Crossfit is an evolving fitness idea that is beginning to catch fire across the world. For those of you who haven’t heard of Crossfit it is an intense type of fitness regimen that has affiliate gyms all across the world. The program is designed to get you in the best overall shape possible.
You will see different workouts everyday and you will challenge yourself greatly, but the prize is weight loss, fat loss, muscle gain, and confidence through achievement. Of course with an idea that is somewhat extreme like Crossfit there are plenty of naysayers and myths about it that are out there.
Here are 6 “myths” that I hear all of the time about CrossFit. I will be objective and present very real facts and unbiased opinions. I also want to be clear that I am speaking about the experiences that I have had. I always recommend that you do your research and feel comfortable with the gym that you go to. It is important that your coaches have your short and long term interests in mind with their training program. Here are the myths:
1. Crossfit isn’t for beginning athletes or people who haven’t worked outbefore:
FALSE: People who have come in with zero workout experience have turned into wonderful additions to their gym.
Some people with no experience have tried it and either didn’t like it or weren’t willing to work hard so they didn’t last. But, those people who want to change their life and are willing to work hard can try Crossfit and end up loving it
2. CrossFit isn’t designed for women:
FALSE : Some CrossFit gyms have more women than men in their program.
While the workouts are hard and we use free weights I have found that many women embrace the training because they feel stronger, more confident, and they understand that it is necessary to use resistance to change their body’s makeup for the better.
I have also found that women love being on the clock in a competitive setting. While it doesn’t matter who wins a workout, the environment is wonderful to push yourself, and women love it.
3. CrossFit is going to make me too muscular (typically from a female perspective):
FALSE: There has been a great deal of research done on what types of workout programs do what to your body.
There is a very good reason why many bodybuilders do slow sets of about 12-15 reps of a lift and then take time in between. That type of lifting is designed to “hypertrophy” the muscles. In other words, it is designed to make muscles bigger and more defined. CrossFit lifting regimens are designed to be very high intensity and very diverse.
This type of training is great for weight loss and toning. If you decide that CrossFit is a sport that you want to compete in then you may decide to increase your training, your lifting weights, and your set counts, but until then there are no ladies in Crossfit programs that are overly muscular.
4. CrossFit will make you tight and inflexible:
FALSE: Speaking from my own personal perspective, I am more flexible today than I was before I did CrossFit. The reason that people get more flexible is because we always do a dynamic warm up which gets your blood flowing and sends your muscles through ranges of motion.
A great deal of research has been done regarding flexibility and it has been shown that dynamic stretching is far superior to static stretching for most athletes.
At the end of a workout we will do a bit of static stretching, but the dynamic warm up coupled with exercises that force you to become more flexible help make athletes more flexible, not less.
5. CrossFit can’t help you with your other sports such as marathon running:
FALSE: I have had many 5k, 10k, ½ marathoners, full marathoners come into the gym looking to run better.
Most of them come in because their bodies can’t handle the extreme mileage that they are putting their bodies through. In every case thus far we have been able to cut time off of their runs, typically cutting a great deal of time off. Now, in fairness, I have done a great deal of research into the biomechanics of proper running form and I work with some of my runners on their technique. But, CrossFit is a wonderful way to supplement your training runs.
Not only do you train your aerobic threshold with challenging workouts, you train all of your important running muscles. We train every piece of your core (low abs, obliques, low back, glutes, thighs), we train smaller muscles such as your calves and shoulders (front and back), and we train your explosiveness.
Many runners simply go out and run because they believe that that will make them faster. In the beginning that works but then to increase intensity you have to run farther and farther and faster and faster. It is very difficult on your body to run that far. A far better strategy is to train all of the muscles in your body, train your technique, and train your speed (not by running) so that when you go out and run you can be more efficient and more comfortable. It works
6. All CrossFit Gyms Are The Same:
FALSE: Because CrossFit is such a broad way of working out there major differences from box to box. For example some gyms focus more on running and endurance.
Other CrossFit gyms may focus more on powerlifting and West Side Barbell Techniques. Most CrossFit boxes are somewhat in the middle and focus primarily on Workouts Of the Day (also known as WODS).
The best thing you can do is find a box where you feel you fit in and get a great workout.
Of course I hear other questions about CrossFit all of the time but I hear these questions all of the time and I wanted to address them specifically. If properly structured CrossFit is an excellent tool to get you fit.