6

votes

Is there more to Crossfit?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created December 15, 2011 at 3:11 AM

I have been considering doing Crossfit for several months now. I started watching some videos of it to get a better feel for what it was exactly. Forgive me for sounding like an idiot, but it just seems like a bunch of people lifting big bars and throwing balls at walls. All jokes put aside, what other kinds of things do you do at a Crossfit gym? Is it worth 200 dollars a month or would I be better off just going for a walk?

400b249032e4c829c4e802436833ea3b

(0)

on January 20, 2012
at 10:58 AM

IMO, you have got to fit in, and be likeable. Compeat for the trainers attention to get critiqued on technique. Can be frustrating.

Medium avatar

(8239)

on December 19, 2011
at 05:13 PM

Excellent points. The CF brand is now way more noise than signal. Quality is a gym by gym proposition. And that depends on goals.

C7e3ba0ed51a6195ae022822a8f056ac

(673)

on December 15, 2011
at 11:08 PM

Yup, I used to surf 3-5x a week and walk my dog plenty. When I was doing unlimited that dropped to 0x/week surfing and 1x/week dog walk. Its sad I'm saying this but I'm glad I injured my elbow, helped me to reevaluate my goals and path.

Medium avatar

(2301)

on December 15, 2011
at 09:49 PM

yeah I was concerned about that, too. Not sure what type of people show up. I am not too outgoing as it is, but I guess it could be good for me.

Medium avatar

(2301)

on December 15, 2011
at 09:48 PM

I want the warm fuzzies too, but I'm not sure if I want to pay $2400 a year for them. And I'm not sure if I'd quite fit in:/

1ec4e7ca085b7f8d5821529653e1e35a

(5506)

on December 15, 2011
at 09:11 PM

This is precisely my problem. Crossfit gets in the way of the other fun exercise that I used to do. That shouldn't be the case. It's an addiction.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on December 15, 2011
at 03:13 PM

$275 in Alexandria VA

Ab5da2cf814773d1e7454460dd069617

(20)

on December 15, 2011
at 02:46 PM

Well said Albert! My gym I go to gives me the same warm fuzzies, and buff muscles. It's expensive, but I have made huge leaps and bounds in my overall fitness and body awareness. Gym...$150 Lululemon pants...$100 Vibram Five Fingers...$100 A rockin' bod and life-changing fitness...PRICELESS

24fcc21452ebe39c032be6801d6bbadd

(9812)

on December 15, 2011
at 01:02 PM

It's like Cheers- don't you wanna go where everybody knows your name?

Bf57bcbdc19d4f1728599053acd020ab

(5043)

on December 15, 2011
at 10:47 AM

I'd second this, try it for a month and see. In that time you can learn good form and then if you'd rather do stuff on your own you can.

04f2eae4450112cdedce7235923c646d

(1112)

on December 15, 2011
at 04:50 AM

I have no problems seeing why there is an introductions class. Yes, the movements are natural in deed, but so is running. How many people do you se running with a good form? At my gym or at the local run trails, I have seen none. What should be trivial isn't always...

531db50c958cf4d5605ee0c5ae8a57be

(8878)

on December 15, 2011
at 03:32 AM

I've been looking at one in Columbus, OH. $80/month. But it's Columbus.

Medium avatar

(2301)

on December 15, 2011
at 03:25 AM

Yeah.. that's what the website for my local Crossfit gym says :/ How much are others on average?

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15 Answers

5
C7e3ba0ed51a6195ae022822a8f056ac

(673)

on December 15, 2011
at 08:45 PM

Pros (of my crossfit gym):

  • Camaraderie (people of similar mindset wrt diet and exercise)
  • Competition (comparing your scores/times/lifts to people near or above your athletic level allows you to strive to improve performance)
  • Equipment (No gym locally has bumper plates, rings, good pull-up bars, or kettlebells)
  • Motivation
  • Varied workouts
  • Good coaching wrt form when classes are small (< 6 people)
  • The ability to drop the weights on the ground (nonoption at conventional gym here); this allows you to avoid or lower risk of injury, push harder/heavier, and its fun

Cons:

