Calling All Crossfit Advice
I'm considering joining one of the three Crossfit boxes near me and would like the unbiased review from, who better than, the Primal Peeps.
Did you hate it and quit after a week? Did you love it so much you went and bought your own franchise? And everything in between. I want to hear it all.
I know the subject has come up in passing on some other threads (Usually slanted one way or the other e.g."terrified of crossfit") I want the whole truth. Both sides and the middle.
Some concerns/questions I have that people might have an opinion and/or facts about.
1) Are all Crossfit boxes pretty much standardized or is each an individual approach?
2) I have heard that the group pressure can sometimes make people push beyond their capabilities and get hurt
3) I have heard that the timed workouts can sometimes lead to sloppy form and getting hurt
4) Do you have to be with a trainer at all times or can you go in and just use the equipment by yourself?
So, bring it on. I appreciate all your feedback.
Thanks for the link RM.
Originally Posted by RichMahogany
Wow. A lot of hate going on over there at Starting Strength. (That's just doing a random sample every hundred pages or so of that 535 page post). It also seemed like a lot of reposting of the reposted reposts.
What I would really like to hear is people's first hand personal experiences with it. Feel free to hate, just first hand account hate.
Well, I have my thoughts on it, but I haven't had the displeasure first hand, so I'll keep them to myself.
I love it.
1. I have no idea. I joined mine because of a Groupon and they are awesome people. We seem to do a lot of strength training. 2 days a week have no "WOD" type work out and are just plain weight lifting. I assume programming varies.
2. Yes, I think this can happen, but for me I need to push harder and it is helpful. No one is ever "mean" in pushing you where I go. And I know when I first went they flat out told me "completing 3 of 5 rounds would be great". I did all 5. Slowly and was cheered on.
3. That's up to you. Yeah, I do sloppy ass burpees, but I take anything with a barbell seriously. No one tells you to deadlift faster. But yeah, you need the discipline to make sure you do them right. I work out with a woman who does everything perfect and is always last, but her first burpee looks like her last.
4. There are times of the day we can just go do the workout or whatever. Not sure if that is the case everywhere.
I think in terms of needing to "keep up", "be fast", and "use the assigned weight" varies.
I have a feeling a lot depends on the quality of where you go.
1) I think there are some basic things that are common to most Crossfit boxes, but I don't think Crossfit HQ imposes any kind of standard on the franchises. The common elements include Olympic lifting and other exercises that people do at all CF boxes (like kipping and butterfly pullups, handstand pushups, burpees, box jumps, double unders). Other than the common elements, things could vary quite a bit, I think. Others here may have more insight because I've only ever been to my box. But my box focuses a lot more on weight lifting than on conditioning. Other boxes may include more conditioning workouts.
2) I think this depends on the person in question. Being in a group environment definitely causes me to push myself harder than I otherwise would, but I think that's a good thing for me. I don't think I've ever really pushed myself beyond my capabilities. I don't have that big of an ego. But I can see this happening, maybe, to someone who has a big ego and who feels like they have something to prove.
3) This is possible, but you don't have to make that mistake. I'm usually pretty good at not becoming too sloppy when doing Olympic lifts (because they're so freaking complicated) even as part of a timed WOD, but I have missed box jumps and hurt myself (not seriously, thankfully) because I started to rush through them at a time when I'm already tired (near the end of the workout). But this need not have happened. It was my own stupid problem. (Yes, our coach was yelling at us to get another round in before the time ran out, but that's what coaches do--they yell at you to go faster, but you have to know your own limits and not act like an idiot. I know that I'm not super coordinated, especially when I'm tired, so rushing through box jumps was a stupid thing to do.) This last time (which just happened last Friday) it hurt badly enough that I hope I've learned my lesson and will refrain from rushing through box jumps in the future.
4) I think most boxes have "open gym" time when there's no class, but you can go there and work on whatever by yourself.
In general, I think CF boxes can vary quite a bit as far as the quality of the coaching goes. So if you start at one and find that the coaching sucks, you should switch to a different one. Even at my box, the quality of the coaches vary. Some of them are better than others.
Last edited by diene; 06-18-2013 at 12:24 PM.
Reason: mixed --> missed
There are times when I think, hmm, I could save money and just go to the gym and do the same thing.
1. I have really good people watching and spotting my squats and keeping an eye on my form at Crossfit so I can push myself weightwise. I can also try things like cleans and jerks etc. that seem like an otherwise bad idea.
2. I genuinely like the people I workout with. I like seeing them.
3. Sometimes the WOD looks nuts and I know that if my friends weren't there, and the coach wasn't there, I would not do 150 push ups or 3x 120 meters of walking lunges. I'd plod along on my mile run.
I used to do a more "boutique" fitness class- HIIT training and I hated it. The woman who always taught at my time was annoying, and never ever pushed us to do more weights. I also didn't really like the people. So I think how much you like group fitness really depends on the people around you. I used to go there with all the lululemon chicks.... now my crappy tshirts make conversation instead of getting the stink eye.
Bottom line, I love it. It may not be the optimal workout, but I love going and feel like my progress has been great. I've seen a lot of people come and go over 8 weeks, and the ones that stick it out really seem to like it. My advice is to try it for a month and use common sense. If you start to feel bad or sore, stop or slow down. If your form is getting bad, pull some weight off.
'Nother question someone may know. Do you pay month to month or do they make you sign a long contract? (perhaps this varies by box too.)
I think you'll have the option of paying month to month or signing a six-month contract at most places. I say most places because these options are available on Zen Planner, which is a web portal used by crossfit franchises, so it's probably pretty standard. You get a discount if you sign the six-month contract.
At our box, you can cancel the six-month contract if you give them 30 days' notice. The contract just means that they get to automatically charge your credit card every month. But this part may be unique to our box, not sure if other boxes allow you to cancel your six-month contract.