CrossFit has been recently taking the world by storm, with the advent of the “Reebok CrossFit Challenge”; so many people are taking up this extreme form of exercise. CrossFit is a cross of body weight, Olympic, and power lifts, mixed in with some cardio. Now CrossFit is the real deal, it’s very hard, intense and will whoop you into good shape.
My personal experience with cross fit
I’ve been an avid fitness fanatic for a few years now. Before I became completely committed to my fitness regimen, I would start and stop all the time, never really getting anywhere. Finally one day I made the point to get on the train and never look back. So I started off by doing my own workouts, basically cross fit type workouts at home and at my local park.
I was approached by an individual who’s an avid CrossFit athlete at a nearby training facility. I decided to go check it out, and I must admit I liked it at first. I entered a contest that kept me in the mix for a month. I liked the intensity, focus, determination, and most importantly the drive that the people who were training had. The instructors were like something out of a boot camp, hard and stern, but yet straight to the point. So my experience started off really good, that is until a few things about the whole system started to bother me a bit.
What were the problems with CrossFit?
PULL UP INSANITY
Well for one I’m an avid “bar athlete” aka pull up/chin up fanatic. I train on the bars just as much as I do any other type of training. So when they go to this station I was a bit ecstatic, that is until I saw how they did their version of pull-ups. Now those of you who do pull-ups and chin ups know what correct form is. The cross fit version is called “kipping pull-ups”, which is the process of pulling yourself up and down by using a hip thrusting motion. When I saw this I was thinking “Ok, that’s not how you do a real pull up”. So when it was my turn, I did what I was taught how a pull-up should be done. I was scolded for doing them like that and was prompted to sit and watch everyone else do them. The problem wasn’t that I had to sit, but it was the way I was told to watch, sort of like I was beneath everyone else.
The CrossFit mentality
Now I can’t speak for other CrossFit centers, actually I know a few other places that are open to forms of training, but they happened to be way to far from my house. The place I was going too frowned upon all other forms of work outs; they had a problem with EVERYTHING it seemed. They laughed at the guys and girls who lifted weights, they poked fun at the people doing cardio work and so on. I was about that kind that of stuff, I respect anyone who’s getting a good workout in whatever shape or form. My tipping point came when I wore a shirt that had a power lifting emblem on it; I was made fun of a scolded like I was 10 years old. Now not everyone at the center was like that, there were many helpful, positive, motivated people, but a few bad apples were enough for me to think twice.
Now I was on a free month package when I first went it in. What happened was that I had won a month trial in a contest. They never hit me with an upfront price from the get go, so I never really paid much attention to it. I figured that if I liked it enough, I wouldn’t care to spend $40 or $50 dollars a month on a membership. After 2 weeks I started to become friends with a few of the members. Eventually, one of them came out and showed me the pricing for the classes. The cost was upwards toward $200 dollars a month, and that was for structured classes at certain times of the day. The main problem was if you missed a class, you were out of that money for that class, whether you went or not. That right there was the final strike that lead me to not want to be involved in the CrossFit classes anymore.
Now do I think cross fit is a bad system, and would I recommend it?
Heck yeah I would, but like I said before this just wasn’t for me. Just because it’s not for me, doesn’t mean you might not have a positive experience with it. I’m the kind of guy who likes a variety of workouts, not just one style or approach. I like using dumbbells and cardio machines, I like doing variations of training methods. I also like to pay only around 40 dollars a month for a membership, not hundreds of dollars to flip a tire.
Will I ever go back to CrossFit?
Now I can answer this question in one word, yes. You’re probably surprised by that answer, but the real truth is this. You don’t need to go to an expensive class or anything of that nature, just find some friend with a common interest. You can check out how to videos, and pick up the tools and equipment necessary for cheap if you know where to look. I’m currently utilizing some CrossFit methods in my training, but not all of them. So just because it’s not for me, doesn’t mean it may not work for you! I must for warn you, be careful if you’re taking it upon yourself to build your own course. Some of the methods are very dangerous to those of you who don’t know what you’re doing. So practice caution, and get with someone who knows what they’re doing, or at least gain enough knowledge beforehand.