Ever wondered whether CrossFit could be the sport for you? We're handing over to personal trainer, health and fitness blogger and CrossFitter, Lauren Hunter, to give you the lowdown on why it's so great:
CrossFit has become increasingly popular in recent years, especially with the growing publicity of the awe-inspiring yet brutal CrossFit Games. I’m fairly new to it myself but I’m loving every session, so here are some reasons that you might consider starting it yourself…
Growing up, I had commitment issues with my hobbies. By this, I mean that I threw myself entirely into one activity…until I got bored of it and quickly moved on to a new interest. If like me, you have a relatively short attention span, CrossFit is the place for you. It covers so many different areas of training: Olympic lifting, gymnastics, running, rowing, strength, endurance, power…the list goes on. I like to have a bit of everything in my training routine; this not only keeps things interesting but also keeps my body guessing and adapting. I want to be able to run fast, lift heavy and climb high whilst remaining supple, mobile and flexible. CrossFit allows me to do all this and that’s why I love it.
Team Member or Lone Wolf?
Some of us work best in a team, others prefer to work alone. I personally prefer the latter and always have done, choosing the middle-distance track events at school over sports such as netball. Whilst team sports have plenty of benefits and teach important life skills such as cooperation, I always enjoyed the freedom of only counting on myself. I created my own tactics and regardless of whether I ran a good race or a bad race, I only had myself to answer to. CrossFit gives you both options; some workouts pair you up, whereas some let you work alone, and competitions are organised into team or individual events.
You never need to worry about planning a gym session because the workouts have already been programmed for you. Another consequence of this is that it forces you to work on your weaknesses. When I go to CrossFit and look at the workout written on the whiteboard, I’ll see some exercises that I like and some that I’m less comfortable performing. But it’s up there, so I get on with it. Not only does it allow me to practise my weaknesses, but it makes me look forward to doing so.
All Abilities Are Welcome
Don’t worry about not being able to do everything in the workout - the coaches are there to give you alternatives and adjust the workout to your level. I’ve been to sessions where some people are doing Olympic lifting with an empty bar and others with weights far heavier than their own bodyweight. Some people finish the workout twice as fast as others. There’s no judgement, just encouragement - we all have to start somewhere!
Whilst I can only speak for my CrossFit box, I can honestly say that the community is incredible. The coaches and members are friendly, supportive and encouraging. They look after you, push you when you need pushing and help to create a really positive environment.
That being said, all the reasons I’ve stated do not mean that you’ll also love CrossFit - what’s right for me isn’t necessarily right for you. So, for the sake of a more balanced argument, let’s look at a few of the reasons why you might want to avoid CrossFit:
If you want pretty, callous-free hands and nice nails, or a luxury fitness experience, CrossFit probably isn’t for you. If weightlifting isn’t your thing, or you have a history of injury, again, it’s probably not the workout you should choose…
The only way to know for sure is to give it a go. Whilst it can be a little daunting at first, the best thing to do is to sign up for a trial session and see for yourself – it might just be your new favourite workout!