I feel fortunate to have discovered Crossfit as an exercise concept and subsequently becoming a CF-L1 Trainer. The continued education required to both understand and execute the breadth and depth of movement modalities we engage in – under the Crossfit protocol – has been quite the journey. The adjacent (if not required) nutrition, mobility, sleep, and various hacks have been life changeling in themselves.
A few months ago I had my 5 year Crossfit anniversary. Four of these years I have also been a CF-L1 certified trainer. I love both training and coaching. A few thoughts for the moment…
What is Crossfit?: Cardio and strength training combined
Cost: about $100 a month (prices vary by gym)
Time investment: 3x a week, :60 min. per class/session (based on above cost model)
Major takeaway: High return on investment physical fitness and wellness protocol. Provides me a “minimal effective dose”
One of the first things that is important to understand is that Crossfit is franchise and trademark for a physical fitness service. The most common phenomena of Crossfit is one or more people working out together, for about an hour at the direction of a certified Crossfit Trainer.
Take a class and work out together. Very specific and yet, vague… You can skip ahead. More on Crossfit below. But, a quick historical narrative is in order.
My Fitness Background
During my formative years – grade school through high school – I participated in some school sports. Soccer, track, basketball and cross country were the formal sports experienced. Outside of school I raced BMX (ages 10-14) and around 14 I began skateboarding. By my sophomore year organized scholastic sports were no longer captivating and it was skating that drew my interest. A little bit of surfing and snowboarding were sprinkled in here and there.
In college (88-94) I started mountain biking and continued to ride my BMX cruiser sporadically and for transportation around campus. That was pretty much the extent of my physical activity until my early 40s at which point I joined the local gym, and flipped the pages of “Hot Point Fitness” which featured various nautilus machine exercises. I tried experimenting with running here and there, a few boot camp classes, some yoga and competed in my first sprint triathlon at 44 years of age.
Basically, 20s, 30s and early 40s… no routine, no discipline, no plan – deferred maintenance.
So, Crossfit was an awakening. I’d never lifted free weights or Olympic lifted. I’d never pushed my body (like this) regularly in any structured way. It’s was an unfortunate state of affairs – knowing what I know now. Deferred living.
It kind of explains why guys like me who stare at a computer all day go completely cult like when they discover the endorphin rush that has been in hibernation. Then, new Crossfitter gets their Crossfit certification, opens a gym and thinks they are qualified to teach people how to clean and jerk! What nonsense! I’d like to think most of the infatuation has worn off. About a 1/3 of this is true in my case. #liftheavythings, #olympiclifting, #firebreather
This prior background is noteworthy because it explains somewhat why Crossfit exploded as a cultural phenomenon. Many people like myself have a sedentary lifestyle. Little do they realize their body is calling them to use it to its full capability. Today’s fitness research is supporting the view that short duration, high intensity, strength and cardio programs produce very desirable outcomes in health and wellness. https://www.amazon.com/Spark-Revolutionary-Science-Exercise-Brain/dp/0316113514
“…beat stress, lift your mood, fight memory loss, sharpen your intellect, and function better than ever simply by elevating your heart rate and breaking a sweat? The evidence is incontrovertible: Aerobic exercise physically remodels our brains for peak performance.”
” In Spark, John J. Ratey, M.D., embarks upon a fascinating and entertaining journey through the mind-body connection, presenting startling research that proves exercise is truly our best defense against everything from depression to ADD to addiction to aggression to menopause to Alzheimer’s.”
Busy Lifestyles – Minimal Effective Dose – Return on Investment
Where to find the time? This is one the most common quotes I hear when discussing fitness to those who do not have a movement practice. The good news, as discussed in books like “Spark” (mentioned above) and “work by scientists at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, and other institutions shows, for instance, that even a few minutes of training at an intensity approaching your maximum capacity produces molecular changes within muscles comparable to those of several hours of running or bike riding.” The Scientific 7-Minute Workout (https://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/05/09/the-scientific-7-minute-workout/)
Crossfit works for me because it yields a high return on investment. Family and work are number one. But, to support that mission and improve the probabilities of antiaging and longevity – right now, for me – it’s the warehouse setting where much of the work happens. Most are sleeping. I sneak out in the morning and get my workout done. I get to check the box early in day.
It’s my “Minimal effective Dose”. And, 5 years into (3x/:60 minute) a week REALLY has changed my life. I am certain that I am in the best shape I have ever been in. Sounds cliché – but, I am a believer.
More to come
I am both a trainer and an athlete. And, love to wax philosophical about this stuff. You can find me training and working out MWF at Crossfit Newport. Reach out to me and we can discuss. It’s not really about Crossfit or not. It’s about a movement practice or not. We need to create positive stress on the body and mind. Sometimes that hurts a little. Let’s spend our time wisely and prepare ourselves for the known and unknown.
This is just a starter and a snapshot on my thinking this morning. I did not discuss food. Which is a HUGE piece to the health and wellness paradigm. There are many other lifestyle practices that are beneficial when integrated with the fitness protocol. So much more to say… I may possibly hit on these things in the blog section before my next revision here. XOXO.
“Time is a gift that most of us take for granted. We get so caught up in the busyness of our daily lives that we rarely stop and take a serious look at how we’re spending this gift.” – Cheryl Richardson, Life Makeovers