crossfit

On A Personal Note: My Thoughts On Crossfit

 

Is Crossfit For You?

Over the last decade or so, Crossfit has been gaining a lot of traction amongst enthusiasts in the fitness community. I actually have quite a few friends that are VERY into it and have been urging me to try it for a while. So, I finally did. Here are my thoughts:

Crossfit Is Awesome!

Small Classes

For those that have never done Crossfit before, it’s not like a Gold’s Gym or a 24 Hour Fitness where you go in and do your own routine. The classes last about an hour long and each feature a WOD or “Workout Of The Day.” The great thing about these WOD’s is that they’re often strength or strength endurance based and the joy of it is that the class size is relatively small – only about five to ten people. This virtually allows for some hands on coaching from the trainers to help correct any movement issues you may have or not notice with the exercises you’re performing.

Sense Of Community

I was talking to my friend the other day about how weird gyms are. I mean really, don’t you people think it’s weird that you go in to a gym around the same time each day and see some of the same people day in and day out? How often do you ever say hi to those people? Do you ever get to know them? If that was your workplace odds are you would have formed a relationship with them by now. The gym is one of the only places where these relationships hardly ever foster. It’s just a weird concept to me how unfriendly people can be at the gym despite the fact that they see each other every single day. one of the great things about Crossfit is that the class sizes are small and the environment itself almost fosters interaction with other members. It’s a nice change of pace from the introverts that frequent the gym.

Diversity Of Workouts

Do you ever get bored of going to the gym because you’re bored of doing the same type of workouts? Yeah, that’s never going to happen with Crossfit. One of the great things about Crossfit is that the workouts are always different. It’s a great way to keep your body from adapting to your workouts and in this way, you’re more likely to keep that fat burner lit by keeping your body guessing.

The Focus On Simple Human Movement

There are some exercises that we as people simply do not need to do. Like those exercise machines at the gym where you sit down and spread your legs apart by pushing weight against them. That’s one of the dumbest exercise machines I’ve ever come across. The great thing about Crossfit is that the motions consist of movements we were actually designed for and NEED to incorporate into our lives. Twisting, pushing, pulling. Using legs to move weight – using your back to pull your body weight. Crossfit is great at developing functional strength which we can apply to our everyday life. Next time you’re using a crosswalk and need to jump out of the way of a car that doesn’t see you, that silly little leg spreader machine that you have been using isn’t going to help you jump up and over the car like some scene out of a superhero movie.

…But Crossfit Isn’t For Me (At Least Not Now)

Crossfit Doesn’t Fit Into My Work Schedule

For all of the fun and amazingness that Crossfit is, it just isn’t for me. For one reason, it doesn’t fit into my work schedule. I work three to four, twelve hour+ days a week. For the classes that Crossfit has to offer, it just doesn’t fit into how I want to train. For example, if I work on Monday/Tuesday, I would be doing a leg day on Sunday and then with the way that their workouts are scheduled, I’d getting back to do a leg day again on Wednesday. It’s just not the cycle of training that I want to do for my body and I’d like to be able to have more flexibility when it comes to training – especially which muscle groups I’m training. I often felt like legs were the muscle group of choice and that other muscle groups were being neglected.

The Monthly Membership Is Costly

$169 a month isn’t cheap. In fact, it’s money that I’d rather spend for other things such as paying off college debt or throwing into retirement. I also found that I was only having the time to go to the classes about three times a week. For paying that kind of membership, it’s just not worth it to me to pay that much when I’m unable to attend the classes that often. There’s also the option to pay on a “per class” basis for $20 bucks a class. That might be the better option for me or for other people that are unable to attend as frequently to make the cost of the membership worth it. Plus like I said, the way my schedule is I’d end up doing three straight days of legs – that’s not necessarily how I want to program my fitness routine.

Do I Really Need It?

The last issue I had with wanting to continue Crossfit was the question, do I really need it? With the exception of some olympic lifts, I’m more than capable of performing most of the Crossfit movements on my own. Actually, the Crossfit affiliates that I follow here in San Diego post their daily workout of the day online so if I’m wanting to add their routine/really push myself for the day I can do the workout myself.

In the end, while I did enjoy certain aspects of attending a Crossfit affiliate, the membership might be suited better for someone who is able to attend more frequently or for someone who is into less muscle group specific type workouts. Let’s face it, there are days where I just want to stick with upper body workouts. Overall, Crossfit has a great strength endurance component to it but there are times where high intensity cardio does not fit into my fitness routine. Or maybe, I’m just too picky?

Thoughts? Have you ever done Crossfit? What were your likes/dislikes?

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  • Kim Allen

    I started CrossFit in 2009 and I went religiously for two years as well as adopting a Paleo lifestyle/diet. I agree with all the above comments and I would add that one should listen to their body before going with the “Rx” (prescribed) weights vs going a little lighter particularly when surrounded by fun competition to out perform your classmates. Doing deadlifts for time can lead to poor form and injury. Overall, I think it is a great exercise program to push your limits and exceed your expectations just be smart.

  • Kim, thanks for stopping by to check us out. Completely agree with you. You definitely have to listen to your body and be honest about the prescribed weight. There were quite a few times I couldn’t do the prescribed weight ha.

  • Great analysis of the pros and cons of Crossfit. I was planning to sign up for a month or two trial after the new year, but I wasn’t aware that the costs were as high as you listed. My work schedule is similarly challenging as well..

    I was kind of hoping that a crossfit @home video / online community would emerge at some point, but I think that the social nature of it is a big part of the whole thing..

  • Thanks Jeff for stopping by to check us out. I would imagine it would be tough to do a home Crossfit sort of thing. Maybe down the line. I had a lot of fun with the workouts but I like the pay per class type of thing vs. the monthly membership. Good luck with your health goals.

  • chelsea p.

    Great post! I am so torn w/CrossFit, and had to step back recently when it started hindering my health instead of helping it.
    @Jefferson: For a CrossFit type online community, check out eplifefit.com It’s solid, easy to do on your own, and has community support. As a “recovering crossfitter” I am using it to keep me in line without getting wrecked by a combo of wicked stress and ridiculous workouts.

  • Thanks Chelsea for stopping by. Just out of curiosity, when did you find that Crossfit was doing more harm than good?

  • To answer your question…the first time I realized this was after about 2 years of participating. Our best coach left the facility, and things went downhill with the programming. I stopped for about 4 months, but found myself missing it and went back to a different gym. Now, a year later, I am back to the place that I was when I quit the first time…poor recovery, no spunk, and the-opposite-of-pr’ing. I am enjoying doing my own workouts and working on improving my bad habits that I developed while rushing through the movements. I think CF does great things for a lot of people, but without solid programming it’s just not very sustainable (especially for those of us who are already taxed in other areas of our lives).

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