What Is Crossfit And Should I Do It?
by Darren Round on Sep 02, 2014
Okay, these are both complex questions but we’re going to do our absolute best to explain what CrossFit is (or has become) and whether it’s a good idea for you. As the trend-setting fitness perspective continues to gain steam more and more people are asking themselves these questions, so you should know you’re not alone. That said, let’s get into this.
The Beginning Days of CrossFit
The actual movement began in the late 90’s at the hands of founder Greg Glassman, but the company emerged right as we entered into the 21st century. Iconic really. Seemingly an organic mainstream fitness industry response to the new sets of challenges people face. There’s an ethos behind CrossFit, or a quasi-exercise philosophy that incorporates elements from many other training methods like HIITs, Olympic barbell exercises, functionality, strongman-style, gymnastics, etc.
Greg was a teenage gymnast that through experimentation with free weights and varying types of physical conditioning that he could outperform his gymnast competitors. He took to training with a very multi-disciplinary approach and it caught on like wildfire. The first CrossFit gym was established in Santa Cruz and according to legend Greg was hired to train the local Police Department inside the first year.
What CrossFit is Today
Wow! These days you’ve got the classes, the gyms far and wide, the gargantuan online community, the competitions and CrossFit Games, the certifications, and on and on.
CrossFit is spreading like a mighty tsunami wave, despite the fact CrossFit memberships can be more expensive than local gyms and clubs. And, getting CrossFit certified to be a trainer or for your own self-instruction isn’t cheap either.
Is CrossFit for You?
At the end of the day here’s the best answer anyone can give you: it’s worth a try to find out. Give it shot! What do you have to lose? Furthermore, as there will soon be as many CrossFit gyms and CrossFit trainers/classes as conventional gyms, they won’t all have the same level of quality. Every CrossFit gym will have its own micro-ecosystem that connects with the bigger community. It’s no different than some mainstream gym staff/trainers/instructors/members being “better” or “worse” than other depending on your needs. Make sure you make it clear to the trainer what your current fitness level is and any injuries or pre-existing conditions you may have.
If the CrossFit gym you choose has great trainers that apply this principle from the CrossFit website, you’ll be fine regardless of who are and your current physical condition:
“The CrossFit program is designed for universal scalability making it the perfect application for any committed individual regardless of experience. We’ve used our same routines for elderly individuals with heart disease and cage fighters one month out from televised bouts. We scale load and intensity; we don’t change programs.”
What to Expect
You can expect a much more personal and inviting atmosphere than a bigger mainstream gym. You can expect to tackle Workouts of the Day (WoDs) with instruction, but in a heavily competitive environment. You can expect that good trainers will help you progress safely at your own pace to get your body strong, flexible, shapely and exhausted! That’s really all you need to know. From here, you should just head to your nearest CrossFit center or trainer and begin the journey to see if it’s a good fit for you.