Drinking the CrossFit Kool Aid

As I answered the reporter’s questions for U.S. News and World Report article on DC being the fittest city, I sat by the pool at my parent’s house in Arizona recovering from the previous day’s CrossFit workout.

Over the past two years I have tried the new workout trend a handful of times. Each workout resulted in soreness like I have never experienced, and a sincere lack of enjoyment during the session itself. Because of this past experience, I was hesitant to join my parents and boyfriend for Saturday’s workout. Begrudgingly, I climbed in the car and we headed to the health club for class.

Bottom line – I loved it! I enjoyed it because I had background. I’ve added olympic lifting into my workouts and this was the key! While any new CrossFit participant may dismiss a fundamentals program, my advice would be to dive into the fundamentals class head first! After Saturday’s class, I can say that I drank some of the Kool Aid. While going full paleo may not be in the cards for me (I love peanut butter far too much), I’ll probably get the silly flat shoes, throw chalk on my hands and talk about my favorite WOD and achieving my PR.

The Village is my parent’s health club in Scottsdale, AZ. They have a great facility complete with a amazing classes, a basketball court, track, every cardio machine you could ask for, a full floor of weights, lap pool and a locker room with steam room, sauna and jacuzzi. Basically, it is a Workout Wonk’s dream. With the increasing popularity of CrossFit and box gyms popping up on every corner, the Village made a smart move and incorporated fitness phenomena into their offerings. By transforming a racquetball court into a mini box, they isolated a bit of the gym for WODs galore.

Smart move, however there has been some pushback. The community that CrossFit has created is a strong and powerful one, both nationwide and at the Village itself. Classes have transformed from simply working out, to a social time to catch up with friends and share stories. After our Saturday class, everyone pulls up a chair, grabs some coffee and sits around in the cafe to chat about life. Students ranged from middle aged women (who could kick serious ass), volunteer firefighters, former Marines, personal trainers, fitness fanatics and everything in between. The management of the health club hasn’t been too inclined to improve the space or work with the newly formed community. Things are slowly changing, but the CrossFitters are adamant that they have the utmost respect for the instructors, love the facilities of the club in general, and only want to make their new workout regimen be an inclusive part of an already established community.

CrossFit has remained in their box gyms, outside of larger entities. With boutique fitness studios taking over, it is important that health clubs and large gyms alike adapt to the changing landscape. Consider bringing more things in house. Offer your customers and members the most options possible. It will only grow and strengthen the existing community.

Want to learn more about fundamental movements involved in a CrossFit class? Check out this killer site – WODSTAR! You can watch tutorials on how to do things that sound scary – like a snatch or a hang clean.

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