Working Out Simplified: Why CrossFit Haters Need to Rethink CrossFit

I used to be one of them, and there’s a chance I will go back to ripping on CrossFit. As a matter of fact, I still tacitly oppose them by refusing to wear their clothing. Anything that makes me feel like another sheep in the herd makes me die 10% inside. There are things to consider. Overtraining and injury are to be watched closely with CrossFit. I also find most CrossFitters to be slightly odd people. They are nice and welcoming, so much so that they will hold you accountable missing a workout (another issue I have with them), but they are just different, a bit too giddy with somewhat uncoordinated enthusiasm.

All that said, I really wish I got on this train earlier than I did, and am here to do my best to convince you to give it a shot. CrossFit is the total body optimization: feel good, look good (lean and not too bulky), full mobility and athleticism, strength gains, VO2 max, etc. CrossFit = constantly varied + functional exercises + high intensity.

Olympic Lifting

#1 Reason to join a CrossFit gym in my opinion. Olympic lifts are a forcing function for excellent mobility, posterior posture support, and explosiveness. And in more fancy terms, they are just damn fun to do. Most gyms don’t have the requisite platforms to drop weights and do these properly. If this doesn’t get you pumped up I don’t know what will:

Gamification of Fitness

You can’t really win, and you can only level up. Be it accomplishing a new movement (handstand walk, muscle up, kipping pull-up, pistol squat, etc.) or hitting a snatch personal record, you can only advance. Simultaneously, you’re faced with healthy competition to see where you rank on any given WOD. It brings me back to my World of Warcraft days, just constantly upgrading your skills & abilities. I have a pet theory that if you’ve ever been a gamer, you’ll love CrossFit.

Gymnastics

Maximum mobility in the maximum number of planes. The least impact way to really build an impressive physique. Endless fun on rings with maximal functionality and range of motion.

Who Vs. What

If you’ve always worked out alone, without a trainer or buddy, it’s time to reconsider. In addition from the golden benefit of getting real-time instruction on form, coaching, and motivation, you are joined by a fleet of athletes trying to better themselves as you are. Even if you’ve never doubted your work ethic, particularly in the gym, I promise you’ll find yourself going harder and further than you would alone. “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

Mobility

As a former meat-head who thought in two-dimensions, lifting numbers and how tight my shirt felt, I completely missed the boat on what it really means to be in shape. Optimal posture, a full range of mobility, energizing movements, and other health necessities were completely lost on me, leading to lingering back pain and body alignment imbalances like the fabled Anterior Pelvic Tilt. Your body, both today and in the future, will thank you if you take heed of flexibility and mobility. CrossFit will help get you there.

Dynamic & Energizing

You will walk out of every WOD (workout-of-the-day) feeling energized and invigorated. In a world plagued by redundancy and routine, no two days in CrossFit are the same. Even the warm up is different every time, to stress-test all aspects of your flexibility. If you’ve ever walked into your workout feeling uninspired and bored of the same routine, CrossFit will smash that to bits.

 

Bottomline, it’s fun, you’ll get in ridiculous shape, and network with often ambitious and successful people. Simple answers for common objections:

“But I don’t want to overtrain. CrossFit pushes you too hard.”

Solution: Take >1 days off. Do 1 WOD every other day or a handful a week. Listen to your body.

“But it causes injury.”

Solution: Most injuries are from improper form due to inadequate mobility. As a reframe to this, be thankful that you’re getting valuable feedback where you need to improve BEFORE you get injured. There are a million “modifications” that a good CrossFit coach will offer to every exercise so stay congruent with your level of mobility and fitness.

Give it a shot and see if you catch the bug. If not, I highly recommend you pull out the 80/20 of this article and start focusing on your mobility, Olympic lifts, and gymnastic movements.

Thoughts? Feedback? Other hacks to get insane mobility?

 

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