This guide will tell you everything you ever wanted to know about CrossFit but were too scared to ask (including, "Is CrossFit good for losing weight?").
If you've ever wondered why people walk around parking lots with sandbags, you've come to the right place.
Many of the trainers in our The online coaching program consisted of CrossFit trainers or gym owners. That's why we do this best: Help people start weight training with confidence and without injury.
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CrossFit can be AMAZING … for the right person with the right CF coach.
Fortunately, this guide will help you figure out those two things!
In this beginner's guide to CrossFit, we're going to cover:
Let's get in right away!
What is CrossFit?
CrossFit is advertised as a "sport of fitness".
CrossFit is a training philosophy that trains people of all shapes and sizes with ever-changing, high-intensity functional movements to improve their physical well-being and cardiovascular fitness in a harsh but accepting and encouraging environment.
Here is the definition of CrossFit from the official website:
CrossFit is the premier strength and conditioning program for many police academies and tactical surgery teams, military special forces, martial arts artists and hundreds of other elite and professional athletes worldwide.
Our program offers fitness that is broad, general, and inclusive by nature. Our specialty is not specialized.
Fight, survival, many sports, and life reward this type of fitness and, on average, punish the specialist.
CrossFit claims that a person is as fit as they can master the ten general physical skills: cardiovascular / respiratory endurance, endurance, strength, flexibility, strength, speed, agility, balance, coordination, and accuracy.
Or talk to the nerd – CrossFit is a training program that builds strength and stamina through extremely varied and challenging workouts.
Each day the training will test a different part of your functional strength or condition, without specializing in any particular thing, but with the goal of building a body that is capable of practically anything and everyone.
CrossFit is very different from a commercial gym … and not just because you won't find ellipticals, weight machines, or Zumba.
Not that there is anything wrong with any of these things. We work with our coaching clients to find the exercise style that best suits them.
If you want to combine strength training with other fun exercises …
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Can beginners do Crossfit? (8 things to consider)
According to the CrossFit site:
This program “Is designed for universal scalability and therefore the perfect application for every committed person, regardless of their experience.
We used the same routines for the elderly with heart disease and cage fighters a month before TV fights. We scale load and intensity; We don't change programs. "
This means that every day everyone who comes to CrossFit is required to have a specific workout (you will often see this as "Rx'd").
Instead of having one workout for older women and another for hardcore athletes, there is ONE workout every day that is fully scalable based on your skills.
For example, if your workout calls for barbell squats at 135 pounds, but you can only do barbell squats (45 pounds), start here.
If you are injured and unable to squat at all, a similar movement is substituted. If the number of reps is too high for your current skill, it will be decreased.
As you get stronger and more experienced, work on doing the exercise as directed.
While CrossFit is for everyone, it certainly isn't for everyone. In this blogger's humble opinion, CrossFit is perfect for some types of people:
# 1) Beginner in weight training – – If you've NEVER trained weight (or only trained on machines) before, CrossFit is a great place to start (assuming you have a great trainer that I'll cover shortly).
You will learn how to do all the major exercises in a super supportive and non judgmental environment. You may even find that … CFSP … you love weight training!
# 2) People who are looking for support and community – For me, this is the appeal of CrossFit: Every CrossFit gym has a really close-knit community spirit.
They are not just a member payment to them. You are a person in need of support.
When nerd gyms show up (don't think it won't happen!), I'll be inspired by CF in how members support and engage each other.
# 3) fitness fanatic – You know the people who like to exercise every day and feel like something is missing when they don't?
The way CrossFit is structured, you work with regular consistency.
The general protocol is 3 days on, 1 day off, but many CrossFitters end up in the gym more often. It is addictive.
# 4) masochists – I mean that in the nicest way possible. CrossFit often rewards people for completing a workout in no time.
This means that a lot of times you will find yourself in situations where you will put 100% of your effort into finishing a workout, exhausting yourself, and forcing yourself to fight through.
# 5) Former athletes – CrossFit has built-in teamwork, camaraderie, and competition.
Almost all workouts have a time component where you either have to complete a certain number of repetitions of exercises in a certain amount of time or the time is fixed and you need to see how many repetitions you can do of an exercise.
