There is a lot of buzz around CrossFit. There are the lovers. There are the haters. Then there are the ones who do not think they could ever do it. I have been asked three times, just this week, “Really? Can anyone do CrossFit or do I need to be in shape to start?” Preconceived notions seem to surround the sport of CrossFit. Those on the outside seem to fall into two camps. They either watch The Games and think that every workout in a box looks like THAT, or they look at the people who walk in and out of a CrossFit box and think they have to look like THAT. Here’s the inside scoop: The Games athletes can only complete workouts like THAT from doing CrossFit, and the people look like THAT by doing CrossFit. You have to do it. The catch is, you have to start somewhere, and very few of us have started CrossFit in the shape we are in now.
When I am asked the question, “Is CrossFit really for everyone?” I generally encourage the asker to come try it out. I wish people who are interested in CrossFit would come to their local box and look around. In any give class that I have trained I have athletes that have scaled the workout up. They have added weight to their bars; they have added in an extra movements; they have made the workout just a bit harder to meet their training needs. I also have athletes who are keeping everything as prescribed. They work their tails off to tackle the WOD as it is written, and do it as quickly as they can… even if that’s not so quickly. I also have athletes who have scaled everything. They have deloaded their bars; they have replaced movements with ones that are more their speed; they have made the workout fit their training needs. There is not ONE way to do a CrossFit WOD. Every movement can be modified to meet the training needs of the specific athlete. For example, I have an athlete who is a regular at one of my classes. He has very limited mobility due to some health issues. While he is not able, at this point, to complete a workout as prescribed, he shows up, does the work to the best of his ability, and has already shown great strength gains in the work he has done.
CrossFit is functional fitness by definition. What this means is that the movements we do in CrossFit are movements you do in your daily life. A deadlift? Simply picking something up off the ground. A squat? Sitting down. A push up? Getting up off the ground. Don’t be scared of weights. You won’t start there. No one does. You will start at a level of fitness that is acceptable for you. Many athletes have limitations. Limitations can be worked with. Don’t confuse limitations with excuses. You don’t want to do CrossFit because you are overweight? That’s an excuse. You don’t want to do CrossFit because you have an old injury? That’s an excuse. You don’t want to do CrossFit because you don’t move well? That’s an excuse. Don’t let your excuses motivate your life. If you want to change your life you have to take the steps to do so. Don’t be scared of work. Is CrossFit really for everyone? Yes, but it starts with you. Don’t make excuses, make changes.