  • Price (You could build a solid crossfit gym in your garage with 6-12 months of membership fees)
  • Risk of injury (I've hurt myself 3 times since starting in april, wrist - bad release on front squat failure, foot - 300 double under wod, elbow - bad form muscle up. you can argue these are of my own doing, esp those involving form, but I will say the last injury has me rethinking Crossfit as I've been sidelined for 2 weeks and will have to slowly ramp up workouts on the elbow.)
  • Risk of injury #2 (Olympic lifts in the middle of a met-con is brutal. this is somewhat subjective. Some people scale weights down too much so they blow through a WOD no prob, but at the same token others scale weights too high. The goal is to find that sweet spot, which is hard when hubris gets in the way via "I can do X weight no problem".)
  • Noticed I started to slack on other areas of life/fitness as Crossfit became more consuming of my time/energy, mostly when i went unlimited membership. Less surfing, less walking the dog, less hiking, continual DOMS (muscle pain/soreness)
  • No built-in goals (Any goals I pursued were strictly done on my own after class. Skill work, rope climbing, techniques, etc, otherwise the only goals I had in-class were to "beat X, Y, or Z's times/lifts. I did get improvements in lifts, but these were almost secondary/tertiary to the WODs)
  • Varied workouts (The inability to work on a particular lift bugs me; Some are fans of lifting after WODs...I'm not)
  • Limited coaching when classes get big

Overall, I'd say its worthwhile but perhaps not sustainable in the long-term (especially not for you as your prices seem ridiculously high). I've been introduced to several lifts I've never done before and my form has improved on all. Very easy to overdo and get burnt out, consider limiting attending classes to 2-3x/week if that's an option.

C7e3ba0ed51a6195ae022822a8f056ac

(673)

on December 15, 2011
at 11:08 PM

Yup, I used to surf 3-5x a week and walk my dog plenty. When I was doing unlimited that dropped to 0x/week surfing and 1x/week dog walk. Its sad I'm saying this but I'm glad I injured my elbow, helped me to reevaluate my goals and path.

1ec4e7ca085b7f8d5821529653e1e35a

(5506)

on December 15, 2011
at 09:11 PM

This is precisely my problem. Crossfit gets in the way of the other fun exercise that I used to do. That shouldn't be the case. It's an addiction.

5
0a2dd50f2d3951bf3fb83fc4638c9512

(1960)

on December 15, 2011
at 05:45 AM

I'm also in Ohio, and I pay closer to $100/mo. But in all honesty, if they doubled it, I'd pay it -- my gym, trainers and the community of athletes are more than worth it.

One of the common responses to CF is that it's expensive. But you have to factor in what you get for the price, vs what you get with a typical gym membership...

  1. At my CF "box," there are multiple workout sessions -- 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 am, and 3, 4, 5 and 6 pm. We have at least one, and sometimes more, highly skilled trainers at every session.
  2. Unless you've had a trainer, taken classes, or are a trainer, at your typical gym, you're on your own. At my box, all I have to do is show up. The workouts are planned, and they work. My responsibility is to show up, and give it my best effort. The results just happen.
  3. In a typical gym, members show up, strap on their headphones, jump on a (machine of choice) and (pedal/lift/walk/jog) away. There's little to no interaction. I went to my local rec center for 6 mos straight -- worked out for 2 hours/day -- and never made a single friend. At CF, the community will welcome you in, encourage you, support your efforts and take the initiative not only to help you do better, but to make you feel like part of a community.
  4. At a typical gym, you exercise. At CF, you interact, you work out hard, you hang out and talk about food and nutrition, you meet families, you plan social activities, you start bands, you raise money for charities.
  5. A typical gym features machines and TVs and mirrors. A CF box has no mirrors -- they'd be broken if they were there. No TVs -- no time to watch. No showers -- you get dressed and prettied up at home. We do have thick rubber mats that we can drop big weights and kettlebells on. And free bars. And plates in all sizes and thicknesses. And kettlebells. And dumbbells. And pull-up bars. And racks. And chains. And tires. And sledge hammers.
  6. At typical gyms, no one knows you. At CF, everyone does.

I've been to typical gyms, and I've been to CF. I'm never going back to typical gyms.

24fcc21452ebe39c032be6801d6bbadd

(9812)

on December 15, 2011
at 01:02 PM

It's like Cheers- don't you wanna go where everybody knows your name?

Ab5da2cf814773d1e7454460dd069617

(20)

on December 15, 2011
at 02:46 PM

Well said Albert! My gym I go to gives me the same warm fuzzies, and buff muscles. It's expensive, but I have made huge leaps and bounds in my overall fitness and body awareness. Gym...$150 Lululemon pants...$100 Vibram Five Fingers...$100 A rockin' bod and life-changing fitness...PRICELESS

Medium avatar

(2301)

on December 15, 2011
at 09:48 PM

I want the warm fuzzies too, but I'm not sure if I want to pay $2400 a year for them. And I'm not sure if I'd quite fit in:/

3
072fd69647b0e765bb4b11532569f16d

(3717)

on December 15, 2011
at 04:04 AM

I was at a CrossFit gym for a year and a half before a couple of buddies and I left and decked out one of our garages with enough equipment to make some CF gyms envious. We have a good time. It's a fun way to workout, especially if you have a competitive streak. And while CF is fun and good for you (IMO), there are other ways to skin the exercise cat. Find what works for you, but maybe you just give it a shot for a month and see if it's worth the money. You will know pretty quickly.

