In case you missed it, here are parts 1, 2, and 3 of this series.
Why CrossFit? - It is Quantifiable
We track everything we do with CrossFit. Sure, some of you reading this may say, "I track my bench press and biceps curls, I know how much I am improving!" Sure, tracking weights and repetitions is a way of quantifying your fitness, but that is such a small subset. We not only track how much weight we can move with various lifts, but we also track the amount of time it takes us to do certain workouts.
When you know "your numbers," or in other words, how much weight you can squat, for example, you can track your progress over time. As your numbers improve, you see a very black and white way to tell that your overall fitness is progressing. Health and well-being comes down to a number of factors such as flexibility, coordination, cardiovascular fitness, and strength/power. When you put numbers to each of these criteria, you see definitive improvements over time!
Going beyond that, we also track member progress on a day to day basis. So, for example, let's say we have a workout that takes John 12 minutes to complete. Chris comes in later in the day and knows that he and John are pretty evenly matched skill and fitness-wise, so Chris knows that 12 is the benchmark that he will want to try and beat.
This can be an extremely effective motivation tool to get individuals to push themselves as far as they can. This will be discussed in more detail in the next section, but when you have a number or score to strive for, and assuming you are training safely and through full range of motion, having a goal to strive for pushes you to that place of discomfort that drives change and adaptation. Sure, CrossFit is about individual improvements in a class setting, but there is certainly some friendly competition that instinctually comes into play that can be extremely beneficial.