What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear the word Crossfit? Do you think of “the Champ” Rich Froning coming from behind to win yet another Crossfit Games title? Do you think of young guys and girls running around the gym half naked trying to get another workout done? Do you think of all the injuries you have heard from Crossfit? Do you think of the crazy diets and workouts that just seem like too much? Do you think of all the results you have seen your friends attain since the time they started attending their Crossfit gym? No matter what comes to your mind when you hear Crossfit, I want to shed a little light on the origin and purpose of what Crossfit is really about!
When Coach Greg Glassman and Lauren Jenai founded Crossfit in 2000 it was made to “prepare them not only for the unknown but the unknowable.” Everyday something comes up, whether big or small positive or negative, that we hadn’t originally anticipated. How we deal with these situations determines our lives. These are the things you talk about around the dinner table and when you get together at family reunions. These challenges, whether physical, mental, or emotional, are what define us as human beings while continuing to shape us, and for the betterment of life they must be trained for. Coach Glassman saw Firefighters breaking into burning buildings, Grandmothers picking up their grandchildren, and an athlete competing at the highest level at their sport and realized that the everyone’s needs are the same and it is only to the degree of training that people vary. Everyone needs strength in their legs. Everyone needs a strong core. Everyone needs some level of cardiovascular conditioning, mobility, mental toughness, emotional strength, and everyone needs community. These are things that Glassman saw as vital and studies have shown that to sustain a long healthy life, these are some things that everyone needs, but that is a topic for another blog.
So here is my view. Crossfit has been described as the “sport of fitness” which I think is very fair. I think with the rapid growth of the Crossfit Games, Games athletes can said to be training for the “the sport of fitness,” however, I like to say that training for everyone else is training for the “sport of life.” The businessman, stay at home mom, grandmother, or anyone else may not be most concerned with what their time is in the latest Crossfit wod (Workout of the day), but the fact that they have the strength in the legs, core, mobility in the hips, and cardiovascular capacity to chase your child around the house and be able to take the garbage out is vital to you.
It is true that injuries can happen at a Crossfit gym. Occasionally injuries can happen in anything in life. You can pull something in your back picking up a piece of paper or you can twist you r knee walking down the stairs. In just the same way bizarre injuries can happen in Crossfit. Outside of this, the idea of injuries in Crossfit saddens me because it has nothing to do with the methodology and everything to do with improper programming and coaching. So if you are interested in Crossfit, be careful about choosing your gym. There are good gyms and bad gyms and it is up to you to decide. If they having you throwing things over your head the second day into the gym, by all means find another gym, but don’t give up on Crossfit altogether!
Everyone can benefit from the training methodology of Crossfit. Whether you are training to put out fires, to become the best at your sport, or to be the best that you can in the sport of life, Crossfit can be beneficial to you. If you are an athlete in a very specific sport such as body building or Olympic weightlifting, Crossfit may not be the end all be all to your training program, but at the same time there can definitely be some benefit to you.
So with all of this being said check out the sport of life and get good at it. You will thank yourself down the road. Time to grind fast and jacked, time to grind!