I thought CrossFit was stupid… Then I tried it.
I thought CrossFit was stupid. Then I tried it…
My first impression of CF was it was ridiculous. It seemed random and too intense. I watched videos of epic CrossFit fails and from there formed a negative opinion. I saw inexperienced people doing highly technical movements with too much weight moving too fast with terrible form. Most of my colleagues shared my sentiment. The problem with this opinion (like most) was that it was formed without any firsthand experience with CrossFit. I just thought it was stupid and of course I knew best because I was the personal trainer and certified strength and conditioning specialist. I knew it all.
I did not try CF until 2013 when a friend challenged me to do the ‘300 workout’ with me. After completing the workout, I was floored. I loved it. It introduced crazy new fitness potential that I did not know existed. I was both humbled and inspired by the experience as I laid on the floor gasping for air. The workout was intense but it was also highly engaging and almost fun. I did not know it was a CF workout until my friend told me afterwards. I don’t know about you but I hate talking shit then having to eat it.
Reluctant to admit my opinions of CF may have been wrong, I began researching the program and doing the workouts on my own. In the next month and a half my total fitness level soared to new heights. I PRd on all major lifts among many other moves like hitting 30 strict pullups unbroken and 75 chest to floor pushups. For the first time ever I recorded a 5k time under 22 minutes, which for me is really good. My energy was at an all-time high. Best of all, I was enjoying my new routines. I looked forward to every day’s workout.
The first few months of my CF journey were done on my own and the results were phenomenal. Then I joined a CF gym and my progress accelerated even more. I was immediately humbled by the level of coaching I received and their standards on quality of movement. It was pointed out that my form on major movements needed a lot work and I received excellent training that lead to vast improvement in a short amount of time. I learned that in a good crossfit gym (there are bad ones, just like anything else), mobility is just as, if not more, important than strength and power. Their motto was ‘move well then move fast’. I have adopted it and relayed that message to every client since. Learning the basics and learning them very-very well creates a foundation that you can build on for forever. Going balls out with a mediocre foundation is recipe for collapse. The point is, get proper coaching and take pride in doing thing right. It will save you a lot of pain and setbacks.
The best part of the experience from the gym was being a part of an awesome community. No where will you find a place that is more supportive of your goals than you will in a good crossfit gym. People go to regular gyms with their ear buds on and walk around with serious faces, interacting with no one but the machines they use. In a crossfit gym, members are constantly interacting. They actually smile and genuinely care about your health and wellbeing. It is hardwired in to the culture of crossfit to cheer on the people around you. It is a truly inspiring atmosphere. It is the combination of excellent programming, coaching and most importantly the supportive environment that crossfit is the most successful fitness program in terms of getting insane results across the board.
I have made a career of using my knowledge and passion for fitness to help others improve the quality of their lives and achieve their fitness goals. Being a part of my client’s success is an empowering feeling. It is the kind of satisfaction that makes my job the best job in the world. My experience with crossfit made me realize that I could help 10x as many people as I was before. By being involved and eventually owning a crossfit gym, I could help an entire member base and anyone in the surrounding community to try us out.
I encourage everyone to try crossfit. Most people feel that it is too intense for them and say things like “I don’t care about being super strong or having a six pack, I just want to be healthier”… to that I say “ok, what’s your point?” If your goal is to be healthier, how do you measure it? And if you achieve this ‘healthier’ goal and become stronger and leaner in the process, are you going to pissed about it? I don’t think so. What if you do something you never thought possible? Would you be upset over that? My guess is no. Some try to belittle the community of crossfit, calling a cult or fitness for elitist. These are titles from outsiders who are thinking without any firsthand knowledge of what we are all about. Hey, no judgement from me, I was guilty of the same thing! The truth is, crossfit can be for anyone. It is a scalable program that allows for all skill levels to work side by side. The level of growth I have seen people achieve from crossfit is insane! I am not just talking about changes with their body. I am talking about their confidence and how they feel about themselves. In my experience, Crossfit is the best thing to happen to fitness industry, for both fitness professionals and customers wanting to improve their health.
Most people are scared to try things outside of their comfort zone even when those are the only things that will get them what they want. To avoid facing fear, they rationalize giving up by denying the importance of the goals they want but are too afraid to go after.
Crossfit is scary to the outsider. It looks too intense. It is different than anything they have seen before. The reality is it is the exact opposite. It is a scalable program for all levels. It is a supportive community that fosters personal growth. I have yet to find anything like it and encourage everyone to give it a shot. There really isn’t anything to lose.