I wanted to take some time to talk about Crossfit for a bit. I know that there is a whole world of information about Crossfit out there for those who are interested in the theory behind it, famous Crossfitters, the best equipment/gear, etc. A lot of people (myself included) had heard of Crossfit, but haven’t experienced and it may have a lot of misconceptions about what it is, how it feels, and the results you get. So, I’m here to share some of the misconceptions I had about it and what I now know! Who knows, maybe this post will get some of you headed into your local box (Crossfit gym) for a trial class!
Misconception #1: It’s all meatheads and bodybuilders.
When I thought about Crossfit prior to taking my first class, I was sure that I would be surrounded by a parade of huge dudes, bulky women, and would be left in the dust as they threw giant barbells around and did 800 unbroken pull-ups. I was pleasantly surprised to find that there really were a variety of fitness levels and body types in my first class. People at my box have come to Crossfit from a variety of backgrounds, some distance runners and cardio-lovers, like me, and some from general weightlifting or classes at the gym. I’ve also met people who chose Crossfit as their first step into fitness. Yogis and ClassPass warriors alike have found a workout they love with Crossfit, and I’m sure my affiliate is not the exception. I have met some amazing people (and, surprise! Some of them ARE bodybuilders!) in the last year and I count myself lucky at that.
Misconception #2: You have to talk about Crossfit. To everyone. All the time.
I’d heard that Crossfit is “like a cult” and I’d met several people who really did talk about Crossfit all. the. time. They went on about eating paleo, talked about every detail of every day’s WOD and at the time, I cared only because I cared about those people. Now that I’m a part of the Crossfit community, I get how that could happen, but you don’t actually have to talk about ANY fitness regimen. My rule of thumb is usually that I will talk to other fitness enthusiasts about the specifics (you know, what the workout was today, maybe a PR I’m particularly proud of) but with everyone else, I tend to keep it pretty vague. Don’t get me wrong, I’m proud to be a member of the Crossfit community and I know that (like any fitness regimen) to see the best results, I need to be there consistently putting in the work. But, I recognize that my friends and family don’t want to hear about my Annie time or that I’m working on my snatch form. They know that I’m making healthy choices and staying active, and that’s really all that matters.
Misconception #3: All I’ll ever do in class is lift weights and I’ll get bulky.
First of all, woah, pre-Crossfit, Lauren. STOP JUDGING BODY SHAPES! Second of all, boy was I wrong. Crossfit is one of the most varied workout programs I’ve ever done. In a given day during a one-hour class I will complete heavy back squats, run a mile, do pull-ups, dumbbell presses, and a farmer’s carry. Or I’ll row 1,000 meters, do 50 sit-ups, and work on my deadlift form. Yes, there are weights, but to my surprise it wasn’t always your standard barbell. What I’m trying to say is – it’s all there. Well represented in a good Crossfit program, you’ll find cardio – my personal fave – strength, gymnastic movements and more that will work on every area of your body from core, to back, to shoulders, to legs, to abs. Also, my gym has several different programs to choose from including an obstacle course racing class, barbell class, and even Crossfit Kids, so there’s really something for everyone. Since my week in workouts consists of both running and Crossfit – I stick to the regularly scheduled programming and guess what? I am not “bulky” but I can definitely see more defined muscles (except the ever-elusive abs, ugh) and steadily increased my weightlifting capabilities.
I’ve found my Crossfit experience to be a really well-rounded experience overall. I’ve never felt pressure from anyone at my gym to eat a certain diet or to lift more weight than I am capable of. It’s well-rounded in terms of the people I’ve met, the workouts I complete, and the results I’ve seen. It’s worth doing research on your local affiliates (after double checking with your healthcare provider) to see if one of them is right for you! Thinking about joining Crossfit? Already a member? I’d love to hear your thoughts on Crossfit! Sound off in the comments below!