The Birds and the Bees

Let’s talk about your raging hormones.

Why is the CrossFit prescription so damn effective?


People speak ill of CrossFit for any number of reasons. Some things I’ve heard:


“It’s too hard.”

“The weights are too light.”

“The weights are too heavy.”

“It’s stupid.”

“Oh my God they do kipping pull-ups.”

“They wear high socks sometimes.”

The list goes on and on and on.


CrossFit is now in its 14th year. With over 9,000 affiliates worldwide it has completely taken the industry of fitness by storm. CrossFit Breaux Bridge was the third CrossFit gym in the entire area including Lafayette and its outskirts. There are now like 11. Its popularity is only increasing and it’s effectiveness in its mission undeniable.

I’m going to take this opportunity to explain, as simply as possible, one key component of CrossFit that is generally missing from other programs, but is secretly behind all of it’s wild success.


Neuroendocrine Adaptation


Neuroendocrine is a term simultaneously referring to your neural system (CNS- central nervous system) and your hormones.  We are going to talk about your hormones. They are linked, but different, see below:


“How’d that monkey get so strong?”      That’s CNS. Basically, most monkeys don’t understand “can’t.”


“How’d that juice monkey at the globo-gym get so strong?”    That’s hormones. Basically, most juice monkeys don’t understand things like “hard work,” “genetic limitations,” “hepatic damage,” “algebra,” or “anything written on or above a third-grade level.”


Now, what’s this mean for CrossFitters? CrossFit exercises and methods are selected based on certain criteria. One of those criteria is the neuroendocrine effect. High intensity, full body (compound) exercises have a highly desirable neuroendocrine effect. Those isolated bodybuilding movements from the globo-gym machines? Not so much. Those 60-minute aerobics sessions? No ma’am. Walking? Essentially ZERO. But what does this mean?


“Just about every physiological process occurring under the hood can be attributed to one hormone or another. Hormones are like software programs, directing our bodily processes, modulating our reactions to foods, and guiding energy metabolism and balance. We don’t consciously control our hormonal responses – that is, we don’t think to ourselves, “Hmm, let’s get some testosterone flowing,” or “Insulin: release!” But we can heavily influence our hormonal responses through the things we do, the stress we undergo, the foods we eat, the weights we lift, and the sleep we get.”


Read more:


CrossFit, done correctly (intensely), “reprograms” your body to be strong, lean, healthy, and fit.  This means that while you are away from the box, your body is still hard at work trying to adapt to that new programming. While you are sleeping, while you are at work, while you are driving, a CrossFitter’s body is working hard to get fitter. Without this, away from the gym, most people’s bodies are getting fatter once they stop “exercising.” You may burn 500 calories jogging for an hour, but that powerade you drank after already undid most of the work you accomplished, and once you’re done jogging, you’re body is done as well. This is not true for CF’ers. Our bodies are hard at work long after we have exited the confines of the CFBB complex. By CrossFitting, eating Paleo, and sleeping well, you are increasing your bodies natural production of the “fitness” hormones and putting your body at work for you


Now briefly, and perhaps surprisingly, Paleo works THE SAME WAY. If we eat the way we were designed to eat, amazingly, our bodies start working the way they were designed to work. This means hormones regulate, and we burn rather than store body fat! We build rather than lose muscle mass! Our bones get strong instead of falling apart!


We could go really deep into this but I wanted to give you a brief understanding.  Plus nobody reads long stuff anymore.


If you have questions, ask a coach!