loads and the 1.0 figure is for the hardcore athlete.
What should I eat?
In plain language, base your diet on garden vegetables, especially greens, lean meats, nuts and seeds, little starch, and no sugar. That's about as simple as we can get. Many have observed that keeping your grocery cart to the perimeter of the grocery store while avoiding the aisles is a great way to protect your health. Food is perishable. The stuff with long shelf life is all circumspect. If you follow these simple guidelines you will benefit from nearly all that can be achieved through nutrition.
The Caveman or Paleolithic Model for Nutrition
Modern diets are ill suited for our genetic composition. Evolution has not kept pace with advances in agriculture and food processing resulting in a plague of health problems for modern man. Coronary heart disease, diabetes, cancer, osteoporosis, obesity and psychological dysfunction have all been scientifically linked to a diet too high in refined or processed carbohydrate. Search "Google" or "Alta Vista" for Paleolithic nutrition, or diet. The return is extensive, compelling, and fascinating. The Caveman model is perfectly consistent with the CrossFit prescription.
What Foods should I avoid?
Excessive consumption of high-glycemic carbohydrates is the primary culprit in nutritionally caused health problems. High glycemic carbohydrates are those that raise blood sugar too rapidly. They include rice, bread, candy, potato, sweets, sodas, and most processed carbohydrates. Processing can include bleaching, baking, grinding, and refining. Processing of carbohydrates greatly increases their glycemic index, a measure of their propensity to elevate blood sugar.
What is the Problem with High-Glycemic Carbohydrates?
The problem with high-glycemic carbohydrates is that they give an inordinate insulin response. Insulin is an essential hormone for life, yet acute, chronic elevation of insulin leads to hyperinsulinism, which has been positively linked to obesity, elevated cholesterol levels, blood pressure, mood dysfunction and a Pandora's box of disease and disability. Research "hyperinsulinism" on the Internet. There's a gold mine of information pertinent to your health available there. The CrossFit prescription is a low-glycemic diet and consequently severely blunts the insulin response.
Caloric Restriction and Longevity
Current research strongly supports the link between caloric restriction and an increased life expectancy. The incidence of cancers and heart disease sharply decline with a diet that is carefully limited in controlling caloric intake. “Caloric Restriction” is another fruitful area for Internet search. The CrossFit prescription is consistent with this research.
The CrossFit prescription allows a reduced caloric intake and yet still provides ample nutrition for rigorous activity.