Crossfit: Get Some…Maybe
I let 47 talk me into joining crossfit. I know some guys from home who do Crossfit and they’ve sworn what an awesome work out it is. I believe it because both of them are completely ripped. One was always in decent shape, and the other one pretty much transformed before my eyes. Last deployment a bunch of guys got into Crossfit and they all came back sexy (as in body, but not face—nothing can be done for the face. Sorry.)
So, full disclosure: I am a pudgy, lazy somebody who really ought to get back into shape. I say that because you always have to consider the source when you take in somebody’s opinion.
- Although I hate organized PT, I like Crossfit because there are set times with set instructors and set exercises. You know exactly what you’ll be doing that day. You don’t show up and everyone’s like, “Hmm, what should we do today?” It’s not as dumb as organized PT because you don’t have to stand at attention or any stupid shit like that.
- There are a lot of body weight exercises. I prefer workouts that I can do anywhere. I hate having to buy special equipment, or having to go to some place special just to workout. I think I’m the one person I know that works out while on vacation because I tend to stick to exercises that can be done anywhere. As much as burpees suck, I really do like the exercise. I even prefer the way it’s done in Crossfit. The Crossfit pushups are better as well. I’ll be doing those from now on. And the Crossfit sit-ups. Be warned, they’re all painful but they work more muscles and it’s harder to cheat at the exercises. It’s like you have to do it right. Even when you’re at the end of your strength, you’re still getting something out of the movements. AND I AM DETERMINED TO GET STRONG ENOUGH TO DO PULL-UPS.
- Exercises for time can be done like cardio workouts. Let’s face it: I’m a Cardio Queen (when I’m in shape, that is). If you have to do pull-ups in a certain amount of time, that’s cardio. If you are running back and forth trying to complete exercises, that’s pretty much cardio. I like cardio. I like running, but running every day isn’t good for you and sometimes it can get boring.
I hate the weightlifting. I have never liked weightlifting. Every time I start weightlifting I remember how much I hate it then I quit. Is it good for the body? Yes, it really is. Women tend to avoid it because they think they’re going to end up like Arnold, circa 1983. I know that’s not true. I hate weightlifting because I just do. Just like people hate running. I don’t mind working with dumbbells but I hate barbell workouts. Crossfit doesn’t have dumbbells, at least, not as far as I’ve seen.
- I hate the sales pitch. If people are interested, they’re going to show up. Some people need an introduction to the product, but every time someone talks about Crossfit they talk about how much better it is than any other workout anybody has ever done. Ever. I don’t know that I agree with that. Crossfit works for a lot of people. Traditional weightlifting works for a lot of people. Cardio works for a lot of people. Being a lazy fat ass works for a lot of people. I think it depends on what a person is looking for, what they are willing to do and what they’re interested in. Don’t forget that Crossfit is first and foremost a business. It’s a registered trademark and all the jazz that comes with it. We’re lucky we’re on a military base with a military manager because otherwise somebody would have to pay to use the term “Crossfit.” If we were back home, we’d be forking out upwards of $100 or more to belong to a Crossfit gym. In theory, the workouts can’t really be done everywhere else. Yes, you can take away bits and pieces of the workout but I don’t know a lot of people who have gym rings set up in their living rooms, or that ab thing or a rower. Basically, when you go to the workouts they’re going to sell it hard and tell you it’s better than anything you’ve ever done in your whole life because there is no way else to get you to pay $100 a month to look like some of these guys. Same way with all these fad diets and buzz words like organic and all-natural. Marketers package this shit like there’s no other way to lose weight or get in shape but whatever they’re selling.
The meathead personality abounds at Crossfit. I’m not sure it really means anything if you don’t like Crossfit, or if you prefer to do a different type of workout. Some of these guys clearly think you’re inferior if you’re a “gym rat.” I think this goes into the whole sales pitch thing. They’re trying to sell why Crossfit is way better than traditional lifting. Instead of being cool and laid-back about an awesome workout, there’s a lot of arrogance. The instructors said they experience a surge of new people right after an orientation class, then it tapers off. One instructor said it’s because some of them probably didn’t have the tenacity to stick with it. Way to be judgmental. Maybe they found it boring. Maybe they felt it didn’t suit their needs. Maybe they came because they were curious about Crossfit and just wanted to try it out before making an opinion about it. Maybe they were turned off by your smug attitude. Maybe they discovered that none of the class times worked for their schedule. Could be a lot of things. Some people who want to lose weight and get in shape are intimidated when they go to a gym and find out everyone is already cut. Someone wrote on the Crossfit page about the “silly Zumba people.” I don’t think it was an instructor who wrote the comment but to each their own, you know. At least the Zumba people are up and moving, not laying on their fat ass (like me, for example). Everything is not for everybody.
- I often feel like I’m forced to lift or do more than I’m actually capable of. I’m not talking about pushing a person to do more, as in, “Come on, you got one more.” That’s motivational. Sometimes you really do have one more in you, but you’re being lazy and you need someone to pump you up. That’s awesome. What isn’t awesome is that it’s my first week and I need to stack 1000 (exaggeration) pounds on everything. Did I not mention that I’m sad and fat and out of shape? Can I actually work on proper form so I don’t injure myself before I start trying to lift the gym? Ooops, I mean, the box. When we went to do the back squats the girl looked at us like we were crazy because we only had 10 pounds on the bar.
- Although I mentioned there were a lot of body weight exercises, there are also a lot of exercises that require special equipment. I don’t consider a pull-up bar special equipment but gymnastics rings, barbells and other shit I have to buy or go someplace to do it. I do better with workouts that don’t require anything. Right now, though, I pretty much suck at everything.
- As with anything that is athletic and muscle-bound, the amount of testosterone in the building is ridiculous. In the first week, the guy was like, “You guys ready to work out?” Some people were like, “Yeah, sure.” Apparently that wasn’t enough for him. He needed everybody to SCREAM their motivation. Men are very predictable when it comes to stuff like this. You’re not motivated unless you’re screaming like a maniac. Look, I showed up. I’m doing the workouts. I stayed for the entire workout. I also did every single exercise to the best of my ability. I don’t think I need to scream anything, but thanks. When I was in basic training, we had to scream “Hooah” as we ran into the DFAC. If we weren’t motivated enough we had to go to the end of the line and do it again. One time I refused to yell “Hooah.” The drill sergeant asked me why I wasn’t motivated. First, who is motivated to eat slops, and second, is screaming the only way to show you’re motivated? So when it was my turn again, I screamed, “Hooah,” and then I yelled, “I’M ONLY SCREAMING BECAUSE I’M HUNGRY AND WANT TO EAT. YELLING IS NOT AN INDICATOR OF ANYTHING EXCEPT PERCEIVED MASCULINITY.”
Needless to say I had to do push-ups while everyone else was eating. That is how I feel about screaming while working out. It doesn’t actually mean anything.
I guess, for now, I’m going to keep going to Crossfit, maybe once or twice. I’m not pressed and I’m certainly not subscribing to the lemming-like mentality. I cannot be enthused about anything that is ultra-restrictive and judgmental. That’s what church is for.
Actually, what I think I will do is pay attention to the WOD and only go on days when it’s body weight-centric, and then I’ll just run the other days. I think I’m going to get my lazy ass to spinning class too. That shit starts at 0500. That’s rough, but I like spinning. I’m already more motivated to get up at 0430 to go spinning then I am to lift another barbell on my neck at Crossfit. In fact, I’m so excited about it that I might just start screaming.