You can compete against people in your class and see online how you fared against the world's best CrossFit athletes. There is even an international competition for those who really get involved.
There are some people who I don't think CrossFit would be as beneficial for, but that doesn't mean they won't enjoy it:
# 1) specialists – CrossFit prides itself on not specializing, which means anyone who wants to specialize (like a powerlifter) will not get the best results following the standard CrossFit training plan.
If you want to be good at a particular activity, that's where your focus should be.
# 2) Sport-specific athletes – Like the specialists, it is better for athletes who train for a sport to find a trainer who is trained to excel from athletes in their specific sport.
Each sport has specific movements that require certain types of strength in certain muscles.
CrossFit prepares you for anything, but only improves your specific sport skills if you train for those specific sport skills! Many athletes combine CrossFit with sport-specific workouts (see e.g. CrossFit Football) in their off-season to condition themselves. However, this is up to the coach of each sport.
# 3) Solo Trainer – Some people, including myself, love to train alone: my training is my meditative time every day. CrossFit is a group training, which means that you do not have the opportunity to do your own tasks.
If you are someone who likes the CrossFit IDEA, But you like to train alone and you still want expert guidance and accountability …
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How dangerous is CrossFit?
In short, yes, CrossFit can be dangerous.
But that can be said of literally any sport or exercise.
Or drive a car.
Or with a Q-Tip.
In the wrong situations, with the wrong coaches, and for a person with the wrong mindset, CrossFit can be dangerous:
1) During a CrossFit workout, you will often be asked to do a series of strength or endurance exercises as quickly as possible, or as many repetitions as possible in a given amount of time.
Because of this, it's REALLY easy to sacrifice form to get out of your workout faster. If someone doesn't detect you or ask you to keep your form correct, you are in trouble.
When it comes to strength training, improper form (especially at high speeds with heavy weights) is the FASTEST way to get seriously injured.
When a CrossFit gym is run by inexperienced and unproven coaches – which definitely happens – these things happen and they happen a lot.
2) CrossFit attracts a certain type of person – namely, people who exert themselves so hard that they actually cause bodily harm. Ask a CrossFitter if they met "Pukey the Clown" and they will likely tell you yes.
Because of the nature of the competition, the motivating atmosphere, and people's desire to perform well, many people in CrossFit often push themselves beyond their personal limits (which can be good) … but often they push themselves too far.
I totally understand.
My first CrossFit experience three years ago almost puked myself because I wanted to finish with a good time.
Last year I did another CrossFit workout that I hadn't properly prepared for and pulled out 100 pull-ups quickly … and I ran around with T-Rex arms for a WEEK because I couldn't physically stretch them.
3) In some extreme cases, with a VERY small portion of CrossFitters (or similar types of exercise programs), an incredibly serious condition called rhabdomyolysis can occur.
When people push too hard, too much, too quickly, their muscle fibers break down and are released into the bloodstream, poisoning the kidneys.
At CrossFit, some trainers refer to this as "Uncle Rahbdo," although it's not funny or entertaining.
Here you can read all about the condition and the problems it can cause. This usually occurs with ex-athletes who haven't exercised in a while and come back to prove something and end up working at a higher intensity than their body can handle.
So, as with any activity, You can have people who like to push themselves too far, too hard, too fast, and too often.
Unfortunately, the nature of CrossFit (where this behavior can be encouraged and supported by the wrong trainer) can put you in serious danger if you don't know when to stop or have a trainer to tell you when to stop.
Personally, I find that these issues are more likely to occur with individuals than with the CrossFit system as a whole, but it is the nature of CrossFit that attracts these people and encourages them to behave dangerously.
If you like the idea of strength training but are a little worried about getting started with CrossFit, I hear you.
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What does a CrossFit class look like?
Let's say you want to take a CrossFit class but don't know what you're getting into!
You can try a class for free at virtually every CrossFit gym around the world. Therefore, contact your local gym to find out what dates and what time newbies train.
This is how CrossFit classes are usually structured:
- Introductory course – For people who have never tried CrossFit. Usually there is a quick overview and then a basic workout for body weight movements. Then they will talk to you about joining. These are usually free.
