I’ve always been “in shape.” I hate sports, but love physical activity. I’m an introvert, but need a change of scenery and group motivation to do just about anything. So when childbearing left me lugging around an extra 40 pounds, CrossFit was perfect.
Criticism vs. Truth
I’ve heard the criticisms, too — perhaps most compellingly that it’s extremely expensive. Not true. It’s possible to find certified CrossFit trainers and classes at venues with sliding fee scales and unlimited classes — hello, YMCA!
The exercises are effective and biologically sound. I’ve heard criticism about them too, and frankly, I don’t care if they ” aren’t real pull ups .” They build your muscles and cardiovascular system, burn calories, and make you stronger. Sorry if I sound like I’ve joined a cult or something, but if you have to claw your way out of a collapsing building, do you care more about hoisting your weight through a hole in the roof or having perfect form?
Yes, CrossFit often leaves me feeling like I am going to puke, cry, and maybe die … but so do Pilates, kickboxing, and for that matter, yoga. And you know what else? After 50 hours of natural labor, there is no way I’m going to let a workout get the better of me — especially not when the woman next to me is 30 years older, lifting twice as much, and not even winded.
It Gets Results
For me, CrossFit paid off tremendously. I was back down to ideal BMI 18 months after giving birth via emergency cesarean — which I hear is record time — without dieting beyond eating balanced meals with accurate portion sizes.
Yes, CrossFit will get you in optimum shape, no matter where you’re starting: The classes I’ve taken aren’t populated exclusively, or even mostly, by elite hardbodies. They reflect a typical cross-section of YMCA members: young parents, older people, people recovering from injuries, and everyone in between. No matter what condition you’re in now, CrossFit will help you.
No, it isn’t the only way to get the body and strength you want. To be honest, it isn’t the only type of workout I do, and I’ve had similar results from combining a variety of other classes and solo workouts — Pilates, kickboxing, yoga, weight training, Callanetics — but for me, the smorgasbord way means near-daily workouts and takes somewhat longer. Ultimately, the key to reaching your fitness goals is discipline and commitment, whether you choose a CrossFit alone or a mixed approach — but you can certainly believe CrossFit’s hype.