So you may not want to hear this…
But 5 years ago, I was one of many who had fallen victim to the misconceptions about CrossFit and deemed the sport as unsafe and even dangerous. I would put this up there as the 3rd Classic Blunder that Vezzini referenced in “The Princess Bride”, just behind never going in against a Sicilian when death is on the line.
Fast forward and I cannot imagine my life without the sport, but more importantly the people that go along with it. It is something that has been proven to be successful for everyday people at any fitness level. CrossFit now has more that 13,000 gyms worldwide and at that size, it obviously garners a fair bit of media attention. Yet as we all know, with any media attention, there tends to be a lot of misinformation that gets thrown out there. We’re not saying it’s ALLcfake news, but there’s a lot of fake news.
So get comfortable as we talk about the 3 biggest misconceptions and fears we hear about CrossFit.
1.”Everyone is always injured.”
Everyone I have met and spoken to about CrossFit either has a “friend” or a “friend of a friend” or has “read in a study somewhere” that there are off-the-charts levels of injuries in CrossFit. Well, I only kind of hate to burst your bubble when I tell you that injuries can happen anywhere. I have friends that have gotten pretty severe injuries playing recreational kickball. Another friend herniated a disc putting 10 lb dumbbells away at a normal gym. I tore a ligament in my ankle running and suffered with a ridiculous amount of stress fractures through ballet.
Roux, and other quality CrossFit gyms are controlled environments. Classes are supervised and coached by certified instructors. As coaches, it is our job to provide knowledge to our members, scaling options when needed, and to occasionally help you check your ego at the door. In doing this we can help you get healthy and, dare I say, fit to help actually decrease the risk of injury inside and outside of the gym.
As a coach, I feel the most proud and excited when members tell me how the classes here have improved their quality of life where I can’t see it. Saying things like, “I managed to get into my brother’s boat without assistance, I was able to pull myself up on my own.” Or “I haven’t touched my toes since high school and my golf game has improved!”
Sure, as your coach, I am endlessly proud of you for PR-ing your Fran time or back squatting 315. But what makes me all warm and gooey in the middle is when you tell me how much better your LIFE is because your health it better.
2.“You have to be ‘in shape’ to do CrossFit.”
First of all, I went searching on the interwebs and there is no actual definition in Merriam-Webster for “in shape”. So unless you can tell me exactly what that phrase means in terms of age, body type, muscles mass, fat percentage, and physical capabilities, it does not compute.
Secondly, CrossFit is accessible for anybody, at any age, at any fitness level, with any impairment (be in temporary or chronic). There is an entire certification dedicated to helping athletes with impairments.
If you go back and look at the very first CrossFit Games back in 2007, they happened on a ranch. There were no sponsors or TV coverage. Athletes looked… average. It was just some friends pushing each other and putting their fitness to the test. As the sport has evolved, so have the athletes. And that’s how it should happen, but I am here to burst your bubble once again. You know how only a fraction of a percent of high school football players make it into the NFL (or something like that)? It is much the same with CrossFit. Our gym is really just full of “weekend warriors”. Moms trying to set good examples for their kids, people that got tired of going nowhere slow on an elyptical, and mostly people that are just way more motivated to work out if it’s with friends in a group setting.
Currently, our oldest member is 82. Do you think Old Man Bob is what you think of when you picture a “CrossFit athlete”? Probably not. But Old Man Bob kicks ass. He comes in and does what he can, for as long as he can, and we help him get in the best workout we possibly can. If you saw Bob, he would probably rock your world and your definition of “in shape”.
3.”Women who do CrossFit get bulky.”
First of all, if you have been a follower of the Roux blog, you know I have already written about this HERE and have some very strong opinions.
Remember how I mentioned that CrossFit gained steam and media attention? This has led to the Games being shown on ESPN, documentaries on Netflix, and major sponsorships from companies like Reebok. Add in the fact that women are a larger demographic in CrossFit than men and now these companies are marketing specifically to women.
So who does Reebok use in their marketing? They use the women who compete in the Games. And suddenly that is what the masses believe all women who do CrossFit look like. I, personally, don’t think there is a problem with this, but in a society where we have been raised to think that skinny is better, it can be a mind-bender. Even with changes in marketing to thinks like, “strong is the new sexy”, the women used in the photos generally resemble Victoria’s Secret models more often than female CrossFit athletes.
What it boils down to is diet and intentionality. While due to varying body types, it can be easier for certain women to put on muscle mass than others, to truly look like a competitive CrossFit athlete, you have to eat, train, and recover to support those goals. And believe me, that is incredibly hard to do. Muscle is necessary to help our bodies function and healthy body fat levels help regulate hormones. Honestly, the focus of CrossFit isn’t how someone looks, it is functionality and health. And once you start to focus on your health and what your body is capable of, you stop caring so much about how it looks. Which is ironic, because that will most likely lead to you being in the best shape of your life.
Did I change your mind? I’d be happy to even change the way you think about things a little. Whether you are just starting your fitness journey or a seasoned pro looking for something new, we’d love to meet you! And guess what? Your first class is on us. Click HERE to schedule your FREE Jumpstart Class and let us show you what makes Roux Fitness different!