10 Reasons to Try CrossFit

10.09.2013

​Few in the world of fitness can boast about a resume like Matt Chan can. A four-time top 10 finisher at the CrossFit games, he has been one of the event's most consistently successful participants since it was first held in 2007, including placing second in 2012. Matt is a co-owner of Denver's CrossFit Verve, voted one of the best CrossFit boxes in Denver in 2013. Here, Matt shares his top ten reasons why you should try CrossFit. 

  1. Results - That's what we're all after right? Whether you're after decreased body fat, increased muscle mass, improved triglycerides, or stronger bones, CrossFit produces measurable results that are visible in blood tests and in the mirror.  Who doesn't want to look good naked?!?
     
  2. GPP - CrossFit is a General Physical Preparedness program that prepares you well for life's demands.  No matter how simple the task, by practicing a wide array of functional movements, you'll be increasing your longevity and independence.  Gone are the days of "back and bi's, chest and tri's."  Welcome to a world where routine is the enemy and the certainty is change.
     
  3. Universal scalability - Whether you're a professional athlete, out of shape, or a retiree, the CrossFit program is adapted to suit the needs of any individual.  We scale the loads, repetitions, or even the exercises and produce the same fitness. Should Grandma do CrossFit?  Absolutely!  Will it look very different from a CrossFit Games-level athlete? Without a doubt.
     
  4. Neurological sufficiency - By practicing functional movements that are inescapable in daily life, you're learning to move safely and efficiently.  For example, though the deadlift might sound dangerous, any time you pick an object off the ground, you're completing a deadlift.  By practicing the movement, you're wiring your body to perform the movement well.
     
  5. Mindset - CrossFitters experience many adaptations to the program, but one of the biggest is the adaptation that occurs between the ears.  CrossFit requires hard work and hard work is uncomfortable.  One of the greatest elements of CrossFit is the mental toughness that it creates and carries into all aspects of life.
     
  6. Off-season training - There are a lot of sports that people participate in that are seasonal (triathlon, skiing, climbing, football...) and require a sport-specific skillset.  CrossFit is an amazing program for off-season training to improve fitness as a whole by developing cardiovascular/respiratory endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, speed, coordination, accuracy, agility, and balance. By bringing each of these specific capacities up, athletes perform better in-season.
     
  7. Community - Experience a community unlike any other.  CrossFit at an affiliate, such as CrossFit Verve, is more than just exercise.  You'll celebrate personal records alongside other athletes (all participants are considered athletes no matter what level).  You'll have the opportunity to experience community events, such as Paleo potlucks, competitions (as a spectator or as an athlete), team events, learning workshops, and subject matter expert lectures.  Or, you can just come in on an active rest day, and mobilize your tired muscles and chat with friends.
     
  8. Affordability - A point of contention for many people.  There are several options for getting involved with CrossFit, from personal training ($$$), to small group training at an affiliate ($$), to working out on your own utilizing CrossFit.com (free!). The most common route is starting at an affiliate, where you'll be taught the skills necessary to complete a WOD (workout of the day), be coached through a WOD, and then be cooled down.  Try getting that for $150/month at a "Globo-gym."
     
  9. A change of pace - Losing the excitement you used to have for exercise?  Well, keep it going!  Because the workout changes everyday, you'll find yourself clicking refresh on your affiliate's WOD blog (a guilty pleasure of all CrossFitters) each night until the new workout is released.  You'll find yourself getting butterflies in your stomach on the way to the gym and you'll be rushing with endorphins as you leave.
     
  10. Fun - CrossFit is making working out fun again.  This is the biggest point for most people.  By combining elements from the list above, CrossFit will leave you sweating, smiling, and wanting more.  Don't believe me?  Call a buddy and attend a free "intro class" at your local affiliate.  Most allow one or two free drop-ins to get a feel for the culture at the gym.  If you don't like one, try another!  

Matt Chan is Co-Owner and Head Trainer of CrossFit Verve in Denver, Colorado, Seminar Staff Head Trainer for CrossFit Inc., and a firefighter and EMT.  Matt began CrossFitting in May 2007 and opened CrossFit Verve in 2008 (voted one of the best CrossFit boxes in Denver in 2013) as a means of creating an outlet for people in the Denver area to explore their fitness potential and improve their longevity through general physical preparedness.  Matt seeks an elite level of fitness that has helped him become a four-time top 10 finisher at the CrossFit Games, including placing second in 2012. Matt loves to help others by sharing his passion for fitness and the experience he's gathered in his own pursuit.  Find him at CrossFit Verve or follow him at @Matt1Chan.

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27 Comments

  • Instead of going to a Box I decided to have a Box in my Garage. I bought weights, bars, wall balls, kettle balls and rower. There are plenty of websites and apps for crossfit WODs. I have friends and neighbors that come and workout. No need to spend over $100 + a month. You can get the same results doing it at home and it's just as rewarding. Thinking about getting crossfit level 1 trainer

  • Well said Jessica. I agree with you 100%!!

