Yes, CrossFit works. It works because it is empirically driven—meaning, it is evidence based. If something isn’t working, we simply change it. In this way, CrossFit continues to evolve with the discovery of best practices. CrossFit doesn’t say our way is the best and only way; it says here is what we have found works. Try it for yourself and gauge your results.
CrossFit also works because it has a plan. Have you ever heard, “If you don’t have a plan, you plan to fail?” Well, fitness works the same way, and CrossFit’s plan is to increase work capacity across broad time and modal domains.
There has never been a clear definition of fitness before this. If you look up the definition of fitness it states “being in good shape or physical condition.” What does that mean exactly? Absolutely nothing. If you had to explain that to an alien, their first question would be, “what is good shape or physical condition?” Now how do you answer that? “You know, good shape”. Then the alien thinks, like a star, circle or a square shape? You can see that this is not a very scientific definition.
In order for something to be scientific it must be measurable, observable, and repeatable. “Good shape” is none of these. However, increased work capacity across broad time and modal domains is absolutely measurable, observable, and repeatable. Why do you think we do all those benchmark workouts? Why do you think we insist you log your workouts? We want to know whether your work capacity has increased or decreased and if you can do more faster.
Let’s break this plan down. A) Increased work capacity is the ability to do more work; move heavy things, run faster, go harder. B) Across broad time means we want capacity in short, medium and long distances; we want to tap into all our energy systems. And C) Modal domains means we want it all. We want to be able to run 10 miles and squat 400 pounds. We want to be able to do anything that comes our way. ANYTHING!
So the next time someone asks why CrossFit works, tell them it’s science. Or tell them it’s because CrossFit has increased your work capacity across broad and modal domains. Can they say that about their fitness program?