Crossfit seems to be the buzzword of the fitness industry at the moment. I have friends who go to Crossfit classes who rave about it, I see it mentioned constantly on social media posts and I see people in magazines showing off their svelte, toned figures who swear it has transformed their lives. It’s easy to assume it’s just another fad – remember how big aerobics was in the 80’s? But when I hit my 40’s and couldn’t shift the spare tyre from around my waist the way I used to, I thought it wouldn’t hurt to give it a try.
At the very least it would give my girlfriends a good giggle over our next champagne catchup! You see the idea of me in a gym is like water and oil, they just don’t mix. I seem to lack the main two criteria of being allowed to set foot in a gym, fitness and co-ordination. But I am determined to see what all the fuss is about for myself and before I can talk myself out of it, I find the least threatening crossfit gym in Sydney and I book in a consultation.
The first thing I noticed when I arrive for my appointment was the absence of those long rows of clunky cardio machines and menacing weight stations. I breathe a small sigh of relief, just the sight of those contraptions fills me with fear (flashback to an unfortunate incident involving me and a treadmill that I am yet to recover from). Let’s just say I do not have the necessary machinery skills to operate a toaster some days let alone operate the dashboard of what looks to me like an airplane navigation system. So I was pleased to see laid out on a huge black mat before me some basic pieces of fitness equipment that didn’t look like they could cause me an injury. The instructor who was showing me around went on to explain that the concept of crossfit is simple, workouts are based on core, functional movements that are performed at the highest possible intensity. This varies with each individual and the key to its success is its adaptability to everyone from an elite athlete to an office worker who hasn’t seen the inside of a gym for years. Programs are carefully designed with variety in mind so people don’t get bored, and all exercises are scaled to suit the various fitness levels in the class.
So I began a basic body weight movement workout with a coach and I was surprised to learn going through some of the basics that I had been doing them wrong all this time. This was dangerous because it was risking injury and limiting any potential to see successful results. I also found myself having fun, something I never thought I would say I had at a gym. A few other people like me who were curious enough to put their foot in the door that day and attend the same Beginners Class were all yelling out words of encouragement to each other and we all felt a common bond by the end. There’s a common theme I discovered about the world of crossfit, and that’s the real emphasis on building relationships within the group and forming your own community within. I felt a real sense of accomplishment as I walked away and felt like I wanted more. I had an understanding of why people were suddenly abandoning the traditional gyms where it felt so impersonal, in favour of being surrounded by people cheering you on to push yourself to your limits and celebrating your achievements with you reach your goals. Okay okay I have seen enough – I get it. I want more and I am a crossfit convert.
Sign me up already so I can get started!