So, it’s the new year, and with that comes a ‘new’ you, some new resolutions, and perhaps a
new training plan to ‘get you back on track’ (as much as I hate that phrase, it’s not inaccurate).
You’ve done Yoga and you’ve had your share of HIIT classes. Spinning is fun, but it doesn’t help
you lift your carry-on into the overhead compartment on the plane. You’ve heard of this CrossFit
craze and from some of the IG Reels you’ve seen, it seems like a bunch of angry savages
throwing weights around and standing on their heads. And although you are a savage (aren’t we
all), it seems a bit scary at a glance. Is it something you should try? Below, I’ll highlight some of
CrossFit’s advantages and drawbacks will hopefully give you a clearer overview of what the
program offers and how CrossFit goes about achieving results.
CROSSFIT IS GREAT FOR BUILDING STRENGTH
Almost all CrossFit gyms (and programs) follow a Strength Bias Training Plan, and that means
you’ll be lifting some weights. No, not the little 1.5 kg dumbbells that you use in ‘Body Pump’.
Real-world weights. Weights that resemble car seats with babies in them, luggage that includes
6 pairs of shoes and 3 pairs of jeans for a 4-day trip, and groceries for when the inlaws are
visiting. Weights that’ll make you stronger (not necessarily bigger) so you can pick up and move
things life throws at you.
CROSSFIT IS ALWAYS VARIED
The nature of the program is varied. It very rarely happens that you’ll be doing the same
workout twice (unless you want to measure how much fitter you got since the last time you did
a given workout). And because you’re doing something different every day, you’re less likely to
get bored with your training.
THE CROSSFIT PLAN ALSO FOCUSES ON PROGRESSION
Because a lot of what you’ll be doing in CrossFit is measured, it’s easy to keep track of your
fitness, which means it’ll be easy to track your progress. You know you managed to row 15
calories in a minute last month. When you see rowing come up in a workout now, 15 cals should
be a paddle on the pond (not a great example or metaphor, but you get my point). Everything
that is programmed is also infinitely scalable, which means if you can’t do a pull-up yet, there is
a progression that allows you to go through the same motion and get the same stimulus as the
guy/girl who’s been doing it for months. The notion that you need to be fit or strong to start is a
load of bull.
CROSSFIT HAS A UNIQUE COMMUNITY
Every member you’ll meet in the gym is there for similar reasons as you. Whether that is to get
rid of stress, give you an hour to yourself away from the manic colleagues or kids, or feel less guilty when you have a slice of cake at Linda’s office party or (and) another glass of wine on Friday
night. These common grounds, among others, make it easier to relate to one another and that
in turn builds relationships. You get to know people, share in each other’s joys and sufferings
(burpees… blegh), and maybe even make a few friends along the way. What’s more with having
a friend or a ‘training partner’, is that you can hold each other accountable, which will likely help
you reach your goals faster.
With that said, CrossFit does have a few drawbacks. The most obvious ones are the following:
CROSSFIT IS NOT FLASHY
Barring a few exceptions, CrossFit gyms are not luxurious. That’s not to say that it isn’t neat and
clean – they most certainly are – but you won’t be handed a towel at the door and you won’t find
a sauna in the changerooms. There aren’t mirrors on the walls and they don’t sell Perrier
bubbled water. Most gyms are bare-boned, no-frills, open-space ‘arenas’ with no fancy
machines (other than rowers and bikes), but offer everything you need to work up a sweat.
CROSSFIT, AT FIRST CAN BE A LITTLE INTIMIDATING
Stepping into a class for the first time might leave you big-eyed and asking, “What in the world?’.
The atmosphere is very energetic. It’s a little loud; it’s most certainly intense and you might
notice the odd, bare-chested ‘hero’ who ‘just can’t breathe with his shirt on’. This is all normal
behavior, and once you’re in the midst of it, it doesn’t seem so strange after all. however, if you
like the idea of working out but expect your make-up and hair to look as great as when you
walked in, you might be in for a treat.
If you’re looking for a training regimen that is different from the monotonous stair-master or
barre class, one that will almost certainly challenge you in a new (and somewhat fun) way, and
make a few new acquaintances along the way, then you should most certainly give it a try. Most
CrossFit gyms offer a free trial session. The best ones will have an “Onboarding/Elements”
program that guides you through how a class runs and what equipment to use when, but also teaches
you the fundamentals of the movements and how to do them in the safest and most efficient way.
At the same time, if you enjoy the finer things the fitness industry has to offer (macha-
smoothies; branded towels; mid-workout selfies, and drinking branded water with a straw), then
CrossFit will likely not be the most enjoyable fitness program you try this year.
Either way, the only real way to know is to try it. And what have you got to lose other than
Ready to give CrossFit a try? Click this link and claim your 30-day trial now 🎉✨