This blog post was originally posted by Trident athlete Ericka Andersen on MizFitOnline.com as a guest post.
Most of the time, when I tell people I do CrossFit (that’s kind of a lot with me!), people respond with curiosity, surprise and actually — a level of respect I never expected.
I’m automatically labeled “hardcore” in some way or another. Oh, you’re one of those people? You like to climb up walls and flip tires and hit sledgehammers for no reason — stuff like that.
They’ve heard it’s hard. Painful. Sweaty. I always say, “You should do it!” and get crazy eyes back with a general response of “Um, no thanks, I’ll leave that to you.”
But I’m here to tell you, convince you, that you do not have to be some kind of Army ninja to do CrossFit — to enjoy CrossFit, to fall in love with it.
For some reason, CrossFit has become a very polarizing subject on the Internets of fitness. Please disregard the madness and take it from someone who loves two sports equally (running!) — CrossFit isn’t a cult, it’s just a fun place to go get your fitness on. More fun than any place I’ve ever gone to do so.
Oh and me? Hardcore. Not so much. You know I still can’t do a strict pull up right? It’s been a year and a half. You are NOT expected to be a strongman when you walk into that gym — or when you walk about 2 years. Your supposed to go in, do your best, push yourself and come out feeling stronger, better, inspired.
6 Reasons CrossFit Works for Regular People
1. 45-minute classes. You aren’t running 10 miles here, it’s a 45 minute class, including a warm-up and stretching time afterward. Your main workout will be 8-25 minutes depending on the day. You DO got time for that. And you can push yourself hard for a short period of time, feel awesome and not spend “hours at the gym.”
2. Scale Your Weight. If you’ve ever been to a spin class, you know you can “cheat” on how much pressure you are putting on the bike. Same here. No one cares if you don’t use the recommended weight during your workout. You do you. Your hard is your hard, their hard is theirs. Beginners should start easy to get used to the movements anyway. Just scale down and go. You don’t have to kill yourself.
3. Movie Music. You know when you are watching an inspiring movie scene and the perfect song comes up as they are running, boxing, jumping or whatever? Being at CrossFit makes you feel like you are IN that movie. The music is super loud, you are super sweaty, you are in the moment, you are feeling on top of the world. Who doesn’t love that feeling?
4. Help is on the way. CrossFit classes have multiple coaches there to help you get your form right. And dont’ worry about that, it has taken be a full 16 months to understand how to do a correct deadlift, you are not alone! The coaches want to help you and all you gotta do is ask. That’s what they are there for.
5. This is NOT boot camp. If you really don’t want to do something, you don’t have to do it. If you are afraid of rope climbs, you can do a scaled down exercise. If you are aren’t ready for a box jump, you can step up. No one forces you do to anything and it’s totally not disrespected if you do your own thing.
6. Everyone does not look like Rocky. The majority of people in your CrossFit class are going to be average joes. I’ve got everyone from toothpick like girls without an ounce of muscle to extremely overweight guys that literally cannot even jog because they are so heavy. I’ve got plenty of people in their 40s and 50s as well as lots in their 20s and 30s. I’ve even met an 80-year-old CrossFitter! There is NO body type requirement and no need to feel self-conscious. Yes, there are some super buff people there but like I said, not the majority. I see these places as way less judgmental than the gym. People see you as a person and they respect you for trying something like CrossFit.
I’m constantly hearing that people need motivation for working out. This has been the ultimate motivation for me for the past 16 months.
Rarely do I ever say, “I don’t want to go!” CrossFit has given me a new love for fitness. As someone who never really strength trained in my life, I can honestly say this was the answer.