CrossFit popularity – what is the big deal with CrossFit? Why has this sport taken fitness training and strength and conditioning by storm?
CrossFit workouts, the CrossFit gyms (known as a CrossFit box), CrossFit diets, even CrossFit shoes and equipment, all bring something refreshing to the sometimes mundane world of fitness and strength and conditioning, regardless of whether you’re an athlete or stay-at-home mother.
To define it somewhat, CrossFit is a core strength and conditioning program founded in 2000. It is based on the principle of “constantly varied, high intensity, functional movement” and delivers a fitness that is broad, general, and inclusive. Its speciality is not specialising. It does not favour a particular sport and focuses on universal movements.
So why has it gotten so big, so fast, worldwide?
One of the first things you’ll notice about CrossFit is that there are people of all shapes, sizes, ages and skill levels. Instead of walking into a gym where you hardly know anyone, and where you set out to train yourself (usually ill advised), you now walk into a CrossFit gym and you soon know everyone, you all train together with a CrossFit certified coach (normally in groups of up to 24), and these coaches help each person with the correct and safe application of training movements.
The CrossFit community also adopts an attitude of motivating those struggling, even more than they do for those who blitz through workouts. Those who finish workouts sooner, will often stand alongside their fellow CrossFitters, and push them to finish and accomplish new personal bests.
The programming for CrossFit workouts sees a constantly varied format. That means you will hardly ever repeat the same workout – you will see repeats movements though, like squats, etc. Most CrossFit gym create their own programming, typically, and shares it online. The notion of “constantly varied, high intensity, functional movement” means that you will avoid that humdrum routine you get from typical walk-in-and-train-yourself gyms.
CrossFit is also scalable. Anyone can do any workout! For example; if a workout requires you to do pull-ups and you can’t do pull-ups, you would’ve been taught how to “scale” pull-ups and do band-assisted pull-ups (like the image below shows). So, you do not need to be a fire-breathing athlete, or even be fit, strong, or capable to start CrossFit – it’s for everyone, regardless of shape, size, fitness level or knowledge of any form of physical training. The idea is that you will learn, and you will eventually reach a level of strength, fitness and “readiness” that you probably had never experienced before.
CrossFit has also seen support and related product evolution from major brands like inov-8 and REBEL Elite Fitness, who have created specialised gear and equipment, like their CrossFit suited and specific shoes, speed jump ropes for skipping, bumper plates (weight plates that are rubber), and so much more. That fact makes the notion of being involved in something big that much more perceptible.
So why is CrossFit such a big deal? Simple… it works! Having achieved cult-like status, the “CrossFit community” aspect, along with a constantly varied training program, and the results people are seeing in their physiques and everyday abilities, are core driving forces.
It’s for everyone, it’s seen so many success stories (from professional athletes, the average Joe, and even the elderly), and most of all it has built a community of like-minded people with a passion to better their lives…
Do you do CrossFit (and where)? What do you think the big deal is with CrossFit and why it has exploded like it has worldwide? Give us your thoughts in the comment section below.