8 Reasons You Should Try CrossFit
(reprinted with permission from CrossFit Steele Creek)
Why eight? First it’s my favorite number. Why my favorite number? As a kid, Gary Carter of the NY Mets was my favorite athlete, and that was the number that he wore. A little known fact about me is that I wanted to be a professional baseball player, catcher for the Mets, specifically. However, my boyhood dreams were shattered when I wasn’t allowed to use the tee to hit the ball!
Enough about me, the following is my 8 reasons why everyone should try CrossFit. You may not like it for numerous reasons; but here’s a few why you just might want to try it.
1. Accountability: One of the most common reasons why people do not follow through with an exercise program is due to the lack of accountability. If you decide not to show up to the globo-gym, yoga class, spin class, etc. you know the health repercussions, but will anyone really notice; or help you get back on track? When you join most CrossFit affiliates, you’re not just a number. We know your name, your spouse and kid’s names too! Members introduce themselves to new faces. Within the first hour, you will have talked to more people than in years at a traditional gym. Once miss a few classes for one reason, or another; a coach, and some of your new friends at CrossFit will come searching to keep you on your quest for better health and fitness.
2. It’s not boring: Another reason why many people fail to continue with an exercise program is because they get bored. Boredom will rarely be a word someone will associate with at CrossFit. For many people, it’s a much different experience than what they are used to at a traditional gym. That alone is enough for some. In addition, with the exception of testing/re-testing purposes, many of the workouts you will do will not be repeated often, if at all. With the amount of different equipment available, the options for different kinds of workouts are endless.
3. It includes weight training: Spinning, running and yoga are very popular choices of exercise for many reasons. We see many people that come to us who’s primary past exercises of choice are one of those options. The most important thing that is lacking from those options is legitimate weight training. I’m not talking about 5lb ankle or wrist weights while you go for a brisk walk. I mean learning how to work with a barbell, kettlebell, etc. This is especially important for women, as they are more likely to choose long duration cardio routines, over lifting weights. A great benefit of weight training is increased bone density, which becomes very beneficial as you age.
4. It’s fun: Many people that are new to CrossFit never expect that exercise can be fun. They are usually pleasantly surprised that they actually enjoy coming to workout! I like to look at our affiliate akin to when friends used to meet for lunch, or a drink. Only this time, the meeting is a much healthier option. We joke, we laugh, we work very hard, we don’t take ourselves too seriously….and in the end, we have fun. Members come for their workout, then stay, mingle with friends, make new friends, play ping-pong (or another affiliates game of choice). Hours later, they are still there supporting their friends, and friends-to-be in their workout.
5. It builds confidence: The biggest thing that I underestimated when starting our affiliate in 2010 was how what we provide can do a lot more than just “get people in shape”. People’s lives turn around in here. The depressed become happy, the near divorced couple is now happily married, the woman with no confidence leaves the abusive spouse. Members that spent their lives blaming solely genetics on their poor health are given hope. There are members being told by their doctors that they’ll never be able to run, jump, or lift their grandchild again. The list is endless. Fortunately, there is something about overcoming fears with the support of friends and coaches; that those people then take in, and they then begin to take control of their own life on their terms.
6. It’s incredibly efficient: Once you try CrossFit, you may never look at your old workout routine the same. Gone are the days of running on the treadmill for an hour. Gone are the days of your old “body-building” routine from high school. The words that makes CrossFit the most efficient workout I have done, is relative intensity. I use the term “relative” so people understand that the intensity of each workout is set by you. This is what allows the grandchild, mother, and grandfather all to participate in the same CrossFit class. A well run affiliate will pack a lot into 60 minutes. That should include time to warm up, the work-out, and cool down. While each class allots for 60 minutes duration; the time that you’re actually exercising will vary greatly. Everyone that starts at our affiliate has their first few workouts capped at 8 minutes duration. Our goal is to help them understand the term intensity as it pertains to exercise. The most common phrase I hear after their first workout is, “man, that was only 8 minutes!” Ask yourself, what’s more difficult, jogging at a slow pace for 2 miles; or 50 yard sprints with a 20 second rest between each for 5 minutes. The latter will likely take you 75% less time; yet be much more effective at burning fat. If you’re not sure; try them both and post your answer in the comments<slightly evil grin>.
7. The community: Each CrossFit affiliate has its own sense of community within its walls. Some of the best friendships people have made are through CrossFit. Great business contacts, and other beneficial relationships get formed through CrossFit too. I believe a lot of that comes from a sense of mutual respect for each other, and what they are coming to accomplish at their CrossFit affiliate. Hard work, discipline, resilient; are personality traits of those that continue at an affiliate. Those people tend to gravitate to like people. From there, friendships and relationships form. CrossFit then becomes the vehicle for other social and/or physical endeavors; from training for the next mud run, or planning a vacation.
8. It’s for everyone: I always tell people, you may not like CrossFit for one reason or another, but everyone can do it. In 5 years of owning an affiliate, I’ve never met someone who was too obese, or too old that they couldn’t do CrossFit. I’ve also never met someone with a “bad back”, or some other injury complaint that couldn’t do CrossFit. Every single workout can be scaled appropriately to the needs of the member allowing them to still get similar results despite the need to scale. There’s no harm in scaling a workout for any reason. On the contrary, most of the harm that may occur is often due to the lack of appropriate scaling of a workout, or an individual movement. Pain is not a reason avoid all exercise. With the amount of chronic pain sufferers in America, waiting to feel 100% to start a properly supervised exercise program is poor logic. From firsthand experience as both an affiliate owner, and chiropractor; I can tell you that moving well, and moving often can have very positive results for the pain sufferers. At the start, doing what you can, within your comfort level is dramatically more effecting than doing nothing at all!
If you’d like to give CrossFit a try, the best way to get started is to sign up for one of our upcoming Foundations classes. Our next one starts on February 2nd. The class will run for 4 weeks and include 8 sessions that are on Mondays and Thursdays at 6:30pm. The cost is $100 for the month. Sign up here or contact us with questions.