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Yes, I think we can all agree being skinny is much better than being overweight, but not for the aesthetic reasons most people would think. Excess body fat has been proved time after time to cause chronic disease, risk of type 2 diabetes and many other health problems. But is being skinny the same as being fit? Not necessarily.

In CrossFit we define fitness as increased work capacity across broad time and modal domains. What this means is, the more varied physical work you can perform on a given range of time, the fitter you are. It doesn’t have anything to do with how we look, but rather what we can (or can’t) do.


This athlete from Queensland is a good example of how less body weight is not necessarily better.

How can we tell for sure?

Take, for example, two women with the same body fat percentage of seven. It’s easy to dismiss both of them as very fit, but, given the chance to compare, who of the two would you consider fitter, the one that can deadlift twice her own body weight, or the one that can only lift half of hers?

We can take this into gymnastics. Who is truly fit, the girl that’s able of performing ten unassisted pull-ups, or the one that can’t do the movement al all? Even the most popular exercise of all, running, is a good example. Would you agree in saying a woman that’s able to run 100 m faster than the other is somehow fitter? When we put this three tests together we can be closer to say if someone can be defined as being relatively fit, again, regardless of his or her looks.

It’s not ’bout sizes

This sort of physical tests might seem superfluous or even useless to many. After all, looks are everything, right? I would say wrong. Being pleased with what we see in the mirror is always a good thing and an awesome consequence of training and eating healthy, but as we age, the ability of being physically independent becomes more and more precious. Having the capacity to move and lift our own bodies in complete freedom and control, even lift heavy objects, and having cardiovascular and respiratory endurance to walk and run when needed will always be much more important than having a minimal waist size. Will we be able to do all of it when we grow old? Are we able to do it today?

Julio Gutierrez
Coach and Owner
CrossFit Hurakan

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