Let's Talk About Your Fear of CrossFit...
I say the word fear because I know that’s often the emotion behind discounting something unfamiliar as: dumb, cultish, crazy, reckless, [insert whatever dismissive adjective you’d like]. I get it. I was the one saying those things many years ago, but I did so because I had a misunderstanding of the CrossFit method and what really happens in most boxes.
Years ago, and even now, the CrossFit movement was new and disruptive. To lifting and technique purists, doing complex movements at high intensity was sacrilegious. CrossFitters don’t shut up about what they do in the gym and, yeah, there are some less than flattering videos floating around the internet (many of which have nothing to do with CrossFit, but I digress).
For many though, the fear boils down to a few misconceptions. I want to address each one as honestly as I can. My goal is not to defend our methodology from the nay-sayers, but rather to provide education on what really goes on here at Elevate and many other affiliates worldwide.
#1 - Fear of Incompetence
Any shred of fitness or athleticism left you long ago and you are simply afraid you’ll be the only person in class who can’t keep up. You’ll slow everyone down. Right?
Maybe this is true. Maybe you won’t finish the workout first, or even fifth. But you know what? Why should you expect yourself to do so? You are new to the scene and everybody was in your shoes once. You’ll have a lot to learn, which is a great reason to move a little slower and do things the right way.
What you don’t realize is that every workout is modified for you to succeed and progress. Plus, all those people around you are stoked to encourage you through the workout. Humility goes a long way in CrossFit.
#2 - Fear of Injury
Injuries get blown way out of proportion in the public chatter. First of all, you have the benefit of having coaches who know your abilities watching you at all times. Do you get that at the typical gym? Hell no! Most people at the commercial gym have no idea what they are doing or why they are doing it. Does that seem safe to you?
CrossFit has sport-like qualities. Any sport has a risk of injury and I assure you the injury rate at the gym pales in comparison to your youth or adult soccer, softball, or flag football leagues. The truth is, almost everyone comes into the gym with a pre-existing injury or condition and we have to be knowledgeable enough as trainers to work around those issues. In the process, we help you learn more about your body and its limitations. We can often resolve those existing issues to the point where you function pain free and avoid recurring problems.
This makes our coaches at Elevate and throughout the CrossFit community some of the most well-rounded and adaptable trainers available. The shear variety of people we work with in a week is more than most trainers see in 6 months.
#3 - Fear of Poor Form & Technique
Of all the misconceptions, this one pains me the most. I can’t blame the public for not knowing any better, because I still see videos (CrossFit or otherwise) that make me cringe. But let’s not throw the baby out with the bath water.
As this industry grows, the low quality gyms and trainers are being pushed aside. Our coaches and many others we know are constantly pushing their own education and finding ways to be more knowledgeable and more effective with their clients. If you think we turn a clock on and cut people loose for a workout, you are DEAD WRONG.
Much of our class time is dedicated towards practice. Members of Elevate (any of our programs) have to EARN adding weight to any movement. In fact, we teach “experienced” lifters and exercisers all kinds of new things about their form that they’ve never known before. Seeing someone execute movements really well is a heart-warming experience for any good coach :)
Hopefully, this helps clarify what’s real from what is simply hype out there in the public ear. Much of this noise comes from individuals who are passing judgment with no experiences to back it up.
The question is, will you continue to let fear stop you from making a great decision to change your life for the better or will you turn that fear into motivation?