A coworker once cracked a joke after he overheard me discussing the previous night’s gym session. He jeered, “How do you know someone is a CrossFitter?… Don’t worry, they’ll tell you”. After my eye roll and ‘Ha Ha’, I went about my day. But do you know what? Joking aside, it’s totally true! Sharing (and sometimes oversharing) happens in almost all situations where people have a passion. CrossFit has been SO challenging, and while I’m probably the weakest athlete at my gym, I keep seeing physical improvements, keep breaking my personal records, and therefore, keep coming back. When you find something that motivates you and excites you, do you actually keep quiet about it? I didn’t think so! So here, on the eve of the 2018 CrossFit Open, let me tell you a little more about it, and why I think YOU should try it too!
CrossFit started in California around 1995 and quickly evolved to be the community based, cross-functional and competitive sport that is so internationally renown today. Essentially, its focus is on building a ‘Jack-of-All-Trades’ athlete. While you may never be the heaviest lifter or the best gymnast just by going to CrossFit, you’ll be able to do so MANY of the things your body was meant to do! I am now jumping higher, lifting more, doing gymnastics and overall, feeling stronger, and THAT is important to me.
1. Small Classes
One of the biggest benefits of CrossFit is how it feels like a personal training session but with friends. Coaches are very attentive and let you know if you’re doing things correctly. I am ALWAYS badgering my coaches with questions. Not only do you get a lot of attention from the coaches, but you also form a bond with the other people suffering alongside you. Somehow, the workout doesn’t feel as bad when you know the guy next to you is doing the same exact thing.
2. Sense of Community
Along with the small classes, each gym (or box, in CrossFit-speak) has an active community. As soon as you join, you get put in a Facebook group where we are showered with gym memes and people moaning about the difficulty of the last workout. Additionally, we end up doing things together. Some weekends, after the gym of course, people will go out for drinks or food. This was always missing for me at the regular gym. I’ve always stuck better with my workout routine if I have people I know holding me accountable.
3. So Much Variety
Each time you come in, you can expect a different workout. While I’m still relatively new (only a year in), I often come in not knowing what to expect. I love that some days, we do gymnastics or HIIT. Other days, it’s pure weight lifting. Mixing it up is so important for long term progress! Not to mention, when you first start you might be doing all the workouts scaled, but as you improve, the workouts will also change as you add the more difficult Rx movements!
4. Plenty of Friendly Competition
I’m a competitive person, and it’s something that pushes me to do better. What I found, when I was going to a conventional gym, was that I would do my workout, but with low to medium effort. When I’m in a CrossFit class, however, and I know that my workout is going to get scored on the ‘whiteboard’, I exert much more energy into it. Competition drives a lot of people, and if it’s healthy and friendly, it will push you to do things you wouldn’t be able to achieve on your own, unless you are majorly self-disciplined.
5. It’s a Great Workout
Before joining CrossFit, I rarely left the gym as sweaty and disgusting as I am now. As gross as that sounds, I am left with no doubt that the workout I did was effective. I’ve had to come out of my comfort zone and try new things such as box jumps or the lifting movements. Also, as much as I dislike things like ‘wall balls’ or burpees, I know they are really good movements for me, that are making me stronger. CrossFit will challenge you, teach you new things and help you to improve your overall health!
If you’re in Hull and interested in CrossFit, you should check out these two gyms!