I use a few components of Crossfit in my own training, and with some of our trainees, but I was one of only two people at the certification course who didn't already train at a Crossfit box ... but I felt right at home.
This is my seventh fitness certification in 16 months, so learning about different fitness methods and tools has become a full-time passion and I always enjoying learning more.
Crossfit is defined as 1) constantly varied 2) functional movement, performed with 3) high intensity.
I currently vary my training, and that of our trainees, with a mix of MovNat, Kettlebells, body resistance and Olympic lifts, but Crossfit's definition of varied training includes: metabolic conditioning (cardio), gymnastics (body weight exercises) and weightlifting (power lifting and olympic lifts).
There are nine required movements that Crossfit coaches learn and teach and that was the core of the Level 1 certification couse: 1) deadlift, 2) sumo deadlift high pull 3) clean 4) squat 5) front squat 6) overhead squat 7) press 8) push press 9) push jerk. There are other lifts and movements taught as well, such as the Snatch how to use the Glute - Hamstring Developer (GHD.)
The quality of instruction on these lifts was well done and very clearly taught with simple progressions and regressions.
This was the most valuable part of the course for me and I would think any fitness coach would like to have a safe, simple, no-nonsense method of teaching barbell lifts to athletes of all fitness levels.
If you are going to compete in USAW events, you'd want much more fine-tuning of technique, but to get up-to-speed quickly and safely, this system is efficient and effective if implemented as it is taught at the certification that I attended.
I don't train with as much intensity as Crossfit athletes, but now I may push the envelope a bit more to see how my body responds since I have conditioned consistently with Kettlebells and MovNat.
In the certification course, we talked about how we train to the edge of our ability -- we get really good at just what we train. But going beyond sometimes (when the athlete is ready for it) can help increase our overall fitness level in new and compelling ways.
And that's the goal with Crossfit ... to create a highly conditioned, ready-for-anything athlete through general physical preparation (GPP).
I enjoyed training the famous Fran WOD (Workout-of-the-day) at the certification event.
I didn't do kipping pull-ups, but instead some strict pull-ups, followed by jumping pull-ups (21 - 15 - 9) along with Thrusters (the Crossfit name for barbell front squat to overhead press) 21 - 15 - 9 ... with speed.
It was a good challenge.
Scaling is permissible and recommended -- but I don't get the feel that most Crossfit athletes want to scale. They want to do it as posted.
Will I apply to become a Crossfit affiliate? I don't plan to.
But now I have a much better understanding of the Crossfit athlete and we are ready to serve them when they come to us to focus on quality of movement, injury prevention and learning MovNat and Kettlebell skills.