Anyone who has ever participated in athletics knows that regardless of the sport, it’s just as much mental as it is physical. It’s the same with working out or exercising in any capacity. You can have all the athleticism in the world, but it’s just as much about mental toughness and pushing yourself to the limit when you think you can’t go any harder to get the most out of your workout.
Have you ever wanted to do a group workout, but were afraid of being judged or didn’t think you could do certain movements? Think you’ll slow everybody else down or won’t be able to commit to a regular schedule? There are any number of reasons we choose to avoid regular exercise: We don’t have time, we don’t want to be sore and let’s face it, it’s much easier to sit on the couch with potato chips than do 100 sit-ups and 50 push-ups in 10 minutes.
For those that have that mentality, there’s one word: CrossFit. I thought this same way several months ago, and joining the club became one of the best decisions I’ve made in a long time.
So what is CrossFit? It’s group workouts. It’s lifting, it’s burpees, it’s box jumps, it’s conditioning exercises and more. But it’s so much more than just movements. It’s about a group pushing each other to the limit, regardless of what that limit is. Here are four reasons to sign up for CrossFit, and get yourself in the best shape of your life.
It all starts with a visit to a local CrossFit gym, a sit down with a professional coach and an introductory workout. You go through fitness goals, what you hope to accomplish by joining and they get a sense of your baseline ability. The coaches make a commitment to making you better, reinforcing the right movements and getting you to your goals. If there’s a movement you struggle with, they make adjustments so you can still get the exercise in. They give you the tools, it’s up to you to show up and push yourself.
Group CrossFit classes start with a 15-20 minute warm-up, an introduction to movements in the “WOD” or Workout of the Day and then the clock starts. You’re working out with between 10 and 20 other people depending on the day and you all have one common goal: Go as hard as you can without hurting yourself and take your workout to final buzzer.
Don’t stop early, because nobody else is and you’ll get a better workout as a result. Pushing yourself to your physical limit becomes a necessity when you see everybody else giving it their all, and the feeling at the end of the workout is something that’s hard to describe. Plus, you’re in and out in a little less than 60 minutes.
Most people that avoid CrossFit do so because they don’t think they can handle the physical aspect of the workouts. The truth is the classes really are for people of any ability. In fact, there are many who join that have never worked out before. Coaches prefer novices when it comes to exercise because they have a blank canvass to work with. The early focus can be on doing the proper techniques and movements with exercises. Once those are established, the strength training and conditioning can begin. It’s a different workout every day, so every workout is a slightly different experience.
More than anything, you’re going to Group CrossFit classes regularly with the many of the same people at your local gym. Seeing the same faces every week builds a comfort zone, and the group workouts build a sense of camaraderie in the gym. It makes it fun to exercise regularly.
The cost to varies per gym, but I signed up for three classes per week at a cost of $140 per month for six months. The cost goes up the more you do, but with it comes a sense of accountability and investment. Coaches monitor your progress as you get started, step in and offer help when it’s needed and there’s a sense of accomplishment with every workout you finish. You won’t complete the first few workouts and you will be sore early on, but the more you go the better you will feel. I’m not even a full month in, but will be renewing once my six months is up. CrossFit isn’t just about working out, it’s about using exercise as a tool for a lifestyle change, finding your inner drive and getting that competitiveness out in an avenue that maybe wasn’t there before.
It will seem daunting, nerve-racking and even a little intimidating when you start. But once you get going and get through the first few workouts, you’re actually excited to go to class and kick your own butt for an hour!
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