- On ramp / elements – If you want to take part in regular CrossFit training, you will most likely need to complete the On Ramp / Elements course. The purpose of these is to teach you the nine basic movements of CrossFit and everything about proper form. No matter how experienced you are, these are valuable and well worth the time and money. Even if you think your squats, deadlifts, and / or overhead presses are in perfect shape:
It's amazing what can be fixed when you have a trained pair of eyes watching you do this.
- Regular lessons: This is what you are probably used to seeing or hearing. A regular CrossFit course lasts between 45 minutes and an hour. Everyone starts at the same time, there are instructors running around to help and keep track, and everyone is mutually supportive and probably swears a lot.
Most CrossFit gyms split their classes into three or four sections:
- Dynamic warm up – Not jogging for 5 minutes on a treadmill, but jumps, jumping jacks, skipping ropes, squats, pushups, lunges, pull-ups. Functional movements, stretches and mobility work complement the movements that you will perform during training that day.
- Skill / strength work – If it's a strength day, work on a pure strength movement (like a squat or deadlift). If it's not a strength day, work on a skill and try to improve, e.g. B. Single Leg Squats or Muscle Ups:
- WOD – the workout of the day. Here you will be asked to do a certain number of repetitions of certain exercises as quickly as possible, or you will have a set time limit to do as many certain exercises as possible.
- Cooldown and Stretch – Either as a group or you can stretch out alone. This would also be the time for people who were using too much pressure to throw up in a trash can and stretch their abs.
How to Find a CrossFit Gym
So let's say you want to try a CrossFit class or maybe go to a CrossFit gym.
If you happen to live in a city, there are likely more than a dozen CrossFit boxes near you.
Why not think a little more than choosing the one that's closest to you? It's not like picking a commercial gym – the community and the trainer are so darn important.
First and foremost, you need a gym with competent, experienced trainers.
You should be able to see who the trainers are and how long they have been teaching, including their certifications, on this CrossFit gym's website – not the main CF page -.
Here's a quick rundown of what you can see from coaches:
- CrossFit Level 1 – an ANSI accredited certification. This means that the person attended a weekend course and passed the exam. You learned the basic moves, how to scale each move, but not really much more. There are no details on how to deal with injuries, anatomy, etc.
- CrossFit Level 2 – – This is the next level of level 1 and involves far more thorough training in coaching.
- Certified CrossFit Level 3 Trainer – This applies to trainers who have passed both Level 1 and 2 certification courses as well as a CrossFit-specific exam.
- Certified CrossFit Level 4 Coach – Given after an assessment / assessment of the skills of a trainer and the highest level of certification available.
- Special seminars – These are one to two day courses on specific topics such as gymnastics, Olympic lifting, and running.
- Other non-CrossFit certifications from personal training organizations, powerlifting programs, kettlebell programs, etc.
CrossFit is big money these days which is why so many gyms are open across the country. Make sure you research who your trainers are and whether they actually have coaching experience.
The other important thing to check is the PROGRAMMING!
CrossFit programs can be really random, and an inexperienced trainer can inadvertently program back-to-back workouts that use the same muscle groups in the same way, leaving you insufficient time to recover.
Each CrossFit gym's website usually has a blog that posts the workout of the day.
Check out the gym you want to check out and see what they usually do. Obviously, if you are doing high rep cleanings for three days in a row, you are not programming well.
Or if you watch with heavy shoulder movements every day for a week, be careful!
Remember, most CrossFit gyms allow you to take a class for free. If you have some around you, give them a try before making your decision.
Go to each one and make a note of the other members:
- Do they support each other?
- Did they introduce themselves and welcome you?
- During the training, were the trainers nice and practical with their advice?
A good community can be critical to success. Hence, it is very important to choose the right gym that suits your personality and situation.
If you're not sure how to find the right gym, or need help with nutrition and form reviews while trying to figure this out …
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Can i do CrossFit at home?
Every day, CrossFit.com publishes the workout of the day (or WOD) that can be done at home, at a commercial gym, or at a CrossFit gym.
