A Former CrossFit Hater Explains Why YOU Should Give It a Shot.
Chances are, unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past decade, you have heard about the new workout phenomenon that is sweeping the country known as CrossFit. And you probably haven’t heard about it once. You’ve probably heard about it a million times, everywhere from shoe commercials to gym specials and everything in between. And of course, everyone who uses CrossFit. Oh, they do love to talk about it, don’t they?
Anyway, you probably figure you don’t need CrossFit. You don’t buy into fads; your life was just fine without Beanie Babies, Crocs and flash mobs. Aside from that, you’re already happy with your current training protocol, whether it is MMA, boxing, bodybuilding, track or anything else. Athletes did fine in decades past before the CrossFit label existed, so why should you go jumping into this new craze, just because everyone else it?
The answer, of course, is Evolution. Just as today’s generation of cell phones are an other-worldly upgrade from those available just a decade ago, today’s top training protocol – namely, CrossFit – delivers an evolved approach to improving the entire body as a capable and functional machine. No longer are you focused upon growing one motion (such as javelin throwing or bench pressing) to certain levels. No longer are you limited to the skills and conditioning that certain sports-specific training offer. Modern training ideology has moved us to a place where the entire body is called to perform tasks which are… drum roll please… USEFUL.
This article, penned by a former CrossFit-Hater-Turned-Enthusiast, is designed to destroy the top 6 arguments AGAINST using CrossFit. Chances are good that your own reasoning for avoiding giving CrossFit a shot will be found on this list. If you’re truly all about self-improvement and developing any edge you can over the competition (whether the competition is other athletes or just the current version of you), then you own it to yourself to read this list with an open and honest mind. Let’s check out these reasons.
“My current routine is working just fine”
This is probably the most common reason that people don’t bother trying CrossFit style training. Chances are, if you simply show up at the gym 3 to 5 times a week, you’re already in decent shape. Half the battle in the gym is won by simply showing up. And many people consider it a win to just go thru the motions and “put off” the aging process, maintaining their current build and performance capability. However, many people do want to improve. If you’re still reading this article, then there’s a good chance you possess the drive to improve and the willingness to try new things in order to make your body do new things and perform at a higher level.
CrossFit will do EXACTLY that. If you train with CrossFit, you will be forcing your body to endure new tasks, from new angles, with new tempo and angles of attack. You’ll be attacking your body from so many directions focusing upon so many important areas – flexibility, power, strength, agility, speed, balance, coordination, and endurance – and doing so simultaneously. Your current workout might target some of these areas, but CrossFit targets them all!
“I prefer sport-specific training”
Examine the training protocols of any elite athlete, in any sport, and you’ll likely discover they’re already training with some of the basic tenets of CrossFit training. In order to be a top athlete in any sport, your body needs to be in excellent shape and fully developed in the areas previously discussed (flexibility, power, strength, agility, etc). Elite boxers don’t just box in practice – they train for reflex speed, stamina, strength, flexibility and more. Wide receivers in football don’t just catch footballs in practice – they run, jump, lift, sprint, and run countless drills designed to target all of these key areas.
CrossFit training methods are already being used by elite athletes worldwide. There aren’t many sports where most, if not all of the body is being used. Please list the muscle groups that aren’t used in MMA matches or football or even jogging. It’s not easy! The body is a collection of systems which work in a synchronized fashion in order to perform incredible tasks, and it’s your responsibility for top performance (and to avoid injury through system deficiencies and weaknesses) to develop all of these areas to your maximum capacity. Need another reason to use CrossFit? Simple – Because your competitors are using it!
“I don’t want to get injured”
You don’t want to get injured? This is common sense and very much an innate sense built into most living beings. CrossFit has a bad reputation for causing injury because it forces athletes to leave their comfort zone. No longer are you able to warm up on the treadmill, spend 25 minutes using some familiar weight machines, followed by crunches and some stretching. You’re throttling your body with new movements from new angles with a renewed emphasis on pushing yourself past your comfort zone. This is going to result in some new soreness, some new tweaks, and certainly some aches and pains as your body does things it has literally, never done in all of your years on this planet. Oh, the pain!
