CrossFit- what's it all about??
By Nasar Ali, Jun 16 2013
Since many of our customers are in love with CrossFit (nearly as much as they are with our Chomps), we figured it was time to take a deeper look into the psychology behind it. The truth be told, although many of our customers are ‘CrossFitters’, just as many don’t quite get what it’s all about and, frankly find it quite intimidating. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little scared at the prospect of having to go to a CrossFit gym once upon a time. In my head I pictured super fit and healthy athletes- with huge muscles and super strength- with there being no room for someone like me who loves living a healthy lifestyle and eating healthy- but isn’t necessarily on that level.
So let’s start with what it is and then we can delve deeper into how it differs from traditional gyms and why so many people are joining the ‘CrossFit community’.
The website says that “a regimen of constantly varied (CV), functional movements (FM) performed at high intensity (@HI) in a communal environment leads to health and fitness.” And this is what CrossFit is all about (in a nutshell and in their own words!) CrossFit isn’t geared to any one type of person or athlete. The whole point of it is for you to condition yourself to be prepared for anything- so you don’t have to be a certain type of athlete for it to be beneficial. One of the defining factors that sets it apart is its’ lack of specialization.
The way I see it- you join CrossFit to better yourself- in every way. It’s a means of readying yourself for all physical challenges you might face at any point. But- it isn’t as simple as joining and just being able to do it. They aren’t lying when they say ‘high intensity’- and this is one of the main things that you have to be able to deal with and learn to cope with in order to get the most out of this regime. It is brutal…….. no part of it is simple or easy- so you can’t go and expect to have a bit of a rest and do a half-arsed work-out at any point. It takes dedication and drive which is where the whole ‘CrossFit community’ and team aspect of it comes into play and really helps motivate and push people.
So then why is it that so many people are so willing to pay a premium to join a CrossFit gym? In comparison to traditional places, it certainly isn’t cheap, yet, people don’t even think twice about spending their hard earned cash if it means they get to be a part of this ‘CrossFit community’. There are a few reasons that stand out for me (and this is by no means an exhaustive list).
Firstly- there’s the competition aspect of it- which entices and encourages people to give it their all. The workouts are timed and you are measured against your peers, so you make damn sure you really bring your ‘A GAME’ every time.
Then there’s the variety aspect of it. Each daily workout is different- so it doesn’t get old or monotonous. It means that your body is really getting that full work-out it needs. You don’t do CrossFit to work on one particular part of your body- that’s what regular gyms and work-outs are for.
There’s also one of my favorites- the team side of it. You work in a group through your WOD (Work Out Day). Knowing you are not alone and having people doing what you are doing and feeling what you are feeling, in that same moment, really creates a heightened sense of community and urges you to push yourself that bit further.
Obviously all of this is pointless without the expertise you get when you join. When you aren’t having one-on-one sessions, you have a skilled instructor walking you through each and every move- so you know what to do, and more importantly, how to do it. It results in a full-on and focused work-out from which you know you will see results.
Lastly, and most importantly (I think) is the education aspect of it- which is a big thing for CrossFit and definitely sets it apart from other places. They know, that coming into this, you will not have the knowledge you need with regards to movement, fitness and nutrition. But this is all part of the CrossFit experience. They educate you on how to move in a way that is effective but safe, on what fitness truly is and how it can be attained in your everyday life and, finally-what to eat that will support your fitness regime.
Then there are all the other factors which lure people in, for instance, the small and very full classes. When you see a class is full- you know it’s because it must be awesome, and that itself makes people want to join. Other than that- it’s clearly an amazing work-out and has a proven track record of working- so you know you will see results.
What’s surprising is the diversity of people you get at CrossFit gyms, which shows that anyone who really wants to do this- can do it. Our body is capable of amazing things- but it needs to be conditioned and pushed in order to maximize its’ potential. CrossFit is all about doing this and helping people achieve their maximum capability. The other great thing about CrossFit is that they never change the regime or programme to cater to different ages or types of people. They merely amend the scale and intensity.
To me, CrossFit is in essence a full-service gym, providing you with every tool you need to attain greatness in terms of your fitness. You don’t need to be an experienced athlete or really fit, you just need to be committed.