  • I wish I had gotten results when I did crossfit. I just overtrained and lost muscle :( No amount of "clean" eating would fix it either.

  • People should simply do whatever fitness activity yields you the results that they are seeking. If its crossfit that's wonderful. I happen to love crossfit. It works for me. It's taken me where I want to be physically and mentally. To say one form of fitness is better than the other is childish. Now what is crazy is when people who are self labeled fitness experts who have mastered the art of sitting on the sofa eating bon bons put out information about any fitness program.

  • nothing too controversial yet which is surprising. As far as price I personally don't have 120 a month for an iphone, as a full time student athlete on scholarship and small business owner on the side i live in a little house that's 400 a month with one of my coaches. If i asked my peers or training partners to participate in cross fit they would not be able to afford it. Mark: yeah it's quite easy for someone to get certified in crossfit over here in the US. I have the level 1. Its a weekend long cert, like the usaw, covers the crossfit methodology, their thoughts on nutrition, three practical sessions on core movements: squat, front squat, overhead squat, press, push press, push jerk, deadlift, sdlhp, clean...programming etc The coaching is good, but this cert is pretty worthless outside the crossfit culture. It doesn't exactly teach how to fix imbalances and bad form. I do get clients who ask about crossfit bc of its current popularity and I let them know im a trainer as a selling point....otherwise, I end up apologizing or explaining this cert to coworkers more than anything else. There is a lot of hatred towards crossfit within the fitness community, which I can understand. As far as injuries, it's more so than normal sports. Yes there are injuries in any sport, but this is different. Check this article out: https://medium.com/this-happened-to-me/f4882edd1e21 it covers the basic cons and such of it. The main thing is the form breakdown. Your average person who hasn't been taught the basics of olympic lifting who is taught to do it from a subpar coach (which i can say as i've taken the certification and passed) is asking for injury. It doesn't matter if they're scaling to a light weight, if they aren't lifting right and doing it in high volume they WILL get hurt, it's not a matter of if just when. Also, crossfit claims to be the ultimate athletic program. Aerobic conditioning methods are not new, and anyone can complete these workouts and get the same results as if they went to a "box" and did it there. The only thing you pay for is the acceptance of others and motivation (assuming you can't get it on your own). I didn't have anything against crossfit until i saw guys hurting their shoulders doing kipping pullups and not being able to work their laborer jobs for a month and still trying to get back, females hurting their lower back to the point of herniated discs and such, and the whole time everything was treated as normal. I stopped working at the gym after that and while i continue to condition aerobically to benefit myself (gym in my garage, welded power rack, boxes, power sled, rope, tires, hammer, a ton of plates and 2 nice bars, and that's about it) in my wrestling, i don't recommend crossfit. I don't see a problem with it as long as proper form is preached and taught as well as personal limits are scaled but that's not what crossfit is about.

  • I agree that Crossfit is worth the cost of $150 a month, some local boxes are down to 99 a month here in CA. I was eating pretty good (paleo for a while) but prior to that I would be a candy bar and a soda almost every day. $5 a day = $150 a month, I figured if I just stopped that nasty habit and spend the money on a box membership, it's way more than worth it.

  • Stay Healthy...be active! Live by those two things and all will be well. Cross Fit is a good thing as it teaches us functional moves. One thing I will say is this; Shitty egotistical coaches make a bad name for CF.

  • Josh and Charity I completely agree! I do side jobs to pay my membership and there isn't a day I regret it. The box I am part of is located in the North Country, the coaches are well educated and spend the entire WOD walking through and being with each member making sure their forms are correct. To simply put it, they are amazing! I still scale down some of the WODS but whenever I finally get it it's the best feeling in the world, $120 iPhone's can't give me that feeling.

  • Have you guys heard of rhabdomyolysis? http://www.huffingtonpost.com/eric-robertson/crossfit-rhabdomyolysis_b_3977598.html

  • WOW Zach! I hope that it takes more than that to be a CrossFit instructor in the US. Here in Australia you need to be a Group Fitness Instructor/Personal Trainer first and then do the CrossFit level one course to be an instructor. Also $150 a month for a gym! DAM! I pay $60 a month, and that is for a very well equipped gym & includes classes (CrossFit is extra). I hope that $150 a month includes CrossFit, Bootcamps etc. Lastly don't discount any type of exercise based on a few idiots pushing themselves beyond their limits & getting injured. People get injured doing circuit & strength training too, are you going to quit that? No, each person needs to find what they enjoy and what works for them. I enjoy CrossFit (lifting weights in a gym is too boring), but if weights & circuits work for you then great, do what works for you.

  • Really great points. Clear and concise!!