However, as these new muscle fibers are activated and your joints and tendons have to endure tasks they never imagined, change begins! Soon, a funny thing begins to happen – your body adapts to this new workload. You become stronger, faster, better balanced, better conditioned. You will adapt. Your torn muscle fibers do grow back stronger in the days following your workout. Employ common sense, listen to your body, and give yourself adequate rest and nutrition to help recover from these carefully designed and scientifically sound training sessions. Also, it should be noted that CrossFit workouts both start and conclude with stretching sessions in order to limit the potential for injury. If you’re doing CrossFit correctly, you’re priming your body to adapt and grow in the face of new challenges, making you LESS prone to future injuries!
“I don’t even know what a CrossFit workout looks like”
The first time you opened a book, you probably didn’t know how to read, right? And today, you’re skimming web articles and tweeting or #hashtagging selifes like nobody’s business. These days, we’re all quick learners. You can learn what a CrossFit workout is like – it’s not that difficult. A simple CrossFit workout is divided into four sections.
1) Dynamic Warmup Sesssion: 5 to 10 minutes of varied functional movements such as squats, lunges, push-ups, chins, burpees, jumping jacks and rope jumping for 5 to 10 minutes to not only warm up your body, but to move blood to those muscle groups which are about to be assaulted in very new ways.
2) Skill & Strength: You’ll either be training skill or strength today. Pure strength movement such as squat, push jerk, medicine ball cleans, or deadlift may be used. Or you will focus on skill, leading to greater balance and body control. Your coach will alternate these on an A/B training day schedule.
3) WOD – This is your workout of the day. You’ll be completing a series of exercise, attempting to reach a pre-set number of reps of each exercises, as quickly as you can.
4) Cool-down. This is the ten minute time which you use to collapse on the floor, stretch out your muscles, and cool down from your brutal training session.
“We don’t know enough about CrossFit yet”
This is the beauty of CrossFit – we’ve see countless scores of examples of the results of CrossFit from many decades and centuries past. For many years, small and determined groups of human beings have pushed their bodies to extreme levels of conditioning in order to do things that most people simply cannot. Look at the training used by top military, police, martial artists, mountain climbers, and other highly skilled performers among humans. They had never heard of CrossFit, but they sure were using many of its protocols in order to develop well balanced bodies capable of excelling in many areas simultaneously, with very few weaknesses.
In realms of survival, specialization is not a good thing. Those species which survived and thrived in centuries past, did so because they were able to adapt to their environment faster than their peers. They were “jacks of all trades” – functional and capable in many areas. Those species that were good at one thing were often eliminated as the elements, predators, and other circumstances changed. Your goal as an athlete should be to achieve the “jack of all trades” title, defeating many of your body’s weaknesses simultaneously with the use of CrossFit training.
“I wouldn’t know where to begin”
If there’s one thing that society doesn’t lack, it is resources and training centers pertaining to CrossFit. The reason? It works! People try it, they see the changes to their appearance and their performance capabilities, and they like it. They feel better, and more capable of facing any challenges the world throws at them.
The first thing you have to do is locate a CrossFit gym. This won’t be hard. Visit the official CrossFit website for a list of training centers in your area. Most will offer a free first class. Start with a “CrossFit Level 1” training course. You will learn the basics and be shown everything. All you need to do is nod your head and kick some butt! You’ll learn as you perform, and at the end of your first session, you’ll know exactly where to begin, and where to go next. Level 2 will be next, and will be followed with specialty seminars offering advanced training. You’ll get there with time. Show up to a class, no matter how dumbfounded you may look. Everyone in that class felt the same way at that point, and the community feel which CrossFit delivers will become noticeable instantly as others help show you the way.
There you have it. A former CrossFit hater – awakened to the many benefits of training in this new and creative yet highly proven protocol – has just destroyed many of the key points you’ve used to fend off the training approach which could be helping you to break new boundaries, excel in your sport of choice, and maximize the capabilities your body possesses. CrossFit is known as “The Sport of Fitness”- and for good reason. Training using CrossFit protocols forces you to advance your body’s capabilities in all key performance areas. You will become a better athlete. You will become a more capable human being.
You’re running out of reasons. Get started today!