Each CrossFit gym also publishes its own WOD, which may be different from the CrossFit.com website. If you can find a local CrossFit website that you like but isn't visited full-time, it's more than okay to follow their workouts.
The best news is that the workouts are sent for free to anyone who is interested.
CrossFit gyms can be prohibitively expensive. If you love CrossFit but want to save money, you can join in at your home or office gym, provided you have the right equipment.
Often times, you will come across situations where you cannot complete a particular workout because you do not have the right equipment. Do the best you can and keep track of how you've made your changes for tracking purposes.
Now there are a few challenges as you pursue CrossFit at home or alone at the gym:
- Nobody is checking your form – CrossFit requires a lot of incredibly specific movements. If you start at home alone, you will never know if you’re getting them wrong and you can seriously injure yourself adding to the weight you work with.
- Lack of community camaraderie – A HUGE part of CrossFit is the supportive community aspect that comes with every gym. I guarantee you would finish a workout a few seconds (or minutes) faster if 50 people were shouting your name and cheering you to the finish line.
- You probably don't have all of the gear – If you work out at home, you probably don't have a full squat rack, bumper plates, kettlebells, medicine balls, etc. So you'll often be creating your own workouts which are modified versions of the online versions. Also, you may not be able to jump and toss your weights around like CrossFitters normally do ????
- You'll want to buy all of the equipment – The more you do it, the more you want to get it right. This may not cost as much as an actual box, but it will cost you.
Even with all of these negatives, you could be saving a ton of money every month if you didn't go to a gym. So I'm not blaming you – just be smart.
If you're someone who wants to work out at home or doesn't have access to a CrossFit gym you can trust, There are two things to consider:
- Make sure you get your exercises right so you don't develop bad habits.
- Personal accountability (someone to check you in and cheer you on)
We have focused on both challenges with our 1-to-1 online coaching program.
Our coaches work with clients to create training programs tailored to their situation and goals, and review their exercises with their clients via video (to make sure they are not harming themselves). P.lus, your coach will come with you, no matter where in the world you are!
Let's review your form and create a custom strength training routine for you!
What is a CrossFit workout that I can try?
One of my favorite CrossFit first time workouts is a benchmark workout called Cindy.
It's an easy body weight range (We love training courses at NF) and can be done virtually anywhere – the only equipment you need is a pull-up bar. It's a favorite for on the go and shorter versions (3 laps) are often used for warming up.
Cindy is 20 minutes AMRAP ("as many rounds as possible"):
This means putting 20 minutes on the watch and then doing as many laps as you can (AMRAP) of 5 pull-ups, 10 push-ups, and 15 squats before the time runs out. There's no scheduled break between rounds – once you've finished your 15 squats, start doing the pull-ups again.
Now let's look at each movement and how you can zoom out if needed.
5 pull-ups – You're allowed to flip these (which is a useful skill if your goal isn't pure strength). If you can't do regular pull-ups, you can do banded pull-ups, chair-assisted pull-ups, or jumping pull-ups instead.
Don't have a pull-up bar? Do rows with body weight.
10 pushups – The standard CrossFit push-up is chest to deck. However, if you can't do this, you can substitute knee pushups or wall pushups.
15 squats – This is a simple, weightless squat.
There are other variations of this workout for beginners as well. Some examples are:
|AMRAP 12 min
|AMRAP 10 min
1 pull up
Sound too easy? Go faster.
While you are getting strength benefits from this workout, the goal of this workout is to provide greater metabolic conditioning. Therefore, you don't want to make the movements more difficult here (e.g. switch to push-ups with a dive bomber).
Some of the other benchmark workouts can be found here.
And if you want a fun series of workouts to follow in the gym or at home, let us create a bespoke workout solution for you! We'll even help you eat better so you can achieve your goals:
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Frequently asked questions about CrossFit:
# 1) "Why is CrossFit so expensive?"
CrossFit has group classes. Think yoga classes – they typically cost $ 10 to $ 20 each. It's not like a regular gym with hundreds of members walking in, using the elliptical for 20 minutes and going home – there is a trainer teaching the class.