P.S. very few folks actually follow the mainsite (crossfit.com) on a regular basis. You can tell from how the comments have dwindled over the years. Before choosing to follow an online site or otherwise do CF programming on you own, I would suggest trying a CF gym and learning how to do the movements properly.

Bf57bcbdc19d4f1728599053acd020ab

(5043)

on December 15, 2011
at 10:47 AM

I'd second this, try it for a month and see. In that time you can learn good form and then if you'd rather do stuff on your own you can.

3
9b1d1c26a25d6ad9ebe70aead01f51dc

(120)

on December 15, 2011
at 03:49 AM

The workouts are posted for each individual gym, so, technically, you don't need to belong if you have the supplies- and since most of the workouts are body weight, you should be able to do a few of the workouts at home. But, there are other aspects I joining a Crossfit box- trainer onsite, making sure you have correct form, and the camraderie. I pay $150 a month, but its still cheaper than the $50 an hour I was paying a trainer 3x a week.

3
B3e7d1ab5aeb329fe24cca1de1a0b09c

(5242)

on December 15, 2011
at 03:45 AM

Crossfit publishes it WOD daily on it's site, crossfit.com. You should be able to navigate backwards the last several years and you'll know exactly what to expect from the main site programming.

The benefit of going to a box and paying your money is that you'll hopefully have the assistance of a decent trainer to teach you correct and good form for all the movements. I'm sure Crossfit enthusiasts would also comment that the group environment is a good way to train, for maximum motivation and performance.

Of course you'll have to carefully vet your Crossfit box to ensure the trainers actually know their stuff, you can become lv 1 Crossfit certified from a weekend course, which allows the potential for a lot of 'wally' trainers.

I'd recommend carefully thinking about your fitness goals and then assess if Crossfit is the best vehicle to get you there.

3
13a44ea00b0c9af0b6d0f3d5f5c2cfca

(7223)

on December 15, 2011
at 03:23 AM

$200 a month? I think I'd opt for the walk.

531db50c958cf4d5605ee0c5ae8a57be

(8878)

on December 15, 2011
at 03:32 AM

I've been looking at one in Columbus, OH. $80/month. But it's Columbus.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on December 15, 2011
at 03:13 PM

$275 in Alexandria VA

Medium avatar

(2301)

on December 15, 2011
at 03:25 AM

Yeah.. that's what the website for my local Crossfit gym says :/ How much are others on average?

2
0d2dec01a5ed9363a9915e111ae13f7e

on December 15, 2011
at 03:41 AM

Shop gyms/trainers Crossfit as a brand can be fine and dandy, or it can be an injury waiting to happen. Try to define what your priorities are, it's tough to be an educated consumer. And your needs likely will change as you learn more about your own priorities!

1
3ccab807e2b8bb1d050c3584d9c1dd12

(487)

on December 15, 2011
at 09:01 PM

Worth every penny....IF....you like the people.

Medium avatar

(2301)

on December 15, 2011
at 09:49 PM

yeah I was concerned about that, too. Not sure what type of people show up. I am not too outgoing as it is, but I guess it could be good for me.

400b249032e4c829c4e802436833ea3b

(0)

on January 20, 2012
at 10:58 AM

IMO, you have got to fit in, and be likeable. Compeat for the trainers attention to get critiqued on technique. Can be frustrating.

1
24fcc21452ebe39c032be6801d6bbadd

(9812)

on December 15, 2011
at 01:16 PM

The price isn't sustainable for me, but I believe there is value in finding a good affiliate and going for a month here and there to learn proper form, and benefit from the energy of the group. I myself am not great about motivating myself to do metcons, and to do movements I don't enjoy (such as box jumps and burpees); going to the CF box helps me get out of my comfort zone.

Yesterdays WOD at my closest affiliate was to take 45 mins to find our max snatch- nobody else showed up for the 6pm class, so I got one-on-one training! :D

1
813a7bf445878358f7fe31722d9f2b62

on December 15, 2011
at 04:05 AM

Working with weights is really important, whether its body weight or otherwise! You won't build a strong muscular base by just running alone. There's a couple of sites out there that have CF style exercises using body weight only, if you want to try it out at home. Check out CrossFit mainsite, or SealGrinder: http://sealgrinderpt.com

Also, if you're into distance running, check out the CrossFit Endurance program, which mixes strength training with endurance cardio:

http://running.competitor.com/2011/05/training/brian-mackenzies-12-week-crossfit-endurance-advanced-training-program_28400

1
Medium avatar

on December 15, 2011
at 03:44 AM

I admire CrossFit and find the approach really impressive.

