Crossfit, why I love it. And why you should too.
so I want to take it back for you. I'm 10 years old, not lean, not strong, not fast, not fit. There's 3 types of kids in my class, the ones that can run, play netball well, cross country. The ones that can swim, nippers and surfing on the weekends. Then there's the ones that do both. I however, could successfully swim at a competitive level, and shoot a few hoops. I was in between. I never came first, I never came dead last. But think, 4th/5th place. I was that kid. Anyway, put me in a high school where self esteem was thrown in a deep dark hole, add in binge eating, body image and and a note signed by my mum each Friday to get me out of PE for whatever excuse I came up with and is started my path to to physical self destruction.
Note: my mother did not sign my note, I forged it. My teacher was also sick of arguing with me so I think he just ran with it.
By 15 I was the heaviest I had and would ever be.
I wore a jumper on the hottest days to cover my body.
Every morning I started my new diet only to fail by recess.
Fast forward now to early 20's introducing my body to weight training and cardio. It was the first time I felt successful, I was losing weight. But I was far from a picture of health. Drinking, smoking, and whatever else. Fat burners, pre workouts, chicken and salad on a Monday, 16 litres of ice-cream by Thursday, laxatives Friday, and straight back to good time on Friday night of endless drinks and cigarettes. What a time to be alive (joking)
Then, I stopped smoking.
Cut the crap.
Cut the weekend antics.
Cut the Monday clean and Thursday binge eating.
Cleaned my habits up.
I introduced weights with high reps. (1000 rep sessions were my personal favourite.) I suddenly had the lung capacity to push through high intensity training, which also became my favourite. Doing the most outrageous, hard workouts became the daily high, or daily dose of therapy. It was my time to switch off, and just do.
And I finally found my sport.
I was in training an environment where putting others down was apart of the pt sessions. Pretty fucked up when I look back on my own choice of conversations (but hey, growth baby)
But apart of the bitchy chats, 'Crossfit is crap' was a common conversation. I believed it was, cult based, would make you bulky, a judgemental gym environment, and filled with egotistical coaches.
Ive trained in gyms since I was 14. Every commercial gym in my town. Ive done f45, female only bootcamps, online classes, coached by the best personal trainers my town has to offer.
I joined my first CF gym in 2019, and it was the best decision I have ever made for my health, both physically and emotionally.
I was initially very anxious and had a big idea of the social constructs behind what a Crossfit gym was. Every man and their dog didn't wear a shirt. Butterfly pull-ups looked easier, 10 minute WOD's wouldn't be enough high intensity for me and I wouldn't join the 'cult'
And how wrong I was about every single one of these unexperienced idea's I walked in with.
Couple of quick facts.
CrossFit is a lifestyle characterized by safe, effective exercise and sound nutrition. CrossFit can be used to accomplish any goal, from improved health to weight loss to better performance. The program works for everyone — people who are just starting out and people who have trained for years.
The magic is in the movement. CrossFit workouts are different every day and can be modified to help each athlete achieve their goals. The workouts may be adapted for people at any age and level of fitness.
Its not a diet. It's not a fad. Its not a 8 week challenge. Or the most bodyfat lost wins a prize. It doesn't encourage restrictive eating, fish and broccoli, water loading, post comp blow out.
It promotes health -- long term. It promotes strength, mobility and joy in movement.
You can start with your body weight as your desired weight to lift, and progress to your body weight being loaded on a bar and over your head.
You can go from doing 1 pull-up to 100 of them.
You pay a membership price, and you can usually select unlimited, so you can train 6 days a week, coached by quality personal trainers, and in an environment where you are supported, and encouraged. None of this "$50 for 2 sessions but they are only on Mondays and if you don't make the class you can't be at this gym"rubbish.
Someone commented in response to my stories that Crossfit gyms are overpriced for what you get.
The average is about $60 a week. $10 a class if you attend 6 sessions is sweet fuck all in the scheme of your health. Think about it. If you attend 3x thats still only $20 a session. Takeaway for my husband and I alone is over $60 for one dinner.
You choose what's important.
If you don't go for a week. You've spent $60 on your health because you choose not to show up for yourself. **Not including if your sick, if your sick okay yes $60 is an annoying cost for not attending BUT LONG TERM HEALTH... Lets think back to that.
