Over the last five years, few fitness regimens have received the amount of polarizing attention as CrossFit. For those new to the term, CrossFit is a strength and conditioning program conceived in California in 2000 and now boasts thousands of locations (or “boxes”—more on that later) across the country.
Chances are, you’ve seen one of their many boxes yourself and have briefly entertained the idea of looking further into it. Then the doubts started, perpetuated by ill-conceived myths and exaggerations about CrossFitters vomiting after every workout and enduring countless injuries. While you want to change your life for the better and feel healthier, you’re now unsure about the extremes of CrossFit.
What Doesn’t Kill You Will Make You Wish It Had
For every article stating the benefits of CrossFit, there is one labeling it as a dangerous, fanatical workout that will have its members vomiting, crying, and begging for mercy within the first half hour. Images of buff, red-faced individuals lifting what has to be the weight of a Mustang (car or horse, depending on the level of commitment) is stamped in the minds of those tampering with the idea of beginning the program.
In reality, CrossFit, just like any other fitness program, asks you to start at the level that is right for you and continue at a pace that is healthy for you. This is not a contest. You are not going to be judged for being a beginner, nor are you going to be forced to carry a bolder nine miles up a mountain to appease some exercise god.
Just as one would before beginning any fitness regimen, you need to be aware of any health conditions you may have, any injuries you have sustained that may be aggravated by certain movements, and you should consult with a professional who knows what is safe for you versus what you should avoid.
What you can expect in your first class is joining in on the workout of the day (WOD), an ever-changing cycle of movements and reps that could include anything ranging from burpees to push-ups to box jumps to many more conditioning moves. Where CrossFit seems to get some of its stigma is members are encouraged to do as many rounds as they can in a set amount of time. For the competitively minded and for some more advanced athletes, this could mean pushing oneself to his or her absolute limit.
This does not have to be you. Something stressed from the moment you enter CrossFit Lake Wylie is this: go at your own pace.
All WODs at CrossFit Lake Wylie are scalable, and we are willing to work with your strengths and weaknesses. The key is to know what those are and for you to know the difference between a job-well-done workout ache versus a real injury. Do push yourself, but know when you’re pushing yourself to a breaking point. Ask us at CrossFit Lake Wylie what may be best for you, and we will be there to coach you through the moves and to insure you perform them safely.
Get Ready to Look Like Rambo. Even the Women.
Speaking of improvement, you now have in your head an image of yourself, only with about three hundred pounds of extra muscle and a missing neck from all the bulk you’ve gained. No one, not even a 5-foot tall, lithe woman, is safe from this result if they get started with CrossFit. After all, with all the strength training, how could someone walk away from this program without turning into a muscled-out cartoon of their former selves?
Easy and for two reasons. One, CrossFit is a jack-of-all-trades program versus a specialized workout. This is not to be confused with body-building. Two, your muscle definition and how your body ultimately reacts to strength training and metabolic conditioning is largely based on genetics.
Because the WODs include cardio, weight lifting, strength training, and really focuses on giving you a full-body workout versus putting all your focus on, say, bulking up or running a marathon. More than that, your body isn’t going to do what it isn’t built to do. Watch athletes in various sports and notice how, in spite of their similar training, their body types can often differ.
Regardless of the workout you do, you are only going to be a healthier version of yourself. And isn’t that what you’ve wanted all along?
Look and Eat Like a Caveman
A dietary term that seems to get thrown together with CrossFit is “paleo”. It is believed that, in order to truly be one of the true CrossFit success stories, or even to fit in within the community, you must change your eating habits to this caveman-style eating program. Not true.
As with any fitness program, the results you achieve are directly correlated with your diet. If you work hard but eat lousy, you will not see the same level of results as someone who works just as hard, maybe even a little less so, but eats right. It’s common sense, but something that people often forget. After all, a reason for working out is so that you can eat whatever you feel like, right?
Yes and no. The reason why adopting healthier eating habits is important to any fitness program, not just CrossFit, is so you can perform at your best. Not only that, but the results will happen faster and be a lot clearer if you include lean meats, fruits, and vegetables into your diet rather than fast food and sugar.
