Is CrossFit for Everyone?
Starting CrossFit and Misconceptions
If you are really interested in improving your health and fitness then CrossFit training could be the way to go for you. We found that when we started a CrossFit gym there was a lot of misconceptions about what we did and who it was for? A lot of men and women seemed to be put off when we thinking that our workouts would be way too intense. A lot of the time without ever having set foot in our gym, and mostly this was women
In the Beginning
When we opened as a CrossFit in February 2013 we had a male majority as our gym population. We were the first in our home town to fully embrace CrossFit training methods. Our members loved the high intensity training in our daily workouts. We were already fitness professionals and had been training CrossFit style long before we had become an affiliated CrossFit Gym. CrossFit prides itself on all its workouts being scalable. All advanced workouts can be scaled down to the fitness level of an absolute beginner if needed. We really embraced this methodology when training our members. But like most cross fitters we were inspired by the success of the CrossFit Games. We loved what was happening and before long our coaches and a small core of our members who wanted to dip their toes in competition.
We thought this was great, we had several members who really wanted to push themselves to the next level of fitness. And they truly were an inspiration to all the other members who just wanted a great workout but weren’t really interested in CrossFit competition. This was working well, we hosted monthly throw downs with two divisions Rx (advanced) and Scaled (Beginner). We had managed to strengthen our fitness community my having all levels of fitness meet and do their best over a few tough workouts. We wanted to show everyone how good our members were. We posted pictures of our events on social media which got us great attention and a lot of new followers.
Is it too intense for the average person?
So, what was the problem? Everything seemed good, right? Well not quite. Our focus was to improve everyone’s all round health and fitness regardless of age, gender or ability. And our main programme was driven towards that. The only thing was that all our social media was Screaming, Competition and Hardcore training. This didn’t help when we posted our workouts online and all that people seen was the advanced versions of workouts and not the scaled version. I was told “CrossFit is too hard for me”, “you will only make me go upside down on the wall”, “I’m not fit enough to do CrossFit” the list goes on. And most people saying these things were women. We were intimating potential new members who didn’t feel as confident doing advanced workouts. When people read our workouts, they decided before they even spoke to us about what kind of intensity we trained people at. Where we too intense for the average person? I don’t believe we were but when 90 percent of our newsfeed talk about competition it was easy for anyone to make that assumption. To this day, we still programme our workouts for the fittest and scale right down to everyone’s individual ability. But people who didn’t go to our gym didn’t know this.
Assurance that high intensity CrossFit training is for everyone
So how do we change people’s options of what kind of intensity we trained people at and who was it for?? We needed to change people’s perception of us. How do we give assurance that high intensity CrossFit training is for everyone? We solved this by firstly stopping our public posts about workouts. Keeping our workouts to a private group helped stop anyone who might be considering joining us, stop thinking that the workouts were beyond their fitness ability. We also introduced two skills development classes during the week that focused more on gymnastic movements. We know not everyone is ready to do a hand stand push up or pull up straight away. Our skills classes mean that beginners can really develop the more complicated movements that can be sometimes challenging in a regular class. Intermediate to advanced members have a chance to polish movements and take it to the next level. We have even recently reintroduced a beginners Olympic lifting class to raise the standard of everyone’s lifting. Even if they are never interested in competition.
So, did these small changes make an effect? The answer is Yes. We now have a majority membership of women who are kicking ass at serious CrossFit workouts. Not everyone is advanced and not everyone wants to compete and that’s cool with us. Everyone still has the stinky workouts that they like to avoid (usually containing burpees), but most of the time they can do all the workouts with minimal scaling of movements. We still hear occasionally from some people “That sounds too tough for me” but this is nowhere near as common and we are always able to reassure them that no matter their current fitness ability that they are ready to train CrossFit right now.
Is it for everyone?
CrossFit may or may not be your thing. But there is only one way to know for sure and that’s to go try it out. If doing a combination of strength/ Cardio and gymnastics workouts in a group environment sounds like your thing then chances are you will really enjoy it no matter what your current fitness level is.