With more than 13,000 gyms in 120 countries and over 4 million people, by now you’ve heard or seen them somewhere. These people love WOD’s, burpees (love/hate) and constantly talk about avoiding sugar. You’re probably hearing from a coworker who’s a mother of three who raves on about it. Maybe you know a retiree who’s very excited about getting control of his fitness again. What is all this rage about? It’s called Crossfit.
Crossfit is defined as “constantly varied, functional movements performed at high intensity.” It’s used by police officers, firefighters, elite athletes, and everyone in between. Crossfit involves running, rowing, biking, gymnastics, weightlifting, plyometrics, and specializes in not specializing. Crossfit wants to prepare you for anything life can throw at you. Picking up the groceries? That’s a deadlift. Sitting down on a chair? That’s a squat. Life is complex and we never know what is going to come next. Constantly training with endless variety builds more than just work capacity; it builds confidence knowing that you can handle anything thrown at you.
While elite athletes use this method of training so can the retiree with a bad back. How can that be? Crossfit is universally scalable to one’s individual level and ability. That means during one class, the new Mom can be working out next to her retired dad and the top tier athletes at the same time. Load (how much weight) and intensity (reps, distance, time etc.) are changed, but the intended stimulus is not.
Community and Accountability Included
With sounds of weights slamming, music blasting and a coach talking over it all it’s easy to be intimidated from the outside, but once you join, you will find some the most genuine people you have ever met. Crossfit has evolved beyond just a fitness program and into a community of individuals who keep each other accountable as we all work towards being happier and healthier people. There’s a reason Tom in the office keeps insisting you come to try a class for free. He keeps ranting on and on about how it has increased his energy, improved his sleep, put him in a better mood and made him a better father and husband. Crossfit gives us adults a way to socialize in a positive environment where we can learn new things together and bond in the mutual suffering of workouts…and enjoy it!
Building a Foundation
There are things to know and the crucial steps to take when going from the couch to Crossfit. Every day there is a programmed “WOD” or workout of the day. When you join MKT Fit you will go through a thorough onboarding process called Foundations. Foundations is a two-week process that properly prepares you for Crossfit classes. This orientation phase also establishes a relationship between you and the coaches. During Foundations, a coach will teach how to perform every exercise correctly to keep you safe, how to mobilize yourself, and how to properly fuel yourself for the journey that lies ahead.
Before you start drinking the Crossfit Kool-Aid
Here are a few things you need to know. Do your research! Crossfit is gaining mass popularity and because of that, boxes are popping up everywhere. While this is great for the fitness community and the Crossfit brand, I advise you to do your research when picking a gym. It’s your responsibility to investigate the community to see if you are going to fully enjoy your experience but more importantly the coaches. A lot of gyms trade memberships for someone to coach a class or two. Others hire full-time coaches who want to make a career out of improving lives. Who do you want instructing you to lift loaded barbells overhead? These are questions you should definitely consider.
Define your goals:
Figure out what your personal goals are. Why do you want to join Crossfit? Did you just move to Columbia and want to make some new friends? Are you looking to lose weight? Are you a former athlete looking to start training again? Want to sleep better or just feel more mobile? Start thinking about your personal goals before you embark on this journey.
Any type of conditioning you can do before starting your Crossfit journey is good. It’s not absolutely necessary but recommended. If you like to walk, walk. If you enjoy biking hop on a bike and ride. Like to dance? Dance. All of these movements are assisting in building a foundation for the awesome athletic endeavor you are about to embark on.
Try before you buy:
When shopping for a Crossfit gym, I recommend that you try one or two before you buy. Drop-in and watch a class so you see how classes are run and how the coaches communicate. Check out the differences and see which gym is calling your name.
Joining the Crossfit community is not just a journey to a better body. You will find yourself on the path to a clearer mindset, greater motivation, improved self-confidence and plenty of happy, driven and encouraging friends that will push you to simply be a better human.