Discover The Allure Of Crossfit

Crossfit is a style of training that has started a huge craze in the last decade. Some people are completely fanatical about it, and others are scared to try it. In my experience, a lot of the fanatics don’t seem to know much about any other style of training. On the other hand, the ones that are scared to try it out, just don’t know anything about Crossfit. My goal in this article is to help you discover the allure of Crossfit. I’ll break down why it’s so fun and popular, why it’s a great way to train, and lastly why you have to be extremely careful doing it.

What is it?

To make it short, Crossfit Inc. is a company that was started in 2000 as a broad spectrum strength and conditioning program for the general population.

It mixes together olympic lifting, gymnastics (hand stands), body weight exercises, aerobic exercises , sprints, and more.

There are over 6000 Crossfit affiliated gyms all across the world. Most of them are in the United States. They have an annual Crossfit Games, that is basically like a world championship for best of the best.

The winner is named “fittest person in the world”. Two of the most well known Crossfitters are Rich Froning and Annie Thorisdottir. They have both won multiple times. Froning has won the last 3 years straight (11′, 12′, 13′).

Froning And Thorisdottir

What’s All That Ruckus?

A lot of people get extremely hooked to this style of training because it is challenging mix of many types of training, it offers camaraderie, and it is competitive.

The fact that it is a mix of so many different styles of training makes it appeal to everyone. It’s entity lies in the hybrid between olympic lifting, gymnastics, athletics, and highlander/strongman type training. Literally anyone can identify with it….

Unless you workout like the cast of Jersey Shore. Then you’ll probably hate it.

The camaraderie aspect gets everyone involved. Even the first ones done with each workout often stay and cheer on the ones that are still pushing through. A lot of times you feel like you’re working as a team to get the workout done.

Crossfit has even adopted its own way of eating called the Paleo diet. The athletes often wear minimalistic shoes and other accessories like random sleeves and high socks. Wearing that gear can make people feel like they belong to the “fraternity”.

If you have ever been an athlete, or never had the chance to compete before….Here’s your chance now! One of the biggest reasons I think people love this is the same reason people love to play sports. You have a chance to win!

There’s never a lackadaisical moment in a Crossfit box. You’re always trying to race against the clock, yourself, someone else, or lift more than everyone else. Everyone has a taste for competition. It gives you motivation to keep going.

Lastly, it produces results. The workouts actually work to help people to get stronger, leaner, faster, and fitter in general.

Crossfit In Reality

So What’s All The Complaining About?

Lot’s of fitness professionals have beef with how Crossfit uses olympic lifting. Exercises like the clean, snatch, and jerk are really complex movements. Competitive lifters spend years perfecting the technique. They’re also meant to be done with minimal fatigue, so that maximal effort can be produced, and technique doesn’t suffer.

Crossfit usually throws these exercises into the mix with sprints and other things, so you’re usually pretty exhausted as you do them.

Many traditional trainers and strength coaches also don’t think that Crossfit pays enough attention to rest and recovery. You’ll find that it’s not uncommon for serious Crossfit athletes doing up to 5 workouts in a day.

Rich Froning does 5 workouts a day when he trains for the Games. He is a machine, beast, freak of nature, or any other descriptive term for a very physically talented person. Training that much would break most people down.

Finally, The instruction at many gyms can be very minimal. To be a Crossfit instructor, literally all you have to do is take a two day course and answer 50 multiple choice questions satisfactorily. That person, with their two days worth of education (Level 1 Certification) could be giving instruction at the next class.

Injuries happen more frequently in this style of training because of the fact that they tend to worry about beating times and records, than really focussing on doing the exercises correctly.

I think the people that have studied exercise science in depth are so concerned because some of the athletes don’t know any better.

While you’re working out, endorphins are rushing through your body so you might feel great, but then you wake up and your back and shoulders are out of commission because you overdid it, or used terrible technique.

Camille Leblanc

Proceed With Caution

Personally I have done Crossfit before and I still love to do it. I don’t think that anyone should be intimidated by going to see what it’s all about. You don’t have to be an unbelievable athlete to try it out, and no one will force you to do anything that you can’t do. For beginners gyms offer scaled workouts that are less involved, and use less weight.

To be completely fanatical about this style of training is ok, because that’s how people become successful. They are exceptionally passionate about what they do. The fault comes into play when you think it’s the only style of training around.

Crossfit is new. It’s only been around for a little over a decade. Health and fitness has been around for hundreds of years. To be completely consumed in Crossfit and be completely ignorant about other styles of training is absolutely asinine.

At the end of the day the rewards of training this way definitely outweigh the risks. It is a phenomenal concept and a great way to get into shape and compete. Yeah, theres a chance of getting hurt if you’re not careful, but that’s in any sport.

A good solution is to make sure that you are in the presence of experienced coaches who know what they are talking about. Ask for instruction on the complex lifts and go at your own pace. If you want to get intense, then by all means, go for it. Just make sure that you keep the fundamentals in mind:

  • Never sacrifice form for more weight.
  • Recognize symptoms of overtraining and injury so that you can prevent them.
  • Always realize that there’s more to learn.
  • Lastly, have fun, or there is no point to doing it in the first place.

Crossfit MAN

I hope this article helped you discover the allure of Crossfit training. There’s no reason to not try it out, no matter what kind of shape you are in. When you start, the culture and environment can be very addicting. Just realize that it’s not the only way to get into shape and be healthy. If you liked this article please don’t hesitate to share it on facebook with your friends. If you have any questions about this topic that I left unanswered, don’t hesitate to contact me. You might also like 4 Extreme Exercise Routines That Will Put You To The Test.

Adam Pegg About Adam Pegg

Adam is an athlete with a serious passion for fitness and health. He played basketball at University of Delaware and Stetson. His degree is in health science and he's a certified personal trainer who loves helping people reach their goals.