No secret here: We are major advocates for CrossFit. We know that CrossFit can be beneficial in so many ways for any woman at any ability level, but we understand that many of you have some concerns about starting, and may even be quite intimidated at the prospect of joining a gym or box (a CrossFit gym is often referred to as a “box”). We are here to reassure you that starting CrossFit could be one of the best decisions you make in your life! We'll walk you through some of the reasons CrossFit might have put you off, and hopefully make you see why it's worth a try!
We both can remember how intimidated we felt before showing up for our first day of CrossFit; The fear of being surrounded by dozens of sweaty and bronzed Jillian Michaels and Ryan Gosling type bodies who were throwing barbells around like pros, doing moves we've never even heard of with hundreds of pounds, who would surely be looking up over their sweat covered but perfectly chisled brow to think, "What is she doing here?". They would laugh quietly at us for never having barbell experience, for not knowing how to do a proper airsquat, and would promptly leave us in their dust on the first workout to wallow in our not so perfectly chisled or adequately bronzed physiques and overall lack of worthiness.
Ladies- this is not the case! Sure, people will be doing moves you might not know yet, but before you know it you'll be banging them out like a pro too. See, the most fundamental, defining and basic aspect to the entire CrossFit brand is community. And trust me, we take it seriously. Everyone is eager to help out, excited that you are joining, wants to make you feel at home, wants to help you learn the ropes, and most importantly, they want to see you succeed. No one is going to judge you or be critical of you- CrossFitters are some of the most welcoming, positive, and encouraging people we have ever encountered. You will feel welcomed and a part of the family right away. It really is an amazing community! (There's a reason the Crossfitters you know won't ever shut up about it. The community takes it way beyond a workout, to a brotherhood of tenacious people who are all in it together to get better- both in the gym and in life).
And about all those Jillian Michaels: Everyone at every box is at a different level. There will be women lifting a lot of weight and other women who are just working up to the weight of an empty barbell. There will be bodies of every shape, age, size, and ability in there. And you won’t be left in the dust by everyone in every workout- everyone has their individual strengths and weaknesses, and you might just surprise yourself with what you find you excell in! In that way, it is appropriate for all ability levels, and we mean ALL. Even if you haven’t worked out in years (or ever), CrossFit can be modified to fit your current level and needs, so that you are getting a challenging workout without pushing past what you might be ready for at the moment. Your coaches are there to help you modify the workouts so that you are safe andsuccessful.
YOU HAVE AN OLD INJURY OR DISABILITY
Like we were saying above, one of the many beauties of CrossFit is that it can be modified to fit the requirements of any person, regardless of their ability levels or perceived limitations. (Check out this incredible man). There is literally no injury or disability that cannot be worked around successfully. And you know what? Lots of people have actually found their injuries healed or signifcantly improved with CrossFit, due to the sheer amount of strength and mobility they gain in the process. Though it may be counterintuitive, nothing does more for a bad knee than putting it to use. By slowly and gently building muscle, improving range of motion and flexibility, and improving balance, you might just find yourself finally freed from that old injury. Your CrossFit coaches are there to help you find modifications for your limitations, and together with your doctor you will surely find your personal path to success in the gym. You truly have NO EXCUSE in this category: Everyone and anyone can do it, regardless of anything.
YOU'VE HEARD IT'S CRAZY HARD
I'm sure we've all seen the (completely misinformed and unfounded) articles claiming that CrossFit will kill you because it makes you push past your limits so far that you just keel over and die. (Insert eye roll here). We're not gonna lie to you: The workouts can be tough. After all, the premise is built on intense functional movement, intensebeing the key word. But you know what happens at the other end of that incredibly challenging 6 minute workout? The exhilaration of knowing that you DID it, and you gave it your all. (Also: muscles). The science is behind the concept of short, difficult workouts- they are your road to results.
That being said, every workout is endlessly scaleable, and your coach will help you determine the correct weights and modified movements for you so that everything you are doing in there is appropriately challenging for your abilities. You will NOT be asked to pick up more weight than you are comfortable with, or do a skill you haven't learned. It can really be as easy or as hard as you want it to be. Although there is a set workout of the day (WOD), and you are working out with other people in a group setting, it is ultimately an individual workout. You set your own pace and you are working to beat your own time in the end. Most important all-around life lesson that also pertains to the gym: Listen to your body and do what is right for you.
YOU ALREADY DO YOGA/RUN MARATHONS/BARRE/ZUMBA/ETC
If you are actually interested in getting better at your sport of choice, whether that's endurance running, rock climbing, dancing, martial arts, or anything inbetween, we've got news for you: CrossFit will improve it. By leaps and bounds. See, the concept of CrossFit is to build all-inlcusive and general fitness. This means that you will see yourself make profound improvements in every area of fitness: Cardiovascular/respitory endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, coordination, agility, balance, and accuracy. This translates to literally every part of life, from carrying in the groceries or helping your friend move, to specific and high level skill set development and sport. Try it out as a complimentary program to your current routine or sport, and watch yourself improve in ways you didn't even think you could. We promise. It will change your game.
IT'S TOO EXPENSIVE
Think of it this way: If you are trying to make healthy changes in your life and are concerned about the cost of CrossFit, try giving up that daily (sugar/trans-fat/grain filled) Starbucks latte and muffin, and you'll find it will more than pay for a monthly CrossFit membership. You know what's REALLY expensive? Health problems. The bottom line is this: What is your health worth to you? Make an investment in yourself and your health; You are well deserving of doing something great for yourself! Also, remember that when you are healthy and happy, your family and friends will likely be healthier and happier too. And let's be real: You are basically getting a personal trainer plus an adrenaline pumping atmoshphere at every session, which is a surefire way to get results. Also worth noting is many boxes offer student, military, law enforcement, and/or family discounts, have different levels of memberships to choose from, and most are month-to-month style memberships (unlike your 5 year contract to that other gym that will remain nameless that I'm pretty sure is also entitled to your firstborn). Most boxes offer free trial periods too, so that you can see if the gym is the right community for you and that you feel safe before signing a membership.
Give it a try! It is of course worth mentioning that CrossFit is NOT for everyone, and you might just find that it's not your cup of tea and you can get better results with your old/current routine. But how will you know if it's not for you, or if it's instead a ground shaking, earth shattering, life changing, and profoundly moving experience of a lifetime unless you try it?! There's a reason CrossFit's rate of growth is unprescidented, why they have completely revolutionized the fitness landscape forever, and why you will almost never come across a so-so CrossFitter (they are either die-hards or nothing): It's fun, there's always a way to improve, and it works. You'll get in the best shape of your life. You'll surprise yourself on a regular basis. You'll make lasting friendships. You'll get strong. You'll get healthier. You'll learn pull-ups, Olympic weightlifting, and dozens of other skills that you thought you could probably never do. And you might just find that the strength, determination, fearlessness, and confidence that you gain in the CrossFit gym will translate seamlessly into every other area of life. You'll find yourself working towards a better you in every way, setting goals and crushing them regularly. We happen to think that's kinda worth the price of admission on all it's own. After all, isn't that what it means to thrive?