# 2) “Is CrossFit just class? If I want to work out in addition to my CrossFit classes, do I need a separate gym membership? "
Yes, most CrossFit gyms are only group classes. Some CrossFit gyms have "Open Gym" lessons – but not many are open from 5am to 11pm like your local commercial gym.
# 3) "Do I have to eat the Paleo Diet when doing CrossFit?"
Absolutely not. Paleo is the CrossFit recommended diet, and many CrossFit gyms have paleo challenges – but you don't have to (and I've never let them work on me).
# 3) “What is a kipping pull-up? Isn't that cheating? "
A kipping pull-up is a form of pull-up in which you swing your body and use the momentum and hip drive to get your body on the bar.
It's not a cheat because it isn't meant to be the same exercise as a dead hang pull-up.
Some workouts require a dead hang pull-up – and these do not involve tilting.
# 4) "Will CrossFit Make Me Lose Weight?"
When you work hard and change your diet. Diet accounts for 80% of success or failure. However, combine a healthy diet with CrossFit and I bet you will look better, get stronger, and feel better within 30 days.
However, if you eat like trash and do CrossFit, your results will vary. That is why we preach that our main focus is on your diet!
# 5) "What about workout girl names? Why do people say things like," We're doing Mary at CrossFit today! "?"
CrossFit has so-called "benchmark workouts" with female names (they also have "Hero WODs", which are named after fallen military / police / fire service personnel).
The reasoning behind CrossFit is, "… anything that leaves you flat on your back and is only able to draw you back for more at a later date undoubtedly deserves naming." (CF Journal – Issue 13, September 2003)
Here is the list of ladies and what their workouts are.
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Is CrossFit Right For Me? (Advantages and disadvantages)
The benefits of CrossFit:
- Great community aspect. Unlike a commercial gym, you get to know the people at your pits. Most gyms have trips that many people go to. There is always a feeling of teamwork and camaraderie.
- Constant coaching and support – In a commercial gym, you have no idea whether you are doing an exercise properly or not. While it's not a 1: 1 workout, with every workout you have a trainer to help you.
- If you don't show up, people not only notice but call you and ask where you have been. The only time anything happens at a commercial gym is when you miss a session with your overpaid trainer.
- Level up – Because you can track how much you lift and how many reps and sets you do, you can see constant improvement. You can also advance at your own pace and slowly work your way up to the prescribed workout.
- Humble yet encouraging – Yes, you may finish your workout lying on your back, but you feel that you have achieved something if you finish a workout faster than the last time.
- Competition – It is amazing how far you will take yourself when you are surrounded by other people cheering you on and competing with you.
- It introduces SO MANY people to weightlifting, especially women Who would have never tried to get off the treadmill and weight training. It's like gateway training – you learn what you love and can specialize further from there.
- It's a good opportunity for former athletes who like to compete. After you've done competitive sports in high school and college, suddenly there's nothing to participate in – CrossFit gives people that opportunity.
- You will find out what you are made of. CrossFit can be lousy, but it can also teach you how to overcome mental barriers, build mental toughness, and so much more.
- Es baut großartige Körper auf (sieht nackt gut aus). Während so viele Frauen sagen, dass sie diesen „straffen“ Look wollen und versuchen, ihn mit stundenlangem Cardio zu erreichen, werden diese Körper jeden Tag in CrossFit-Fitnessstudios gebaut. Im Ernst, während ihr Ziel eher Leistung als Ästhetik ist, werfen Sie einen Blick auf eine ernsthafte CrossFit-Sportlerin und sagen Sie mir, dass sie nicht unglaublich aussieht!
- Es baut gute Muskelausdauer und Allround-Fitness auf – Ihr Körper ist durch intelligente CrossFit-Programmierung auf nahezu jede sportliche Situation vorbereitet.
Die Negative von CrossFit:
- Nicht gut für die Spezialisierung – Man wird in vielen Dingen gut, aber in keiner bestimmten Sache großartig. Wenn Sie ein großartiger Powerlifter oder Athlet sein möchten, sind Sie besser geeignet, einen sportspezifischen Trainer zu finden.
