I came across this article and felt it was a perfect summary of what CrossFit is and how it works:
The Truth About CrossFit
by Chris Shugart
CrossFit is not a specialized fitness program, but a deliberate attempt to optimize physical competence in each of 10 recognized fitness domains,” says founder Greg Glassman in the Foundations document. Those domains are: cardiovascular and respiratory endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, speed, coordination, agility, balance, and accuracy.
CrossFit coaches like to point out that even champions in certain sports have huge gaps in their fitness, as defined by the above 10 domains. Ironman competitors score high in some areas, low in others. The marathoner dominates cardio endurance but he isn’t strong. The powerlifter is strong, but often has very low endurance and can’t do a single pull-up.
If your goal is to specialize and compete in one sport, then CrossFit isn’t for you. Instead, the goal of the CrossFitter is to become “competent” in all 10 domains. He may never be a top gymnast but he will develop great body control. He may never win a marathon, but he can enter a 5K without training for it and finish near the top.
Continue reading here
(disregard the fact it is posted on a body building website, the irony being that it is an article about not specializing posted on a website devoted to strength specialists!!! humm…)