July 13, 2010

Our program delivers a fitness that is, by design, broad, general, and inclusive. Our specialty is not specializing. Combat, survival, many sports, and life reward this kind of fitness and, on average, punish the specialist.

The CrossFit program is designed for universal scalability making it the perfect application for any committed individual regardless of experience. We’ve used our same routines for elderly individuals with heart disease and cage fighters one month out from televised bouts. We scale load and intensity; we don’t change programs.

The needs of Olympic athletes and our grandparents differ by degree not kind. Our terrorist hunters, skiers, mountain bike riders and housewives have found their best fitness from the same regimen.

CrossFit is a strength and conditioning fitness methodology that promotes broad and general overall physical fitness. CrossFit combines weightlifting, sprinting, and gymnastics. CrossFit says that proficiency is required in each of ten fitness domains: cardiovascular/respiratory endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, speed, agility, balance, coordination, and accuracy. It defines fitness as increased work capacity across all these domains and says its program achieves this by provoking neurologic and hormonal adaptations across all metabolic pathways.

If you’ve never heard of kettlebells, you aren’t alone. Although this piece of strength training equipment has been around for decades, only recently has it caught the attention of mainstream athletes. Kettlebells are bowling ball-sized cast iron weights with a single looped handle on top.
The reason for the boost in kettlebell training it that it gets back to basic training that requires functional, whole body fitness. Kettlebells require an athlete to focus on whole-body conditioning because lifting and controlling a kettlebell forces the entire body, and specifically the core, to contract as a group, building both strength and stability at the same time. Kettlebell workouts engage multiple muscle groups at once. In this way, they are a great option for getting a whole body workout in a short time.

The handstand – a fundamental skill if you are interested in bodyweight exercises. Working it will build strength and help develop total body coordination.

No stunt is more beautiful, more symmetrical, more eye pleasing, more attention-attracting, or more universally admired than the handstand. No stunt is more indicative of highly developed neuro-muscular coordination, controlled strength and power, and skillful daring than the handstand. No stunt is more satisfying to do, more impressive to watch, or more widely performed, than the handstand.

The benefits are many. If you look at any master of this art then you will see a strong man or woman. Put simply, the advanced moves like a pike press or planche take an unbelievable amount of strength across the arms, shoulders, and abs on top of the coordination required.

Look at the arms of any advanced hand balancer and you will see not a bulky 20” arm but one that is capable of many feats of strength. And its not just the upper arm. Even more so is the strength you get in the forearms and hands.
Though the simple handstand does not require an extraordinary amount of strength the various presses such as a hollow back press-up or a freestanding handstand pushup will help you build it. Press your bodyweight with a barbell? All good, but can you actually press your bodyweight?
You see these moves take lots more then just arms and shoulder strength. Most of the power and stability actually comes from the abs and midsection. To hold any position requires a coordinated effort from your entire body even the legs.

The body awareness and muscular control you will develop from practicing these hand balancing skills cannot be beat by any other means. True strength comes from being able to control your efforts to a high ability. Watch a master of this art and you will see someone who can make their body do whatever they want it to…on command.