CrossFit is a fantastic workout routine that gets you incredibly fit. We perform gymnastic movements, olympic weightlifting, powerlifting, and all forms of cardio to create healthy, well-rounded athletes.
It is one of the best ways to get in shape and is incredibly rewarding for people of all skill levels due to its infinite scaleability. Anyone, from your oldest relative with a sedentary lifestyle to an elite athlete like Saquon Barkley with his 405 power clean, can improve their overall fitness by starting CrossFit.
Ya don’t have to be fit to get fit.
I say that because it is one of the most common things I hear when people are hesitant about starting CrossFit. “I need to get fit before I start.”
Why do people believe this?
It is because of the most prominent outward facing publicity arm of CrossFit: The CrossFit Games. A competition dedicated to finding the fittest athletes on Earth. Both televised nationally and broadcast on the internet internationally, The Sport of Fitness is usually the first thing that people see when they look up CrossFit.
How I started CrossFit (short version):
The CrossFit Games was actually the first time I had heard about CrossFit. Me and my roommate in our freshman year of college were searching for the coolest fitness stuff we could find to try in the gym and we stumbled upon the recorded broadcast of the 2013 CrossFit Games. The first video we watched was “Cinco 1 and 2 Men’s Event.” We watched as a man named Rich Froning Jr. went to claim his 3rd Fittest Man on Earth title by doing 405 lbs. deadlifts, 53 lbs. weighted pistols, handstand walking, muscle-ups, deficit handstand pushups, and 160# overhead walking lunges. All movements that looked either like circus movements or so heavy we couldn’t comprehend how much they hurt.
Now I saw that and went, “let’s go try it!” It took all of 2 tries at a bar muscle up to realize this was really hard stuff, and I liked the idea of the challenge it provided me.
I started trying WODs and watching videos on how to get all those crazy circus movements and realized. CrossFit is fun because it can always push you. You are always trying to improve yourself whether it is in your nutrition, gymnastics, weightlifting, mobility, or cardiovascular abilities.
6 years later and I have gone from deadlifting 225 lbs, 5 strict pull ups, and an Open ranking of 56,347th to deadlifting 540lbs, 10 strict muscle ups, and a personal record Open ranking of 282nd.
There are millions of stories of other people seeing improvements from doing CrossFit. The workout routine is great.
Why make it a sport?
The Sport of CrossFit:
Well, first, CrossFit lends itself to competition due to the nature of what we call “MetCons.” Theses are circuits that are usually high intensity and are either timed or scored for the number of reps completed in a certain time. As people started finding people with similar skill levels to train with, they would push each other to move faster and get higher scores.
As CrossFit grew, actual dedicated competitions with prizes arose, the biggest of which being the CrossFit Games in 2007 which was held in Aromas, CA.
Today there are 5 different types of CrossFit competitions: local, online, regional, sanctional, and international competitions.
The international pinnacle of competition is still the CrossFit Games. Some other international competitions have arisen since then that actually give their champions invites to the CrossFit Games – these are sanctionals.
In the regional level you have competitions that are quite large, such as The Fittest Experience in Austin, TX. These competitions are dedicated to having large purses but they don’t feed into larger competitions, making them something special all their own.
From there you have online competitions which would be the qualifiers for all the previously mentioned events along with the most famous one “The CrossFit Open.” These competitions can be performed in your own gym and all you need is either a camera, a judge, or both if you are looking to qualify for the in-person competitions.
Finally there are the local competitions that don’t require any qualifiers that you can find in nearly every town across America depending on the time of year. These are usually hosted by local gyms. Like the online competitions, anyone can compete. There are brackets for Pro/Elite, Rx, Intermediate, Scaled, Masters (35-65+), Adaptive, and even Teens! There is a bracket for every skill level and age!
The best part about all of these, there is a place for everyone! You don’t have to be Tia Claire-Toomey if you want to compete! You could be doing CrossFit for 3 months and sign up for a local competition or the Open and go have fun!
All these competitions use the previously mentioned modalities and put them into scored or timed events. You get ranked on a leaderboard and get to test your abilities with fellow athletes.
I compete in CrossFit to test myself. I’m a competitive person and just love the feeling of giving everything I have got! This is not event the biggest reason people compete, however. Most people compete because it is fun. You can spend all morning, afternoon, or day with your friends. You workout, high five everyone you see, and at the end of the day you get to celebrate all that y’all have worked hard for.
For the majority of CrossFit competitions, it’s best to view it like belonging to a local sports league. You get to scratch your competitive itch and hang out with friends. All the while you are getting even fitter and pushing yourself to see what you can do!
How can I try it out?
In our community we will be offering a Competition Camp starting this Saturday for athletes who are interested in seeing what it is like to train for a competition. We will be focusing on the gymnastic skills that are tested most, building strength (because it is the hardest thing improve), and doing workouts that push us a little harder than normal.
If you are interested in your first taste of competition beyond a camp, the CrossFit Open will be starting on February 18th! (Look for future posts about that awesome event.)
We recommend giving it a shot at least once if you’re interested.
If you would like to participate in our Competition Camp, just ask one of your coaches for more information and get ready for an amazing next four weeks!
Remember “ya don’t have to be fit to get fit?” well “you don’t have to be elite to compete.”