The Crossfit Way

There is a joke about the exercise phenomenon called Crossfit that goes a little like this:crossfit image

Q: “How do you know if someone is doing Crossfit or not?”

A:”Oh don’t worry, they’ll tell you.”

And this seems to be the case, Crossfit enthusiasts have an almost religious zeal for their exercise program. So what is the big deal? Being the curious person that I am I decided to attend a class with my friend Logan who was a typical enthusiastic convert to Crossfit. I was able to observe a few key elements of Crossfit that I think demonstrate why it is so effective and so popular- and I think we can learn a lot about growing and progressing in anything we want to accomplish through what I’ll call the Crossfit Way. (I don’t claim to have invented the term the Crossfit Way, but it seemed fitting.)

1. Be on time. If you are late, the entire class has to do extra work. This is not a traditional work out session, but a team that has expectations for each other.

2. Measure your results. Constant measurement of maximum lifts and new challenging skills gives everybody clear goals to work on.

3. The whole group cheers on those who struggle the most. In the last 20 minutes of a Crossfit class they have the “workout” portion. Which is kind of funny, because the first 40 minutes is pretty intense strength training, but in the workout everybody has to do a similar circuit of exercizes and according to your skill level you decide what level of difficulty you are going to choose for your circuit. Some people will cruise through their workout in ten minutes, but they don’t leave when they are done. This is really a key to the attraction of Crossfit. They stick around cheering on those who haven’t finished their workout yet. The slowest person will literally have two dozen people cheering him on in a very positive way.

4. What ever you commit to, you must finish. When you choose the difficulty level of your workout, you have to stick to it. If you don’t think you can finish it, don’t even start it. I think this kind of commitment to your choices is a powerful motivator.

I’m sure there is a lot more to Crossfit, but these were a few of my observations. Crossfit has tapped into a group or team mindset that many people will never experience if they aren’t part of a sports team. In business some people do something very similar when they join masterminds, or groups of like minded professionals that get together to support and cheer on one another. There is power in people coming together to achieve more than they could by themselves.

I officially joined my first Crossfit gym yesterday. I’m not in it to tap into lessons on human emotion though, I’m in it to lose some weight and prepare to climb Mt. Rainier this summer. If I end up getting some ideas for blog posts along the way, that will just be a bonus.




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