CrossFit, Inc. is a fitness company founded by Greg Glassman (with Lauren Glassman) in 2000. CrossFit's exercise program is practiced by members of approximately 6,100 affiliated gyms, most of which are located in the United States, and by individuals who complete daily workouts posted on the company's website or workouts prescribed by a coach at a local affiliate.
Programming and usage 
Crossfit advocates a mix of aerobic exercise, body weight exercise, gymnastics, and Olympic weight lifting..CrossFit describes its strength and conditioning program as “constantly varied, high intensity, functional movement," with the stated goal of improving fitness (and therefore general physical preparedness), which it defines as "work capacity across broad time and modal domains." Workouts are typically short—30 minutes or less—and intense, demanding all-out physical exertion. They combine movements such as sprinting, rowing, jumping rope, climbing rope, flipping tires, weightlifting, carrying heavy objects, and many bodyweight exercises; equipment used includes barbells, dumbbells, gymnastics rings, pull-up bars, kettlebells, medicine balls, and boxes for box jumps. These elements are mixed in numerous combinations to form prescribed "Workouts of the Day" or "WODs". Hour-long classes at affiliated gyms, or "boxes," typically include a warm-up, a skill development segment, the high-intensity WOD, and a period of individual or group stretching. Performance on each WOD is often scored and/or ranked to encourage competition and to track individual progress. Some affiliates offer additional classes, such as Olympic weightlifting, which are not centered around a WOD. The aim of Crossfit is to physically prepare people for whatever life might throw at them. It is not about following a particular routine, but about constantly varying workouts.
CrossFit programming is used by 6,100 private affiliated gyms and by many fire departments, law enforcement agencies, and military organizations including the Royal Danish Life Guards, as well as by some U.S. and Canadian high school physical education teachers, high school and college sports teams, and the Miami Marlins.
Business model and CrossFit culture 
CrossFit, Inc. licenses the CrossFit name to gyms for an annual fee and certifies trainers. Besides the standard two-day "Level 1 Trainer Course", specialty seminars include gymnastics, Olympic weightlifting, powerlifting, strongman, running and endurance, rowing, kettlebells, mobility and recovery, CrossFit Kids, CrossFit Football (developed by former NFL player John Welbourn), self-defense and striking. Other specialized adaptations include programs for pregnant women, seniors, and military special operations candidates. Affiliates develop their own programming, pricing, and instructional methods. Many athletes and trainers see themselves as part of a contrarian, insurgent movement that questions conventional fitness wisdom; besides performing prescribed workouts, they follow CrossFit's nutrition recommendations (adopting a paleo and/or zone diet), and favor minimalist footwear.
CrossFit is noteworthy for its use of a virtual community Internet model. The company says this de-centralized approach shares some common features with open source software projects and allows best practices to emerge from a variety of approaches, a contention that is disputed by some subject matter experts, competitors, and former affiliates.
CrossFit Games 
The "CrossFit Games" have been held every summer since 2007. Participation and sponsorship have grown rapidly; the prize money awarded to each first-place male and female increased from $500 at the inaugural Games to $250,000 in 2011-2013. Athletes at the Games compete in workouts they learn about only hours beforehand, sometimes including surprise elements that are not part of the typical CrossFit regimen; past examples include a rough-water swim and a softball throw. The Games are styled as a venue for determining the "Fittest on Earth," where competitors should be "ready for anything."
In 2011, the Games adopted an online format for the sectional event, facilitating participation by athletes worldwide. During the "CrossFit Open", a new workout is released each week. Athletes have several days to complete the workout and submit their scores online, with either a video or validation by a CrossFit affiliate. The top CrossFit Open performers in each region advance to the regional events, held over the following two months. As of 2013 there are 17 regional divisions, including 12 in North America (North West, Canada West, Canada East, North Central, Central East, North East, Mid Atlantic, South East, South Central, South West, Southern California, and Northern California), and five in the rest of the world (Europe, Asia, Africa, Latin America, and Australia). The top athletes (up to 3 of each gender) from each region are eligible to compete in the CrossFit Games.
