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February 26, 2023

Blog 1 of 3: CrossFit's 10 Modalities of Fitness

I recently had the privilege to present to the owner of a Connecticut based franchise gym and his two head trainers. They have 5 locations and 35 full-time personal trainers. Each trainer does roughly 30 personal training sessions a week. Doing the math, that's a million in business alone, and it doesn't include memberships or retail items. The investors are happy, but the primary owner sees a massive gap between revenue, lost revenue, and changing lives. They were referred to me to discuss CrossFit methodology contrasted to what they’re doing currently, which is old school/textbook training.

The owner is a former powerlifter and a gym rat. He knows his stuff and can smell bs a mile away. He’s not 100% happy even though he’s making a good living. He's the epitome of a purist.

In my preparation, I took a tour of his facility and watched his staff firsthand. I understand his frustrations. It's not that they were doing a bad job, but they're lacking experience and haven't evolved. To me, the solution was simple: CrossFit. They don't need to affiliate, but our program does one thing really well: sets a movement standard that’s consistent, progressive, and scalable.

It is easy to take for granted something as simple and functional as an air squat. We understand that a squat's depth is meant to be below parallel with the crease of the hip below the knee. It's our standard. Generally, it's safe, it's functional, and articulates the joint, therefore fighting the mobility and time battle we all face. If someone can squat safely, then we add reps, intensity, and eventually add weight. But in his world, there's no consistent movement standard, and most of their trainers simply have lost touch with proper range of motion. This happens when there's no standard or expectation.

A few days before their arrival, I decided to reread the CrossFit Level I manual. I made some notes and consolidated the 240-page document into single statement: “CrossFit is constantly varied, functional movements, executed at high or relative intensity." It's CrossFit's definition of its methodology, and I defined each aspect of that sentence in a one-hour presentation. This will be a three-part blog, explaining some of the key points that I mentioned.

In the process, I studied CrossFit's 10 modalities of fitness. I fell back in love with the simplicity and effectiveness of CrossFit. Outside of improving one's quality of life, here is what CrossFit improves, physically speaking:

1- cardio/endurance
2- stamina
3- strength
4- flexibility
5- power
6- speed
7- coordination
8- agility
9- balance
10- accuracy

As I looked up each one of these terms, a few things stood out. For starters, there's no better product out there in the fitness space. Where else can you find a program that gives you all the life skills needed almost through osmosis. I say that because just being in the environment alone helps you understand movement, elevates you physically and spiritually, and through the "process" gives you all of these amazing skills.

When the presentation was over, they asked me how CrossFit helps with accuracy. I simply said Wall Balls and demonstrated the movement. Wall balls are a great test of accuracy, and we even have a benchmark workout that is the ultimate test of repeating accuracy: "Karen". Then, they asked about flexibility, and I was able to talk about movements like overhead squats, presses, and our warmups. I was even able to tell them that stamina, strength and agility are the three characteristics of the word athlete according to Webster's Dictionary. The point was made. I feel privileged to be able to elevate the CrossFit brand to the masses. However, that is not the point of this blog.

We have all found something very unique and special in the fitness space. Let’s not take this for granted. Our knowledge and performance of these 10 modalities is unique. For our veteran members, we know that skill work can get repetitive, and you might even know it all, but each day is an assessment of how fit you are. For our newbies, we know it can be overwhelming, but focus on your range of motion and movement standards first before you load the barbell or add complexity to your movements. This space…you all….the trainers…..are truly special….that's all from me.

To be continued…

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Shoreline CrossFit



Shoreline CrossFit



Shoreline CrossFit