- Mangel an Konsistenz – Du machst selten zweimal dasselbe Training, was es unglaublich schwierig macht, deine Fortschritte zu verfolgen. Sie könnten eine Woche lang in die Hocke gehen und enttäuscht sein, aber das liegt daran, dass Sie zwei Tage zuvor Ihre Beine mit 150 "Wandkugeln" zerstört haben.
- Seltsame Programmierung – Wie Sie später in diesem Artikel in einer anderen Kritik lesen werden, stimme ich einigen Workouts, die in einigen CrossFit-Fitnessstudios vorgeschrieben sind, nicht zu. Zum Beispiel können einige Workouts hohe Wiederholungen von Snatches erfordern; Dies sind olympische Lifte, die eine perfekte Form erfordern, um erfolgreich zu sein. 30 Wiederholungen zu machen ist ein sicherer Weg, um die Form zu opfern und das Verletzungsrisiko dramatisch zu erhöhen.
- Preis – CrossFit-Boxen können das Zwei- oder Dreifache der monatlichen Kosten eines kommerziellen Fitnessstudios betragen. Dies gilt nur für Gruppenunterricht und nicht für die Nutzung der Einrichtungen, wann immer Sie möchten.
- Ein schlechter Trainer kann WIRKLICH Probleme verursachen – Sie machen fortgeschrittene Bewegungen, für deren Erlernen Sie oft Monate brauchen, um richtig zu handeln. Bei schweren Gewichten kann dies zu schrecklichen Verletzungen führen. Stellen Sie sicher, dass Sie einen großartigen Trainer haben, der Sie in nichts stürzt!
- Fast alles ist für die Zeit oder die meisten Wiederholungen möglich, was bedeutet, dass die Form zu rutschen beginnt, um schneller fertig zu werden. Dies kann mit einem Trainer behoben werden… aber ich finde es immer noch ein Problem.
- Sie beginnen eine Sprache zu sprechen, die niemand versteht – Mit einem CrossFitter zu sprechen ist wie mit jemandem in einer Fremdsprache zu sprechen. CrossFit-Leute vergessen oft, dass niemand außerhalb von CF versteht, was die Hälfte der Dinge bedeutet, die sie sagen. Deshalb rufen sie Erfolge oder Erfolge aus und erklären, wie schnell sie bestimmte Übungen gemacht haben… aber sie merken nicht, dass es niemanden wirklich interessiert!
- Sie können süchtig werden! Dies kann entweder in Pro oder Contra erfolgen, je nachdem, wie Sie es betrachten, aber ich kenne viele Leute, die angefangen haben, zu einem CrossFit zu gehen, und jetzt ist alles, was sie tun oder darüber reden, CrossFit. Nach ein oder zwei Monaten, ob gut oder schlecht, sind Sie möglicherweise mit Ihrem CrossFit-Fitnessstudio und Ihrer Community verheiratet.
- Einige CrossFitter trinken WAYYY zu viel "Kool-Aid". Sie werden auf CrossFit-Leute treffen, die CrossFit für das A und O halten, und jeder, der CrossFit nicht macht, ist ein Trottel. Wenn Sie 20 Klimmzüge machen können, können sie 22 machen und sie schneller als Sie, nachdem Sie 25 Handstand-Liegestütze gemacht und 400 Meter gelaufen haben. Ich neige dazu, Elitisten nicht zu mögen, egal worüber sie elitär sind, und CrossFit ist keine Ausnahme.
Je nachdem, wo Sie in diese Pro vs Con-Liste passen, entscheiden Sie sich wahrscheinlich, ob CrossFit für Sie geeignet ist.
Wenn Ihnen die IDEA von CrossFit gefällt, Sie sich aber nicht sicher sind, ob sie für Sie geeignet ist, helfen wir Menschen wie Ihnen durch unser 1-zu-1-Coaching-Programm. Wir erstellen benutzerdefinierte Trainingsprogramme, bieten Video-Formularprüfungen an und bieten Ernährungsberatung, damit Sie Ihre Ziele sicher erreichen können!
Lassen Sie sich von unseren Trainern beim Krafttraining unterstützen! Erfahren Sie mehr über unser Coaching-Programm:
Weitere Kritiken und Artikel zu CrossFit
Wenn Sie CrossFit noch nicht kennen, wissen Sie möglicherweise nicht, dass es sich um ein UNGLAUBLICH polarisierendes Thema handelt.
