People familiar with CrossFit will understand the common dilemma that presents itself when someone says to you, “So what’s this CrossFit thing you keep talking about all the time?”
CrossFit is notoriously difficult to sum up in just a one sentence reply.
At its essence, CrossFit is simply constantly varied, functional movement at high intensity. However, in reality, CrossFit is many things to many people. But regardless of why people get involved or what keeps them coming back, I think there are 5 fundamental reasons why everybody needs some CrossFit in their lives.
The list below is an attempt to crystallise exactly why CrossFit is so great and why you need it in your life.
- You need functional capacity. Of what use is your body if its not functional and capable? Not much. CrossFit strives to give you back your functionality. Your body needs to move to be healthy and fit. No other fitness program I know of places such a focus on having your body be a functionally capable tool. And it makes sense. After all, if the fitness you have is not functional, what is the point?
- Results based fitness. The exercise prescriptions and nutritional guidance provided by the CrossFit community is based on the observation of the effect of those recommendations on real athletes over time. Experimentation is the key. Things that work are kept, things that don’t get chucked. CrossFit works because it delivers results.
- The CrossFit community. I can quite easily say that I’ve never encountered a community quite like CrossFit. Forget the fact that just about everything CrossFit offers its community is free, that its international in its reach and that no other organisation has come close to pushing the frontier of exercise science as far forward as CrossFit. More significant than all of that are the people who are at your local affiliate. CrossFit members are supportive, driven and committed. They help you and push you to get better. The athletes themselves are more knowledgeable than 90% of the personal trainers you’ll encounter.
- Normal gyms are boring! Running on the treadmill for half an hour and trudging through your weights routine, 4 times a week, listening to your iPod is boring as bat shit. Its dull, lifeless and unimaginative. And that’s exactly why its such a pain in the ass trying to stay motivated with that garbage. Do yourself a favour and try something different. CrossFit is different every single day.
- It improves every aspect of your life, not just the physical. There are two parts to this point. The first one is obvious, the second is a little more profound. The obvious part is that everything in your life is easier and more fun when you’re in great physical condition. You’re energetic, motivated, confident and capable. The deeper part is this. CrossFit builds mental toughness, not just physical robustness. You’ll find yourself in situations at CrossFit that test your mettle. You’ll want to cheat. You’ll want to quit. You’ll want to cry, say you can’t do it, crawl up into a ball and piss your pants. And that’s a good thing. Better you find and push those boundaries in a controlled situation than when its crunch time in real life and find you’re not up to the task. CrossFit builds mental champions, not just physical ones.
I’m one of those people that thinks CrossFit can suit everyone. And it can – but many people are too closed minded, too afraid or too something-or-other to get into it just yet. And that’s fine. But the immortal words of Greg Glassman, “…our needs for fitness differ by degree, not kind…” still ring true and, someday, you’ll wake up and smell the Kool-Aid.
CrossFit will change your life.