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Is CrossFit’s famous community crumbling? This popular YouTuber thinks so…

 Written by 

Julien Raby

 Last updated on 

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Is CrossFit’s famed community in decline?

YouTuber Sporty Beth argues yes, blaming online negativity and shifting media focus. 

crossfit culture declining
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But CrossFit veteran Andrew Hiller disagrees. He says the heart of the community is still strong. So, what’s the truth about the negativity problem?  Does it extend beyond online spaces? And could it really break down CrossFit’s supportive culture?

Here are Beth’s main arguments and Hiller’s reaction to them:

Decline in Positive Community Culture:

Sporty Beth mentions a “rapid decline in the culture within CrossFit,” indicating a shift from what she perceives as a more positive, supportive environment to one that is less welcoming.

Hiller contests the claim of a rapid decline in CrossFit’s community culture, sharing his extensive experience within the community to argue that the core values and supportive nature of CrossFit remain strong, especially in physical gym spaces.

Negative Online Behavior and Hate Comments:

A significant part of her critique centers on the negativity prevalent in online spaces, particularly in the form of hate comments and the trashing of athletes. She suggests that this online behavior is detrimental to the community’s overall culture and does not reflect the positive interactions that occur within physical CrossFit gyms.

Hiller acknowledges the negativity present in online forums and comment sections but differentiates these from the positive, supportive interactions occurring within physical CrossFit affiliates. Hiller suggests that the online negativity does not accurately reflect the real-world CrossFit community.

Changes in CrossFit Media Content:

Sporty Beth points out the negative shift in CrossFit’s media output. She reminisces about the days when CrossFit media focused on athlete stories and positive narratives, which she believes painted the community in a good light. The sacking of CrossFit’s entire media team and the subsequent disappearance of this type of content have, in her view, contributed to a rise in negativity.

While agreeing with the point about the change in the nature of CrossFit media, Hiller reminisces positively about the era when CrossFit media focused on athlete stories and community-building content. He suggests the need for a balance between showcasing achievements and addressing community issues constructively.

Impact of Negativity on Athletes and the Community:

She argues that the focus on negativity, driven by a desire for views and clicks, harms athletes and the community. This is likened to broader trends in social media and sports, where negative commentary can overshadow positive achievements and contributions.

Hiller extends the discussion of negativity beyond CrossFit, pointing out that the phenomenon of focusing on negative aspects for engagement is prevalent across all social media and affects various sectors, not just CrossFit.

Misconceptions About Inclusivity in CrossFit Competitions:

Sporty Beth touches on concerns regarding inclusivity, particularly related to the CrossFit Open. She notes that some people feel excluded by the competition standards, which might not be clearly communicated as opportunities for personal achievement rather than strict benchmarks everyone should meet.

He addresses the inclusivity of CrossFit competitions, particularly the Open, arguing that the intent of these events is often misunderstood. Hiller suggests that CrossFit has made efforts to be inclusive through scaling options and that the community should better communicate the purpose and expectations of competitive events.

General Negativity and Its Sources:

Although not directly quoted, the transcript suggests that Sporty Beth and Andrew Hiller discuss the source of negativity, possibly attributing it to broader societal issues that infiltrate the CrossFit community, including misogyny, racism, and exclusivity.

What do you think? Has the Crossfit culture declined?


Julien Raby is the owner of BoxLife. He owns a bachelor in literature and a certificate in marketing from Concordia. He's Crossfit Level 1 certified and has been involved in Crossfit since 2010. In 2023 he finally made it to Crossfit Open Quarterfinals for the first time. LinkedIn Instagram Facebook

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