Beneath the Surface: Physique is Only the Tip of the Iceberg


Between 2009 and 2012, when asked the question, “Why do you do CrossFit,” the answer was almost unanimous, “To look good naked.” Today, this response is not as common, yet the majority of the clients and members of CrossFit affiliates have health and fitness goals associated with body composition (e.g. weight loss, muscle gain, or maintenance). So, it seems that physical appearance, or physique if you will, remains a priority in some capacity or another.

Although physique is not prioritized in CrossFit, it certainly must be addressed. Physique is only the tip of the iceberg. Fitness, health, and all associated factors such as physique, fall under the umbrella term of ‘wellness,’ and wellness is dependent upon the following constructs: spiritual, psychological, and physiological. Each construct has multiple components, and each individual component can significantly impact overall wellness.

Physique is the simply a byproduct of spiritual, psychological, and physiological development. An attempt to address only the physiological components of wellness, specifically physique, will likely result in short-term satisfaction and ultimately relapse. Rather, individuals should attempt to simultaneously develop and refine the Spiritual, Psychological, and Physiological constructs, ensuring that he/she understand and exhibits each individual component. This approach will cultivate the characteristics and attributes necessary for long-term behavior modification, and ultimately provide the disciple and determination required to achieve a desired physique.

Therefore, it is essential that trainers, coaches, and athletes adopt a new approach to improving fitness and health. It begins with a conversation; a conversation with your coach, your best friend, or just yourself. You must discover why you engage in physical activity and exercise. What is the ‘Why?’ Upon establishing the ‘Why,’ trainers, coaches, and athletes are able to more easily navigate and address the Constructs of Wellness and the associated components. Achieving optimal wellness is a process; it will not happen overnight. Individuals need to understand that the coaches and trainers at the best CrossFit affiliates aren’t just building better athletes they are contributing to building better people.

In CrossFit, the phrase, “core-to-extremity” is often used to describe the execution of functional movements. However, this phrase may also be used to describe the method by which world-class trainers and coaches reconstruct someone’s life. They begin at the ‘core;’ identifying an individuals core beliefs and values. Next, the trainer addresses the psychological components; what characteristics and attributes define the individual? Finally, they address fitness and health; the development and implementation of a program that will help the individual achieve her/her goals.

Physique is only the tip of the iceberg. It is merely what people see on the surface, often only a fraction of what’s beneath. Physique is the physiological expression of faith, self-esteem, patience, perseverance, nutrition, weightlifting, and metabolic conditioning. It is the byproduct of achieving wellness.


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