I don’t propose to improve on the founder of CrossFit’s observation, merely extrapolate it to fit the analogy Glassman gives when relating fitness to health, namely that fitness is to health as weather is to climate. Today, it’s raining outside, but the climate of Southwest Michigan is a larger and more complicated picture. Your fitness is your work capacity measure TODAY, your health is simply your work capacity measured over the course of your entire life. I wanted to present something simple like WCF100 in the greater context of health. As we forge our way through this pandemic we aching to get back into the gym and ‘do CrossFit’ but the reality is that you have been doing most of it the whole time, what we actually want is that last 30%, the part where we have community with our friends and loved ones.
“Sleep eight hours per night in a cool dark room, preferably not alone. Eat real, unprocessed food, respect ancient culinary traditions, keep intake to levels that support exercise, not body-fat.
Practice and train major lifts, master the basics of gymnastics, run, bike, swim, and row hard and fast. Five or six days per week, from adolescence to death, mix these elements in as many combinations and patterns as creativity will allow, routine is the enemy, keep workouts short and intense. Maximize your outdoor movement time, sometimes learning/playing new sports.
Make friends and influence people, have lots of ethical, intimate experiences.”Grant Shymske’s extrapolation of Greg Glassman’s WCF100
Sleep is the anchor to health, there is almost no point in exercising or eating well if your sleep is poor. You will see slower and fewer results from other positive habits, will be sick more often and less intelligent the less sleep you get in your life. Psychological studies show conclusively that sleeping near other animals (human or pet) is great for your psychological health, so try not to sleep alone.
Nutrition begins with real food meaning things that grow from the earth and living animals in their least processed state. ‘Everything in moderation’ only makes sense with real food, there is no moderate Oreo, Pop Tart, or Dorito eating. Our ancestors figured out how to get the most of their nutrition through millions of years of trial and error, our modern science has screwed up a lot of our thinking on this. We are finally coming around to understand that humans still have the organs of hunter gatherers, so eat mostly meat and vegetables. Pickle, ferment, soak, sprout, and spice real food in traditional ways, your great great great grandparents knew how to eat. Unless you hunt your own wild game and eat the bones and organ meats you need to eat vegetables to get the micro nutrients that our ancestors would have gotten through eating hearts, livers, and making bone soups. If you eat real food only and are too tired to work out you need to eat more, if you are gaining body fat while sleeping/exercising like a boss – you need to eat less, that being said I have yet to meet anyone eating primarily meat and vegetables, working out 3-5 times per week and getting 8 hours of sleep who is gaining body fat, it just doesn’t happen. For hunter gatherers sometimes there was no food available, this fact played into evolution as a time to recycle and heal the body, today this evolved fundamental is intermittent fasting, a few times per month take 24 hours off of eating. This has been shown to fight obesity, dementia, cancer, and a host of other modern ills.
Resistance training is essential to muscle and bone health, gymnastics is essential for the same as well as functional capacity to move and control your body in space, cardiovascular conditioning is essential to brain and heart health and high intensity sprinting is proven to be far more effective than long slow cardio. Constant variance prevents overuse injuries and keeps you balanced, there is no ‘too young’ or ‘too old’ for functional movements, only bad coaches and big egos. Getting outside is absolutely vital to your physical and mental health, the movement you do outside of the gym is actually the more important of the two. Nature improves happiness, lowers stress, and gives you vitamins through sun exposure. Use your fitness for something, sports are a great way to express your fitness and meet new people.
Online friends don’t count, you need close intimate relationships with other people for optimal mental and physical health. Romantic or platonic you need as much in person, real life, human contact as you can possibly stand, be ethical, be kind, you will screw it up, practice apologizing, grow from rejection, welcome to being a human. Rinse, wash, repeat.