Even if you’ve never tried CrossFit, I’m sure you’ve heard of it. You might have friends who do it (if you do have friends who are in CrossFit, you’re probably tired of hearing strange words like “WOD,” “tabata,” or “AMRAP”). You may have also heard stories about how it’s dangerous, it’s a cult, or it’s only for the super strong. If you’ve tried CrossFit, then you already know that CrossFit is social, CrossFit is hard, and CrossFit can be adapted to suit your body type, your weaknesses, and your experience level. If you think CrossFit isn’t for you, read on, you might be surprised.
What is CrossFit?
CrossFit is a fitness program that is intended to improve general physical preparedness through constantly varied, functional movements that are performed at high intensity. It is not just weight lifting; it is running, rowing, plyometrics, and body weight exercises. CrossFit isn’t about getting huge, it’s about being fit.
Is CrossFit Hard?
CrossFit is as hard as you make it. Even if you are a former athlete, CrossFit can give you the best workouts of your life. CrossFit is all about testing your own limits. As you improve, there is always room for growth as you push harder, increase weight, and move faster. CrossFit will push you to optimal fitness.
Is CrossFit a Cult?
How do you know someone is a CrossFitter? Because they’ll tell you they are a CrossFitter over. And over. And over again. This is a pretty popular CrossFit joke, but it’s not far off the mark. Most people that CrossFit love it, but why is that a bad thing? Why wouldn’t you want to work out with people who are unabashedly enthusiastic and motivated about what they’re doing? Just like certain groups or brands seem to attract die-hard, loyal customers (think Harley Davidson owners or Apple-users), CrossFit tends to a get a rep for being “culty” because it has its own language, it can be somewhat masochistic, and the people that do it are incredibly committed. But the fact is, CrossFit is totally inclusive of anyone that wants to give it a shot. More than anything, CrossFit is an incredibly social, tight-knit community; you probably won’t find a more welcoming, encouraging group of people to work out with.
What If I Have Never doneWeight-lifting?
CrossFit workouts can be scaled and modified so that anyone can participate, and that truly means anyone—kids, elite athletes, and the disabled. One of the best things about CrossFit is that your membership fee not only pays for a place for you to work out, it also pays for knowledgeable, certified coaches. Not only do you have a coach to come up with your work outs, he or she is also there to help you every step of the way. Most gyms offer On-Ramp classes for beginners, which allow coaches to give one-on-one attention to new athletes; it’s a time to go over the basics, work on form, and ease your body into CrossFit WODs (Workouts of the Day). If you ever need help, your coaches will be more than willing to watch your form during a WOD, or work with you before or after class. The most important thing for new and experienced CrossFit athletes to remember is to check their ego at the door. While many WODs have a prescribed amount of weight assigned to each workout, there are dozens of ways to modify each movement, and each weight. A good coach will never encourage you to perform a movement, or to lift a weight you are not comfortable with.
Is CrossFit Dangerous?
It can be, plain and simple. CrossFit is dangerous in the same way any other sport or worthwhile activity is dangerous. While there are inherent risks to any workout regimen, CrossFit is safe as long as you listen to your body, perform movements correctly, and stick to weights that are appropriate for your fitness and experience level. CrossFit can also be safe for people who have had sports-related injuries; developing strength and proper form in functional movements can help to prevent future injuries as well. Of course, you should speak to a physician before starting CrossFit if you have any concerns.
Who Shouldn’t Do CrossFit?
Anyone can do CrossFit, but it’s not for everyone. CrossFit is not a typical gym experience. If you show up expecting Gold’s Gym or Planet Fitness, you’ll either be extremely disappointed or unbelievably happy. It’s also not a solo act; it’s a community of like-minded athletes who are looking to get mentally and physically tougher. If you’re not open to trying new things, meeting new people, or challenging yourself, CrossFit is probably not for you, and that’s okay!
If you’re interested in trying CrossFit, don’t wait any longer. Find a box near you, give the owner a call, then show up; most let you workout for free on your first day!