You can still find articles online – usually from around 2010 – that call Crossfit a ‘fad’. They called it out as a passing trend which would pass in a few years. Wrong.
Crossfit is amassive player in the fitness arena. And like all training methods it has its critics. What it also has though is a following so intense that it's almost religious. There’s almost no middle ground; it’s love or hate. I sayalmost because I’m one of the few people who does occupy the middle ground.
I used to be a Crossfitter. I didn’t stop because I stopped enjoying it, or because I figured out that it’s a pointless fad. Quite the opposite – I wish I could still do it. I stopped because it’s a style of training that doesn’t suit my body and injury history – but that’s another story.
Even if you are a full-on hater, you can learn plenty from Crossfit and apply it to your training. Todeliberately shun these lessons would be ignorant, andultimately it’syou who loses out.
Lovers and haters might not agree on the best way to train, but since going mainstream, Crossfit culture has developed these aspects which everyone can agree on.
Even if you haven’t been inside a Crossfit gym (or 'box' as it’s known) you’llprobably have at least seen photos.The name ‘box’ is appropriate: there are no mirrors, no TVs, no earphones and no-one checking their phone between sets.
Crossfit is about training hard, and making progress – not flexing and taking selfies in the squat rack.
So if you aren’t a Crossfitter – apply these principles in the gym: stay focused, train hard, and get your work done. Don’t waste time on your phone and and don’t stare at the TV for 5 minutes between sets! But by all means get chatting with the other people you meet at the gym…
Go to any commercial gym and what do you hear?Heavy breathing –hopefully; weights clanging –probably; loud music – definitely; treadmills pounding – you bet; conversation...probably not!
Crossfit has brought the spirit of community back into fitness. Crossfitters chat, cheer, encourage and get to know one another. Everyone at the Box knows your name! There’s something tobe said for Average Joe's gym (you need to watch the film Dodgeball!)
I’m fortunate in that I train in a very good gym where the staffdo know my name and I chat with various regulars.There are groups of people camped around the lifting platforms encouraging and helping each other. Unfortunately, the chances of this happening in your local PureGym are almost zero. I was once asked to leave a PureGym for deadlifting…
So next time you are in the gym – go and say hi to the people you see every session but have never spoken to! And remember not to play with your phone between sets. If you use it as a timer or keep notes that’s fine – but Facebook can wait!
When you are part of a Crossfit community, your fellow Crossfitters and coach expect you to turn up! No one wants to have to explain their absence because they couldn’tbe bothered to go to class.Consequently, people stay with the programme and see enormous benefits.
Yeah, you might know some folks at the gym who expect that you’ll be there on Friday afternoon, but there’s no real accountability. That’s why having a training buddy canreally help you stay motivated, show up and train hard.Why not ask a friend to come with you? Or get to know the person who is there at the same time as you and become gym buddies!
I know not everyone wants a gym buddy - I train alone myself - so if that's not for you then this next section will help you stay on track...
I’ve already written about goal setting here, but Crossfit can teach us a bit more…
Crossfit provides constant goals, usually in the form of improved workout times or lift PBs.Community spirit is then the driving force which encourages Crossfitters to reach those goals.
Most people at ‘normal’ gyms have either no goals at all, or unrealistic and vague goals which aren’t useful or achievable. Think about what you want to achieve, why, and when by? Read this post and set some real goals. Thenbeast them.
Every day millions of people go to the gym and do the same thing they’ve been doing for years. They’ve hardly progressed at all, they lack motivation, and they wonder why they even bother. They are stuck in a rut.
Crossfit can teach us a thing or two about pushing our limits and getting out of a rut.Crossfit promotes a massive variety of exercises and movements, in a range of combinations, time-limits, loads etc. For a newbie, it’s a sensory overload. It’s impossible to get bored. There’s always something to learn or a new target to aim for.
If you don’t do Crossfit – that’s fine. You don’t need to be a Crossfitter to change things up and get motivated again. Every so often, change what you do. It can be as dramatic or simple as you like. Swap back squats for front squats, do high reps instead of low, learn a new gymnastic movement. Whatever –just mix it up!
Whether you love it or hate it – Crossfit hasdramatically shaped the fitness world.By applying the principles of Crossfit to your training, whether that's at home, in a commercial gym or in the local park – you can get more out of your training, bothin terms of fitness and enjoyment.Stay focused, get to know the people around you, find a gym buddy, set real goals, and then get outside your comfort zone and beast it!
BEAST YOUR GOALS