You’re reading this article probably because your friend who does CrossFit can’t stop talking about it and keeps on prodding you to join his local box.
You probably have heard those words like “WODs”, “Box”, “Paleo”, etc. but still don’t know what they mean. You might have also wondered why it has attracted so many people.
So here we are!
There’s always a reason for every hype that arises. You’ll hear so much about CrossFit and its benefits. You can google the same term and you’ll probably get a hundred results. So we’ll keep it simple and focus on the main but holistic benefits.
Improved Fitness via Functional Training
Sure, you’ve heard about the fitness benefits of this sport and have probably seen those YouTube clips displaying awesome physical feats that you think you can never do. But the goal of CrossFit isn’t simply to keep fit. In other words, CrossFit goes beyond what you do in the gym.
The box (the venue where CrossFitters gather to workout) is where you start to build your fitness capabilities that will enable you to overcome challenges outside of it.
You’ll feel stronger when you carry your groceries, huff and puff less when you go upstairs, and chase after your young kids without hurting your joints. It’s that functional fitness that will make your better not just inside the box but in life as well.
CrossFit is also best known for its intensity and the ability to raise heart rate by almost 90% maximum. This is good news, unless you have pre-existing cardiovascular conditions and if your doctor advises against high-intensity exercise or HIIT.
For people trying to lose weight, elevated heart rate can translate to an efficient fat burning process. In the long run, CrossFit will also improve your stamina. Every time you push your heart rate to its maximum, your stamina improves.
For muscles to really work hard, they should be exposed to a variety of activities. The moment you start doing the same thing over and over again, your muscles’ development will be stunted.
In CrossFit, you don’t do the same WOD (Workout of the Day) everyday. Maybe you’ll be asked to do a derivative of an exercise yesterday or the other day, but even in the smallest details there are major differences. The variety in CrossFit keeps your performance from plateauing.
There are other benefits such as improved mobility and naturally, you’ll get a lot stronger. You’ll be able to do things you never thought or believed you could. That’s the beauty of CrossFit. It pushes you beyond your perceived boundaries.
Improved Mental Resolve
CrossFit has always been associated with its physical benefits. But not a lot of people outside the community know the mental benefits it brings. Just pushing through a tough WOD would enable you to improve your mental toughness.
If before, you give up easily on your workout and would not really bother doing an extra rep, with CrossFit, you will be pushed to go a little further. That extra step, extra rep, extra mile will do wonders on your resolve.
Afterwards, you’ll feel good realizing that you went beyond your limitations and you will push yourself even more the next time. The great thing is that this will also apply on the way you go about the other facets of your life like your work, relationships, business, etc.
Nothing will test your mental toughness more than joining the yearly CrossFit Open or even those local competitions. In this setting, the stakes are a little higher. Sure, there is some pressure to perform but that’s how it’s supposed to be.
Plus, the drive and support from your coaches and community will help you. Speaking of community…
It’s about the Community
One thing that makes CrossFit special is that it fosters a sense of community among its members. CrossFit workouts are held in a class setting, so you’ll naturally be around people. And there’s just something about people from different backgrounds but with the same goal of getting fit and getter better. They naturally get along!
Unfortunately, you don’t get this from other workout classes and programs. In a typical gym, the interactions are limited. Maybe you’ll get along with a few guys who can spot you and give the occasional pat on the back, but after the workout, you go along with your separate lives.
In CrossFit, it’s just different. There is no discrimination—you can be a doctor, a housewife, a part of the police force or the army, a student, or even a grandparent and you’ll still belong.
Maybe it’s because you all go through the same thing—when you’re lying face down on the floor after a tough WOD.
Maybe it’s because you all want to become better at those different CrossFit movements, so you help one another. Maybe it’s those post-WOD brunches or dinners with the whole class.
You face the same challenges but you all show up, break a sweat and get after it. You push one another until you finish. As the popular CrossFit saying goes:
“the person who finishes last gets the most applause”.
It’s very much true. Whatever your background is, whatever weight you have, whatever capacity you have—you’re going to feel right at home in a box. After a while, you can say that it’s already your second home.
So there you have it!
If you notice a pattern or something in common among the 3 main benefits, you’ll see that CrossFit makes you become a better human being.
Naturally, you get to be fit and be prepared to tackle whatever physical challenge life throws at you. Not only that, you also get an improved mental resolve that will also apply to the other aspects of your life. And yes, the community. You get to be a better person by becoming a part of a community and helping others become better as well.
So call you friend to take you to his local box and see what this is all about. It’s worth it!