Crossfit. The Good The Bad and The Ugly

 

crossfit stupidAs some of you may know I have criticized crossfit in the past. From the outside looking in it looks unsafe.  The powerlifting/gymnastics moves that I have seen pictures of look like the people are going to snap a shoulder, knee, or back.  The gory photos of shins split wide open and barbells slamming people in the head are enough to scare off the most brave at heart.  I envisioned ego centered competitors swinging around enormous amounts of weight with no regard to form or safety. We have all seen the pictures like this one, and the one below, where it looks like stupid people doing stupid things. It is just a fad anyway, right? Wait, wait, no. It is a CULT!

So when my husband decided to join the local crossfit gym I sat back and waited. Waited for him to get injured. I endured  his enthusiastic post workout adrenaline high, when he would come home talking about other women (Fran? Cindy?), and drinking the ‘Kool-aid.  I’d chuckle as he attempted doubleunders in our bedroom, roll my eyes when he’d demonstrate the snatch, and how about those whip marks on his back!  But his body was changing, and that intrigued me.

Truthfully though, I thought to myself, how fair is it to criticize something I have never tried?  Kind of like the big bellied guy sitting on his sofa chugging his beer as he watches the neighborhood Mr. Fit go out for a jog and says, “He is obsessed, he’s going to give himself a heart attack with all that exercise.”  Is it jealousy, ignorance, laziness, or fear that causes us to judge crossfit so severely.  You really can’t judge a person until you have been in their shoes, right?  So I sucked up my fear and stepped into the box.  I cleaned the slate on my judgments, opened my mind, and went in as if I was a weight lifting virgin.

crossfit stupider

The first week it was difficult to lift my arms. Now, you need to understand that I have been weight training for 30+ years. I have a strict lifting regimen that I have never veered from during this time.  I was even back in the gym within days after each one of my four kids.  So, I was a bit surprised to find that I could get so sore from one exercise. Albeit, it was some strange thruster move that isn’t normally performed in most gyms, and it kicked my arse.  How about that housewife that was ‘thrusting’ away next to me.  I thought only superfit chicks like this did crossfit:

crossfit core pics

Nope (but you can sure tell from this picture that core work is important to crossfitters). I saw everything from kids to cowboys.  So two misconceptions had to be thrown out the window. Now I know that anyone can do crossfit, and anyone can be knocked down a rung or two from the ego ladder. Crossfit lesson learned number one…leave your ego at the door.  By the way, I haven’t seen anyone get injured yet, and I have a sneaky suspicion that all those crossfit mishaps have more to do with ego than with crossfit.

crossfit word poster

The best part of crossfit, for me, is having someone watch my form and critique my movements.  I’ve been someone else’s trainer all of my adult life, so it has been really nice to have a second set of eyeballs.  Apparently, I have a bit of a control issue, because it has been difficult to let someone else design the workouts and choose the exercises.  I mean, doesn’t each body part need to get trained twice a week?  I really try not to get my panties in a WOD over this.  But the first month I would make sure to get in those bicep curls, triceps extensions, and other varied isolation movements at the end of each week that I felt crossfit didn’t hit.  I felt doing this might prevent me from losing the muscle I worked so hard for most of my life.

It has been hard to give up what has worked for me for so many years.  I am still slowly weaning myself from isolation exercises into more power moves and have benefited greatly from this change in mindset. I’m stronger, fitter, and wiser after only two months of crossfit.  I know I will never totally give up my traditional weight training, and MovNat, but I now incorporate Crossfit into my overall fitness repertoire.  Maybe one day I’ll slip into a two piece crossfit outfit with knee socks…or not.  I do know that as long as my husband keeps on looking like this I’ll keep on following him to the box.crossfit guy