If you ask a kid if they like exercise, they’ll have no idea what you’re talking about.
Kids don’t associate playing, jumping and running with “exercise” — but that’s exactly what it is.
It can be 10 minutes or an hour. It can be running sprints via “Red Light, Green Light” or climbing up a wall on the playground.
Ask a kid what they’re doing — and they’ll tell you they’re just playing.
Later in life, when “staying in shape” becomes important, exercise loses this aspect of “play.” It’s not fun anymore — it’s just an obligation that’s too hard and time-consuming.
I get it — I used to exercise out of obligation too. A lot. And I really hated it.
Running and training for marathons certainly brought a new light to exercise for me.
But it wasn’t until I started CrossFit that exercise truly became fun again. I was nervous to start CrossFit — it sounded intimidating and hard. Plus — it was expensive…would it be worth it?
I gave it 6 months and told myself I could quit if it wasn’t. I now consider it one of the best decisions I’ve ever made [the post I wrote my first day of CF!].
Makes You Feel Like a Kid Again. Obviously, this is a big one in my book. You get to hang on rings, climb up ropes, jump on boxes, swing on bars, flip over tires, use sledgehammers (well, hopefully you didn’t use those as a kid!) and jump rope — just to mention a few.
Short and Sweet. Gym classes are often a full hour — step class, boot camp, Zumba, etc. CrossFit is usually 45 minutes tops but…it’s not even really that long. This is includes a warm-up, cool down and instruction phase. Your main workout (WOD) is typically 7-20 minutes, depending on the day or purpose of the workout. You don’t have to dread an hour sweating it up bored out of your mind. Get your full body workout in much less time.
Variety Eradicates Boredom. Within class, you can go from skipping and downward dogs to bench pressing to deadlifting to pull-ups to sit-ups. Each class, you’ll perform a wide variety of total body movements — and none of them for an excessively long time. You won’t love every move, but you will find things you love. That’s why each class is kind of a fun surprise all it’s own. Everyday, the workout is vastly different and it’s exciting to find out what you “get” to do today.
It’s as Easy or Hard As You Choose. CrossFit has a reputation as being really “hardcore,” heavy and intense. That it is — if you want it to be. When you are just getting started, though, it is what you make it. Modifications are my best friend. I rarely ever can do the prescribed workout — and there is no shame in that. If heavy isn’t your thing, go light and improve your form or speed. It’s your CrossFit class and you get to make this workout your own.
A Party Every Day. No matter what kind of day you’re having, walk into the CrossFit box with its motivating music, sweaty bars and friendly people — and things will feel just a bit better. Heck, you could actually just stop by to say hi, not workout and walk out feeling better. Of course, after watching a class, you’ll want to strip down to your gym clothes and join in. Plus — CrossFit gyms are close-knit, regularly hosting fundraisers, parties and happy hours. It’s really more than just a gym.
It’s Not About Calories. People are always so focused on calories in, calories out. Exercise is a chore, a punishment, an obligation. Not so with CrossFit. You are focused on improving strength and skill, achieving new movements, getting a faster time for a specific workout and just seeing if you can make it through some specialty workouts, like Hero WODs and more. You are challenging yourself — against yourself — and it’s so different from checking off 45 minutes on the elliptical.
All Shapes and Sizes. Walk into my CrossFit box and you’ll find young and old, small and large, skilled and not so skilled. All are welcome at CrossFit and you don’t have to impress anyone but yourself. Everyone is friendly and coaches take a genuine interest in your progress — and your life. You will not find this at a $20/month gym where you are nothing more than a key card when you walk in the door. The CrossFit experience includes coaches who care and notice when you don’t show up.
Maybe I’ve convinced you to consider CrossFit — maybe not. But, most of us need to exercise in order to remain healthy (and happy!) so hopefully you’ll consider CrossFit as an option for you.
And on the price tag? Any specialty class these days — barre, hot yoga, spinning, etc.– is on par with the same pricing. Not everyone can afford CrossFit but the price tag comes with the benefit of unlimited classes, specialized attention, community and a whole lot more.
***DC-area friends, check out Trident CrossFit for a free introductory class!