What are the benefits of CrossFit? This is a great question. If you know me personally, you know that I’ve had some great success with CrossFit. Going from a sedentary suburban dad to an ultra marathon runner that can deadlift 400+ pounds. So here I am writing this post to answer that question. Let me preface my answer by saying that CrossFit (or Greg Glassman) did not invent exercising, did not invent heavy lifting, and didn’t invent exercising at high intensity. So what’s special about CrossFit? Why does it work? What will you get out of it? What have I gotten out of it? Why should you go find a CrossFit gym and pay the high price for membership? I’m going to answer all of these questions right now. Boom!
When I started training at a CrossFit gym almost 4 years ago, people still wore big shoes with big soles while they did WODs and my coaches made me squat barefoot. I had no idea what CrossFit was and there was no Reebok*CrossFit, no ESPN, no Inov-8’s, and maybe just a few Vibram 5 fingers. You would never have seen a commercial on prime time television with a guy doing deadlifts and pullups. What there was…was a community of friends and even strangers lifting weights together, doing workouts together, and encouraging each other even if they were a fat lazy guy like I was. People were getting stronger and achieving their fitness goals. It was amazing and I was sucked in immediately. I haven’t looked back. I’ve met great friends, and had great coaches. I’ve learned so much from so many smart people, and we’ve all made mistakes and had great success together. As a community. Everything I loved about CrossFit is still there today. Granted, things are a lot different, but at it’s core it’s still the same CrossFit community. That’s what it’s all about. The community. No matter what brand partners with CrossFit and no matter how mainstream the CrossFit brand gets, I can still walk up to a complete stranger with a CrossFit t-shirt on and have a conversation with them like they were one of my buddies. So, here are my top 3 benefits of “doing” CrossFit…
Call it a cult if you must, I do sometimes too. It’s fine. However, when you’re in this community you are going to push yourself and work harder than you would anywhere else or in any other gym. If you have had a different experience then you’re in the wrong CrossFit gym. We compete with each other, have fun with each other, encourage each other, and hold each other accountable. It’s a damn fine thing. Once you experience it you won’t go to another gym. Like I said, if you don’t feel this way about your CrossFit gym then you’re in the wrong gym.
You may not understand this if you are reading this and you’re like I was when I didn’t know about CrossFit. I feel like I can do anything. Hell, I tried qualifying for the Boston Marathon at my 2nd Marathon ever. Granted I didn’t make it, but I was convinced I would. 4 years ago I was a sedentary dad that could barely run a 5k. Now I’ve ran 3 50’s, 4 50K’s, and 2 Marathons on top of a bunch of other races. Will I ever run a Boston Qualifying time? Maybe. I could do it if I wanted to sacrifice strength, but I’m not ready for that. I don’t want to give up my Squat and Deadlift PR’s to do it. The point is, confidence. You stick with a good CrossFit gym and you can do anything, and the confidence will carry over into the rest of your life.
You will look better than you’ve ever looked. Commit to it. One hour a day and eat Meats, Vegetables, nuts, seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar. I’m 38 years old. I don’t look like my friend McG (who’s going to the games this year, btw):
Photo Credit: James Cheney @ Cheney Media!!
However, I am very happy with how I look. Especially compared to this picture I took before I ate a horse:
Seriously, ignore the bad hype and find a good CrossFit gym in your area. You won’t regret it. I don’t know of any other fitness community like this with the same results. From the couch to Ultra Marathons to Weightlifting Competitions, to Strong Man Competitions, etc. I’ve been amazed with the results I’ve seen in everyone as well as myself. So there you go.