Since its founding in 2000, CrossFit has become that fitness trend that people either love – or love to hate.
With its ever-varied daily workouts, go-hard-or-go-home mentality, and atmosphere of being more about family than fitness, it’s easy to see why so many people are willing to pay a lot of money – and get a lot of bruises – to keep with CrossFit.
Why People Are Obsessed with (and Willing to Pay for) CrossFit
While each individual’s reasons for joining a box are different, there are several things we heard a lot from avid CrossFitters across the globe.
- Variety: No two days in a row are exactly the same at CrossFit, and the constantly changing programming keeps people on their toes. This keeps the workouts fresh and interesting, while also challenging athletes in new ways every day.
- Community: CrossFit boxes really are a vastly different world than any other gym experience. Everyone cheers one another on, suffers together, and creates a fun, supportive atmosphere that keeps members coming back day after day, even when they’re sore.
- Progress: Sure, you can spend an hour every day running on a treadmill and track your progress, but there’s nothing quite like beating your squat snatch PR by 20 pounds when you’ve barely done the movement in weeks. Most CrossFit boxes use apps or other programs where members can track their times, weights, and other stats so they can see their progress over time.
- Coaching: Getting one-on-one coaching isn’t cheap. But with CrossFit, you get the individualized attention even in the middle of a group class, with a coach telling you how to fix your form or giving you scaling options.
Sure, we’re all there for the great workout and ability to get faster and stronger, but it isn’t just the workouts that keep us coming back – and paying money month after month.
Here are some of the things that get the CrossFit obsessed through the doors each and every day:
Whether your box does specific strength cycles or is hitting the endurance WODs hard, you won’t find the same workout two days in a row programmed in CrossFit.
For a lot of people, knowing what workouts to do is confusing and leads to just sticking with the same thing day in and day out, leading to boredom and burnout. Spending every workout on a treadmill or working with free weights is a sure-fire way to make yourself think you can skip a day which turns into a week which turns into your gym bag quickly collecting dust.
With CrossFit, all the programming and guesswork are done for you. The coaches take care of deciding what WODs will be done on which days, so all you have to do is show up and try your hardest.
“First of all, I don’t get bored with CrossFit. We are always doing something different except for Memorial Day when we all do Murph in honor of Michael Murphy. Second, and this may sound crazy, but I’m always sore which means I’m always working something new. Last but not least, in this crazy, stressful, fast moving world, it’s 20-40 minutes that the only thing I can think about is what I’m doing at that moment. It’s hard but it therapeutic in so many ways.“ – Stephanie Faught, XLR8 Crossfit
Your CrossFit “Family”
For new members, hearing that everyone at the box is one big family can seem strange, especially if you come from a gym background of doing your own thing in the weight room or trying to hide in the back of a group class. In those settings, members rarely, if ever, talk to one another, and most of the friendships were formed outside of the gym.
In CrossFit, though, the small group setting and hands-on coaching lends itself well to getting to know the other members of your chosen class. If you’ve got only five other people who come to your normal class time, chances are you’ll eventually talk to one another – even if you’re all shy!
The emphasis that CrossFit places on community, team-building, and encouragement also makes becoming friendly with the other members much easier. Everyone cheers everyone else on, especially during big events such as the CrossFit Open or the Memorial Day Murph, and it’s easy to get swept up in that camaraderie.
“I am OBSESSED with Crossfit because it is a community of shared goals. Will Smith taught me this through his You Tube video about a Rumi quote that says, “Set your life on fire and seek those who fan your flame.” This is about community for me. It’s every person that shows up at our box Every. Single. Day.. It is not easy and we all hurt together. We also celebrate together. They all inspire me to give 110% and add fire to my flame.” – Laura Cariello, 150 Bay Crossfit
Tracking Progress Is Easy
If you’re developing your own programming, or just winging it, tracking your progress may require special apps, complicated spreadsheets, or notebooks full of scribbled handwriting.
CrossFit, on the other hand, has built-in progress tracking. Most boxes use specialty apps that keep track of your stats for certain moves (1-mile run, deadlift, or strings of double-unders for example), as well as for certain baseline workouts. Over time, you can see your skills improving as you smash those old PRs and create new ones.
Additionally, many boxes repeat certain workouts every few months or annually so members can see how their overall scores improve over time. If you don’t string together all the movements of Kelly together very often, for example, you may not know that your runs get faster, your wall balls get heavier, and your box jumps get more efficient.
But repeating that same WOD twice a year or even annually and seeing your time change shows that you really have made real, measurable progress.
“I love the challenge. There is nothing like achieving something you never thought possible in yourself. I love the community. There are always people pushing you to keep going and do more than you think you can. I love the strength. I have become stronger in one year than I ever thought I could.” – Teresa Alfuth, CrossFit Hierarchy Ivy City
Getting everything you get from CrossFit in any other gym would cost you hundreds of dollars per month. With CrossFit, you pay one monthly membership to get professional coaching, varied programming, and one-on-one attention to help you with your problem moves.
For many beginners, lifting weights correctly is a huge challenge. If they know how to execute certain moves (and, really, who can easily teach themselves correct snatch form?), there still could be issues with their form, balance, or other factors that aren’t apparent and that can cause injury.
A great CrossFit coach will catch those problems and help you correct them, keeping you free from injury and helping you make faster progress.
“The Crossfit coaches at Hyalite Crossfit are knowledgeable and skilled at helping athletes perfect their technique. I so appreciate coaches who take the time to teach me the correct way to do movements. Personal training but better!” – Mikaela Maddock, Hyalite Crossfit
Achieve Your Goals
No one would walk into a gym of any kind if they didn’t have some kind of health and fitness goals.
Whether those goals are to lose weight, gain strength, perfect a certain move, train for a competition, or just help you be a healthier, happier version of yourself, CrossFit can help with all of those goals!
Even though everyone’s doing the same WOD each day, each individual member can have their own personal set of goals they want to achieve and reasons they show up, day in and day out. That’s the beauty of CrossFit – It’s for everyone!
“Crossfit has pushed me to a level of health and fitness I never thought possible. I have battled the effects of a major DVT since 2006 and have warded off the return of an undiagnosable blood disorder since 2009. Seeing my body now, and knowing how close I came to not even being alive, always makes me grateful.” – Teresa Rassega, Power in Motion
“I’ve lost 65 lbs or so since starting. Who wouldn’t love that!” – Amy Watkin, CrossFit Holland
We wouldn’t turn up day after day if CrossFit wasn’t at least a little bit fun, right?
Sure, the workouts can be brutal, and you can be pushed past your breaking point on occasion, but being in a supportive environment with people who want to help you succeed – there’s nothing better than that.
All in all, CrossFit is a great way to get and stay fit, meet new people, and have fun whether you’re 22 or 82!
“The workouts make sure me feel amazing (and horrific at the same time) by being challenging and achievable at the same time. The people at my box treat me like family and I’ve made some of the best friends ever. It’s so cool that I get to lift heavy things, climb stuff, swing off stuff and generally behave like a big kid, while hanging out with a bunch of superhumans.” – Deb Manton, CrossFit Selwyn
What are your reasons for being OBSESSED with CrossFit?
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Michelle Tipsword is a professional writer who tried CrossFit on a whim in May 2019 and hasn’t looked back since. When she’s not writing or at the box, she can be found with her husband, kids, or cats, usually drinking coffee.