DEFINING CROSSFIT - PART 3: VARIANCE
In Part-3 of CrossFit.com’s 3-part series called “Defining CrossFit”, they explore the third and final defining characteristic of the CrossFit prescription, Variance.
Many of us have heard that in order for us to make changes to our body, we must continually apply stressors that it has not yet adapted to (e.g. heavier loads, moving faster, more repetitions). Our bodies are adaptation machines, in that they will adapt to whatever stimulus is continually applied to it (for better or worse). In this final article from CrossFit.com, they explore this required change in stimulus that allows our bodies to adapt for the better.
“The goal of CrossFit is to create a broad, general, and inclusive fitness: fitness with a general physical capacity that lends itself well to any and all contingencies; the likely and unlikely; the known, unknown, and unknowable. It is not enough to develop one capacity at the expense of any or all others. We do not just want you to be good in the gym or at one physical task; we want you to be good at life, sport, combat, and everywhere, at any time, for any duration, and in any environment. Achieving that requires variance.”
The article continues...
“Since we are training for the unknown and unknowable (also known as life), we train in accordance with nature. Nature has no regard for the superficial distinctions we place on the physical tasks within a gym environment. Life outside the gym does not occur in expected set rep ranges or prescribed combinations of movements. If we do not train to vary as many factors as possible as often as possible, we will find ourselves woefully inadequate in the face of life’s challenges. Whether these challenges are excelling at sport, picking up a grandchild quickly to avoid danger, hoisting a suitcase into the overhead bin, quickly getting up and over a fence because you’re being chased by an angry dog, or sprinting or buddy carrying to get help in an emergency, variance is the optimal strategy.”
In short, the CrossFit prescription is to train for all of life’s unknowns that we encounter on a daily basis.
“In application, we creatively mix functional movements to create short, medium, and long workouts that can be executed at high intensity relative to the physical and psychological tolerances of an individual.”