Wenn Sie 15 Minuten Zeit haben, um zu töten, wird ein kurzer Blick auf diese Anti-Crossfit-Zeitleiste (erstellt von einer Person, die CrossFit wirklich nicht mag) erklären, warum so viele Menschen darüber sauer sind.
Wir haben einige andere Artikel aufgespürt, einige voreingenommen, andere nicht, die einen Großteil des Hintergrunds erklären und erklären, warum CrossFit so ist, wie es ist.
Ich habe diese Kritik an CrossFit von 70's Big geliebt, die ich als unglaublich fair und sehr objektiv empfand. The fact that the author starts with “Note: Read ALL of this before attacking me” goes to show you how hardcore some CrossFitters can be.
Although long, this article does a GREAT job explaining why CrossFit is the way it is, coming from a guy who has a CrossFit II certification and spent a few months following the main site workouts. This paragraph sums up the appeal of CrossFit:
CrossFit can be fun, especially if you’re a person who hasn’t done anything physically challenging since playing sports, or ever.
Athletes enjoy it because it because it provides that difficulty that their training did. Unathletic people like it because it makes them feel athletic.
People who never had good social group experiences like it because, even if they are crazy, CF communities are always positive, supportive, and good-natured.
CF brings people together and makes them compete every day in a society that shies away from competition. The challenge creates a heightened sense of self worth that develops into being an elitist..
…The forum addicts are proud of the fact that they think other populations can’t do what they can do. They revel in the fact that they got injured doing CF. They want to push so hard that they vomit.
This only reflects a certain percentage of the CF population, yet the worst part of any population will create the stereotype.
I have a few problems with CrossFit. The conditioning often doesn’t apply an optimal stress and it’s superfluous.
It doesn’t have any real element of consistent strength training…It has entirely too much frequency at high intensity and almost always results in injury.
It doesn’t follow a logical application of stress to induce adaptation…but CrossFit gets people to do something rather than nothing.
It also gets the exercising population to do something better than 45 minutes on the elliptical.
…It’s a nice gateway into other forms of training and the people are always great.
This T-Nation article also does a solid job of explaining the potential pitfalls of CrossFit and tracks down some big names to give their input:
Alwyn Cosgrove notes that this “all over the place” programming can be dangerous: “A recent CrossFit workout was 30 reps of snatches with 135 pounds.
A snatch is an explosive exercise designed to train power development.
Thirty reps is endurance. You don’t use an explosive exercise to train endurance; there are more effective and safer choices.
Another one was 30 muscle-ups. And if you can’t do muscle-ups, do 120 pull-ups and 120 dips.
It’s just random; it makes no sense.
Two days later the program was five sets of five in the push jerk with max loads. That’s not looking too healthy for the shoulder joint if you just did 120 dips 48 hours ago.”
Mike Boyle adds, “I think high-rep Olympic lifting is dangerous. Be careful with CrossFit.”
Turned off from CrossFit after reading all of that?
I hear you – it really comes down to having a GREAT CrossFit gym being the difference maker.
If you’ve had a bad experience, or you just want to know you’re going to start strength training on the right foot and you like our style here at Nerd Fitness…
Learn how our Coaching Program will change your life! No, seriously. It will.
Final Thoughts on CrossFit
Staci from Team NF, who did CrossFit for many years, wrote our Strength 101 series, and now is a competitive powerlifter (and NF Coach):
First, I’m obviously a fan of CrossFit. I do it on a regular basis and have my CrossFit Level 1 Trainer Certificate, but I didn’t start out with CrossFit and it’s not all I do – so don’t think I’m completely biased here ????
I think if you find the right box, CrossFit is an awesome choice for a lot of people.
It’s different every day, so it’s never boring, someone is writing your workouts for you so you don’t have to think about it, and it’s fun.
When I don’t show up, people notice and ask where I was.
It gets you to do things you wouldn’t do on your own. I would never go running or rowing on my own – but if it’s in the WOD, I don’t have a choice.
