Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
24 Feb


Ever heard of it?

If you are a regular to MDA and you subscribe to a Primal Health lifestyle I’m guessing it is likely. If not, now you have.

Crossfit is a type of physical training that blends power lifting, gymnastics and sprinting. Why do we like it? Because it fairly closely aligns with our Primal fitness philosophy in which variety, weight-bearing activity and anaerobic exercise is key. Here is a great description of CrossFit:

CrossFit maintains that proficiency is required in each of 10 fitness domains: cardiovascular/respiratory endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, speed, agility, balance, coordination, and accuracy. CrossFit uses free weights, kettlebells, gymnastics rings, pull-up bars and many calisthenics exercises. CrossFit may call on athletes to skip, run, row, climb ropes, jump up on boxes, flip giant tires, and carry odd objects. They can also squat and explode up to bounce medicine balls against walls.

CrossFit workouts typically call for athletes to work hard and fast, often with no rest. Many CrossFit gyms use scoring and ranking systems, transforming workouts into sport. CrossFit publishes its own journal and certifies its own trainers. Many CrossFit athletes and trainers see themselves as part of a contrarian insurgent movement that questions conventional fitness wisdom.

via Wikipedia

Contrarian insurgent movement? Challenging conventional wisdom? Sounds like our kind of program.

All right. Enough talking! Let’s see CrossFit in action.

Don’t let the first video fool you. CrossFit isn’t just for beefy dudes. As CrossFit NYC’s site states, “CrossFit workouts are functional, varied and intense. They also scale to any ability level–our members range from elite athletes to eighty-something grandmothers…”

We’ll be covering Crossfit in more detail down the road, so stay tuned!

If this is the first time you have heard of CrossFit let us know what you think! If you are a ripped, seasoned Crossfit veteran we’d love to hear from you too. Drop us a line!

Further Reading:

Mark’s Beach Sprints

Official CrossFit Site

More YouTube Crossfit Videos

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You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. This sounds similar to Curves. Complete stretch-out prior. then 30 seconds strength, move to cardio for 30 seconds, move to strength for 30 seconds, repeat for 2 circuits. Complete stretch-out after. Only thing is Curves talks and walks CW on the diet front. Maybe they need to be invited in to the primal fold?

    Mary Anne wrote on January 26th, 2011
  2. One year ago, at age 41, I made a choice to lead a healthier life. My cholestrol was high, trigycerides were extremely high, I was chronically sick and had been to the ER for CV issues. I have done manual labor sine I was in 7th grade, but for the last ten years have worked a sedentary job. I craved activity/excercise but disliked typical gyms and treadmills and machines. 6 months ago a Crossfit box opened in my neighborhood. The introductory price was great and I liked the coach so I signed up. I was 6′ and 217 pounds at the time. The workout of the day (we call them WODs) are different each day and are always challenging. They can be extreme is thats what you want, but that is not the purpose of Crossfit. The general idea is to excercise differing areas at high intensity. So, you break a sweat and you test you mental boundaries. You try not to stop when your brain says, “OK man Ive had enough” because your quads are burinng a little and your out of breath. I was introduced to a healthier lifestyle through Crossfit and Paleo dieting. I hesitate to call it dieting…its a lifestyle and a good one. 6 months lalter I am still 6′ tall, but Ive lost 15 pounds of fat, gained lean muscle, and am performing at a level I never imagined for a 42 year old desk jockey. I feel great (despite some muscle soreness) and I love how I feel. In fact when I fall off the paleo wagon I immediately feel worse, not guilty – – physiologically) for eating unheathily. Crossfit works beacuase of the community of members, casual competition and a functional, logical excercise regimen. Best of all, its free. You can follow WODs and learn the movements from videos and blogs on

    Scott wrote on February 10th, 2011
    • please pardon the grammar and typos. I spell great. I cant type to save my life

      Scott wrote on February 10th, 2011
  3. It all depends on how you define elite fitness. Crossfit will never make you great at anything because of it’s lack of focus, but it will make you good at several attributes that you’re probably lacking in.

    I powerlift and do Crossfit type workouts for conditioning. But I have a talent for strength and speed, so I want to develop those attributes to their natural limit. They have to be trained with more comprehensive and intelligently laid out programs that serve that specific goal.

    I do agree with the argument that high rep deads and Oly lifts can wreck you. I can deadlift 605lbs for one with no problems, but if I do lighter weight deads for multiple reps it’s inevitable that form breaks down and I hurt myself. Same with Olympic lifts. Some people might be built better for high rep work as opposed to strength and speed work, but that would be my one complaint: one size does not always fit all.