The Games include divisions for individuals of each gender, and for a number of Masters age groups: 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, and 60+, as well as for co-ed teams comprising 3 men and 3 women. Masters competitors qualify for the Games based on performance in the CrossFit Open—there are no Masters regional events.
|Year||Male champion||Female champion||Affiliate Cup||Masters Men||Masters Women|
|2007||James "OPT" Fitzgerald||Jolie Gentry||CrossFit Santa Cruz|
|2008||Jason Khalipa||Caity Matter||CrossFit Oakland|
|2009||Mikko Salo||Tanya Wagner||Northwest CrossFit|
|2010||Graham Holmberg||Kristan Clever||CrossFit Fort Vancouver||Brian Curley||Laurie Carver|
|Year||Male champion||Female champion||Affiliate Cup||Masters Men (45-49)||Masters Women (45-49)||Masters Men (50-54)||Masters Women (50-54)||Masters Men (55-59)||Masters Women (55-59)||Masters Men (60+)||Masters Women (60+)|
|2011||Rich Froning Jr.||Annie Thorisdottir||CrossFit New England||Scot DeTore||Susan Habbe||Gord Mackinnon||Mary Beth Litsheim||Steve Anderson||Shelley Noyce||Greg Walker||Betsy Finley|
|2012||Rich Froning Jr.||Annie Thorisdottir||Hacks Pack UTE||Gene LaMonica||Lisa Mikkelsen||Gord Mackinnon||Susan Habbe||Tim Anderson||Marnel King||Scott Olson||Mary Schwing|
History and contributors 
Greg Glassman founded CrossFit, Inc. in 2000. The first affiliated gym was CrossFit North in Seattle, Washington; there were 13 by 2005 and more than 6,100 today. Coaches associated with CrossFit include Louie Simmons, Bob Harper and Mike Burgener. Another CrossFit subject matter expert is Dr. Nicholas Romanov, inventor of the Pose method of running, and Dr. Ralph Mayer, an up and coming masters competitor.
Common CrossFit movements 
The following is a list of movements/exercises common in CrossFit workouts, with brief descriptions.
Body weight exercises 
- Air squat
- Athlete moves from the standing position to a squatting position with the hips below the knees, and back to standing. One-legged air squats are referred to as pistols.
- Back extension
- Using a GHD machine, the athlete moves from an L-shaped position with the head directly below the pelvis to an extended horizontal position.
- Box jump
- From a standing position on the floor, the athlete jumps and lands with both feet on top of a box, and fully extends before returning to the floor. Typical box heights in inches are 15", 20", 24", and 30".
- Beginning in a standing position, the athlete drops to the floor with the feet extending backward, contacts the floor with the chest, and then pulls the legs forward, landing in a squatting position before standing up, usually ending with a small jump.
- Handstand push-up
- Beginning in a handstand, with the arms straight and (usually) the heels gently resting against a wall, the athlete bends the arms until the head touches the ground, and then pushes back up into a handstand position.
- Jump rope
- The most common variation in CrossFit is the "double under" in which the jump rope makes two revolutions for each jump.
- Hanging from a bar, starting in an extended position, the athlete raises the knees until they make contact with the elbows.
- With the body supported on gymnastics rings or parallettes, the athlete holds the feet at or above the level of the hips with the legs straight.
- Athlete takes a large step forward, bends the forward knee until the back knee makes contact with the ground, and rises.
- Hanging from gymnastics rings or a bar, the athlete pulls up and over the rings or bar, ending with the arms straight and the hands below the hips.
- Ring dip
- Starting with the body supported on the rings with straight vertical arms, the athlete bends the arms, lowering the body until the shoulder drops below the elbow, and then straightens the arms.
- Starting from a hanging position with straight arms, the athlete pulls up until the chin is over the bar. Variations include: strict, in which no swinging is allowed; kipping, in which momentum is used to help complete the movement; weighted, in which extra weight is hung from the athlete; chest-to-bar, in which the ending point of the movement is higher, and the chest makes contact with the bar; jumping, in which the legs are used to help propel the athlete upwards; assisted, in which an elastic band allows the movement to be completed with less than full body weight.
- Starting in a plank position with the arms straight, the athlete lowers until the chest makes contact with the ground, keeping the body straight throughout, and pushes back up into the plank position. Variations include weighted push-ups and ring push-ups, in which the hands are supported just above the ground by gymnastics rings.
- Rope climb
- Starting from the ground, the athlete climbs a rope and touches a point at a designated height, often 15 feet. Variations include no feet, and L-sit, in which the feet are held above the level of the hips during the climb.
- Athlete moves from a supine position, with the shoulders on the ground, to a sitting position with the shoulders over the hips. The feet are sometimes anchored. An "ab-mat" is sometimes placed under the lower back.
- Hanging from a bar in an extended position, the athlete brings the feet upward until they make contact with the bar.
Monostructural Movements 
- Typical distances range from 100 meters to 1 mile. Shuttle runs back and forth between marks 10 meters apart are also common.
- Many workouts include rowing machine distances from 500 meters to 2000 meters, or rowing "for calories".
Movements with weights 
- Barbell is lifted from the ground until the athlete reaches an upright standing position.
