In the past several years CrossFit has become a global sport, taking over athletic training and reforming the way we think about fitness and overall conditioning. Importunately, the world of CrossFit has three main stigmas. These are that you will get bulky, you will become injured or you are not fit enough. The reality is, any experienced CrossFit owner, trainer or coach has found simple methods to banish these beliefs, helping people to achieve their goals and develop strength and beautiful bodies in the process. With CrossFit, it is far more likely that you will obtain strength, fitness and dissolve any belief of becoming bulky. Let’s take some time to break down these myths.
Myth #1: “I’m going to get bulky”
This is perhaps the most common myth in the fitness industry, but it prevails in CrossFit far too much. The idea that CrossFit can somehow give you a bulky physique is not true. No exercise can inherently make you bulky. In most cases, if you want to become bulky it is quite the challenge. It requires careful attention to diet and specific exercises to help put the weight on. The idea that bulking is a simple process is not one that is missed in daily media. The reality is, as explained by Shane Roehl, the owner of Rivertown CrossFit in Lake Stevens, Washington – bulking takes conscious effort, mostly through nutrition rather than exercise – although it is a happy balance between the two. “You will not eat nearly enough food, or enough of the right food, to get bulky,” Roehl said he tells fearful prospects.
Myth #2: “I’m Going to Get Injured”
Fear of injury is something that any athlete goes through. All exercise is inherently dangerous but the idea that engaging in CrossFit will make you more prone to injury is one that doesn’t have validity. It’s nearly impossible to assure any athlete they won’t become injured. Injured can come to fruition in any sport or activity. The role of any good CrossFit instructor is to prevent injuries wherever possible through active warm-ups, cool-downs and progressive strength training. This, in theory, should help any athlete avoid injury whenever possible and strengthen them for the future. Karen Clark, owner of CrossFit Amoskeag in Bedford New Hampshire also explains that training for CrossFit can make you stronger and less susceptible to injury. In fact, Karen Clark elaborates and says that many injuries arise because of activities outside of sport – completely unrelated to CrossFit. These are primarily due too little to no preparation prior to the activity. Karen says CrossFit brings you strength, and that strength can help protect you from injuries that can come later in life. The other aspect of injury arises from the athlete’s personality. Perhaps the most important aspect of CrossFit is to check your Ego at the door. Karen adds, “For potential CrossFit (athletes) with this fear, it becomes a question of ‘will you check your ego at the door? It can be difficult to balance competitiveness with checking the ego, but your coach should be there to help you through.'”
Myth #3: “I’m Not Fit Enough”
Perhaps the most common myth in the world of CrossFit. Many people believe they are not Fit enough to start training – as if Olympians never trained and walk onto the track in world-class form from day one. For Chris Collins of CrossFit Basingstoke in Four Marks, Hampshire, England, education starts the moment clients walk through the door. We have had this (myth) a lot,” he added. “We cover this in their first-day experience with us. We give them examples of the range of our members, highlighting age, size (and) physical abilities. We also then educate them on the way we program our WODs (and) how every one of them is scalable.” The idea that you need to be extremely fit to start CrossFit is one that has plagued the sport for some time. The reality is that anyone can start at a fundamental level, build up their strength, develop conditioning and grow as an athlete – just like any other sport or activity. The goal in any sport or training is progress. With all said, if your goal is to dispel the myths related to CrossFit, it may be more beneficial to start with your own coaching principles. Educate, reinforce and teach to your athletes, never generalizing your program, but maintaining specific progressions along the way. Instill good habits, and success through strength will follow.