  • 150 a month is quite high for someone to "encourage" you to do workouts that are free to access on crossfits website. Not to mention to be a crossfit coach all you have to do is attend a weekend seminar and shell out $1000 or so (note that it is NOT a real pt certification such as NASM or such). I've seen way to many people getting injured by doing wods out of their personal limits such as the 21-15-9 reps of bodyweight deadlifts and kb swings back to back. Bad form occurs and these adults are wrecking themselves. Will i ever pay for "cross fit"? no. Will i continue to do circuit training and strength training (which is all crossfit is, it just marketed it in a "fitness package" better)? Yes.

  • Nice conversación

  • Paying $150 a month for a grueling, well instructed, sweaty, kick ass, encouraging workout equals priceless in my mind. Find the right box with well trained coaches and KB swings back to back are nothing. Form, form and form! Yeah I could save my money and do it for free but there is nothing better then having ten people in a room all doing the same thing to push you to push yourself, then after it's done give you a sweaty high five. $150 well worth it!

  • I love Crossfit! I just wish I could afford it long term. It was by far the hardest thing I ever did but, the most rewarding.

  • If you can afford 120 a month for an iPhone the. You can afford 150 toward being a better human being for the present, and future . Period

  • I agree with Jessica and Josh. CrossFit is pricey but is well worth the extra shifts I pick up in order to improve myself physically, mentally and emotionally. Oh and, by the way, injuries occur in every sport. There are always going to be athletes who push past their limits. That is their own fault. Their pride is to blame not CrossFit... Athletes have the option to scale for a reason.

  • CrossFit has changed my whole philosophy on training. I used to "exercise" and it was a chore. Now I "train" and it's my favorite part of the day. I've started training others, building up my garage gym and hopefully will gain affiliate status in the near future.

  • I love crossfit just dont train at crossfit bondi so badly managed and owner is a complete tosser!!

  • I crossfit four days a week along with my sister. We are in our 60's and we look at the cost as we either pay now or pay later with taking a bunch of meds, using a walker and having to depend on others. I'll pay for crossfit any day to the latter.

  • I injured my shoulder before ever even knowing about CrossFit (college sports injury). I joined my box to help heal myself. I was sick of hurting. They help me to scale and modify WODs so that I can complete them in a way that is going to give me the best outcome. They would never let me perform a movement that they believed would further the shoulder injury I already have. I keep them up to date with my outside therapy, but my coaches usually ask me how I'm doing first. The community that my box has shown me is better than any team I was ever on before. CrossFit is helping to make me the person, physically and emotionally, I have always wanted to be. I will never trade that. Because of CrossFit I am stronger and more confident than ever. I've put in the work, but I've also gotten the support. To me, there is nothing more valuable than feeling good, and without my box, I'd still be the hopeless, overweight, and tired person, in pain all of the time, that I was before. Thank you CrossFit.

  • Here in Japan Crossfit is a new idea--- and at US$300 a month in Daikanyama, Tokyo, I do hope that comes with a massage and a steak afterwards. Absolutely insanely priced, and in a particularly trendy part of the city.

  • Id like to say that crossfit has changed all of my familys life! I have a 19 year old son, Who up until crossfit, had done nothing! I mean nothing! Our trainer gave us a diet, and we all got to work(my wife, my son and I), my son last 45 pounds! Ive lost 24 lbs. And my wife has lost 14 lbs. Its true, what we usted to eat, all the Junk food, we now pay our month membership! Does it work, heck yeah it does! You get what you put into it our trainers (3) are there every step of the way! Thanks crossfit!

  • We have a Crossfit Affiliate in my Florida town. The clientele includes police, fire fighters, doctors, and dentists…etc. At one time I was seriously considering joining the “box.” After some serious consideration and taking an inventory of several work related stress injuries, I came to the decision not to join. There was also another reason which precluded my decision not to join. I had a slight run in with one of the members. It culminated with a harmless Facebook message I sent to this person stating I would avoid their presence. This caused a visit by a county police officer who was also a member of the local Crossfit. After a letter the law enforcement agency involved, the issue turned into a non-issue. After the reviewing the filed report, It turned out that the owner of my local Crossfit claimed that I stopped by the box to harass that person….I still cannot understand how that happened. I visited the local Crossfit to actually see the operation for myself. As I personally see it, Crossfit is one large a** wiping clique.

  • Don't forget the community aspect- sure you can go on the website and do a WOD at home, but the fun is doing it with other people. Same as running and sex! 😳

  • Wow, back in 1985 on my High School wrestling team we had to do "updowns", pull-ups,squats, box jumps, situps, sprints and power cleans...FOR TIME!!! We didn't take picture of ourselves and post them on Facebook, didn't have bumper stickers and didn't give a crap about community... we did it to get better at a SPORT!!! You know, when you have to battle a opponent, not a clock!

  • After doing crossfit for a year, I had too make cut backs. Crossfit lost, I cried for days and called the owners of my box and told them I would not be returning due to finical reason. Less then a day later they called and worked out a deal with me, I clean the box 3 times a week to pay for my dues. I am extremely grateful for my crossfit box!

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