What is CrossFit?

The best way to get this answer is to come in for your first free training session and find out for yourself!
If you have any questions you can feel free to reach to me, as well.

You can reach Tom via email – tomashbytraining@gmail.com or tom@crossfitlakewood.com
or on the phone – (716) X-FITTER or (716) 934-8837

Below you can also find some great resources directly from CrossFit.com where they help define the program!

By Greg Glassman
April 01, 2002

CrossFit is a core strength and conditioning program. We have designed our program to elicit as broad an adaptational response as possible. CrossFit is not a specialized fitness program but a deliberate attempt to optimize physical competence in each of ten recognized fitness domains. They are Cardiovascular and Respiratory endurance, Stamina, Strength, Flexibility, Power, Speed, Coordination, Agility, Balance, and Accuracy.

The CrossFit Program was developed to enhance an individual’s competency at all physical tasks. Our athletes are trained to perform successfully at multiple, diverse, and randomized physical challenges. This fitness is demanded of military and police personnel, firefighters, and many sports requiring total or complete physical prowess. CrossFit has proven effective in these arenas.

Aside from the breadth or totality of fitness the CrossFit Program seeks, our program is distinctive, if not unique, in its focus on maximizing neuroendocrine response, developing power, cross-training with multiple training modalities, constant training and practice with functional movements, and the development of successful diet strategies.

Our athletes are trained to bike, run, swim, and row at short, middle, and long distances guaranteeing exposure and competency in each of the three main metabolic pathways.

We train our athletes in gymnastics from rudimentary to advanced movements garnering great capacity at controlling the body both dynamically and statically while maximizing strength to weight ratio and flexibility. We also place a heavy emphasis on Olympic Weightlifting having seen this sport’s unique ability to develop an athletes’ explosive power, control of external objects, and mastery of critical motor recruitment patterns. And finally we encourage and assist our athletes to explore a variety of sports as a vehicle to express and apply their fitness.

From the CrossFit Website:

CrossFit is the principal strength and conditioning program for many police academies and tactical operations teams, military special operations units, champion martial artists, and hundreds of other elite and professional athletes worldwide.

Our program delivers a fitness that is, by design, broad, general, and inclusive. Our specialty is not specializing. Combat, survival, many sports, and life reward this kind of fitness and, on average, punish the specialist.

The CrossFit program is designed for universal scalability making it the perfect application for any committed individual regardless of experience. We’ve used our same routines for elderly individuals with heart disease and cage fighters one month out from televised bouts. We scale load and intensity; we don’t change programs.

The needs of Olympic athletes and our grandparents differ by degree not kind. Our terrorist hunters, skiers, mountain bike riders and housewives have found their best fitness from the same regimen.

Thousands of athletes worldwide have followed our workouts posted daily on this site and distinguished themselves in combat, the streets, the ring, stadiums, gyms and homes.

  1. Rachel says:

    My advice is: Don’t drink the Crossfit Kool Aid. Don’t go into a Crossfit gym, even if they offer you free intro classes. Never sign up on a Crossfit mailing list. Don’t watch a friend’s Crossfit Class.

    I am a runner, and I know some runners that decided to try Crossfit as a way of cross training. These were not weekend joggers, but people that run half marathons and marathons. Most quickly decided the Crossfit program’s workouts were too extreme for them. The WODs were making them too sore to do their best running. So they decided to go back to working with a personal trainer.

    A few other runners decided to stick with Crossfit and see if they could get used to the workouts to the point they were not feeling so sore. Unfortunately, both got injured doing Crossfit WOD, and as a result, were not able to compete in some races they really wanted to run. After that, they also decided that doing Crossfit was counterproductive to their running goals.

    For every Crossfitter that becomes an Elete Crossfit athlete by subjecting their body to the torture of Crossfit Workout of the Day routines, you can be sure that many, many more will end up in the emergency room with an injury that will sideline them from doing ANY exercise for weeks, if not months.


    • Smashby says:


      I can see that you have experienced quite a few major issues with the CrossFit program and how it has impacted some people close to you.

