What is Crossfit?
Let me start off by saying that Crossfit gets a bad rep. So what is Crossfit, anyway? If you don’t know what Crossfit is, you should. Crossfit was founded in 2000 so it’s a fairly new form of exercise. Although it’s new it has become increasingly popular in cities across the world. Crossfit focuses on improving muscular strength, endurance, flexibility, and maintaining functional fitness. It also ensures one thing… that you look good naked!
Crossfit is highly criticized in many “mainstream” gyms, and although I can understand to some extent where these “fitness critics” are coming from, I think the majority of them are full of crap. I think most of them take on an “etic” or outsiders perspective; to speak in anthropological terms, which is quite fitting because well, crossfit is a culture.
Many of these critics have never tried Crossfit, and probably won’t because they fear they will love it too much. You will never find a food critic, theatre critic or any other kind of critic critiquing something they have not seen, tasted, or experienced. They could do it anyway, but no one would take them seriously.
With that being said, I used to have my doubts about Crossfit even though I enjoyed watching it. I always feared it was too hard for me, I would get too buff, and I would hurt myself. Now that I have tried it, I have a slightly different opinion. Here are some myths that I believed, before I stepped my foot into a Crossfit box to actually work out.
1. CROSSFIT IS DANGEROUS
Now this statement holds some truth. Crossfit is dangerous. But only if you are unwilling to learn. Crossfit is as dangerous as every other sport where you are not properly trained. I understand that the complexity of Crossfit lifts cannot compare to shooting a free throw, but ultimately it’s up to the athlete to perfect their movements before moving up in weight. I also understand that it’s harder for coaches to spot bad form in a big group setting because there are so many people to pay attention to. A good coach will correct form however, when possible.
2. CROSSFIT IS A CULT
I am guilty of teasing my fiancé about his obsession with Brick Crossfit in West Hollywood, but after making friends with the other members, and joining them for competitions (as a bystander of course) I have come to deeply appreciate the love, the camaraderie, and the support these people have for each other. Making friends at the gym has never even occurred to me, until I witnessed the friendships formed at Brick. If you want to get fit and be a part of an overwhelmingly accepting community, start Crossfit. BCBFL (Best Crossfit Buddies for Life!)
3. YOU’LL PROBABLY PASS OUT, OR DIE
I definitely thought this would happen to me. But to my surprise, Crossfit is a very accommodating sport. If you can’t lift a certain weight, scale it down to your strength level. If you can’t squat all the way down without breaking posture, let the coach know. No one thinks twice if you can’t lift what they can. They’d prefer you to scale down to avoid injuring yourself.
4. YOU’RE GONNA GET BUFF
Getting buff is no easy task. It takes dedication, hard work, and the desire to get buff. If your intention when working out is to maintain fitness rather than build muscle, scale your workouts in a way that benefits your goal.
5. YOU HAVE TO BE COMPETITIVE
Not all Crossfit gyms are created equal. Some gyms focus more on competition while others focus on working out and getting fit. Either way, you’re going to get a good workout. A lot of gyms enjoy the competition aspect because it can help motivate members to reach their fitness goals. A lot of Crossfit gyms also have competitors as members, so it only makes sense to run every WOD as though it’s a competition, as it will prepare them for competitions down the line.
6. MEMBERSHIP IS TOO EXPENSIVE
Crossfit is expensive. But if you dedicate yourselves to Crossfit you will see results. Period. Even if you are eating fairly badly, you will still notice changes in your energy and stamina. What’s the use of spending less at a “regular” gym, if working out is boring and you never see results? Crossfit is also like getting a personal trainer every time you work out. There is always someone there to explain movements to you and help you perfect your form. You won’t get this at LA Fitness.
7. IF YOU DON’T KNOW THE TERMINOLOGY YOU’RE SCREWED
I was scared to death that no coach would explain what AMRAP meant. I was wrong. The coaches will repeat terminology and demonstrate movements so often, they will be drilled into your head. So don’t freak out if you go into your fundamentals class with no knowledge. That’s the point of these classes.
8. YOU MUST GO “PALEO”
Paleo is popular in the Crossfit community, and if you are looking for a diet to accommodate your work out plan, give it a shot! But you are in no way required to go Paleo because you join a Crossfit box. If your diet is working for you, keep it going!
9. YOU HAVE TO KEEP ADDING WEIGHT
Crossfit will make you stronger, but you don’t have to add weight if you don’t want to. If you are trying to maintain a certain physique and are still getting a good workout, there is no reason to freak yourself out that you have to go heavier. I will add that you will probably want to go heavier though, because you will notice that your strength is improving.
10. CROSSFITTERS AREN’T REAL ATHLETES
I personally never believed this one, but I know a lot of people that do. My first exposure to Crossfit was through Youtube videos of people hideously lifting and calling their stupidity “Crossfit”. A lot of other people were introduced to Crossfit in a similar fashion. All I have to say is: Crossfit Games Website. Browse around, watch some videos, look at the pictures… if these people aren’t athletes, than I’m an 80 year old hermaphrodite from Mexico.
So as you can see, I support Crossfit. Do you? If you’re unsure, give it a shot. It’s not for everyone, but everyone can do it. No matter how old or out of shape you are, you will get in shape through Crossfit.
How do you feel about this article? Do you enjoy Crossfit? Do you not? Let me know in the comments below!