For many of us who have done CrossFit for more than a month, the answer to this question is simple, “because it changed our lives!” But for someone who has not tried CrossFit before, lets break that answer down a bit more.
With so many different health and fitness programs, gyms, monthly subscriptions etc. available out there, what sets CrossFit apart? Why should someone off the street, with little to no knowledge of the sport, walk in to a Box and drop $120-$200 on a membership, rather than just go to their local Globo gym and pay a fraction of that?
There’s a reason that CrossFit HQ’s slogan is “Forging Elite Fitness.” The high intensity and constantly varied workouts, also known as WOD’s (workout of the day) that CrosFit has become known for, have been proven to yield greater health and fitness results when compared to moderate intensity exercise, in half as much time! For example, studies have found that a 20 minute, high intensity workout, yielded the same amount of calories burned as a 45 minute stationary bike ride, but burned 9 times the fat! So not only will you spend LESS time sweating it out at the gym, but you will also get a workout that is more effective in building muscle, burning fat, and building your aerobic capacity.
Not too many people who have tried CrossFit would deny the fact that there is a more social aspect to working out at your local Box compared to trudging away for hours on a cardio machine with your headphones in. When you decide to become a member of a CrossFit Gym, you are also choosing to become a member of a small community of like-minded people. This small but mighty group of fitness enthusiasts take community, supporting one another, and pursuing better health as a team, VERY seriously. You go to a CrossFit gym to get a great workout of course, but you also go to get the friendship, comradery and sense of community that only a CrossFit gym can offer.
Building on the idea of community, of course, many could argue that a Zumba or Yoga class could offer that same sense of comradery. However, there can still be a sense of disconnect with these types of classes that, of course can still be great fun and have numerous health benefits.
There is something special that happens to a group of people that work together to get through a tough WOD. As Time Magazine so eloquently put it, “it [CrossFit] is tribal, it’s intense, it’s never the same workout twice. It replaces cosmetic aspirations (six-pack abs, buns of steel) with an emphasis on function – mastery, progress, work capacity. It replaces the ease and comfort of gym machines with a demand for all-out effort and an archaic stoicism.”
It is this raw intensity, blended with a focus on personal betterment over physical appearance, the value of community, and the promotion of self-empowerment that sets CrossFit apart, and THAT is why it has changed our lives!