You’ve heard about CrossFit. The bare bones, garage-style gyms are popping up in every city. The loyal followers all seem to be ripped, strong, and fully bearded. Some have joked that CrossFit regulars are part of a massive fitness cult—one you’ve most certainly thought about joining. But how do you know if it’s right for you?
What Is CrossFit?
CrossFit is a branded, high-intensity workout style founded by Greg and Laura Glassman in 2000. Instead of focusing on accessory lifts or isolation exercises, CrossFit goes all in on functional movements. The workout is geared toward prepping people for life. Though many devotees end up with their best bodies, the goal of the regimen is all about strength, form, and function. Additionally, since the workouts are conducted in group classes, these gyms, or boxes, foster a great sense of community.
What Does A Workout Entail?
These workouts aren’t for the week. If you spend an hour at the gym on the “machines”, you’re in for a shock. A typical WOD, or workout of the day, could look like the following:
- 30 overhead squats
- 15 muscle-ups
- 20 overhead squats
- 10 muscle-ups
(WOD provided by crossfit.com)
You’re probably thinking that’s nothing. But each of these exercises is strenuous. And with challenging weight, this WOD is downright exhausting. Repeat this cycle more than once and you’ll be done for. Check out some WOD videos on YouTube for proof.
Is It Right for You?
Some critics question the safety of CrossFit. Many of the athletes who compete in national and worldwide events suffer from tons of injuries. In 2014, Men’s Journal chronicled the journey of Andy Petranak, whose CrossFit devotion led him to neck pain, tennis elbow, and a ruptured hemorrhoid. Injury isn’t imminent but it’s possible. Especially if you don’t know what you’re doing.
Before you dive in head first, research the boxes in your area. Then, stop in for a test class. Assess the difficulty and pay attention to how your body responds. If you can, search for classes that are tailored to beginners.
The only way to really know if CrossFit is the right fitness avenue for you is to do it. But be honest with yourself. Do you enjoy it? If so, keep going back. And know that injury is possible in any physical activity.
But if you’re not a fan, don’t force yourself to join a fad just because everyone else is doing it. You need to enjoy your workouts to succeed, and you need to listen to your body. Is CrossFit right for you? You’ll just have to test it out to be sure.