Recently I have read and heard a lot of negative things about CrossFit. People are talking about why it’s bad for you, how it can cause injury, how it’s a cult, you have to be paleo, as well as that it’s intimidating and too competitive. Well in this weeks blog I’d like to share some reasons why CrossFit isn’t those things, how it’s helped me to become a better athlete, and how it’s helped to change my life.
It’s bad for you!
CrossFit is many things but bad is not one of them. CrossFit is a fitness regimen that was developed by Coach Greg Glassman over several decades. In general, CrossFit is the sport of fitness or training for the unknown and the unknowable. It incorporates constantly varied functional movements performed at relatively high intensity. The program includes aerobic conditioning, Olympic lifting, gymnastics, as well as a few other training elements and strength exercises (i.e. kettlebells, rope climbs, and burpees) into daily workouts of the day (WODs). Therefore this helps you to have a balance of all skills so you can become a well-rounded athlete. When you are working on physical skills such as strength, cardio, stamina, flexibility, agility, balance, power, speed, accuracy, and coordination what can be bad? CrossFit allows you to not only look fit but to be fit!
It can cause Injury!
Like anything else, you need to be smart and safe. Injuries can occur at any time. However, in a CrossFit environment similar to any gym class, it’s important that you know what you are doing, you know your limits, you can control weight safely, and you are being monitored by a coach or instructor. If those things are occurring you should be able to maintain safety.
When attending a CrossFit gym for the first time be sure they have on-ramp classes, or beginner skills classes that you can attend. These classes allow you to learn and understand the movements as well as how to safely execute them. Once you have become familiar with the movements and can perform them safely, you are ready to take a class. Be sure to talk to the coach about any previous injuries you may have and ask for modifications to movements as appropriate.
CrossFit is often referred to as a cult. Why?? Because we are close-knit group of people with common interests who enjoy socializing and hanging out both in and outside the gym. If you walk into a CrossFit gym you will see that they are as much about community as they are a place to workout. Egos are checked at the door; and everyone is supportive of each other and push one another to help meet their personal goals and be the best version of themselves. One persons success is the entire groups success. We celebrate, support, and encourage one another! Plus, no matter where you are in the world, when you visit a facility or Box (as we call it) you’ll be welcomed in like family (i.e. CrossFit Piraeus in Greece, where my husband and I visited recently).
Sure, when going to CrossFit for the first time, it may seem intimidating, but once you spend some time there, you’ll quickly realize how supportive the CrossFit community is. When you walk in, you will never have to workout alone again. Not only will you benefit from learning from the coaches you will bond and develop relationships with people that truly make training fun. Knowing their are people there waiting for you, encourages and supports consistency and accountability.
It’s too competitive!
Ultimately, CrossFit pushes and challenges you to be a do your best. Your biggest competition is yourself and being better than the person you were yesterday. CrossFit is about learning and growing, getting stronger and more confident each and every day. However, a little friendly competition does help to motivate you and can be fun!! Whether you’re competing with your own previous score, or competing with a friend in class, you will be shocked how much more fun this makes working out. CrossFit will stir up something inside of you that you may have never had before, and that feeling can be addicting.
You have to be Paleo!
False! I am mostly Vegan (I have cheat days and may eat cheese pizza or frozen yogurt once a month) and yet I still do CrossFit. In fact, many CrossFitters follow the Zone Diet which is a little different than strictly Paleo. This diet supports a balance of protein, carbs, and fat. It takes into account the foods you eat and how it impacts your performance. You don’t need to eat one way or another you just need to be sure to eat a balance of foods that support exercise and not body fat.
The results you see from Crossfit will transfer over to other aspects of life. The confidence that it delivers will allow you to perform activities you never thought possible.
Here are some ways CrossFit has helped me:
Improved my self-confidence
Helped me to lose excess body fat and gain muscle
Increased by endurance
Allowed me to face my fears
Introduced me to incredible friends
Allowed my husband and I to workout together
Makes me smile and feel ready to conquer any obstacle that gets in my way