I will not make the argument that McDonalds is high quality dining, but for the sake of this blog stick with me…McDonalds is able to deliver a very consistent product. In fact, by design a McDonalds in Bellevue is guaranteed to be the same as McDonalds in Beijing. Regardless of where the golden arches are, we all know what to expect from the McDonalds brand because of their focus on consistency.
I wish CrossFit was more like McDonalds!
This brings me to my biggest beef with CrossFit, and in truth my difficulty in writing this blog. The inconsistency from one gym to the next and even one workout to the next!
Most CrossFit gyms (referred to as “boxes”) follow a framework for training described as “constantly varied functional movements performed at high intensity”. Each box is independently owned, and will differ in subtle or sometimes very obvious ways. That variability can be a good thing, so long as the box matches with your fitness wants and health needs.
Instead of trying to define the undefinable, I will share a self assessment to see if CrossFit would be a good fit for you.
First Things First
CrossFit isn’t for everyone. You read that right! CrossFit is not for people with significant health issues. In addition. I would not recommend starting CrossFit if you are just getting back into the gym. It is an intense form of exercise that can lead to early burn out for new gym goers. If you fall into either of these categories CrossFit is most likely not a good fit.
Health vs Fitness
Why the distinction between health and fitness? Well, in order to build fitness you must have a foundation of health as we mentioned above. Your pursuit of fitness (short term) should not undermine your foundation of health (long term). CrossFit focuses on maximizing fitness and is less geared towards health needs. Depending on what you are trying to accomplish CrossFit may not be a good fit.
Health needs met by a less intense routine
- Maintain bone density
- Lower your blood pressure
- Decreasing your fall risk
Fitness wants met by a CrossFit routine
- Run a half marathon
- Perform a pull up
- Get ready for the slopes
See it for Yourself
Watching a class will give you an idea of how a training session is run. It will give you a feel of what to expect, and if you are in a box offering services that match your fitness wants and health needs. There will be classes that have more young professionals, college athletes, parents, or even grandparents. Try to attend a few class times if you have some flexibility in your schedule.
Your Check Box
You are physically and mentally ready to start an intense fitness routine. Don’t pull the trigger to sign up just yet… Most boxes will offer a complimentary training session. So before committing to a membership make sure you have checked all the required boxes below.
- Does it feel like a place you will look forward to coming to on a regular basis? (Comfortable)
- What is different about CrossFit that will help get you closer to achieving your fitness and health goals? (Effective)
- Do the coaches know your goals as well as your limitations, and can safely adjust your workouts? (Quality)
- Do the coaches lead by example in regard to health, fitness, and injury prevention? (Credible)
In our final blog post I will review My experience over the past 30 days of CrossFit and why I plan on continuing! Please leave any questions you would like addressed in the comments section below.
*Disclaimer- I wholeheartedly support the choice to increase your activity levels if you are ready to make a change, and I hope this blog series motivates many more people to make that same choice. However, it is important to note that you may have some limitations concerning what type(s) of exercise you can do based on current or past health issues. You should always consult with your physician prior to starting a new exercise program to ensure you are healthy enough to meet the increased demands placed on your body.