Separating Fact from Fiction

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Separating Fact from Fiction

If you’ve heard anything about CrossFit, there’s no doubt you’ve probably heard a few negative thoughts mixed in with the volumes of science-backed results, success stories and CrossFit devotees out there. We’ve seen some things that frankly – we agree – give CrossFit a bad name.

Here’s our take on some of the common “myths” and questions regarding CrossFit

MYTH: CrossFit is so hard, it’s only for die-hard athletes.

TRUTH: CrossFit is hard…it’s as hard as you make it. CrossFit is 100% scalable to the ability of the athlete so that the work that you put into the WOD (Workout of the Day) is

  1. inclusive of weight, resistance and challenges that are within your abilities, and
  2. up to you as to how intense you make it.

The intensity of CrossFit is what makes it appear to hard to those who don’t know CrossFit. And since intensity is relative to the individual, it’s up to you to determine how hard you want to work…how much you want to push past your comfort zone, if at all. We think you’ll find that if you are consistent, patient and work hard, you’ll love the results so much you’ll find yourself WANTING to push a little harder…making it “harder”.

MYTH: CrossFit is reckless; a lot of people get hurt doing CrossFit.

TRUTH: Yes, some CrossFit boxes without a lot of common sense, education and training have given CrossFit this stereotype. But from our standpoint…from within our box, that’s a bunch of bull.

Compare the two settings below. CrossFit is, in fact, safer than a typical gym because of the supervision included with your membership. It’s definitely more challenging, but that’s probably why you see results with CrossFit and maybe not so much in other settings. While you may not be one-on-one with a trainer, you are in a dynamic group environment and you are instructed, drilled and supervised by a qualified and certified personal trainer who is also certified in CrossFit’s methodologies and who practices them on a daily basis. You may be performing skills and exercises that aren’t typical of the standard “personal trainer” program, but then again, the results CrossFit produces are atypical as well!

TYPICAL BIG-BOX GYM: You pay your monthly dues, and show up. Unless you hire a trainer, the gym holds it’s breath and crosses it’s fingers and hopes (and prays) you know what the heck you’re doing on the machines! You fumble around, push a lever here, squeeze into a padded seat there….no instruction, no supervision, and frankly, no one ensuring you’re receiving the correct stimulus to see results and progress. If you find yourself sore or have aches or pains you’re not sure about, you might as well call your mom or a friend, because you’re on your own.

A WELL-RUN CROSSFIT GYM (“BOX”): You pay your monthly dues, and show up (and if you don’t, we call you to find out why!). You work with a coach to learn the foundational moves of CrossFit, which are the underpinnings to the daily WODs. You get frustrated, because it’s hard. We see that. We drill the movements again…and again…and again…until you get it. Each time you come in, you practice these moves in some way, shape or form, all the while under the supervision of a coach who has been certified by CrossFit. As you approach the daily WOD, your coach will help you scale the WOD to your ability – whether it be lowering the weight, modifying the rep scheme or scaling the actual exercise so you still receive the stimulus and are fully partaking in the WOD. Your form is constantly critiqued, cued and corrected until you’re flawless in your performance. If you’re sore the next day or have aches or pains you’re not sure about, your coaches are there to be your resources.

MYTH: (Women) I’ll get big & bulky if I CrossFit and lift heavy weights.

TRUTH: Increasing muscle mass or size (“getting bigger”) occurs when three factors are present:

  1. progressive muscle overload (lifting moderate-load weights, frequently)
  2. a high enough level of testosterone to augment the training, and
  3. ample (meaning a lot of) calories for repair and rebuilding.

With CrossFit, we do not perform that systematic attack on each body part, twice to three times weekly at a specific percentage of your 1 rep max for 6-12 reps for 3-5 sets….that sounds boring already! Our goal is not to strategically and progressively overload each of the major muscle groups – rather it’s to randomly build strength, power, speed, stamina (among other skills). You will get stronger, not bigger. You will get faster, not bulkier. Some of the strongest, most powerful women in our gym are the smallest. FACT!

MYTH: CrossFit is so much more expensive than a typical gym.

TRUTH: Our rates are actually comparable to, or less than any other group led workout program in our local area, if you look at the monthly rate and a frequency of 3 to 5 times per week. The reality is, with the quality of instruction and level of attention you get from the CrossFit Rebels’ Coaches, you are essentially getting personal training at a fraction of the cost. The question is not, “can I afford CrossFit Rebels?” The question is, “can I afford not to train with CrossFit Rebels?” Your answer should be obvious if:

  • Your health is a top priority.
  • You are focused and wants results.
  • You want to take your fitness and mindset as to what is possible to a whole new level.
  • Your life demands that your workouts be short and effective.
  • You want the best CrossFit coaching you can find.

