Here are the top FIVE excuses I hear from people as to why they won't do CrossFit:
1. I am not in good shape
2. I am intimidated
3. I am too old
4. It is too expensive
5. That stuff is just plain crazy--I don't want to get hurt!
Maybe one or two or a few of those excuses resonates with you. I want to elaborate on each of those excuses and how to help fix the problem.
- I am not in good shape. CrossFit, in my opinion, is about teaching proper movement mechanics and quantifying your workout so that results can be measured. What does that mean? It means learning the proper form for every movement and continually refining your position, reinforcing good habits, and working on your limitations to help you move better. You do not have to be in good shape to learn how to function like a proper human being! But what about all those images you see on TV or Facebook of shirtless men and women with six packs laying on the floor with a barbell next to them covered in chalk!!? Ok yea, that happens, but those are the athletes who choose to make CrossFit a sport. It's like running. So many people, of all fitness levels run marathons. But only the top few really compete in them, and can run 26.2 miles at a pace quicker than I can run one mile. So don't use the excuse that you aren't in good enough shape. We as coaches are here to help you take the necessary steps and make the right changes for your health and fitness journey, no matter where your starting point is.
- I am intimidated. Trying something new is always intimidating. It is scary to put yourself in a place where you feel vulnerable because you are learning many new things. When you decide to try your first class, know that every other person feels or has felt the same way as you! Your coaches and fellow classmates know you probably feel nervous about taking your first class and are there to help and support you. Challenging yourself and trying new things is just a stepping stone for further self improvement.
- I am too old. There is no age limit on fitness. You are never too old to increase your range of motion and improve your joint health. It is never too late to strengthen your bones and be able to grow older while being strong and healthy. I have seen people begin CrossFit at the age of 60+ and drastically improve their quality of life. Are they doing what the young guns on TV are doing? Of course not! But under the proper guidance from a good coach and being in the right environment, they are thriving and doing countless things to improve their health and longevity of their life. Every single person, young and old, will benefit from having a more fulfilling quality of life.
- CrossFit is too expensive. I can't argue with you that CrossFit costs more than a regular gym to join and not everyone has that spending cash on hand. I also can agree that when we are young and seemingly healthy adults, we do not think about what the medical expenses will cost down the road. Investing in your health now is like putting money away in a retirement fund, so that 50 years down the road you are in good health and don't have to spend your savings on medical bills. Find a gym that is the right fit for you. It is important to make a wise investment, and invest your money and trust in a gym that feels right to you. That is when the price is worth it.
- That stuff is just plain crazy-I don’t want to get hurt! This is one of the biggest pitfalls of some CrossFit programs. Doing 15 minutes of heavy technique-based barbell work mixed with countless reps of sloppy pull-ups and maybe some ugly burpees can certainly be a recipe for disaster. Oh did I mention doing all that while racing against the clock?? That picture is probably what most of you have in your head regarding a CrossFit workout, and if you walk into some gyms that might be happening. However, every gym has a different group of coaches and a different way to program workouts for their members. It's like going to a "yoga flow" class at different studios with different instructors; some classes are better than others. In my opinion, CrossFit is not about beating yourself into the ground for the sake of doing hard workouts and appearing tough. A well programmed class with knowledgeable coaches will focus on mobility and technique, as well as creating workouts with a purpose of providing the correct stimulus without beating you to the ground. Remember, your body is your temple. Take care of yourself and don't let your ego get in the way of listening to your body. If something hurts or it feels like it is too much, STOP. Ask for help, lower the weight, do fewer reps, and don't push through with sacrificed form simply to get a higher score. Every workout is timed for the purpose of tracking your own personal progress and seeing tangible results in your fitness. So be responsible when you workout, no matter what fitness program you choose to get involved in.
Moral of the story: find a gym that is right for you. Don't be turned off by what you see on Facebook or TV. Understand that CrossFit is about learning how to move correctly, getting stronger, improving your fitness, and investing in your future as a healthier adult. Not all gyms and coaches are the same. Shop around until you find a place that fits your personal needs. You are never too old to start, you are never too weak or out of shape to start, and we all are afraid of new things. Embrace the challenge and learn how to improve your health (and look good naked).