CrossFit – is it a fad?
Yes, yes, I do CrossFit, I love CrossFit, and I drink the CrossFit cool-aid. Is it for everyone? Absolutely not!
Even though I love it and am a super fan, there are flaws just like there are flaws to every doctor, every diet, or even every car that you may buy. It’s all relative and CrossFit fulfills so much of my positive bucket but I am also very aware it may not be for everyone.
As many know, I am not just a CrossFit junky but a CrossFit level 2Ccoach. I have been around CrossFit going on five years (could totally be more) and I have seen the good, the bad, and definitely the ugly. If done wrong from programming to poor form; yes, injury can occur. What gets me coming back, and of course being a trainer, is the basic philosophy of moving in a full range of motion for your whole life. CrossFit isn’t about being the fittest, fastest, or the strongest that the CrossFit Games display on TV. It’s about the average working person from young child, to dad/mom, to the grandpa and grandma that go into a box (the “gym” in CrossFit), and get a good sweat. Ensuring they are getting one step closer to a healthier lifestyle.
Honestly, the worst part of CrossFit is stepping in the door of your first day. It’s crazy daunting - I get it. From the loud music, to the bars dropping on the ground, to the strong women and men with the weight over head, or even being upside down…. It is a lot to take in.
Always remember, everyone in there started in the same place as you. Plus, there is a coach that will walk you through every step. The next thing you know, you will be doing hand stand push-ups like a champ! And, you do not have to get fit first before coming in… I always smile with that question but definitely not a requirement. Because guess what? There are none!
Ok, I’ll get off my sales pitch but before I was a coach, I was just an athlete. Coming from competitive college volleyball, I needed a challenge. I do want to add, when I started CrossFit in 2014, I was less than six months post-transplant. AKA, not able to do super high intensity, or lift more than I think 20lbs. I used CrossFit as my recovery and to this day still do.
Let’s dive into my top “why’s” for trying CrossFit:
Community- definitely my #1 reason. Everyone in my CrossFit community, are considered my family. There is something special when you go into your dark place in a workout then look beside you and remember you are not alone. You get a million high-five or fist bumps as you peel yourself off the ground after a fun WOD. You spend 5-6 hours, if not more, a week with the same crew and then that crew becomes your lifeline to get you through the crappiness that comes with the daily struggles. Even more, your best workout partner in the gym becomes a bridesmaid in your wedding. #kapow for life!
Competitive- now I know this may be coming from my background of elite sports… but I live for competition. Every CrossFit class has a WOD or “workout of the day”. When the clock starts and everyone goes, even though you don’t voice it out loud, you know you have to do better than the person next to you. If anything, having that competition ensures you don’t stop half way through just when it gets tough. I have done many CrossFit competitions (individual and partner), and you can bet there will more to come in regard to competitions in the CrossFit world here. They are beyond fun!
No mirrors- Who just loves looking at themselves in the mirror? Okay, there may be some of you out there but NOT this girl. With my crazy body dysmorphia and the 1,000 degree weather of Texas, I don’t need the reminder that I look like crap. (Lol.) Oh, not to mention, I have the worst workout face ever… there is a reason there are not many fitness/CrossFit pictures of me. Our box (and almost every box that I have been too around the US) does not have mirrors. This means no judgment. No judging yourself and no judging the person next to you. Honestly, one of the most authentic places where everyone knows that we all are going to die a little today… in a good way! (I do want to add that this may not be at every gym, so don’t be afraid to explore and test different gyms to see if you like the culture and environment. You are the consumer and you deserve a good “fit” with your gym!)
Humbling- oh, this one gets me… it’s so humbling after 10+ years of training to walk in and realize I can’t squat 10 lbs. over my head. Or my favorite, when the workout looks so simple and then after it’s done, you are crawling on the floor because the workout had its way with you. Lol. You quickly learn to leave the ego at the door and over time you gain more and more confidence.
No ceiling- with the constantly varying functional movements, there is no way you can be an expert at every movement in CrossFit. Even the top athletes, that make up less than the top 1% of the sport, have something to get better at. If you are starting out, goals may be to actually do a handstand push up. Then over time, your goal will evolve to how many HSPUs can you do in 1 minute. Then evolve to how many deficit HSPUs you can do. With CrossFit, the ceiling is only what you make in your mind on your effort, not the sport itself.
Coaching– this is my favorite selling piece… you get a trained coach in every class you do. So, if you take this to a regular gym and multiply it by a personal trainer (say $60/hour x 5 hours a week x 4 weeks in a month = that’s $1,200 a month), CrossFit is way less. Now, I get it, it may not be super individualized since it’s a group setting, but you get to see and hear the coaching queues for other people that can help you learn indirectly. I am a visual learner so watching others preform movements is so beneficial. Another side note, when trying a new box if you feel the coach you have doesn’t have a vested interest in you or pay attention to you, it may not be the right box for you. You want to find a home that every class the coach is giving you something to work on or at least you feel secure knowing they will do everything they can to ensure you get better.
The Open– This is such an amazing event. For five weeks every February- March, all CrossFit members get to compete in The Open. One workout is posted per week and you get to give it your best shot and see how you stand up to everyone in your gym, your city, your region, and the world. It’s designed for everyone no matter where you are at…. Ugh, I just love this part!
Get to do cool S*** that you will be proud to tell anyone about- this is one of my favorite parts because if one you tell someone that you do CrossFit, typically think you’re a hardcore fitness person. I also love telling my Dad, pull-ups and handstand walking are my jam.
Okay wow, that was definitely way more than I was expecting. I do want to make note, I know CrossFit isn’t for everyone and not every box is the same. For example, my husband doesn’t do CrossFit. He tried it, gave it six months, then stopped. He does body building and I also do body building. This is to say, you don’t have stick to one thing or knock others. I am so not into spin class, as it doesn’t check off a lot of boxes for me, but I know how awesome it can be for many others.
At the end of the day if you are intrigued with CrossFit, try it out! If you don’t like it then at least you can say you gave it a try. Just like new restaurants, you have to test them out and often get a second opinion so to speak before you find the one you 100% trust.
If you are ever in The Woodlands area, come check out CrossFit Towncenter! We would love to have you drop in, workout with me, or if you are lucky be coached by me. All levels are welcomed.