And let us take that a step further…we may actually be $10.00 to $30.00 more expensive than the box up the road (or the same price) but watch out…check references and qualifications…sometimes you get what you pay for and sometimes you get a box that priced themselves the same as the other boxes with no experience or qualifications. Beware of “Groupon boxes”. We take our profession, our responsibilities to our athletes, and this fitness program seriously. We don’t do Groupons (most “good boxes” don’t’ do them). We don’t believe in discounting the onramp -the most important part of your start to CrossFit, and we find that offering many value-added services to our memberships more than outweighs trying to offer deep discounts to get new members. From body composition, to diet help, to injury prevention (pre-hab) to rehab, we offer more of full service health community than simply fitness. Check out our Rants #1 & #2!

MYTH: I like cardio workouts, and mine are over an hour on average. How can I get fitter if CrossFit’s average workout is 20 minutes?

Let’s have a moment of silence for all those who are stuck in traffic on their way to the gym to ride the stationary bicycle.”😂🙄

TRUTH: It’s the intensity of our training, and it’s the multiple “modes” or exercises we use to change up that long, slow intensity you’re probably used to, that produce the results (in addition to the fact that it’s constantly varied and therefore not as boooooooring!).

More and more research shows that shorter duration/higher intensity workouts yield significantly better results than long, slow training – results that include improved body composition (less body fat, more lean muscle mass), greater strength, greater speed and power, enhanced flexibility and agility…you get the picture. The truth of it is, the longer the effort, the lower the intensity. If you run 10 miles, your intensity (power output) will be lower than if you run multiple 400 meter sprints. The majority of our workouts are shorter in duration, with 30+ minute workouts programmed…don’t worry!. If your workout is shorter, you can work harder by nature, which will lead to a better/higher physiological response, especially combining the exercises the way CrossFit does (and of course with proper nutrition). No matter who you are or what workouts you do, without some heavier weight on occasion, and some intensity in your workout, you will not see true fitness results – results from the inside out. Someone might “look” fit, but performance is truly the determining factor of fit, not appearance.

MYTH: CrossFit is only for serious athletes; for those already in great shape…I could never withstand those crazy-hard workouts!

TRUTH: That statement couldn’t be further from the truth. CrossFit’s founder, Greg Glassman, was quoted in an interview as saying:

“CrossFit believes people’s needs differ by degree, not kind. Let us say that again: PEOPLE’S NEEDS DIFFER BY DEGREE, NOT KIND. This is related to fitness, of course. Olympic athletes and our grandparents both need to fulfill their potentials for cardiorespiratory endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, speed, power, coordination, accuracy, balance, and agility. One is looking for functional dominance, the other for functional competence. Competence and dominance manifest and optimize through identical physiological mechanisms. [The CrossFit program is scaled] by altering rest, load, intensity, etc. while utilizing the same tools (exercises) for everyone whenever possible.”

(Source: Interview Glassman)

Being fit is not unique to any one sector of our community – it’s a necessity and part of being healthy on all fronts. How you get there is up to you, but the path that’s the most effective, the safest, contains the best people, and also happens to be the most fun is certainly the path we choose!

MYTH: There’s no rhyme or reason to CrossFit’s programming – they just throw a dart at it. There’s no methodology as to which workouts come up when.

TRUTH: Those who say that simply don’t know CrossFit, or they’re patronizing a box with inexperienced coaches. If you have attend the Certification Course, subscribed to the CF Journal, or engaged a CrossFit Coach with that question, you’ll surely get your answer, and an accurate one. CrossFit DOES indeed have a method to their programming…in fact, it’s called the Theoretical Template for CrossFit’s programming. CrossFit’s model of programming allows for wide variance of mode, exercise, metabolic pathway, rest, intensity, set and reps, It is mathematically likely that each three-day cycle is a singularly unique stimulus never to be repeated in a lifetime of CrossFit workouts! Yes, there is a methodology. CrossFit programming is a unique blend of metabolic conditioning (aka cardio), gymnastics and weightlifting (powerlifting or Olympic lifting). Sometimes the WODs (Workouts of the Day) are single element days, sometimes two element days…three element days, or sometimes a mish-mosh of multiple elements -all the while maintaining structure with the programming template.

This is not to say that many boxes, including ours, periodize and prioritize our annual programming template by watching our community and identifying weaknesses and chinks in our technical armor, by using the CF Games Open season as a time to prep our engines, and the time after the Open to prep our strength. There is an underlying method to the madness!