By: Ali Johnson
There are SO MANY opinions on CrossFit….people seem to either love it, or they hate it. And while everyone is entitled to their own opinion, it’s unfortunate that sometimes criticism of CrossFit is based on beliefs that just aren’t true. So before you pass judgement on an unfamiliar sport and decide that it’s not right for you, check out this list of common CrossFit misconceptions that are based on misinformation as opposed to fact.
1. You have to be competitive to enjoy CrossFit.
CrossFit CAN be competitive…if you want it to be. I, for one, thrive on the competitive nature of CrossFit. Regardless of whether I’m competing against myself or against others in my class, the competition is what motivates me to push myself past my limits. I love the feeling of accomplishment I get when I PR a lift that I got stuck on just a few weeks prior, and I’ve certainly been known to run a little faster in an attempt to finish first in a WOD. BUT that’s just me, and you certainly don’t need to be competitive in order to enjoy CrossFit or get a good workout in. There are plenty of people who go in every day, complete the workout, don’t worry about their time or their scores and are just happy to have gotten in a good sweat…and that’s just fine. A good coach will never put you up against another member and push you to compare yourself, and other athletes will be happy to cheer you on no matter what your goals are.
2. CrossFit is dangerous.
CrossFit can also be dangerous…if you don’t listen to your coach, know your limits, and practice safe technique. But isn’t that the truth about any sport or activity? Most CrossFit gyms require a foundations course before you can enroll in the standard classes. The Foundations course will teach you all about Olympic lifting and gymnastics movements so that you have a solid background in how to perform them correctly, and safely. CrossFit classes are typically on the smaller side as well, and one of the reasons is so that you can be watched closely by a coach and get the personal attention you need in order to ensure you don’t do anything to injure yourself.
3. You have to be in shape or have an athletic background to do CrossFit.
CrossFit has the ability to be whatever you want it to be. You get to decide whether or not to challenge yourself and/or push your limits. But what doesn’t matter is how in shape you are when you start. CrossFit workouts can be scaled to meet ANY ability level, from the beginner to the elite athlete. Within the same class you might see someone deadlifting weight in the triple digits while someone else stands next to them and works on their form with just the bar. If you listen to your body and listen to your coach, you’ll be able to get something out of every workout regardless of what level you start at. And if you don’t believe me, be sure to check out our post on how “CrossFit is for Everyone…Even Your Grandma!”
4. CrossFit makes women bulky.
This is a myth I hear a lot, from both women and men. It’s frustrating for a variety of reasons, one being that the term “bulky” is often used with a negative connotation. Another word for bulky is “strong”, or “muscular”…and if a woman wants to feel strong, or look muscular, then we should support her in those goals as opposed to criticizing her for her shape. And in order to look “bulky”, you have to do more than just CrossFit. You have to target specific muscle groups, lift heavy weights, and eat a protein-heavy diet, among other things. Many women who end up looking bulky spend a lot of time body-building, not just participating in CrossFit.
What CrossFit DOES do is make women (and men) strong, healthy, and fit. And what’s so bad about that?
5. CrossFit is very expensive.
CrossFit can be expensive, if you compare it to regular gyms. It’s NOT so expensive if you compare it to hiring a personal trainer, and honestly that’s much more closely related. Obviously the cost for CrossFit will differ from box to box and will also depend on where you live, but it’s standard to pay anywhere from $100-$300 per month for unlimited classes. This is substantially more than gyms like Charter Fitness, Planet Fitness, Gold’s Gym, etc. BUT that’s because the resources available to you are so much more abundant. CrossFit boxes typically offer personal training, a variety of skill-based classes, nutrition counseling, remote coaching, and more. If you walk into a Planet Fitness there’s a good chance no one will know who you are. But it’s almost guaranteed that if you regularly attend a CrossFit box the coaches there will not only know your name, they’ll know your goals, your skill level, your achievements, your weaknesses, and more, and they’ll use that information to tailor your workout and make sure you get the best possible results.
Can you think of any common CrossFit misconceptions? Let’s debunk them here! Comment in the section below!