    That being said, I doubt most people adopting a primal lifestyle care to be freakishly strong or fast in addition to endurance and mobility. For the average joe, Crossfit and Primal eating alone would likely do wonders. If you could be good in several physical attributes as opposed to poor, why not?But if you’re competing in a sport you should really be doing more sports-specific programs. This idea of “elite fitness” transferring to every physical activity breaks down at high levels. Competitive sprinters, weight lifters, or football players have unique needs that should be addressed in a conditioning program. But this is a “general fitness” to “specific fitness” problem. 90% of people adopting Crossfit will never have to worry about those questions.

    So, again: great program, but don’t drink the Kool-Aid.

    Brad wrote on April 16th, 2011
  4. To start off, I must tell you that I am NOT a fan of the Crossfit program.

    While Crossfit does have some good basic exercise routines, they also have WOD that are filled with lifts and other exercises that most people never heard or and don’t know how to do safely. I do understand the benefit of having a lot of variety in our workouts, but the extreme nature of the Crossfit program has made me not want to even consider participating in it.

    I am sure some Crossfit programs are fun and the coaches make sure that people are not doing more than is safe, but from all I’ve heard, those gyms are in the minority. The majority of Crossfit gyms seem to focus more on military style extremism, with Cossfit participants, proudly showing off photos of bloody and blistered hands after a weight lifting routine, and making others that didn’t do quite as much damage to their body to get through a workout feel inadequate.

    I feel the Glassman guy that started Crossfit is the inspiration for much of this extremism, especially when he makes statements such as

    “It can kill you,” he said. “I’ve always been completely honest about that.”

    See “Getting Fit, Even If It Kills You”

    It’s sad that something that could have done as much good as a exercise franchise that offers a lot of variety has become so much less effective at helping people with their fitness goals than it would have been without the extreme workouts and tough guy attitudes.

    Rachel wrote on December 17th, 2011
  5. CrossFit. Has some good points, but so many people are asking for trouble when it comes down to form or movement of some of these exercises. Especially the Kipping pull ups. Physical Therapist love Crossfit people.

    Jeff wrote on January 13th, 2013
  6. Crossfit is not a primal activity. I can’t believe so many people buy into the rubbish. Exercise is a science not a WOD!

    Jonathan wrote on February 26th, 2013
  7. I do not like crossfit. The negatives far outweigh the positives (and there are positives). I like that they create a friendly environment and have gotten people interested in weight lifting, but that’s about it. You need absolutely no training to own a gym or become an instructor, there is zero quality control (the theory is that the sh!t boxes will drive themselves into the ground, but at what cost? The health of the people who see the reebok crossfit brand, assume they will be ok and then get injured thanks to negligence) and frankly, most of their workouts are terrible. 50+ snatches? Seriously? Olympic lifts for time? It’s a joke.

    Bex wrote on February 26th, 2013
  8. I’ve 52 and been doing CrossFit for 6 years – been a jock type my whole life. At 25 I was in phenomenal shape – at 52, even better and not just from a cardiovascular perspective. All the negative comments I read about CrossFit come from people who aren’t willing to put in the effort. CrossFit is a simple methodology – the combination of any and every type of exercise movement you can think of that’s why it enhances overall fitness. Before CrossFit I never did hand stand pushups, kipping pull ups – things like that – those and other exercises because of their variation are what has caused me to be in better shape than at 25. I also do endurance type events without the need for lots of running – that’s what CrossFit provides for, greater stamina. Criticism of CrossFit is out of ignorance. True it’s for people who are willing to put out great effort (in return for great gains)- not people who just want to coast. I’ve seen numerous people quit CrossFit because they just didn’t have heart – they preferred to be on a damn stationary bike, which is totally useless. People who criticise CrossFit cannot commit to the intensity – and yes,I subscribe to the notion that it is Elite Fitness training ’cause with a serious frame of mind it will produce elite results. Enuff said.

    Landon wrote on February 26th, 2013
    • There are so many reasons to dislike CrossFit that listing them all would result in a comment much longer than the article itself.

      Suffice it to say, criticism of CrossFit tends not to come from ignorance, but rather education.

      Criticism of Crossfit doesn’t come from those who “cannot commit to the intensity” but those who recognize that the “intensity” offered by CrossFit isn’t necessary for “elite fitness” at all.

      Bex wrote on February 26th, 2013
  9. The second video on this page is private so it can no longer be viewed.

    I like the look of crossfit though, it will really suit me once I get rid of my flabby one pack ,o)

    Mike Ratcliffe wrote on July 9th, 2013
  10. Now that the Cross Fit enthusiasm has waned somewhat, what is a good 20 minute workout that is low impact?

    It seems that most short workouts that boast great results involve a lot of high impact movement. I would love to do them, but since I have very little cartilage in my left knee, I want to protect what I’ve got.

    Glad I found MDA.

    Bob wrote on November 13th, 2013

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