There are some misconceptions about CrossFit:
• Isn’t CrossFit too hectic for me?
• Don’t I have to lift massive weights?
• Don’t I need to get fit first?
• Isn’t CrossFit dangerous?
It’s unfortunate that these exist, and even more so if they ever keep someone from stepping inside a CrossFit gym.
Of course, all CrossFit gyms are different, and we can only really speak to the member experience we have at My CrossFit.
Isn’t CrossFit too hectic for me?
It shouldn’t be. Any gym should be able to tailor a workout’s difficulty that it can be challenging but doable for a 60 year old sedentary lady, or increase the difficulty such that a fit, genetically gifted athlete will find it challenging.
It’s true that if you search for “CrossFit” on YouTube, you will see videos of athletes who train 4-6 hours a day, often own their own gyms, definitely have a near perfect diet, and happen to be genetically gifted. This is but a fraction of a fraction of the people around the world who do CrossFit.
Thinking CrossFit is too hectic is like thinking running is too hectic after watching the 5k at the Olympics and then thinking “Running isn’t for me because I can’t run a sub 15 minute 5k.”
It’s also not the case that you should feel beat down every day when leaving the gym. Workouts are designed to provide a varied stimulus ranging from short sprint intervals to longer, more classic cardio-type workouts. Always, you go at your own pace. CrossFit is as hectic as you make it.
Don’t I have to lift massive weights?
No, you certainly don’t have to. That depends on the person.
If you are a professional or semi-professional athlete who needs optimal strength adaptation, you should do dedicated strength cycles, work at the correct percentages, etc. If you just want to be a bit fitter for what life throws at you? No, you don’t need to load up a massive weight on your back and squat down with it, or reach down to the floor and try and pick up a barbell that is heavier than what you can safely lift.
There are CrossFit gyms where the culture the coaches have built focuses primarily on how much weight you can lift. We recently had a prospective member come in and say something that just resonated with us. To paraphrase: “I know I can lift more weight; I just don’t want to.” It’s so very true.
At My CrossFit, no one is shouting at you like a drill sergeant to go faster or use a heavier weight than you are comfortable with.
Don’t I need to get fit first?
This is our favourite. This is similar to asking if your child has to know how to read and write before they enter school.
Can it help? Sure. Is it a prerequisite? Not at all.
In fact, CrossFit is one of the most effective ways to get more fit. Your starting level is just that. All workouts are tailored to be just the right stimulus for you at your current fitness level.
As a matter of fact, improvements come much faster in the beginning, and there’s very little that’s more rewarding for a member or coach than to see gains in strength and fitness.
Isn’t CrossFit dangerous?
CrossFit, like most forms of physical activity, carries some risk yes.
Injuries can happen anywhere though, in any sport. I played rugby all throughout school and can’t remember a significant injury, but I’ve been injured doing relatively “safe” forms of physical activity. I needed 10 stitches after falling onto a gravel driveway when going for a run and a stone tore open my palm. I tripped on one of my runs and chipped my tooth. I injured my ankle and groin while playing touch football at Radloff Park with some teenagers. These things happen unfortunately.
Moving with good form, with weights that are appropriate, and getting in a good workout without pushing yourself past limits of safety all minimise risks.
In summary, CrossFit really is designed for everyone. It doesn’t require a minimum level of fitness, strength, a “hardcore” nature, or really anything other than the willingness to show up consistently and put in enough effort that each workout will challenge you. You don’t need to train every day, or buy a bunch of supplements, or eat the same boring foods over and over to see results. Small changes add up over time.