CrossFit is now a thing. CrossFit “boxes” (aka gyms) have been springing up like weeds all over the the country and you won’t have to look far to find one near you.
And surely you’ve heard someone talk about it. That is the second favorite thing CrossFitters like to do: talk about CrossFit. The first of course is to do CrossFit.
However, before you judge the phenomenon of CrossFit, I’d like to give you seven reasons to try CrossFit this year.
1. The Warmup
Let’s face it. Sometimes it is hard to get in the groove.
You are sleepy or stiff. Or you don’t really feel like going to the gym.
If you can just get yourself to class, CrossFit helps you over come these challenges through a consistent warm-up. You’re never asked to jump right into heavy lifting or intense gymnastics.
Rather you’ll always spend ten to fifteen(ish) minutes stretching or running or doing light exercises to get your muscles loosened up and cobwebs out of your head.
After the warmup you will be ready to really dive into the workout. Even if you were stiff as a board walking in!
2. It’s a Group Class
I’ve spent many hours in a weight room working out by myself. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But it can make it harder to really get in the zone.
Especially on those days where you aren’t “feeling” it!
Having a workout partner can certainly help, but sometimes finding that partner can be difficult.
In CrossFit you’re always part of class. You are always working out with a group of people trying to do this exact same thing you are! And there is something special about it.
Everyone is experiencing the same exact things. The sweat drops littering each persons area as you’ve completed a copious number of over the bar burpees. The deep inhales filling the room as each of you complete the workout of the day.
Friendships are built and you become part of a culture of fitness.
Of course there are many other types of group classes that can help you get fit. But nonetheless this aspect of CrossFit can be helpful to those who have never been a part of it.
Try it! You’ll probably make some new friends with a similar goal of feeling great!
3. You’ll Get Stronger
Not all of our fitness goals are the same. But a lot of us wouldn’t mind being a bit stronger, if not physically, than certainly mentally.
CrossFit will help you do both. Gain physical and mental strength.
In terms of physical strength, as you consistently stimulate your body to adapt, you’ll eventually do things you never thought would be possible.
The first time I tried a handstand pushup, after clumsily getting into a hand-stand position, I went down, but never came up. I just couldn’t do it.
They’ll never be my best exercise, but now I can gracefully go into a handstand (against the wall of course!) and actually come back up!
And you will too!
And it won’t be just one thing. With CrossFit’s focus on “functional fitness” you will gain total body strength, not just strength in your biceps or chest! (curls and bench baby!!!).
And the mental strength will follow as you consistently complete workouts and record new personal records of what you can do!
4. You’ll Learn New Things
One of the core components of CrossFit is constantly varied movements. In order to always be varying your workouts you need lots of things to do.
And CrossFit is full of all kinds of different exercise to always keep your body guessing.
Sure there are plenty of staples that you will find yourself doing regularly, like burpeess and pullups.
But you’ll also be doing olympic weight lifting, some basic gymnastics movements, and many different kinds of calisthenics.
And don’t get intimidated by this. Embrace it.
With olympic lifts like clean and jerks or snatches, you’ll start with very low weight until you can master the movement.
You learn how to do things that you previously would only expect to see on TV…. yourself!!
Learning new things is fun and unless you’ve already been doing it for sometime, there are always new things to learn. Whether you are new to this exercise thing or whether you’re a lifelong athlete, with CrossFit you’ll likely learn something new!
5. Competition and Support
This is related to CrossFit being a group class, but is worthy of discussion on it’s own.
Another core component of CrossFit is measurement. The things you do can be measured and quantified.
This is usually done by either timing the work out (how long it takes you do a set amount of work) or by counting the number of repetitions you perform of a set exercise.
When you measure the workout in a group class, it inherently turns into a competition. Who did 100 burpees in the fastest time? Or who was able to do the most pullups given four minutes of time.
Again, don’t let this intimidate you. It is okay if you are not first. It is even okay if you are last.
As you get more in to CrossFit you’ll find additional motivation as you start competing with others that perform similarly to you.
And while competition is inherently baked into CrossFit, you’ll also generally find that people are supportive. You’ll often times get cheered on if you are the last one working and you’re sure to find encouraging words from the coach and other athletes. It’s part of the culture!
6. You’ll Know for Yourself
Lot’s of people talk positively about CrossFit. Some detractors will certainly complain about it. Everyone has an opinion.
The only way to know if it’s right for you is to try it!
Plus, if you like it you can start annoying all of your non-CrossFit friends by talking about it all the time. Um… scratch that. 🙂 But you can enjoy knowing first hand what it is all about!
One thing is sure…
7. It Works
CrossFit works. For a lot of people. In early 2015, CrossFit is approaching 10,000 commercial affiliates (official CrossFit gyms), not counting military gyms, and is growing rapidly.
It simply would not be doing so well, if people weren’t getting results.
So what are these results? Well, it will certainly vary depending on several factors, but in general CrossFit will help you:
- Build muscle and get stronger
- Increase cardiovascular endurance
- Increase metabolism
- Burn fat
- Get Fit and feel good!
Of course diet is also a central factor in the results that you get, but that is the topic for another day.
What about you?
So should you try CrossFit in 2015 if you’ve never darkened the doors of a “box”? We think you should. If there is a better path to fitness for you then we encourage you to take it. But if you are looking for something new, CrossFit is worth giving a shot.