As CrossFit continues to expand, a throng of CrossFit haters seems to be growing along with it. It seems that bashing CrossFit is just as popular as doing it—minus the wealth of physical, emotional and social benefits it provides, of course. Who knows where this pain in the arse group of misinformed fiends came from? In truth, there will always be people that get a kick out of attempting to discredit anything that generates a mass amount of attention and popularity—despite their complete lack of knowledge on the subject. CrossFit is no exception. In fact, we in the community have had to put up with a load of bollocks (translation: bulls*&^) from them for quite some time. It’s almost impossible to put a number on the amount of lies that are churned out by the haters on a daily basis, but we’ve narrowed it down to four. I have no doubt that you’ve heard one (or all) of them before.
1. CrossFit is dangerous.
This is number 1 for a reason—every CrossFitter at every box across the planet has heard the myth that CrossFit is dangerous. This, of course, is false. Now, there are things that happen within a box that can and do lead to injury. Bad programming, poor coaching and an athlete’s ego (attempting to do too much when scaling is the better option) are chief suspects in this regard. But if these factors result in an injury, it is the result of human error—not CrossFit. Besides, CrossFit IS a training methodology and a sport (more on that later), so it is not without its share of risk. But so is walking down the stairs in the morning, crossing the street or playing pickup basketball. The truth is that injury rates within CrossFit are comparable or less to sports such as gymnastics, Olympic weightlifting and other fitness programs—far less than the haters (and mainstream media—though the two might not be mutually exclusive) perceive it to be.
2. EVERY CrossFitter is obsessed with CrossFit.
In my mind, there is a difference between love, passion, and obsession. Obsession is too close to addiction for my liking. An obsessed CrossFitter is someone who, in addition to spending every day at the box, strictly wears CrossFit attire, watches CrossFit videos constantly, buys every piece of CrossFit gear known to man, manages to turn every conversation to CrossFit and only hangs out with other CrossFitters. If this sounds like you, just be warned that too much of a good thing can make it bad. Every CrossFitter, of course, is not obsessed with CrossFit. Most of us have friends outside of our network of fellow CrossFitters, we spend our money on different hobbies and pursuits, and we realize that life is about balance and not specialization (as CrossFit teaches us, ironically enough). Even 2014’s second fittest man, Matt Fraser, has said that CrossFit is “not his whole life.” Rather, he understands that CrossFit is supposed to be fun—as we all should. If that means we talk a lot about the sport because we’re passionate about it and we enjoy fitness then so be it! Just be wary about talking about CrossFit and only CrossFit to all you come in contact with. That might make you an asshole, and feed the haters.
3. CrossFit is expensive.
On the outside looking in, this lie may appear to be ‘true’. With most memberships running at upwards of $120 a month, one may think that CrossFit is ridiculously expensive. But when you compare it to the typical membership costs of yoga, Pilates and spinning programs, for example, there isn’t much difference at all. Depending on where you live, these other programs might actually be more expensive than CrossFit. Ok, so you can spend $50 or less a month to go to a globo gym and get a similar workout. Except that you can’t. What globo gym is going to allow snatches, clean & jerks, or the wonderful noises that makes up the great ambiance of a CrossFit box? Not to mention requiring sufficient space and the necessary equipment to truly replicate the physical effects of a CrossFit WOD. Planet Fitness went so far as to ban deadlifts and grunting—GRUNTING! There’s a reason CrossFit memberships are priced the way they are. CrossFit in essence provides a roadmap to fitness through structured daily workouts, greater 1-on-1 training and a like-minded community that keeps you engaged, motivated and most importantly, coming back so you actually make the most of your membership.
4. CrossFit isn’t a sport.
The fact is, CrossFit is both a fitness methodology AND a sport (as well as a lifestyle, but we won’t get into the multiple definitions of ‘CrossFit’ today). Athletes can come into the box and train in CrossFit programming on a daily basis as part of their fitness routine. And that’s fine! But every CrossFitter in the world has the option to take part in the first qualifying stage of the Reebok CrossFit Games, and this is truly a sport. Let me explain why, very simply. It’s sponsored by a sports brand in Reebok. There are rules, judges, events and medals. There are winners and losers. It involves athletes competing against one another on the field of competition, testing their physical fitness, skills and resolve. There are multiple divisions and cash payouts. It involves elements taken from the SPORTS of gymnastics and Olympic Weightlifting. Oh, and it’s broadcast by ‘the worldwide leader in sports’, ESPN. Sure sounds like a sport to me.
Photo courtesy of sunsurf/CC BY-NC-SA 2.0