It is remarkable to think how far CrossFit has come and looking at the impact it has had on the fitness industry you sometimes wonder if there are any other methods of training out there! People want to be a part of it and CrossFit to be a part of them because if I wanted to use a better Cliché, it is changing lives. As a coach I believe it is by far the most effective model for training individuals that there is out there for a number of reasons.
Firstly I think the fitness industry should acknowledge CrossFit for being the first exercise programme to truly make Strength training with bars, dumbbells and kettlebells, Olympic lifting, Gymnastics and other modes of functional training accessible to anyone who wants to try it. This type of training and use of this kit is to put it bluntly a must if you want to have any positive return from your exercise. You can’t lose weight or tone if you don’t strengthen the body, you can’t improve posture or movement quality if you don’t occasionally lift something with the same integrity and you can’t have a healthy heart without a suitable dose of conditioning from time to time. CrossFit is really working to help change the bad image weightlifting and strength training has sometimes had and the popular perception that weights make you big, hours of cardio gets you fit.
Secondly, no one in CrossFit will write your training programme for you and this is a good thing! Rather the than being stuck delivering someone else’s programme, interpreting it as best you can and hoping all works out you are instead provided with an opportunity to programme yourself. This allows for both variety, creativity and again you have the opportunity to use the stuff that actually works. The tools are there for you to use and the correct modes of exercise have been identified what’s left is for an individual to use these appropriately to structure a programme which will challenge individuals and elicit the responses they are looking for.
Third point – CrossFit doesn’t just stop at the exercises, what amazes me is the length people go to to find out what else needs to be done in order to make the exercise programme as effective as possible. I have seen CrossFit enthusiasts completely change the way they eat, change their attitudes towards rest and sleep, strive to improve mobility and posture and to make lifestyle changes which are often geared around reducing stress. I regularly see people making these changes off their own backs, doing the research themselves having been inspired by the effectiveness of the training programme and a realistic opportunity to make a difference to their lives.
Fourth point and for now final, CrossFit doesn’t discriminate! A fun group culture with workouts and training that can be progressed or regressed easily is at the heart of it but going back to my point about using the right stuff, CrossFit uses the best there is out there the fitness industry has to offer because it works and should be made available for all to use! Olympic lifting, Gymnastics, Kettle Bell training, Strength and Conditioning (the stuff that works) can, on it’s own be very difficult to find or in some places might be reserved for elite athletes only which is unfair! This training can also be found in environments which are often unwelcoming or intimidating to be in, particularly if you are beginning a training programme for the first time. I have found CrossFit gyms to be fun environments to be in and it’s always so nice to see a total mix of individuals including first time exercisers squatting, deadlifting, pulling, pushing so on and so forth.