Is CrossFit Fad or Forever? Is it going to stay for good?

CrossFit has long gone taken Australia by storm with hundreds of affiliates across the country, but, is it staying for good? Is CrossFit Fad or Forever? Fad as defined by is “something that is very popular for a short time”. Co-owner of CrossFit Proficient (, Pete Rohde, shared his thoughts about this.

In the simplest of terms, CrossFit can be defined as a strength and conditioning program that is designed to promote both broad and targeted physical fitness and provide an individual with general physical preparedness. Through constantly varied, functional movements performed at high intensity a complete fitness level is achieved. This is obtained through a varied combination of workouts in:

Weight lifting or Weight training
Sprinting or Distance Running

In order to gain the most benefit from the CrossFit program, someone training in the CrossFit method should be at least moderately familiar or proficient in key areas of fitness that CrossFit refers to as its “10 fitness domains”:

1. Respiratory and cardio endurance
2. Stamina
3. Strength
4. Coordination
5. Flexibility
6. Power
7. Speed
8. Agility
9. Balance
10. Accuracy

CrossFit was created to focus on working across each of the 10 domains. According to CrossFit, this is achieved by promoting neurological and hormonal adaptations across all of the metabolic pathways in the body.

Those athletes involved in CrossFit typically perform exercises that involve running, rowing, jumping or climbing rope, lifting and moving large objects and performing Powerlifting and Olympic weightliftingtechniques. Workouts often involve the use of free weights, gymnastic rings, pull-up bars and a large variety of other bodyweight movements and equipment.

It’s extremely easy for an individual new to exercise to dive headlong into stressful workouts and the results could be harmful. This is especially true for people who have not actively worked out in a number of years. Any individual involved in the medicine and exercise industry knows this to be true, but with careful progression in a ‘Foundation’ type program held in an established CrossFit box with knowledgeable coaches the opposite can also occur and be very effective in aiding someone in achieving their health and fitness goals safely and injury free.

Anyone who exercises strenuously too quickly and without a proper warm up could risk temporary or even permanent injury no matter the exercise regime they follow. The big issue comes back to technique, where exercises of this intensity without form have a much higher potential for injury, particularly to the joints and the back. The intensity of the workouts in the CrossFit system is one of the reasons it’s received the “Fad” label.

Another reason CrossFit has been labelled a “Fad” is the cult type following the program receives. Yes it’s true there are the CrossFit fanatics out there who eat live and breathe CrossFit, but there is another type of advocate as well. The middle aged mum or dad with 2 kids and a job who does the 6am class and enjoys the social aspect of CrossFit. It’s the Saturday morning group who do their WOD and catch up for a coffee afterwards. It’s the night time crew who catch up socially on the weekends. It’s the group involved in a carefully monitored 30 Day challenge to turn their unhealthy lifestyles around. But more importantly it’s the community spirit of CrossFit and the box that brings groups of people from differing backgrounds, genders and ethnicities together to do something good for charity or themselves.

Is CrossFit a “Fad or Forever”, to me that’s a matter of personal opinion. CrossFit is a highly-refined method of exercises and training programs. It’s understandable why so many people feel that CrossFit is a fad, or perceived as a cult, but regardless of which side of the fence you sit on it’s difficult to argue with hard results from the constantly varied program from people who train regularly in an enduring and resilient community spirit and a camaraderie among participants you’d be hard pushed to find anywhere else.

The CrossFit Journal, March 2002
The CrossFit Journal, Issue 19, March 2004
Foundations by Greg Glassman, April 01, 2002

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