CrossFit is becoming more and more well known. Some of you might wonder, ‘what is this discipline exactly?’ Jump into my world as I share my top 10 photos to explain the sport of fitness!
As the founder, Greg Glassman wrote: “The CrossFit prescription is constantly varied, high-intensity, functional movements [ … that are] supported only by measurable, observable and repeatable facts.”
Specializing in not specializing
In CrossFit, your overall fitness is not determined by your muscles, your physical aspect or how much weight you can lift (although these are two aspects that naturally tend to develop when you do this type of training). It’s measured by how efficient you are not only at one or two … but 10 general physical skills (endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, speed, coordination, agility, balance and accuracy). The more proficient you are in those competencies, the fitter you are considered. A CrossFitter does basically an equal part of gymnastics, Olympic Weightlifting and cardio (yeah, just that!).
As a photographer who often photographs CrossFit, these 10 skills are at the core of what I try to capture, as they help to define the essence of the sport.
Is the ability of body systems to gather, process and deliver oxygen. Workout examples: Running/rowing/biking.
Is the ability of the body’s systems to process, deliver, store and utilize energy. Exercise example: A high-repetition movement (like pushups).
Is the ability of a muscular unit, or combination of muscular units, to apply force. Exercise example: A heavy dead lift.
Is the ability to maximize the range of motion at a given joint. Exercise example: A squat below parallel.
Is the ability of a muscular unit, or combination of muscular units, to apply maximum force in minimum time. Exercise example: Olympic Weightlifting movements like the Snatch and Clean & Jerk.
Is the ability to minimize the time cycle of a repeated movement. Exercise example: The sprint.
Is the ability to combine several distinct movement patterns into a singular distinct movement. Exercise example: Jump rope and double under.
Is the ability to minimize transition time from one movement pattern to another. Exercise example: Box jump and rope climb.
Is the ability to control the placement of the bodies center of gravity in relation to its support base. Exercise example: Overhead squat and handstand walk.
Is the ability to control movement in a given direction or at a given intensity. Exercise example: Wallball.
Some examples of the fittest athletes on earth over the past years are multiple time CrossFit Games champs Mathew Fraser and Rich Froning (on the gents side) and Tia-Clair Toomey and Katrin Davidsdottir on the ladies side.
If you’d like to witness the high-intensity action of the CrossFit Games, click here to access the live webcast of the event from Aug. 1-4, 2019. If you’d like to learn how to take great CrossFit pictures, head to this article to get my top tips!
All examples in this article are performance athletes with a highly committed training regimen. I wanted to illustrate the sport in that way because it shows well the high-intensity level that can be achieved at an elite level. Of course, CrossFit is scalable and accessible to everyone, from children to teenagers to men and women of all backgrounds. And as a final and friendly recommendation, you should really give it a try if you haven’t yet. Fun guaranteed!
Photography: ©Michèle Grenier