Everyday, a CrossFit box welcomes in new members to it’s community. However, the skepticism about injury and the training methods still abound. CrossFit has exploded in recent years as the workout for the badass within- a hardcore, work until you puke, training program…or is it? Like most things in this world, people are afraid of what they don’t truly understand. With that fear comes misconceptions and misinterpretations that end up giving the sport of CrossFit a bad rap. So let’s tackle this CrossFit beast and set the record straight.
By definetion CrossFit is the sport of functional fitness. At it’s core is a methodology of high intensity, constantly varied and functional movement. According to crossfit.com “Our specialty is not specializing”. This means by getting involved with CrossFit training you’re going to learn to move better, work more efficiently , and become the physically strongest you can be. There is a reason so many law enforcement officers, military professionals, martial artists and professional athletes flock to it. Not just for the elite,CrossFit has taught many people to do functional things like touch their toes, run for a late train, and change the office water cooler with ease. It pushes the human body to do what it was designed to do. Move well.
Now what about the stay at home mother of 3? The overweight college freshman? The middle aged former football player? How is CrossFit for them? It is a universally scalable program by its design. The workouts are the same yet the load and intensity vary by ability level. This literally means regardless of who you are and the background you come from, CrossFit is for you . The mother of 3 who CrossFits can run with her kids in the park. The overweight college student can drop his weight, improve his heart health and have the energy to get through those extra night classes. The aging former athlete can find that intensity and competitive aspect he so longs for, in a scalable workout to protect his old knee injury. CrossFit improves your fitness by using a combination of Olympic lifting,gymnastics,endurance training and strength training. Always changing your program keeps your body guessing, which in turn keeps your results steady. I think the best part about CrossFit is not just that anyone can do it but that if you walk into a CrossFit box all three of those people above are friends.
The community of CrossFit is a special one. I’ve never seen a more supportive, friendly, inclusive group of people in any other program. It’s the benefit of the workout buddy multiplied by 100. A community that supports the weakest more than the strongest is a community with real values. The cheer is the loudest for the last to finish and coaches get excited over an athlete’s 400 lb squat or the day they put 10 lbs on the bar for the first time. If you miss a workout someone is going to reach out and check on you. The accountability is great but the genuine concern is better. CrossFitters have a vested interest in the wellbeing of eachother. Bringing someone soup when they’ve been sick, having a drink someone going through a break up, attending happy events like weddings and being supportive in times of loss. No regular gym gives you that. You’re signing up for more than a fitness program, you’re becoming part of a family thats motto centers around your wellbeing….of your health,fitness, heart and soul.
Yes. You can get injured doing CrossFit. You can also fall off a bike, tear a muscle in hot yoga, or join the list of regular gym goers who have suffered a hernia. Injury can happen in any sport. Unattentive coaching, not listening to your body, being driven by your ego and of course just freak accidents can occur anywhere. Always seek out CrossFit coaches concerned about your body and personal well being. A good coach knows what weights are good for you during a particular workout. They know when to push and when to back off. They mind your injuries and if they’re unfamiliar with them they read up in order to serve you better. Mobility is of the utmost importance to an excellent CrossFit coach. Stretching, range of motion, recovery and injury prevention can be the difference between an educated and experienced box and one that is all too green. A level 1 certificate does not ensure a great coach. Time invested into each athlete and the overall wellness of their client base does.
In the end the definetion of CrossFit is not necessarily exclusively a workout program. CrossFit is a community of athletic, like minded people not striving to compete against eachother but to find ways to become individually better than they were yesterday and inherently stronger together. CrossFit is the sport of fitness enveloped in a supportive community that can ensure you’ll reach personal goals. Life gets hard. We all have fallen off the workout wagon but with CrossFit you have your family waiting for you everyday. You may not know where your life is headed, or if you’ll weather your current personal storm, but you can always slap 10 more lbs on the bar. CrossFit is a program that can truly offer you athletic success. When you have an army of people screaming “You can do it” you’re sure to succeed.