I also think CF benefits from being a compelling alternative to the BS that passes as the mainstream gym scene. CF's functional-fitness approach is a huge breakthrough on that score alone. I continue to be amazed by the time-wasting that counts as "I go to the gym X times per week."

But CF has a cultic quality, not limited to its insistence (at least in many CF gyms) that newbies need to take a series of classes on "how to do" CF. One intro class, maybe, to learn key forms. But 4-6?

That's a dynamic of an in-group ("We're on the leading edge") movement, rather than a phenomenon that can be done by anybody, on a "scalable" basis.

Repeat: I like the content of CF. I'm there for it, 90 percent. But still, if the movements are really as "natural" as CF claims (with which I agree), then why is so much "This is how WE do it here at CF" initiation required? I took the 4-class intro and found it largely an over-stylized pitch for commonsense movements not exclusive to Cf by a long shot.

I think the mainstream fitness practice will find ways to incorporate core CF premises and practices, and CF will fade per se, though there will continue to be CF "originalists" offering what they claim to be the Real Thing. And their claims will be valid, in that what they offer will be good stuff.

04f2eae4450112cdedce7235923c646d

(1112)

on December 15, 2011
at 04:50 AM

I have no problems seeing why there is an introductions class. Yes, the movements are natural in deed, but so is running. How many people do you se running with a good form? At my gym or at the local run trails, I have seen none. What should be trivial isn't always...

0
510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20898)

on December 15, 2011
at 11:31 PM

CrossFit as a brand is mostly meaningless. If you mean CrossFit as what's programmed on the crossfit.com mainsite then I say it's not very useful. The workout are too long and too much of a beat down. A novice (even someone fit who's new to CrossFit) will probably see a ton of gains for the first 6 months to a year of following the mainsite (with scaled weights where appropriate). However, the lack of periodization and the focus on long metcons will eventually take its toll and you will plateau or get injured and go backwards. So if you're going to a CF gym that costs $200 and they just follow the mainsite programming, you're wasting your money. However, if you find a gym that just uses the term "CrossFit" for the marketing purposes and doesn't follow the mainsite and does their own strength- and sprint-based programming with good periodization, then it can be worth the money. My gym is $150/month and I think it's totally worth it, the coaches are very knowledgable, the programming is very good, and the community is great. I could never push myself hard enough on my own, I need to have the group setting plus the whiteboard with everyone's time on it, so I can compete everyday.

Reall, the summary is that you can't trust the name "crossfit" to mean anything, you have to go look at each gym and see how they work and what their programming like before you make a decision on how much it's worth to you.

Medium avatar

(8239)

on December 19, 2011
at 05:13 PM

Excellent points. The CF brand is now way more noise than signal. Quality is a gym by gym proposition. And that depends on goals.

0
7b91be6e22d4e2960f40935e306bdee5

on December 15, 2011
at 09:35 PM

I do the WOD from the main site in my basement. I actually really, really like it. Great mix of exercises. I didn't need to purchase any equipment. Already had a set of Olympic weights, cage, set of selectecs, and a treadmill. All exercises can be substituted to be done on what I have. I also love the fact that I get a full workout done in about 30mins (anywhere from 10-60mins). After doing p90x and insanity I can honestly say I will never go back to hour+ long workouts 6 days a week.

0
Dfada6fe4982ab3b7557172f20632da8

(5332)

on December 15, 2011
at 01:32 PM

It also depends what else is available. My local 'gym', for $30 a month, gives me all the standard weights and machines and stuff, swimming pools, indoor courts, running track and access to the multiple classes which are run throughout the day with trainers (as well as the complementary fitness evaluation and personalised workout plan and instruction on how to do the movements properly). It's not perfect but it affords me the opportunities if I want to take them and a community in which to push ideas I'm more interested in being taken up. I can't imagine paying much more for something that wasn't comparable in scope.

0
1ec4e7ca085b7f8d5821529653e1e35a

(5506)

on December 15, 2011
at 12:13 PM

It depends on your goals. If you want to lose weight, build a little muscle depending on your level of training, have fun, and be relatively fit the do crossfit for sure. It's addictive and a great time. It is also a great way to be exposed to different modalities of exercise and training like oly lifts, powerlifting, and gymnastics and rowing.

If your goals aren't crossfit-related then don't do crossfit :)

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