The Paleo Diet—which stresses eating the above and avoiding grain and dairy, receiving its name from what is believed to have been the diet of early humans—is recommended for its health benefits, but is not by any means a requirement to be a part of the CrossFit program.
It’s as simple as this—eat well, feel well, perform well. No one is going to grill you on your food intake. You’ll just notice that you’re not at your peak. That’s just as true for any workout as it is with CrossFit.
One of “Them”
It is now drilled in that there is such as thing as CrossFit community. Now you’re wondering what sort of rituals are required to join and how many sacrifices may have to be made in order to be considered part of the group. Often, those invested in the program have been accused of being part of a cult.
Then again… how is this any different than those who regularly participate in yoga, pilates, spin class, etc.? It doesn’t. Over the years, each one had its fair share of talk about cult behavior and a horror film-like devotion to their chosen workout. For a few years now, it’s been CrossFit’s turn to take on the flack for having a community feel.
But, that’s just what it is—a community. No, they’re not going to ask you to drink the Kool Aid when you enter for the first time and no rituals of any kind will be performed during any session. As with happens with anything where a group of like-minded individuals come together for a common goal (in this case, for their health and well-being), bonds form and it begins to feel less like a class and more like a support system. Everyone there wants to see results in themselves, but you’ll be surprised to see that they want to see it in you, too.
Accepts Debit, Credit, Life Savings, and Firstborn Children
One of the biggest concerns that people have when joining anything is the cost, which is understandable. Also understandable is the fear when seeing a price tag attached to joining a CrossFit box which goes just short of asking for an arm and a leg—you just need to give them one or the other. Even if the first four myths listed above never caused you to blink, the cost typically associated with joining the program has your head spinning.
With an average cost of classes currently at $150 per month, for some it’s a hard pill to swallow. After all, there are cardio machines and weights at gyms that start at $10 a month. What’s the purpose of spending 15 times that for CrossFit?
Think about it like this: those gyms also tend to have yearly fees. More than that, you’re paying for the space to workout and a chance to use their equipment. That’s it. There is no specialized treatment set to target muscles you didn’t even know you had. There is no community and no trained instructor there to ensure you are doing the right moves the right way. There isn’t anything personal in your average gym membership.
What you’re paying for in a month of CrossFit is essentially what people pay more for 3 to 4 personal trainer sessions. Since classes at CrossFit Lake Wylie tend to be small—around six to 10 people per class—it’s intimate enough to allow our coaches to focus on each and every person there while also giving everyone that support network that can really push people to perform at their best.
With this kind of attention, you are guaranteed to do the right workouts the right way to really see results. After all, isn’t it better to spend money to see fast results versus spending nominal amounts on a gym membership you may not use and may only see minimal results with? Ultimately, it’s not just about cost, it’s about value.
Choose the Right “Box”
One thing that is true is that not all “boxes” are created equal. Like with any trainer/coach, be it fitness or otherwise, there are as many bad ones as there are good ones. Without doing research into the boxes nearest you, it is easy to get lured into one helmed by someone who is unaware of proper techniques and may not know the best way to treat any strains and injuries that can come as a result of their poor teaching.
In addition, some locations may be more competitive than you feel comfortable being, while others may not give you the drive you need to really push yourself. Others are overcrowded with 20 to 30 people in one class. Whatever the reason, the best way to find what works for you, from the instructor right down to the equipment, is to do your homework.
If you have several boxes close to you, take some time to visit them and get a feel for them. If that’s too much time or effort than you can spare, check the reviews online. A good way to know how you may feel about a CrossFit location is by seeing what others like you felt in their experiences there.
Check out our Google reviews and you will see CrossFit Lake Wylie is one of the highest reviewed CrossFits in the area.
WHAT TO DO NEXT
“No Sweat Intro”
After you check out all our positive testimonials just take the first step to your new fitter self by emailing Coach Nick at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 803-610-1350 to schedule your “no sweat intro” to CrossFit Lake Wylie.
When you come in for your no sweat intro, you’ll learn about CrossFit and why it’s different from any other type of exercise program you’ve ever done previously, we’ll show you around the facility, introduce you to all of the ‘tools’ you’ll use when you come in for your workouts, we’ll explain how the classes work, talk about your fitness goals and answer any questions you might have.