Is CrossFit a cult?

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I’ve heard this a lot. Is CrossFit a cult?  Am I now a part of a cult? When are they going to talk us into standing in a circle and offing ourselves for the greater good!? Well, this has still yet to happen. So what’s the big draw to CrossFit? What do “people who don’t CrossFit” need clarified so that they’re not terrified to join this “cult?” Well, in my opinion, here are 4 big draws.

1.Environment: The members of a CrossFit box are motivating. They help each other, build you up, and want to see you succeed. There’s no nasty glares from haters because you have a 6 pack and can lift ridiculous amounts of weight. (And if there are haters, they usually don’t last long or are closet haters). You start to realize you’re not just a member of a gym, but a part of an extended family. And for me, it wasn’t about the BBQ’s and parties, but my real family. Strolling into a box with a three year old and a two month old is comparable to rolling in with a circus act. On several occasions, either a coach or another member would hold my baby or push her in a stroller to appease her while I worked out. This solidified that I was exactly where I needed to be. Side note: I now go to a 5am class while the circus is asleep. At the time, my box did not offer a 5am and I had no choice but to roll with my offspring in tow. I highly recommend a 5am class if you have a similar situation. You can work out in peace. No crying, no potty breaks, just this little piece of heaven where you can focus on you – and if you’re a parent, you know the other 23 hours of a day revolve around everybody else.

2. WODS: The workouts are always different! This alleviates the monotony of following a repetitive, predictable fitness routine, which for me is a bonus. I tend to watch the clock and start analyzing how much longer I have to go. The variety keeps me coming back for more.  The workouts typically last anywhere from 5-35 minutes. Do not be concerned that you won’t get a decent workout during these shorter intervals.  Prior to the WOD, a strength/skill along with a warm up (which is often times like a mini workout) is strategically programmed to get results. So you’ll still be there an hour and leave feeling accomplished.

3.Challenge: And wait, there’s more! Besides the diversity, there’s a personal level of challenge that drives me. For example, let’s take pull-ups. You can’t do one? No problem. You can utilize a combination of different resistant bands to assist you in  getting  that chin to the bar. As you progress, you can reduce the amount of resistance you need until you can do a pull-up on your own. Then… when you’re the sh!@, there’s this upper echelon, where you enter the realm of the muscle up.   And the same modifications apply for all movements of CrossFit. So, if you’re competitive and goal oriented, this will fulfill you. And if you think CrossFit is insane and too hard, you can throw that excuse out the window too (unless of course you have an injury that prohibits you from performing).

 

Banded Pull-Up                                                                                       Muscle up

pull-up-with-bands

muscle up progression

 

4. Friendly Competition: This is along the same lines as challenge but in regards to the athletes surrounding you. You begin to know whose fitness level is comparable to your own, and then mentally, you either try to keep up or surpass them. With that comes even more motivation to not sandbag a WOD which equals better and faster body composition results.  If you do have a friendly rivalry going on, usually both parties know it, and the victorious party is congratulated at the end of the WOD.  I have also never left the box without somebody praising my performance, nor have I left without acknowledging another athlete who persevered and survived another day in the Crossfit cult.

So, is CrossFit a cult? Not so much.  Although it seemingly has a  following like one. People tend to generate towards like minded people. So if you’re seeking an environment that motivates you and want to see results then I suggest giving the Crossfit cult a shot. If you’re more private and prefer to workout at home, I’ll discuss some other effective home regimes in the future.

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