News: CrossFit not a fad for two from TF-10
Story by Maj. Joel Anderson
KABUL, Afghanistan - Two members of Combined Special Operations Task Force Ten (CSOTF-10), headquartered in Kabul recently competed and took second-place honors in the Kabul Base Cluster (KBC) CrossFit competition, held at Camp Eggers, in Kabul.
In an outstanding display of joint service cooperation, two of SOCEUR’s finest, Capt. Kleiman, U.S. Air Force, and Sgt. 1st Class Darnell, U.S. Army, performed their favorite CrossFit routine for an amazing eight, continuous hours.
CrossFit (CF) Background
For those not familiar with CrossFit, which is now CrossFit Incorporated, a business founded over twelve years ago, by Greg Glassman, with its first gym to open being CrossFit North in Seattle.
In the beginning, CrossFit grew as facilities were added across the U.S., until there were a total of 13 by 2005 and a total of over 4,300 today.
CrossFit Inc., describes its fitness concept as “a constantly varied, high intensity, functional movement."
Next, the stated goal of CrossFit is to improve fitness, not to mention general physical preparedness, to include "work capacity across broad time and modal domains."
This makes the CrossFit way of pursuing physical readiness ideal in the minds of many in the military, especially in the Special Operations Forces (SOF) community.
The workouts are short for the most part—20 minutes or less—but very intense or demanding, characterized by being an all-out physical, exerting work-out.
These workouts combine a wide array of movements to include sprinting, rowing, jumping rope, climbing rope, flipping tires, weightlifting, carrying heavy objects, and many bodyweight exercises; equipment used includes barbells, dumbbells, gymnastics rings, pull-up bars, kettlebells, medicine balls, and boxes for box jumps.
These elements are mixed in numerous combinations to form prescribed "Workouts of the Day" or "WODs". Hour-long classes at affiliated gyms, or "boxes," typically include a warm-up, a skill development segment, the high-intensity WOD, and a period of individual or group stretching. Performance on each WOD is often scored and/or ranked to encourage competition and to track individual progress. Some affiliates offer additional classes, such as Olympic weightlifting, which are not centered around a WOD.
CrossFit programming is used by 5,000 private affiliated gyms and by many fire departments, law enforcement agencies, and military organizations including the Royal Danish Life Guards, as well as by some U.S. and Canadian high school physical education teachers, high school and college sports teams, and the Miami Marlins.
In addition, there are a number of gyms that use CrossFit-style exercises and workouts but are not officially affiliated with CrossFit, Inc. Many people who do CrossFit workouts on their own often post their results on CrossFit's website.
However, Capt. Kleiman, a Fruitland, MD, native, will quickly point out that fitness, whether pursued using the CrossFit concept or any other means, is a way of life, not a fad.
“Some friends turned me on to it after college. I started mixing it in with my normal weight lifting and cardio routines but started to like it more and more. Eventually it took over my workouts completely. I started visiting different boxes (CrossFit or CF’s name for gyms) and really enjoyed the CF community. When I PCS’d to England, I officially joined a box and took the training seriously. Thanks to good coaching and following their prescribed workout programing, I saw tremendous gains in performance. After a couple months training, I decided I wanted to coach, so I took my CF Level 1 Trainers course in December. Now I am a part time coach at CrossFit Camp Phoenix and enjoy seeing the improvements other people have with a little coaching and determination.
There is now even an annual "CrossFit Games", which have been held every summer since 2007. Participation and sponsorship have grown rapidly; the prize money awarded to each first-place male and female increased from $500 at the inaugural Games to $250,000 in 2011-2013.
Athletes at the Games compete in workouts they learn about only hours beforehand, sometimes including surprise elements that are not part of the typical CrossFit regimen; past examples include a rough-water swim and a softball throw. The Games are styled as a venue for determining the "Fittest on Earth," where competitors should be "ready for anything."
Back to the competition
The KBC competition, which was held on February 1, featured prizes and bragging rights. The event was open to all KBC service members, including international partners, as well as civilians and contractors.
In the end, Kleiman and Darnell both had a great time competing and Kleiman placed second in his bracket, not to mention some pretty awesome bragging rights for both of themselves, as well as TF-10.