I have been doing Crossfit for about 2 years now. It’s been the best form of exercise that I have ever participated in that involves lifting weights and using your brain (more about that later). I’ve tried gyms like 24 Fitness, Crunch, Curves, Bally’s, and Club Sport . . . and always managed to lose interest and drop out.
At first I was extremely hesitant to start because I had so many ill conceived notions about Crossfit. Here I’m about to address the myths and the truths I learned.
MYTH #1: You must be in amaze balls shape to do Crossfit
Crossfit is an excellent form of full body, core-based fitness to help you achieve your goals. There are plenty of people that start off 50 lbs overweight, only to shred the weight off week by week. There are plenty of people that can’t run around a city block without getting light-headed . . . now they can run a mile. Crossfire gets people in shape and is by no means a requirement to start.
MYTH #2: Crossfit is just too complicated.
Many of the Crossfit workouts have skills such as wall balls, power cleans, double unders, pull-ups, snatches, etc. Pretty intimidating considering I had no idea what any of these skills were until I started learning. I can now do wall balls. I can do power cleans, although I couldn’t even hold the barbell properly the first time I tried. I can do an assisted pull-up with an elastic band (my goal is to do a pull-up unassisted). I can snatch 60 lbs over my head, although I couldn’t even hold a PVC pipe over my head the first time I tried.
The point is . . . if you knew how to do all the skills, then there would be no point. Crossfit is about learning and having fun and fitness in between. It’s fun seeing someone snatch, chest-to-bar or handstand push-up for the first time. It’s even better when this person is you. Crossfit is fun because you are always learning something new and working on getting each skill honed in. And there are so many skills . . . it will take years to get there. Plus there is no hurry. After 2 years, I am still learning how to double under, pistol squat, climb a rope . . . the list goes on.
MYTH #3: Crossfit will make you bulk up like Arnold.
I really thought I was going to get super buffed out and look like a she-man. I could do Crossfit everyday and it still would never happen. Instead, I’ve gotten more toned in the arms, legs and abdominal area. The best thing about the abdominal part is that I seldom do traditional sit-ups because Olympic lifting, box jumps, kettle bells (and many other skills) work out your abs without you really noticing. A huge perk as I hate sit-ups.
After 2 years I’ve gained a couple pounds of muscle and my clothes fit even better. Read: the squats have been paying off!
MYTH #4: You will get injured doing Crossfit.
Before Crossfit, I did yoga regularly for over 10 years. There are just as many if not more injuries with yoga as compared to Crossfit. Injuries happen, no matter what the sport. An injury is also more likely when you don’t pay attention to technique and you are trying to push past a point your body will allow. This is true of most anything. Listen to your body, concentrate on technique (not speed or weight) and listen to your instructor. You’ll be safe.
MYTH #5: Olympic lifting is easy.
The funnest part about Crossfit is the Olympic lifting, IMHO. I have stated before that learning to Olympic lift (snatch, clean and jerk) was more complicated than getting glaucoma certified in the State of California. No joke. To take a bar with weights from the ground position to above your head in one swift movement . . . takes a ton of technical awareness, coordination and pure guts. Olympic lifting is the hardest athletic endeavor I have ever participated it . . . and that’s why I’m hooked. Plus it makes my abs and butt look awesome!!
Love and ??,
Dr. Tanya Gill