life · Physical Fitness

Why I Don’t Crossfit

I’m not entirely sure how we ended up at the Ambush Crossfit studio or who brainwashed my husband into thinking it was the ultimate get-fit fix, but when Jon said he wanted to give Crossfit a try, I wasn’t only shocked and apprehensive, I was curious.

I’ve never been a gym rat and I mean that with the utmost respect for those who are. I find the traditional work-out pad overwhelming and under-productive and I’ve wasted my fair share of cash flow on memberships un-used. Not only am I inexperienced on the machines, I get distracted, bored and, frankly, lonely when surrounded by other gym-goers who seem to know way more about free weights and Ab Coasters.

I find the traditional work-out pad overwhelming and under-productive

So, while I’ve always raised an eyebrow at the Crossfit culture, I thought that joining a structured fitness cult family might be beneficial. So we joined (mistake number 1) and my husband and I spent a month beating our bodies into submission under the “experienced” instruction of our Crossfit coaches (mistake number 2). Here is what we learned…

There is a Crossfit type:

Anyone is welcome to join Crossfit but if you’re not a trendy, branded, iron-pumping addict, no one will take you seriously. As a former athlete, I wasn’t looking to become the next weightlifting olympian. My attempt to tone, not build, was regarded with judgmental glances from my “peers”. Not to mention, I failed to invest in Nike Metcons and brightly colored spandex to compliment my squats. On top of looking like riffraff, fellow crossfitters noticed that we weren’t there six days a week, because, you know, moderation is everything.

Crossfit hurts:

No pain, no gain, right? Jon and I both grew up playing sports. We are hard workers, determined and competitive yet Crossfit kicked our (insert booty swear word here). Workouts left me feeling weak and sluggish all.day.long. I was perpetually hungry and my body felt malnourished. Jon re-awakened old football injuries which made workouts daunting and dangerous. Coaches were respectful if we needed to take a minute to puke behind the bushes, or scale down a movement to protect joints and ligaments; it’s a miracle we weren’t seriously injured.

I was perpetually hungry and my body felt malnourished

Bulk Bulk Bulk:

When we started Crossfit I was terrified about building too much muscle. Both trainers and non-crossfiters assured me that building muscle was hard to do and something I shouldn’t worry about. Riddle me this then – how on earth did three weeks of a low-weight regime cause me to go up almost two pant sizes? I’ve never felt like more of  a brick in my life. Slow, heavy, and uncoordinated. The fact is, your body has a unique response to stress and the physical abuse I put my body through made me bloat and bulk. NoteIt’s been almost a month since leaving Crossfit and I can happily report that all of my clothes fit normally – yay!

It’s all fun and games… or maybe it’s not: 

Physical health is important but so is mental and emotional reconciliation. Life is way too short to add another passionless commitment to an already saturated schedule. For me, there was nothing fun about the Crossfit experience. It was an item to check off my to-do list, an exorbitant chore. There are so many fitness options to choose from, if the one you stumble into isn’t fulfilling, don’t hesitate to walk away.

Life is too short to add another passionless commitment to an already saturated schedule

I’m still slightly ashamed that I bought into the Crossfit credence, not because it doesn’t work but simply because it didn’t work for us. Shame on us for not taking special care to assay Crossfit’s culture and clientele before purchasing two, very expensive, memberships. We should have spent more time developing our fitness goals before assuming that Crossfit could help us achieve them.

Stay humble, stay focused, and make no small plans.

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3 thoughts on “Why I Don’t Crossfit

  1. I can’t tell if you’re entirely serious here, but it seems a bit silly. After spending the last 7 years in CrossFit gyms and most definitely not bulking anymore (I just did a squat workout with 35# weights, even though Rx was 115#), it sounds like you may have just joined the wrong gym. I’ve been in gyms where competitors are definitely the focus. I’ve been in more gyms where regular people who are just staying healthy are the norm. I see moms who are 100lbs overweight, pregnant women, business men, 18 year olds in college, 60 year old men who haven’t ever lifted a weight before, strong women, skinny men, whatever… I’ve never been to a gym where everybody fits some stereotype. If you felt sluggish all day long and were awakening old injuries, perhaps you were pushing too hard. As former athletes, you should also know your limits. With a well balanced diet and an increase in calories on days I work out, I don’t ever leave the gym feeling sluggish. I don’t think CrossFit is for everybody. I have friends who would never want to try it or feel it’s just too much for them. That’s cool. And sadly, since there are so many gyms out there now, that means there are also a lot of gyms that aren’t so good out there. You can easily find a great gym with good coaches, lift lighter weights, tone, and take great care of your body while doing it…

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