Crossfit is possibly the most polarizing workout routine in the history of fitness. Thousands sing its praises, while some industry pundits repeatedly try to discredit it. I have stayed on the perimeter watching its growth for many years. It was only a matter of time before I would dive in head first.
The major criticisms of the program are based on what some would call dangerous rates of intensity, general not specialized training, and concern with the difficulty level of the movements.
I have been flirting with the idea of joining a crossfit affiliate for over 4 years…I even tried a few of the workouts at the YMCA, but nothing can compare to the experience of completing the WODs (work out of the day) in an a crossfit affiliate gym.
10 days of crossfit, and several positive remarks
1. Group Fitness Increases Motivation
I did not give much thought to the motivational impact of group fitness. Many people have labelled crossfit an obsessed community similar to a cult, but every group could be seen a such. What about running fanatics? Same deal…so this cult argument is lame. One thing that is not lame is the competitive workouts, combined with the camaraderie that leads to exercise adherence. Love it or hate it, crossfit programs increase exercise adherence through peer to peer motivation, unmatched by any other program I have experienced.
2. It will test your physical limits.
How fit are you? I think I am in decent shape, but I was in for a surprise when I could not complete some of the crossfit moves as prescribed. It truly is an eye opener for most people, me included. Try completing 100 overhead squats in a row, if you drop the bar that will cost you 10 burpees. Now do it as fast as you can, with proper technique.
3. It will push your mental limits with intense workouts.
I think I know a lot about exercise, but I can honestly say I have never worked this hard in my life. The intensity levels are insane, but such a rush. You think you are pushing yourself in your solitary workouts at the gym, your not.
4. Crossfit attracts great trainers.
Knowledgeable coaches make every session better. Much of the criticism of crossfit is placed on the training programs that can be completed in a weekend. With the fear that instructors are not technical enough, thus increasing the incidence of injury. My experience paints a much different picture. The instructors at our affiliate are technically sound, and practice caution with new members. Did you know that 90% of personal trainers at your local gym have a weekend certification as well?
People can disagree with the training principles, but there are many reasons to like crossfit, and it is now clear to me why people are nuts about it. It is a program that anyone can try, there is always room to improve, and everyone involved wants you to succeed. Sounds good to me.