Friday, September 5, 2014

Let's Talk Crossfit: The Pros & Cons


Today's topic: crossfit! People have a vast array of opinions about crossfit and today I want to share my experience with it to hopefully give a balanced view of it. I was first introduced to crossfit in the fall of 2011 and attended classes for a few months. When I moved to Woodward a gym opened here and I have been attending since July of 2013. 
*disclaimer* - These are my opinions. Just clarifying that one. I'm not a professional or anything like that.

What is Crossfit? 
That's a good question. The official definition is the following: "functional movements that are constantly varied at high intensity." (source) Personally I think that definition is confusing so I'll define crossfit as how I know it. Basically, every day you are doing something completely different. One day you could be doing sit-ups and running and the next day you could be doing weights with barbells. The purpose of it is to vary it up a bunch so your body doesn't know what is coming. It isn't a class where when you know the exact routine. In fact, you never know the routine until the day of. I'd also like to make a suggestion that crossfit should rename the program to slaughterfit because seriously, After some workouts I feel like i got slaughtered (in a good way of course)! 


Toned Left Arm & Abs - Let's just get to the good stuff first. Never in my life have I had a toned left arm. It's been pretty flabby all these years but crossfit has given me some muscle. I also have a much stronger core because of it. No, I don't have abs of steel but that's ok with me. Overall I can tell that my fitness level has improved a ton!

Posture - Crossfit classes are very focused on safety. Your back always has to be straight, if you are doing a movement and not doing it correctly you have to take weights off or scale down a workout for safety. Because of that I'm much more aware of how I lift things. Even yesterday I bought 35# of cat litter and when I went to lift it I bent my legs and had a perfectly straight back. 

Coaching  - Every crossfit gym I've attended have had phenomenal coaches. Classes are generally small so they can take time to work with each person. It's nice to know that someone is watching how you perform movements so you can be safe and also build strength. 

Community - This is by far one of my favorite things about crossfit. The community is very supportive. If I am the last one to finish a workout I have the rest of the class there cheering me on (and yes, I've been last on numerous occasions). I even competed in a competition and placed second to last. I was bummed but you know what? The people at my gym were super proud of me and told me so! It made the whole situation a ton better. 

It's for Everyone - A lot of people are intimidated by crossfit but they shouldn't be. If you can't do a certain movement a coach will find something similar to that movement so you can still get a workout in. For example, if pull-ups are in a workout and you can't do them then you can either do push-ups (regular or from you knees). If you can't do pushups, no problem! They might have you do standing pushups to a wall. Basically wherever you are in your fitness journey a good crossfit gym will accommodate to you. 

Pro-Military - This is a big one for me because I love the USA and have family in the service. Crossfit is very good about honoring military serviceman - both alive and fallen. They often times have 'hero workouts' where they do a workout in honor of a fallen soldier. They will tell the name of the soldier, where he served, when he died and more facts if they have them. I know it is sad but I think it is good to remember the price of freedom. 


If I'm completely honest I will have to admit there are a few things in crossfit that in my book are cons. They aren't huge deals but I think just a few things to be aware of.

Obsession - This card here describes it perfectly. I'm not here to pick on anyone in particular but something I've seen from the crossfit community in general is the obsession with crossfit. I'll raise my hand as guilty because I used to be crossfit obsessed. It's what crossfitters talk about, post on FB about, tweet about, post more about it on FB and then talk more about it. Don't get me wrong I think it's fun to share a big achievement and I think it should be celebrated but I personally don't feel the necessity to post on FB every time I do a workout.

Also, I think life is like a pie and crossfit (fitness) should be one piece of the pie not the whole pie. However, that's probably a bad analogy because most crossfitters don't eat pie which leads me to my next point....

Paleo - the diet that many crosssfitters live by. I personally don't agree with it and I wrote a full article about that here. I do think there are some great things from the paleo diet (more vegetables & healthy fats) so I take the good and leave the rest. I say before starting any new eating habits I'd fully research both sides first.

That's my journey with crossfit! I reall am thankful for this outlet I have to excercise! What do you do to stay fit? Have you tried crossfit? Do you have any questions about crossfit? 

17 comments :

  1. Crossfit has always been a workout that intrigues me but intimidates me at the same time. I always hear from others how welcoming the community is though so one day I will have to give it a try.

