-Author Dan Sullivan
Call it a fitness program, call it a sport. Whatever you call it, don’t call it a trend.
CrossFit is constantly varied functional movements performed at high intensity, meant to help people become more physically prepared for anything.
And it works.
Maybe you’ve been thinking about trying it, maybe you’ve judged it or maybe you’ve never heard of it. Regardless, here are eight things I wish everybody knew about CrossFit.
1. CrossFit can be modified and scaled. We can take any workout or movement and tailor it to accommodate your fitness level. At CrossFit The Rack our youngest member is 8, and our oldest is 77. Our group classes consist of all walks of life: teachers, doctors, laborers, nurses, students, business owners, law enforcement personnel, military members, and yes, even world-class athletes. We all do the same workouts together to varying degrees of difficulty.
2. CrossFit is applicable to real life. We pick things up and put things down, much like you would with a child or a box sitting on a shelf in the garage. We also train to push or pull ourselves up. Everything we do aims to physically prepare us for real life.
3. CrossFit is measurable, result-driven and is changing the health of many. Just last year I had my first physical in too long. My results were excellent! I had an almost perfect blood lipid profile, cholesterol numbers, and my blood pressure was spot on. All this considering I have a family history of diabetes, cancer and poor lipid profiles. My doctor and I attribute much, if not all of this, to my current fitness lifestyle. Today I’m the healthiest and fittest I have ever been.
4. CrossFit is not a cult — but the heart of what we do does lie in our community. We all strive to be more able-bodied, healthier human beings. Fitness is hard to do alone and sometimes uncomfortable with a personal trainer. If you have never tried a coach-led group fitness class, I encourage you to do so. They are fun and up-lifting. CrossFit gyms are not all the same. I encourage you to do your research before choosing a CrossFit gym near you.
5. CrossFit encourages health at every stage of life. From children to the elderly, functional fitness has the ability to make a serious impact, and it has. We are helping the aging prepare for their latter years, and youth build a foundation for future success in a world driven by high fructose, fast food and electronics.
6. CrossFit does not condone the use of performance enhancing drugs. Just because of the way some athletes look and what they can do, doesn’t mean they cut corners to get this way. If your idea of CrossFit is what you’ve seen on ESPN, you need to understand that those people are in the 99.9 percentile of a very fit population. It took a great deal of commitment and sacrifice on the part of these men and women to get to the level of the CrossFit Games. The general population is not training to reach an elite level, they just want to stay fit and healthy. No matter what your goal is, there is no such thing as a magic pill. It will be one of the more challenging things you have ever done in your life. But is it worth it? Yes!
7. CrossFit is not body building, despite what some of the less informed may think. Bodybuilding athletes train for something completely different. That doesn’t mean we don’t still bench press.
8. CrossFit is hard. Gaining and maintaining fitness, no matter how you go about it, is hard. It takes a commitment. Not everybody that walks through doors finds success in the first week. We all have to start somewhere, though. Regardless of how unfamiliar you are with fitness, you can do CrossFit.