Why should I do CrossFit? For those of us who have been doing CrossFit for a while, this might be a question that we have not thought about since we started. We most likely don’t even think about why we do it anymore-we just do it because it has become a habit and we love the results and how it makes us feel. However, I think it’s important to think about this question from time to time. Why am I doing this? Why am I putting myself through the pain of a CrossFit workout multiple times per week? It can also be helpful to think about this question in order to convince others to try it. Every person doing CrossFit has at least one friend or family member (or in some cases every person they come in contact with) who they are trying to convince to start CrossFit. They know the benefits that they have gotten out of it, and they want this person to get them as well. This is a question that I have thought about a lot over the past year, and here are five reasons that I have come up with.
1. Health benefits
I think that this is the most important reason to do CrossFit. Every person wants to live a long and healthy life (or at least I hope they do). CrossFit is a great way to improve overall health, as well as to increase quality of life. We have had countless members get blood work done after doing CrossFit for a while who had tremendous improvements in all of their numbers, and were also able to reduce or eliminate some medications. Other benefits include improved energy levels throughout the day, better sleep at night, better attitude, and many others. Most people who do CrossFit have what I call a “healthy glow” to them. They just look different than other people. They look like they are healthy and feel good. I can always tell when someone new comes into the gym to check it out, whether they have been doing CrossFit before or not, just by looking at them.
2. Physical appearance
I think that this is the reason that most people start exercising in the first place. I have done just about every exercise program out there (lifted weights consistently since 7th grade, bootcamps, running, fitness classes, etc.) and I have achieved by far my best physical appearance (in my opinion anyways) through CrossFit. CrossFit helps you build muscle and burn fat at the same time, and I think that we can all agree that a muscular (or toned) look is one that we are going for. CrossFit also makes you look younger. For example both of my parents have been doing CrossFit for 5+ years and look younger to me now than they did 15 years ago.
3. Improved quality of life
CrossFit prepares you for life like no other program that I have ever done. Whether you need to run a 5k with your relatives, walk all day at Disney World, carry a 100+ pound deer out of the woods, chase down a robber who has nabbed your purse, or play sports with your kids in the backyard all afternoon, CrossFit has you covered. Because CrossFit is all about general physical preparedness, you should be able to do just about anything life throws at you. Hearing the stories that our clients tell about being able to ski all day without a break unlike the year before or pulling a bunch of equipment to the duck blind without getting tired are some of my favorite stories.
4. Competition and camaraderie
One of the coolest things about CrossFit is the fact that you get to compete every day. For people like me who grew up playing sports, there can be a huge void in your life when you finish playing. I remember when I finished my baseball career a few years after college. For the first time since I was 5 I wasn’t competing in anything consistently. I fell into a funk for about three months until I started CrossFit, but once I started I fell in love with being able to compete every day. There is nothing like having the coach put your name and score on the board to push you and keep you honest in how hard you work. We have also had many members who never played sports or considered themselves competitive who are just as competitive now, if not more, than the former athletes in the gym. Another thing that I loved about sports was the feeling of being on a team. There is nothing like working with a group of people for a common goal. This is just what happens in a CrossFit class every day. You go through a tough workout with a group of people who are all feeling the same pain, and when you are done you have all gotten just a little bit closer. This is a great way to make friends-I tell people that the easiest way to make friends is to start CrossFit. Within a couple of weeks you will have a ton of new friends, probably a few phone numbers, and might be in a GroupMe that buzzes with posts all day every day. You will also notice that you spend most of your time outside of the gym with your new friends as well.
5. It is hard
“I’m scared to try CrossFit. It looks so hard. I don’t think I can do it.” This is one of the most common things I hear from people who have never done CrossFit. My answer is always that yes it is hard, but anyone can do it, and besides, we wouldn’t want it any other way. Anyone who has done a CrossFit workout knows that you get to a point in a workout where you start doubting yourself. It hurts and you don’t know why you are doing this and you aren’t sure that you can finish. However, when you ignore that voice in your head and finish the workout, the sense of accomplishment that you get is unparalleled. All of the sudden the volume on everything else in life gets turned down a little bit. If you can make it through that tough workout, then you can make it through other things throughout the day that might have seemed daunting before but now don’t seem so bad at all. The confidence that you will build by pushing through this mental barrier day after day is incredible. I know for a fact that I would not be the person that I am today without CrossFit. In addition, there are many people at our gym who have walked in the doors without much confidence at all who are completely different people now full of confidence and willing to bust your chops. Yea, CrossFit is hard, but that is why we love it.