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  2. Cons: Price! Definitely the price! It boggles my mind how much it is!!! My SIL has compete in regionals and I've done CF workouts with them - they actually just do it in the garage now - and got all of their own equipment! I think it's great you love it - it sure is a HARD workout. PS Interesting post about food ;) I think that all changes for people who have health issues (like me), but every person is different and has different reasons why they eat healthy! Happy Friday Beka!

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  3. ha ha! Your comment about price made me laugh. Yes, I agree it is a lot. First, I will say that crossfit in a smaller town is cheaper so I have that advantage. The other thing I think about is that basically every time you attend it is like personal training. Classes are small so you get a lot of one on one time with a coach to help you. If crossfit was say $200 / month and you went 5 times that is $10 / month. If you just did personal training at a gym it would be around $25 per session. With all that said, I still do understand that it is expensive.
    I agree with you about the food! I think everyone has to decide what is best for their body. I think I just get frustrated because so many crossfitters are overly concerned about eating a Paleo diet and to be honest it kind of drives me nuts. I think balance is key, which I'm still learning that.

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  4. It can be intimidating and I know I was nervous when I first went. Many gyms will have a free 'intro-class'. They will go over the basic things of crossfit and do a mini work out with you. When I attended mine I took a friend with me so it wasn't as scary.
    I will say that crossfit will shave time off your running! The muscle mass you build helps you run way faster.

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  5. I'll be honest in that I have no desire to try crossfit, but I see the benefits to people that enjoy that type of exercise/work out. I'll stick to running! I think the obsession thing is something that athletes in any area do. You're so excited in the beginning and feel like "wow, look at what my body can do!". Then it becomes more of your normal and that starts to slack off. For some people at least...

    I know a few people that do the paleo diet and have great results, but I don't want to limit myself. I like to eat dairy and bread and all sorts of other good things that are bad for me!

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  6. Thank you so much for posting I've always wondered what exactly crossfit was! It sounds like a great way to workout for sure! Good for you for doing it and sticking with it! It feels so good to be strong and in shape doesn't it?!

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  7. I like your honesty. Crossfit isn't for everyone but I will say that it has shaved some major time off my miles in running. I think even going 1 or 2 times a week really helps with crosstraining and strength building.


    In regards to Paleo sometimes I like to say that I won't give up beans, cheese and happiness ;). I do know a lot of people really love it though and it has helped them stay healthy. I think you just have to figure out what works best for you body.

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  8. You are welcome! I'm glad it helped clarify. It is a good feeling to be strong and workout but I won't lie to you - I'm looking forward to a small break when Dave and I travel =). I am planning on doing some crossfit workouts on the road that just uses body weight so that should be fun too.

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  9. Agree! I have some friends who have fixed some health issues with Paleo, and for them it's been really great. I don't want to give up beans or cheese, either!

    I do enjoy hearing about other's success with crossfit, or any type of work out for that matter. I support any and all ways of getting your body moving and being healthy!

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  10. I love that you went over this and covered some great points. My brother is Crossfit certified and loved it! I went to one class with him, when I visited him back home. It was really fun but tough!

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  11. Great review, Beka! Given my own obsessive past with food, exercise, and weight, the whole Crossfit thing raised a red flag for me from the beginning - and that was before I realized they promoted Paleo, which I'm also not so fond of. But I'm so glad you've been able to take away the helpful parts and leave all the rest by the wayside - it does sound like a really fun and effective way to work out!

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  12. My friend just started Crossfit and she's been trying to get me to join in. After this I think I might just do it! :)

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  13. Thanks a bunch! Is the same brother that is at basic training right now? If so, I bet crossfit helped him tremendously with the fitness part. That's fun that you tried it out. It is super tough but it does get easier over time.

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  14. I can totally see why a flag was raised! I think the key is just be aware of that and make the decision to not let crossfit (or anything else) take over your whole life. I am really thankful for this opportunity because I wasn't exercising at all after Kore and this gym has helped me tremendously.

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  15. I hope you do join! Which crossfit gym is it? I hope they give a free intro class (most gyms do). It's tough at first but I am sure you will do great! Let me know if you end up going. I'd love to hear more about it.

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  16. So.... I just really loved your transition from cross-fit to pie to paleo :) haha!

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  17. I'm so glad you liked that. I don't think my friends who live / eat that loved it because not one of them commented yet =) Made me laugh! I really do tell the pie analogy to so many people though! It's true and easy to understand.

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