Who’s afraid of the big, bad CrossFit?


Row for 13.1 miles? Who in their right mind would do that to themselves?

The answer: Crossfitters.  This particular form of bodily torture is one of the exercises that the world’s elite athletes will be performing in this year’s Crossfit Games.

Luckily for beginners, the workouts won’t be so grueling.  After first seeing videos of a “typical” workout, I was terrified before my first class.  The videos showed world-class athletes and I was but a mere grad school student with a history of high school cheer leading.  Still, I sucked it up, went to my first workout, and fell in love with its philosophy.

Everyone who starts Crossfit is required to take a foundation class to give them the basics on the movements and exercises used in each workout.  All instructors are certified and are skilled in all the movements, which include Olympic-style lifting, gymnastics, and cardio with equipment.  The workouts are intimidating – yes, but no instructor will ever encourage you to do something you cannot, or feel you cannot do.  All workouts are scaled so that people of all skill levels can participate.  The scaling is in the form of less weight, modified ranges of motion, or fewer reps.

The workouts are designed to surprise your body.  Each WOD (workout of the day) is a combination of movements you learn in the foundations class.  The workouts are “scored” in a way that you can track improvement.  One way is through the amount of time it takes you to complete the workout, another way is an AMRAP (as many rounds as possible), where you are given a set time and you perform the workout and repeat until time is up.

After learning the basics and getting used to the set up of a class, you can start to see where your strengths and weaknesses lie.  I used this as a benchmark to see where I wanted to improve.  I set goals for myself and kept track of my times, reps, and weight lifted.

In time, I learned that the true competition in Crossfit is me against myself. Are you ready to start competing?


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1 Comment

  • Reply July 30, 2013


    I’ve been hearing about crossfit for quite some time and, while I’ve always been intrigued, the idea of he-men completing in grueling workouts scared me off. This article makes me feel like I could try, though! Perhaps I’ll check out a class soon :)