If there is one thing that I have learned in the last two years, it is that one shouldn’t be closed about anything. And that’s why, even though the idea of CrossFit intimidated me a lot, I gave it a shot when finally I realised that I needed regimented strength training if I want to continue long distance running. CrossFit seemed too “hardcore” and one needed to be really “badass” to join. I went for a trial class and realised how many myths there are around it. It is high intensity training which involves functional movements and helps in overall stregthening but why should I be scared of that? I have been going three times a week regularly now and take my son along every Friday as well. The first time I took him, I noticed how he tried to rope climb and hang by the rings and just loved rowing. It must be right if a child has taken to it so naturally. Here are somethings which I want to talk about –
Myth – You need to be strong to join CrossFit.
Fact – You can be a complete beginner and the trainer works with you slowly to bring strength and endurance. Just like you can’t do a half marathon after doing your first 5km, you aren’t expected to do pull ups, rope climbs, push ups etc. Everything is done in progression and scaleable, if you stick it out. For example, if the workout calls for squats with weighted bars, each individual would be doing different weights depending on their readiness levels.
Myth – You will injure yourself.
Fact – You can injure yourself while running (ask me!), cycling, in the gym or even while sitting on a couch. At a good CrossFit box, they will tell you the right techniques to perform various exercises, at the same time you need to know your body and push it only that much.
Myth – You are in competition with other CrossFitters
Fact – Like any other recreational sport that you take up for fitness, you only compete with yourself. No one pushes you to do anything you aren’t comfortable with. Much like running, it’s a well-knit community and everyone encourages and cheers the others till the very end.
Myth – It’s going to make me bulky (for women)
Fact – CrossFit helps in gaining strength and muscle which is required for good health. It’s not easy for women to bulk up. It’s an excellent way to get stronger, fitter, and leaner.
Myth – You need to go Paleo/change diet
Fact – If you are working out then good eating habits come naturally. It’s not necessary for you to go on any specific diet. Eating better and what works for you is what matters.
Myth – CrossFit is really expensive
Fact – It’s tad bit more expensive than a good gym. But there is high level of coaching, involvement and individual attention even during group sessions. It’s an investment and at times the we end up spending the monthly fee on two good dinners.
Myth – All CrossFit gyms/boxes are the same
Fact – CrossFit isn’t a chain. It’s a brand. “Every CrossFit gym is independently owned and operated without intervention from the actual company of CrossFit. Each gym pays a yearly fee to be an affiliate of CrossFit and use the name.” Choose your box carefully after a couple of trial sessions.
I haven’t tried mixing running and CrossFit workout yet. So I will write more about it once I figure a balance (or don’t). Till then I will enjoy my “WODs” (workout of the day!).
P.S. It’s very important to get an overall medical check up done before starting any new or high intensity workout routine.
All pictures are courtesy Arun Bhardwaj. Location Courtesy – CrossFit Life Performance, Gurgaon