CrossFit uses Olympic weightlifting, kettlebells, gymnastics rings, pull-up bars, and many calisthenics exercises. CrossFit athletes run, row, climb ropes, jump up on boxes, flip giant tires, and carry odd objects. They can also bounce medicine balls against the floor or a target on a wall.
CrossFit workouts often call on athletes to move large loads long distances quickly. Many CrossFit gyms use scoring and ranking systems, transforming workouts into sport. CrossFit responds to criticism that its program is too intense by citing an essential element of its methodology: workouts should always be individually scaled and varied.
CrossFit seeks to unify health and fitness. It defines health as sustained fitness. CrossFit’s prescription for achieving this fitness is constantly varied high-intensity functional movements. CrossFit says fitness can be graphed in three dimensions, with duration of effort on the x-axis, power on the y-axis, and age on the z-axis. At each duration, power capacity is averaged across a variety of modal domains (skills and drills). CrossFit says it increases work capacity and speed in these domains by provoking neurological and hormonal adaptations across all metabolic pathways. CrossFit says it is building the technology of human performance through careful definition of terms, constant experimentation and precise measurement by using a force, distance and time approach, rather than a molecular one.