“ADDICTED.” “HOOKED.” THEY aren’t typically words you hear about workouts that have been known to leave people barfing more than once.

CrossFit is an fitness approach that people really buy into and enjoy,” says Wayne Stokes, M.D., director of sports medicine at the NYU Langone Medical Center’s Rusk Rehabilitation. “It doesn’t matter what’s going on, they aren’t going to miss their Workout of the Day. They get addicted.”

If CrossFit has a cult-like following, what’s making so many people drink the (Paleo approved) Kool-Aid? Basically, that CrossFit takes an approach to fitness that is different than what anyone else in fitness is doing. It steps up where other workouts fail, and, after every rep is said and done, is way more than a workout.

CrossFit incorporates broad training protocols

Running will increase your endurance. Weightlifting will strengthen you up. Cycling will turn your legs into rock-hard tree trunks. Meanwhile, CrossFit takes a “Jack of all trades, master of none approach” to fitness, says Kevin Hughes, C.S.C.S, a certified CrossFit coach and owner of FTF Fitness in California. It’s right there in the brand’s definition of fitness: increased work capacity across broad time and modal domains.

Basically, that means you’re faster, stronger, and better at a whole heckuva lot of exercises. “CrossFit has challenged specificity, or training according to your goal,” he says. “The workout’s not based on any goal other than to get better in a general way.”

Every day is different

“We want to have people be really well-rounded, and you can’t be well-rounded unless you do a lot of stuff,” says Russell Berger, head trainer and spokesperson for CrossFit. He notes that CrossFit methodology is based on the belief that routine is the enemy. “We want people to complete some work with the greatest variety of exercises possible,” he says.