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A note to beginners


A note to beginners

Crossfit has given itself many labels, some of which make it sound scary for beginners. One of these labels is “elite fitness.”

The label should not be interpreted to mean that elite fitness is a requirement for participation. Crossfit is great for people who’ve not been motivated to work out in a long time. Nor should it be taken to suggest that you’ll achieve elite fitness after a few months of training. Most of us will never be Regionals level athletes.

So what’s the hype all about? Why do people throw around the phrase “elite fitness?” I think there are two good reasons for it. The first one is relatively obvious: if you become elite at Crossfit, then you’ll have achieved elite fitness. After watching a few clips of the Crossfit Games, I doubt anyone would disagree with that. But it doesn’t apply to most of us.

The second justification for the term “elite fitness” is less obvious. It is also especially relevant to those of you just starting out. What is most distinctive about Crossfit is that it offers you a social environment in which you can push yourself to your athletic limits while performing movements that are appropriate for your current capabilities. Whether your deadlift is 90 lbs or 490 lbs, Crossfit offers you a space in which you can safely push yourself so hard that you collapse on the floor when you’re done. It is an effort-enhancing environment. An “EEE” for short.

I am tempted to say that it is an EEEE (elite effort-enhancing environment), but four-letter acronyms are awkward. In any case, it is the EEE idea that makes the label “elite fitness” appropriate.

So when you come home dead-tired and sore, and your friends ask you why you spend money to get sweaty with cultish weirdos like us, keep that three-letter acronym in mind. It explains a lot.


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