The programming is progressive loads. Its not "Hello we just met but can you pop that bar on your shoulders and press it, I know you haven't done this movement before but its only a 15 kilo bar its easy" In this moment you would be given a piece of pipe. And taught the technique over and over and over again until your coach is confident you can attempt the bar, and if EITHER of you aren't confident there's dumbbells, all sizes, and if thats not giving you the confidence, then you literally continue the workout, using a piece of pipe, until you have got it right.
Nothing worth having comes easy.
Learning something new is really hard, and unlearning a technique you've been incorrectly coached to perform, is also hard.
You will get stronger every single time you show up.
The rest of the PRO's
I'm not one that has ever needed accountability to show up for myself with training. Accountability isn't there to make you anxious its there to keep you motivated.
Crossfit gyms have an app, where you book your class (like most gyms now) I love that I can book my classes for the week and if I don't show up, someone will usually check in if it becomes something reoccurring. You won't get in trouble, but its noticed, and I love that coaches can check in on their members, makes you know you are apart of the community.
Speaking of community....
This idea that Crossfit is a cult like group of people with the goal to pursued you into joining their cult of WODS and big lifts.
Totally incorrect. The term cult was thrown around by so many different health practitioners Ive connected with over the years. Definitely a deterrent for me... and I imagine sooo many others. But here's the tea 👇🏼
Its not a fucking cult. Its a community of likeminded people. Wanting a environment thats inclusive, an environement where both strength and high intensity are programmed for results and enjoyment. Where eating pizza and burgers isn't debating calories and macro nutritients. Where your protein shakes are for the AM and your red wine's are for the PM. Its where you can walk in, have ZERO experience in lifting a barbell, and not only will at LEAST one person introduce themselves, but you will be made to feel welcomed by your coach. You will be walked through your program. You won't leave feeling like shit. I would put my last $ on it.
Is it intimidating walking into a room full of people who know what they are doing? Sure, its no different to walking into a business meeting or your boyfriends family Christmas lunch with 14 cousins. Choose your hard 🤷🏻♀️
Funnily enough.. not all personal trainers are cut out for the job. The ones on their phones all session. The ones calling themselves entrepreneurs because they bought a space to hold their clients (its called being a business owner but your bio doesn't reaaaaallly need to say this just FYI) and some are just egotistical fucking arseholes who are bullies, enjoy being in control and putting others in a box that makes them feel like big boys or girls and everyone of their clients praise them for being so clever teaching them how they should feel about themselves.
Red Flag * If you are being trained by someone that makes you feel anxious, or less than enough. They are a fuckwit. Not you. And you should train somewhere else. There ARE other gyms.
In my experience, Crossfit trainers are in the position they are because they genuinely LOVE the sport. They love learning about the human body, they love educating you about what they know, they practise what they preach and will often be right alongside you in a class. They will call out your name to keep going from the other side of the room if you are new, and don't have any mates to train with. They will partner you up with someone so you don't look lonely in the partner sessions. They will spend extra time with you while you warm into your new training environment. They will remember your kids names, or that place you were going away because when they asked you a question a week ago they genuinely gave a fuck what your response was.
- Because they are good people, and high quality coaches.
I want to acknowledge that I have had several 'personal trainers' coach me over the last 7 years. But, I found gold in a few of these....
..My first, was a Crossfit Coach as her 'trade' I guess you could call it. But she was working in a commercial gym at the time, she pushed me to my limit, taught me new tricks, we had alot of fun. I adore her, and have always valued her for introducing me to this sport. ..Someone I still call a very good mate of mine is a local gym owner in Newcastle. He is the most intellectual human being I have ever ever. He is kind. And genuine. And provides the most challenging and next level conditioning training I have ever put myself through. I may as well have qualified for the army. I mean it when I tell you it is that hard.
..The third is now one of my closest friends. She was patient, loving and kind through my post partum fitness journey. When I was at my lowest, she supported me so much I had the inner knowing I could do this work, rebuild my strength, and be the version of myself I know I desired to be. I hear her voice in my head still when I am struggling with my workouts.
I love that these three personal trainers were all apart of different versions of me, but have played such an influential role in my health journey.
I joined my current Crossfit gym on a random Tuesday afternoon for no particular reason then I thought I needed a challenge and a change. I needed the accountability of warming up, and progressively building strength. I needed someone to guide me, and tell me to finish the last set when I couldn't be bothered. I needed to train with music blaring and the sound of people training around me. I needed to shut out the noise in my head.
Leave my babies at home.
And give myself an hour of me time every day before the sun came up.
And its been the best move I've made in a long time.
Find people that align with you.
And keep them.