While each workout is different, there is a general format that all CrossFit classes follow, Ages says. "There's a dynamic warm-up, mobility work, strength and skill work, the WOD, and finally, a cool-down."
CrossFit isn't (always) a cult of Paleo adherents
While many CrossFitters probably do live by the Paleo lifestyle -- er, follow a diet that limits individuals to foods available during the hunter-gatherer era a la the caveman (think meats, fish, nuts, leafy greens, regional veggies, and seeds; and omits anything that comes in a box), it's a rarity in Mandelbaum's box.
"I don't recommend [following a Paleo diet] if you want to perform at a peak level," Mandelbaum says. "The body needs carbs beyond a random sweet potato!"
Above all, CrossFit is intense
CrossFit is about maximizing the amount of work done in the shortest amount of time, and its exercises focus on moving the largest loads the longest distances, Mandelbaum says.
"Intensity is essential for results and is measurable as work divided by time -- or power," she says. "The more work you do in less time, or the higher the power output, the more intense the effort. By employing a constantly varied approach to training, functional movements and intensity lead to dramatic gains in fitness."