Also, I’ll go and do things that I would never do before (such as yoga classes, or spending a Saturday afternoon doing hill sprints) because I know it will help me get a better time on a WOD later on.
My biggest issue with CrossFit is that it has no quality control across the boxes – all you need to start an affiliate is to pass the CF-L1 course and pay a $3000 affiliate fee, and once you are affiliated there are no check-ins or anything; you just have to pay the fee every year.
I have now been to 13 CrossFit gyms in my travels and while most of them were great, the quality of a few of them scared me.
I would absolutely love to see CrossFit take some of the money they are making now that it’s becoming more mainstream and invest in a quality control system.
I personally struggle on a regular basis because I’m much more interested in heavy strength training than anything else – and I’m one of those people who really likes seeing very linear graphs and results to my training, and I do want to specialize.
I have a very hard time creating workout plans because with CrossFit, you never know what’s coming next.
I’m lucky enough to have a coach that will work with me and will also let me do my own strength training and work the WODs around that.
Funktioniert es? Well, what’s your goal? If it’s to get in better shape or to lose weight, then yes, it works. However, it’s not some cure-all magic pill – as with any other training program, you will get out of it what you put into it.
So do I think you should try it? Of course, if you want to and aren’t afraid of putting in a little work to get what you want.
And here are my thoughts. I’m just a nerd who happens to love strength training and is the goofball who wrote this article:
I understand the appeal, and I love the community aspect of it…but it’s just not for me.
I like feeling like I just had a great workout, but I don’t enjoy feeling like I want to die at the end of each workout – I know that’s how I’d feel at the end of each CrossFit workout because of my competitiveness.
The biggest reason for me why I’m not a CrossFitter? Well, other than my crazy travel schedule… I LOVE working out alone.
I know at CrossFit I’d be part of a team workout and constantly ripping myself for not being as good as the guy next to me.
From a programming standpoint, I don’t agree with some of the workouts (mostly the high-repetition Olympic lifting), but I understand that there are GREAT CF trainers that create amazing programs.
I love that it gets people started with barbell training and heavy lifting, because nothing makes me happier than watching guys doing proper squats and women doing deadlifts ????
Like with anything related to fitness, a good coach can be the difference between a great CrossFit experience and a dangerous one.
I think everybody should try it (your first trip will be free) and decide if it’s for you. If you decide it isn’t for you – that’s okay!
I’ll admit that CrossFit isn’t for me and I have no intentions of ever joining a CrossFit gym, but I don’t have any problems with others doing it if they enjoy it and they’re safe.
However, when the day comes that I open Nerd Fitness gyms (and it’ll happen), I’m going to be taking a LOT from CrossFit on how to build a great, supportive gym environment and community…something you won’t find at any commercial gym.
My final advice: If you’re interested, give it a shot. If you can afford it, and you enjoy it, keep doing it. If you don’t or can’t afford it, don’t. And don’t feel like less of a person because of it ???? I’ll still like you.
If you’re somebody that thinks similarly to Staci and I, and you’re looking for a Yoda to help you get strong without needing to join a specific gym or attend classes at certain times, check out our 1-on-1 Coaching Program!
Let us help you start strength training today! Learn how we change lives:
Any More questions about CrossFit?
Good lord that took a while.
Thanks for taking the time to get through it, as it took Staci and I a few weeks of research, hours of writing, and LOTS of back and forth conversations to put this post together.
I’ll throw one final mention in there for our Nerd Fitness Coaching Program, where we pair NF Coaches with busy people like you:
- We create your workout programs and adjust the intensity based on your progress.
- We provide video form checks to make sure you’re doing each movement correctly.
- We help you get your nutrition in order to line up with your goals.
Let us help you get strong the RIGHT way! Learn more:
If you have read this far, I commend you.
You just read 6,500 words about CrossFit which means you’re probably serious about taking your physical fitness into your own hands.
Now, you just need to act.
Let’s go! Go do a workout RIGHT NOW, CrossFit gym or no CrossFit gym.
If you don’t know where to start, start here. You can do it right in your living room.
Special thanks to CrossFit Newton and Mandy Baker Photography for letting us use their photos.
Gif Source: Kipping Pull-up