At No Limit Fitness Studio, we love all of our classes! Bootcamp, HIIT, Yoga, and yes, CrossFit! Unfortunately, it seems that there are several misconceptions about CrossFit. On one hand, you have a camp of people who think CrossFit is ONLY for really fit and strong people. On the other, you have a camp of people who fundamentally misunderstand the program and what it entails. They may have seen a Fails video or two, and make a lot of assumptions about CrossFit based off of that. Below, we have seven reasons that YOU should try CrossFit:
Let’s first bust the myth that CrossFit is only for really fit, strong people. These are the big dogs you see at the CrossFit Games or maybe even in local competitions. They represent maybe, MAYBE 2% of the people who do CrossFit. Most people doing CrossFit are regular Joes and Janes simply looking to get in better shape and live healthier lives.
At it’s core, CrossFit is designed for EVERYONE. CrossFit trainers typically refer to this as scaling, which means changing the workout to suit each individual’s needs (check out our previous blog on scaling!). In the same class you might have a former Collegiate athlete and a stay-at-home mom who’s never lifted weights before doing the same workout together. They will be lifting different weights and be performing different levels of a bodyweight exercise, but the intended outcome of the workout will be the same.
The term “Functional” gets thrown around a lot in the fitness industry. You might see a video claiming that doing one-legged exercises on a Bosu ball is functional exercise, but that’s not what we’re after in CrossFit. When we say Functional Movement, we’re talking about natural movements your body performs on a day-to-day basis. Let’s take squats for example. They are simply sitting down and standing up, we just might add some extra resistance with some weight. How about deadlifts? If you’ve ever picked anything up off the floor, you’ve performed a deadlift. For most movements we perform in CrossFit, there is a real-life crossover to something you do in day-to-day life. Admittedly we do some non-functional movements (double unders anyone?), but overall the focus in CrossFit are the most functional, every day movements.
When we get a new athlete in CrossFit, they often think they are so far behind that they’re going to be bad at everything while everyone else is exceling. That is so wildly wrong that I could write an entire blog about that itself! After a month or two of CrossFit, you’ll start to notice there are certain things you really like to do, and others you aren’t too fond of. This almost always coincides with what you are naturally good and bad at. For me, I always enjoy barbell work because it comes easily to me. When I see gymnastics or longer workouts (over 10 minutes) I may let out a little groan because I know it’s going to be a rough day for me.
There are so many different skills and lifts involved in CrossFit that the probability of you being great at all of them is zero. This is good news! It means that there will be things you suck at but will make big improvements on, usually quickly too! Let’s take a common fear in CrossFit: box jumps. These can be intimidating, and usually people need to start with some pretty small boxes or plates stacked up. Maybe you need to start with low step ups before you attempt any jumping at all. Either way, it’s pretty common to start with three plates stacked up (about 10 inches high) and next time add a fourth (about 13 inches high). That’s already a big jump! If you’ve been stepping up to four plates, then take one off and jump on it, you just went from not being able to do ONE to jumping up 10 inches. Tell me that’s not an improvement!
CrossFit has been revolutionary in fitness. Not only has it changed a lot of peoples’ minds on how to work out, reinvigorated the United States Weightlifting Program, and improved millions of peoples’ health, it has a superpower that only CrossFitters know about. Somehow, someway, EVERY CrossFit gym ends up being a community of extremely helpful and caring people. There is something to working hard together and finishing a tough workout that brings us all together. People come to CrossFit for a many number of reasons, typically to lose weight, but always end up with much more than just a great workout. Many CrossFitters end up hanging out outside the gym, helping each other with projects at home, making each other funny t-shirts, riding bikes together, developing business plans together, and just becoming really great friends. It’s crazy how often it happens, but without a doubt it does!
Starting any fitness plan can be frightening, especially if you’re trying to get going by yourself. Fortunately, with CrossFit you’re starting with an experienced coach who understands the trepidation you are feeling. Your coach knows how to get you started with the right movements and the right loading so you will be safe and successful with your fitness. You may get pushed outside of your comfort zone here and there, but only when your coach is sure you are ready to do the task you are given!
The main reasons anyone starts any fitness plan is to lose weight, look better, and be healthier. CrossFit helps accomplish all of those. Sometimes weight loss doesn’t look how you think it does and there’s not much change on the scale, but fat loss happens at the same time muscle gain does. You get stronger, lose fat, start moving better, feel better, and become healthier. Add in the awesome support you get from your coach and others in your class, and we have a recipe for long-term success in your health and fitness!