The following comparison is what makes Crossfit so great:
Yesterday I wrote about a 72 year old client who had to really be scaled back on the continuum because of multiple comorbidities: PVC pipe load, squatting to a high plyo box, sitting on a plyo box to simulate the action of muscle ups. Did this make the workout any less effective for her? No, because she was still working at the limit of her capacity, pushing her threshold back.
Today, I trained a 71 year old woman. Similar in age, but that is where the similarities end.This woman is on the "fit" end of the health spectrum. Her food plan is based off the principles of Paleo, she has been active her whole life, and has very few complications and no limitations. Her workout consisted of similar exercises as yesterday's woman (they are both new to Crossfit and are still learning a lot of the basic 9 exercises) however, scaled up. She too, was working at her threshold, therefore, working on expanding her fitness, defined as work capacity.
For example, compared to Carol yesterday, Susan could perform three sets of PVC front squats with little trouble keeping midline stability intact, elbows up and forward, and coming below the knee with her hip and back up again. She could also perform a set of 5 cleans linked together, as well as pull herself from her kness on the muscle up three times.
These women both have similar goals: a better quality of life. The fact that one "fitness system" can address this goal with people who have such different levels of health is amazing. The universal scalability that Crossfit touts is not just an empty boast - it is truly applicable and effective.