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Surprising Science

The Fittest People on Earth

This past weekend the 2013 CrossFit games ended, once again crowning Rich Froning as the fittest man on Earth.  CrossFit is a combination of high intensity workouts that combine power lifting, gymnastic movements, and cardio exercises such as running or rowing. These are arranged into workouts that are meant to promote overall fitness and stability of our bodies.  CrossFit does not specialize in certain skills. 

For example, if you play basketball, you will get better at basketball, but not necessarily better at soccer.  If you swim, you will get better at swimming, and not necessarily better at running.  CrossFit, on the other hand, gives you the tools you need to succeed in a wide range of activities. 

A normal workout may include handstand pushups or handstand walks, an Olympic lift such as a clean or jerk, and any number of other movements such as pull-ups or sprints. This method of working out has developed into a sport, where CrossFitters who can power through workouts the fastest, push themselves farther, climb higher, and lift more weight can slowly work themselves to the top.

CrossFit is like the Big Think of physicality.  Big Think makes you smarter faster by forcing you us to use a greater portion of our mental abilities through the diverse topics that are read and written about.  We try and cram as much knowledge and questioning and mind twisting into our brains as possible.

CrossFit tries to develop out physical capacities in the same ways by constantly varied bursts of strength, flexibility, coordination, and speed.  They constantly keep their bodies questioning and guessing what their true max potential is. In this way, their bodies are prepared for whatever comes at them.

If you’re reading this on Big Think, we know you’re up for the intellectual workout.  Are you willing to take on the physical as well?  

Check out Froning’s performance at the CrossFit games this year in the video below.


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