Here’s what we know about CrossFit, general physical preparedness (GPP), sport training and athletic development:
- GPP is the most underdeveloped and neglected aspect of athletic training, especially in elite athletes.
- CrossFit produces an unmatched GPP in novice, intermediate and advanced athletes regardless of their prior training and sport.
- Every athlete we’ve worked with, from Olympic medalists to UFC legends, has some glaring chink in his/her GPP, and it takes at most two hours, two sessions, on average, to find these chinks.
- Fixing these chinks, these deficiencies, has immediate benefit within your sport and very often in ways not quite obvious mechanically and perhaps metabolically. For instance, more pull-ups make for better skiing and skiers. Upper-body pushing movements make for better rowing and rowers. Anaerobic training is a boon to endurance athletes.
- There’s greater margin for improving performance in elite athletes, where the margins of victory are very tight, in improving GPP with CrossFit than can be garnered through additional sport-specific training.
- “CrossFit produces a ‘ready state’ from which more advanced or sport specific training becomes very efficient.” —Mark Twight
- CrossFit will for many sports reduce the total training volume, reduce training injuries, and allow more time for vital sport-specific skills and drills.
- CrossFit is more fun and seems more athletic to experienced athletes than does traditional GPP.
- CrossFit has athletes improving their fitness for years beyond, to levels significantly beyond traditional GPP.
- Sport training and physiology are not so well understood that highly specialized strength and conditioning routines are optimally effective.
Adapted from Greg Glassman’s post to the CrossFit Message Board, Dec. 12, 2008.