- Barbell is (or dumbbells are) lifted from the ground to a "rack position" in front of the athlete's neck. Athlete ends in a standing position. In a squat clean the athlete receives the bar in a squatting position and stands to finish the lift. In a power clean, the athlete receives the bar in a partial squat.
- Kettlebell swing
- A kettlebell is swung from between the legs to overhead.
- Barbell is moved from the "rack position" to the overhead position. In a strict press, also called a shoulder press or military press, the lower body remains stationary. In a push press, the bar is "jumped" off the body using a "dip and drive" motion. A push jerk is like a push press, but with a re-bend of the knees to allow the athlete to drop under the bar and receive it with straight arms. A split jerk is like a push jerk, but one leg goes forward and the other backward when the athlete drops under the bar.
- Barbell is raised from the floor to the overhead position in one motion. In a squat snatch the athlete receives the bar in a squatting position and stands to finish the lift. In a power snatch, the athlete receives the bar in a partial squat.
- Barbell is supported on upper back (back squat), in the rack position (front squat), or in the overhead position (overhead squat). From a standing position with a wider-than-shoulder-width stance, the athlete bends the knees until the hips are below the knees, and then stands, keeping the heels on the floor.
- Sumo deadlift high pull
- With a wide stance, a barbell or kettlebell is lifted from the ground to a position just under the chin.
- A combination of a front squat and a push press: starting with the barbell in the rack position, the athlete squats (hips below knees) and then stands, driving the barbell overhead.
- Tire flip
- A large tire, lying on its side, is flipped over by lifting one edge.
- Holding a medicine ball below the chin while facing a wall at arms length, the athlete squats (hips below knees) and stands, throwing the medicine ball in order to make contact with an overhead target on the wall.
Dr. Tony Webster, a former professor and lecturer in exercise science at the Pacific Institute for Sports Excellence of Camosun College, suggests CrossFit be used "safely and sensibly" and finds some support for the program in current academic research: "It’s safe to say that a CrossFit-style program performed three-to-five times per week will almost certainly provide a weekly dose of “vigorous” aerobic exercise that will easily satisfy current public-health guidelines. More and more research studies are demonstrating the efficiency of shorter high-intensity exercise bouts in improving not only fitness but also a whole range of health markers. In fact, plenty of scientific evidence suggests vigorous activity has inherently greater health benefits than moderate activity. Used safely and sensibly, I believe CrossFit has potential not just to change people’s lives, but also to change the fitness industry for the better."
The editors of PureHealthMD writing for Discovery Health Channel found CrossFit "equals better fitness and stronger muscles in a more reasonable amount of time" compared to trying to "build muscle and get in shape by spending 60 minutes or more in the gym several days a week..." Their conclusion was that the program "is a different type of exercise routine ...a well-rounded and very efficient way to achieve a higher level of fitness ...that does not need a whole lot of fancy equipment, but does offer a nice variety to keep the interest level up and provide the challenge needed to keep the exercise fun."
Makimba Mimms, who suffered injuries while performing a CrossFit workout on December 11, 2005, at Manassas World Gym in Manassas, VA under the supervision of an uncertified trainer, claimed that CrossFit poses an elevated risk of rhabdomyolysis. He successfully sued his trainers and was awarded $300,000 in damages.
According to Dr. Stuart McGill, a professor of spine biomechanics at the University of Waterloo, the risk of injury from some CrossFit exercises outweighs their benefits when they are performed with poor form in timed workouts. He added there are similar risks in other exercise programs but noted that CrossFit's online community enables athletes to follow the program without proper guidance, increasing the risk.
Articles on many websites criticize CrossFit for its lack of periodization, lack of quality-control accreditation standards for trainers or affiliates, and illogical or random exercise sequences.
Some publications have raised concerns that CrossFit promotes a potentially dangerous atmosphere that encourages people, particularly newcomers to CrossFit, to train past their limits, resulting in injury.
CrossFit efforts to address rhabdomyolysis 
Crossfit Level 1 trainers are certified through the American National Standards Institute. Since May 2005, CrossFit has published several articles about rhabdomyolysis in their online CrossFit Journal (which is not peer-reviewed). Three of the articles are included in the CrossFit Manual provided to all prospective trainers.
International Growth 
While Crossfit is well known in America, and well developed in Scandinavia, it is only in the last year(2012) or so that Crossfit gyms, or boxes, as they are known have opened their doors in Paris.
CrossFit is still relatively small in Japan, with only nine boxes in the entire country. There are four in Tokyo, three in Okinawa (owing to the heavy US military presence), one in Kyoto, and one in Hokkaido.
See also 
- Fitness and figure competition
- Aerobics, Aerobic exercise
- Physical exercise, Maximum heart rate
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