CrossFit Gyms – Do You Need One?
CrossFit is a worldwide phenomenon with impressive statistics: 12,000+ locations serving hundreds of thousands of followers, and generating $4 billion in annual revenue — according to Forbes magazine.
With that kind of track record, you might wonder why anyone would bother using any other approach to personal fitness. So why don’t people like myself throw in the towel and join the CrossFit movement, and why haven’t all my clients switched to CrossFit gyms?
Those are great question, and here are just a few answers.
1. CrossFit is a fitness fad which will eventually lose its luster
The personal fitness sector has seen wave upon wave of the “next big thing” come and go over the past 100 years. The modern fitness industry was born sometime between the first and second world wars, partly in response to the generally poor physical fitness of American men drafted for service in World War I. In 1936, Jack LaLanne opened one of the first commercial fitness gyms in the United States, and eventually became a fitness icon with an empire including 200 health clubs, a line of exercise equipment, books, and even a weekly TV show that ran on ABC for 34 years.
Since Jack showed the way, the personal fitness industry has seen a succession of gurus and prophets peddling miracle equipment, diets, supplements, and workouts which pledge improved health and fitness.
While many of these experts preached some sound fundamentals that actually worked, much of what they offered fell by the wayside as people grew disillusioned with their over-inflated promises and profit-motivated commercial hype.
CrossFit shares a lot in common with the fitness fads of yesteryear, although its bubble has expanded to proportions never seen before. But a contraction of that bubble – if not an outright burst – is inevitable.
3. CrossFit isn’t right for everyone
Although many people equate CrossFit with personal training, they are two very different schools of thought. CrossFit gyms revolve around a high-intensity “workout of the day” – or WOD in CrossFit-speak – with participants often competing with each other to see who can complete the most reps or lift the most weight during the workout.
In contrast, personal training revolves around your individual health and fitness goals, and the only benchmark is your progress and good health. Whatever your goals – training for a specific sport, recovering from an injury, getting back into shape after a long period off, trying to lose weight in a healthy manner – a personal trainer can work with you to develop an appropriate fitness plan that will help you accomplish those goals.
Although CrossFit does offer a program to introduce new participants to its system, it is for the most part, a one-size-fits-all approach to fitness. Instead of adapting a fitness program to your needs, CrossFit expects you to adapt to it. For this reason, it’s not an optimal program for everyone, or arguably, even the average person.
3. CrossFit style exercises can be done in most any gym
CrossFit is mainly based on traditional compound muscle exercises, many of which use common gym equipment like barbells, dumbbells, medicine balls, treadmills, and the like. Exercises such as squats, shoulder presses, deadlifts, push-ups, pull-ups, burpees, and planks are familiar to most anyone who has ever been in a gym, and can be performed in the most basic of facilities.
So if you have a desire to incorporate the compound muscle movements associated with CrossFit into your workout, you can do it without joining one of the many local CrossFit gyms – or a “box” as CrossFitters call it. There’s no need to jump head-first into the frenetic group exercise environment, add arcane CrossFit terminology like AFAP, AMRAM, MetCon, and EMOM to your vocabulary, or meet “Pukie,” the unofficial CrossFit mascot. You can even get a free workout of the day at the CrossFit web site, and watch hundreds of videos on YouTube and elsewhere demonstrating CrossFit exercises.
Are you interested in a high-intensity workout, but looking for an alternative to CrossFit gyms? Contact personal trainer Shain Rossi at Elite Triangle Fitness for a free consultation today.