There are about a billion rumors and myths surrounding CrossFit. If I had a dime for every time I mentioned CrossFit to someone and received side-eye in return, I’d have… well… definitely more than ten cents. Then I always get some variation of a myth posed as a question, “But that’s not safe is it?” I wish I could show people how wrong they are. Maybe I can start here. Below are five common myths about CrossFit and why they’re wrong.
One: Crossfit is only about competition.
At their core, aren’t all sports about competition? Competition – healthy competition – can be a good thing. It can push you past your current limits and make you better than you ever thought you could be.
That being said, CrossFit is as competitive as you want it to be. If you want to compete with the person next to you, you can. But if you want to compete with yourself and beat your previous weight or time, that’s cool, too.
The spirit of CrossFit is one of building each other up. You might have the best time for the day’s WOD, but if you’re an asshole that only cares about winning, that’s what people will remember – not your athletic ability. The athletes that are really awesome aren’t going to tear you down because you’re slower than they are. They were there once, too. They’re going to cheer you on and give you tips to get better. That’s what CrossFit is about.
Two: I’m not fit enough to start CrossFit.
Listen, waiting to start CrossFit until you’re ‘ready’ is like waiting to have kids until you’re ‘ready’; you’re never going to be ready. ‘Ready’ is its own myth. Just jump in. Start where you are now.
There are people of all varying fitness levels in every gym everywhere. Every person on the face of the planet is in a different stage in their fitness journey. CrossFit coaches help take the guess-work out of the equation. They help you determine where you are fitness-wise so you don’t push yourself too hard, but also ensure that you challenge yourself and progressively get better.
Three: CrossFit makes women bulky … and men small.
*pinches bridge of nose* Sigh.
You guys… no.
Can you see how these two myths contradict each other? And, further, can you see how they prey on our deepest insecurities?
These myths are assuming that women should look one way and men should look another; they make people feel like crap for not fitting gender stereotypes and impossible beauty standards. Those assumptions are garbage. People look how they look. If a man or a woman decide they want to change their body composition and they devote effort toward that goal, they’ll probably get there. But it isn’t going to happen without work and dedication.
You know what CrossFit does do? it helps you be fit, strong, and healthy.
Four: CrossFitters don’t care about form.
I have no idea where this myth started, but it’s false bordering on ridiculous. Form is everything.
- Form keeps you safe.
- Safety keeps you from getting injured.
- Non-injured people continue going to the gym.
The last thing anybody wants is for you to get injured. On the contrary, CrossFit teaches you proper technique for each and every movement so that you can keep coming back.
Five: CrossFit is dangerous
All sports come with the risk of injury. CrossFit is no different. That’s why the coaches are there. They can help you build a solid foundation in each of the CrossFit movements. That foundation will lower the risk of injury. However, no coach is going to be able to keep you from making poor decisions. If you don’t listen to them, you have a higher risk of getting hurt. CrossFit does require you to open yourself to learning something new. You might have to undo a lot of bad habits before you start seeing progress. But if you stay the course, you’ll get there. The only shame in CrossFit is quitting.
Now that we’ve covered five of the most common myths surrounding CrossFit, do you want to hear a secret?
Do you want to know the real reason CrossFit has so many nay-sayers?
*whispers* It scares them.
Look, not everyone can do CrossFit, but not for the reasons you might think. CrossFit will humble you. It requires you to check your ego at the door. There will always be someone better than you, faster than you, stronger than you. CrossFit requires you to take an honest look at your fitness and your lifestyle. It’ll show you some hard truths. Not everyone is ready for that.
But if you let it, CrossFit will give you the unique opportunity to find your limits – and exceed them.