Five Initial Thoughts on the Experiences of CrossFit from a Non-CrossFitter
By: Evan The Intern
“Hey Bro, what’s the WOD today bro?”
“I’m ready to PR today. PR every day. PRs are life Bro.”
“Have I told you how much I love the Paleo diet? Well, I’m going to tell you anyways and you’re going to like it. Paleo is the ONLY diet that works.”
Hi, my name is Evan. Most know me as a gentleman and a scholar. Some know me as a World traveler. Others know me as beer, cheese, and beer cheese connoisseur. What they don’t know me as, however, is a CrossFitter. So when I began working at CrossFit Jeffersontown as an intern in late May, these were some of the phrases I was expecting to hear on a daily basis. So far, so good, thankfully. 😉
A little background: I lettered in two sports in high school and trained at multiple sports performance facilities throughout my athletic career. Knowing this, I felt like I’d have a good handle on what CrossFit would be like and what the programming would entail. I have been surprised (to say the least).
Furthermore, I’m currently a student at University as an Exercise Science major, and let me tell you folks: CrossFit is getting a really bad rap. The techniques, the “WODs”, the supposed CrossFit coaching certification that pretty much anyone can earn; CrossFit is going through the gauntlet, but it’s surviving.
Now, some of you might say, “ETI, if you hear all of these terrible things that have been ingrained in your brain throughout your entire college career, why would you work for a CrossFit program?”
This is a fair question, and one that has a very simple answer: I needed to see for myself what it was all about. How can I believe what people are or aren’t saying if I’ve never seen it firsthand? After all that’s what an internship is for: personal experience.
But enough beating around the bush, let’s delve into it. Five things I’ve learned from my experiences with CrossFit as a Non-CrossFitter. Hold onto your butts! (Please forgive my Jurassic Park references, it’s like a tick, I can’t help it)
- Coaching: It will make or break you
The biggest observation I could share with you is that who you have as a coach will make your experience one that you can’t get enough of, or one that could potentially have you break your back. With so many complex movements, if you don’t learn solid technique before you begin moving up in weight, it could be dangerous. I’ve been lucky to have solid coaching during my internship. Some coaches know what they’re doing, and some are just about the “CrossFit lifestyle”. Knowing the difference is vital for your time, money, and health.
- The Basic Effort and Determination rules still apply
When it comes to any sort of fitness program, you have to go above and beyond what you’re used to when it comes to your training, nutrition, and overall lifestyle. The same can be said about CrossFit. CrossFit will give back to you what you put into it. I’ve worked very hard and already lost 11 pounds in a month and gained a girlfriend from my new lifestyle and way of thinking. Who’s to say you can’t do the same? Instead of spending so much time wondering if you could, spend more time wondering if you should just try it. (Had to give you another JP reference, gosh those movies are awesome.)
- Y’all got any more of those WODs?
Now I’m gonna get slightly negative for a second, but just bear with me so that I can explain. One thing I’m not too keen on is where the programming comes from. From what I understand, the website Invictus sends out one WOD every day, and then the rest of the CrossFit Universe is supposed to follow it. Now, that may be all well and good if you have a body built for battling an Indominus Rex in Jurassic World like Chris Pratt does, but those people are in the minority. This is where coaching comes into play. Scaling workouts with different exercises and rep ranges for different levels of fitness is vital for the experience of all participants. If that doesn’t happen, people will be turned away. CrossFit Jeffersontown has done an excellent job of scaling workouts for myself as well as other participants. I may not have the body of a Chris Pratt yet, but I’m well on my way. Hollywood to follow? I’ll get back to you on that one.
- The Family Aspect cannot be overlooked
This is probably my favorite part of CrossFit and, in my opinion, is what has made it so appealing to those looking to join a group fitness class. From day one, I was welcomed with open arms by fellow participants, some of whom are a few years my senior when it comes to completing CrossFit classes. That cannot be matched in a regular gym setting. The camaraderie of the group is just astounding. If you struggle one day, they’re there to pick you up. If you hit a personal record on a lift or improve your time of completion for a particular WOD, they cheer the loudest. Perfect strangers that support you from the get go? Count me in.
- CrossFit is Here to Stay
Yeah, I said it. After observing and participating in these classes, CrossFit isn’t going anywhere. There’s just something to be said about group fitness classes that push the limits of what people think they can accomplish. CrossFit does that better than anything I’ve ever seen. In my own personal opinion, as long as people are getting the results they want and are happy with it, who’s to say that CrossFit is a bad thing? It’s just another way we’re all trying to reach the same goal: HEALTH.
Just remember, sometimes it’s the people that no one imagines anything of, that do the things that no one can imagine. If you’re looking to take that first step, is CrossFit for you? It certainly could be. Come in and find out for yourself!
Well that’s about all the time I have, gotta get back to completing my hours and eyeing out potential job prospects. (If you know of anyone hiring, tell them I’m the greatest employee that they haven’t had yet. They go for that, right?)
Until next time, this is Evan the Intern, signing off.
Evan & Kelly at the 2015 FitFEST. We’ll miss you!!!