      I 100% respect your experiences with, and knowledge of, CrossFit, and in response I can only offer my personal experiences with the methodology.

      Have I ever known a friend to injure themselves doing CrossFit? Yes. But I can also tell you that the number of athletes I know who have been injured is a fraction of a fraction of one percent compared to the number of people I know (and have seen first-hand) change their lives for the BETTER through the program. Health Metrics (cholesterol, blood pressure, etc) improving, weight loss (in situations where that was critical to personal health), increase in overall fitness/flexibility/strength/energy levels/focus, etc. Those are the overwhelming number of stories that I see or hear about.

      Is there some inherent risk with the program? I think it’s obvious that there is. However, have people also injured themselves running outside? Bench Pressing? Rock Climbing? Yes.
      There is always a RISK for injury in any physical activity, and with CrossFit, in my opinion there are two things in particular that can impact one’s likelihood of injury:

      1- Proper coaching – I’ve been an athlete for most of my life, and don’t think I’ve participated in anything as technically challenging day-in and day-out as CrossFit. The form, coaching and practice required to “master” these movements enough to perform them at the demands of the program are significant. Here’s the catch… at MY gym (I don’t own it, but where I work), I try my best to coach our athletes to a point where they can maintain safe form regardless of whether or not I am there to coach them.

      2- Self-Awareness – Once the coaching piece has been addressed, I still feel that athletes need to be self-aware enough to identify when they are working out. The three “steps” in progression that they coach in CF are: Form, Consistency and Intensity. So, by the nature of the program, athletes should be sure to feel comfortable with movements before increasing weight. I have stopped my athletes many times, worked with them on form and then suggested (required 🙂 ) a drop in weight before they could continue, when I felt that their safety was in jeopardy. It’s part of the game.

      You will never be able to eliminate the chance of injury, but I do think that the best gyms out there create an environment where athletes are better prepared to be as safe as possible, and understand why they do what they do.

      Furthermore, part of CrossFit’s approach is that we specialize in NOT specializing. In the event that an athlete is training for a specific event (Ironman, marathon, hockey tournament) I think they should focus primarily on their sport-specific training, while using CrossFit as a supplement to increase strength/flexibility, etc. Have I seen people train only using CrossFit, then run their first marathon, remain injury free throughout their training and then not get injured during the race? Yes. That person is me.

      Now, did I qualify for Boston with my time? OF COURSE not! Ha! But, that wasn’t my goal. My goal was to complete a marathon using CrossFit, and I did. And was safe and healthy throughout the process.

      As I’ve said a few times on my blog, I’m not trying to coach someone to become the next “Fittest Man or Woman on Earth”. My goal in coaching is to continue to help people improve their health and wellness through working out for a few hours per week. All of the other positive stuff that comes from that is just icing on the cake!

      That’s not the most eloquent reply I’ve ever written, but I’m on my lunch break and wanted to get back to you as soon as I could.

      There’s no reason that we ever need to agree on this topic, and the most important thing for me to note is that I appreciate your input and thank you for your time put into sharing those thoughts with me! This it the type of dialogue I love having with athletes from all over! Thanks again, Rachel.


    • Orion says:


      WOW! I can’t believe you took the time to out of your day to bash CrossFit. The funny part is you are not even sharing your expierence with CrossFit; you are simply rehashing other peoples negitive experiences. Here is a little fact for you: Tom is changing lives (for the positive) through CrossFit. No matter how loud you scream “DON’T DRINK THE CROSSFIT KOOL AID”, you can not take that away from him or any other CrossFit coach. Hidding behind a computer and expressing your narrow minded opinion takes no courage at all, dedicating your life to helping others does.

      Have a great day 😉

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  3. Fran says:

    “To each his own.”

    I ain’t got nuthin’ for ya, Rachel. All I know is…I LOVE the CrossFit Kool-Aid and it’s my drug of choice. I LOVE IT!

    And Tom, you truly are an AMAZING coach and I appreciate all that you do! Yes, even when you stop me to correct my form. 🙂

    As far as your goal in coaching, you are a success, along with the other coaches at the gym as you have inspired me and helped me improve my health and wellness. CrossFit works well for me!

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