A friend of mine tried Crossfit for the first time a few weeks ago and then declared “It’s great! But it’s really expensive so I’m going to rent a garage. I have a barbell already so I’m just going to make up my own workouts. I have plenty of self motivation. It’ll be great!”
The longer she described her plan, the louder my brain was screaming “No. Is not a good plan. It’s a very bad plan. Abort. Abort! ABORT!!”
She’s not a super close friend though so I didn’t say anything other than cautioning her that weightlifting should probably be done with proper coaching or adequate knowledge of it. Knowledge that has taken years to accumulate. One should not do “Crossfit” or weight lifting at home after watching a few YouTube videos on “How to lift weights”. That last bit I didn’t actually say out loud.
She brushed me off but I will keep you posted on how she’s going… I’m curious, even if you are not ;)
The whole thing made me think how a) Crossfit is not exercise (I mean it IS, but it’s so much more than just exercise) and b) you get what you pay for.
Cheap gyms or cheap personal trainers are NOT going to give you adequate guidance or care. You get shown how to use the machines or you are “coached” as part of a group fitness class but as an individual, they don’t care. They can, and should be nice towards you and answer your questions, but your personal wellbeing, physical & emotional does not concern them.
This is why a good Crossfit gym is different.
The coaches make sure that they know everyone well, to be able to push and encourage people in different ways. Some people need to be yelled at, in a macho/friendly/fun way, some people need quieter encouragement. Some people respond to verbal cues as to how to adjust their form, some people need a visual example of a particular position or movement, and some people require the coach to actually touch them and tilt /move them into the right position.
In addition to quality coaching, Crossfit is about the community. It’s knowing everyone’s name, it’s encouraging each other when workouts are tough, it’s giving each other a high five when a PB or a top effort is witnessed. It’s not about popping in, doing your own thing and then quickly disappearing. Sure some people do it but it’s their loss.
Crossfit is also about many other aspects of life that contribute to wellbeing.
Exercise is only one component of wellbeing and it’s actually not the aspect that takes up the majority of our days. The majority of our time is spent eating, sleeping, playing, working, socialising.
Crossfit will make you think about what you eat and how certain things affect your energy levels as well as your mood.
Crossfit will make you think about sleep, and also how you recover and rest your mind and your body when you’re awake.
Crossfit will make you think about what kinds of people you want to be surrounded by in life.
Crossfit will make you think about other ways to play, keep active, enjoy life.
At least that’s what’s happened to me.
I don’t think of Crossfit as my exercise. It’s where I get to play with my friends as I build a stronger body that lets me live a functional life and feel alive and well.
Did that get preachy? I kind of love Crossfit, it can happen. I really don’t think one should do Crossfit alone. Or do ANY kind of sport alone all the time. I run alone but I’m glad it’s not the only way I move my body.
*Health, strength, fitness, joy.