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What’s holding YOU back - Top 5 Common Misconceptions Preventing People from Starting CrossFit

by Brent Marks November 07, 2016

What’s holding YOU back - Top 5 Common Misconceptions Preventing People from Starting CrossFit

Author: Ellie Bowden - Coach Crossfit Wandsworth, London (currently in Noosa, Queensland the lucky thing)

What’s holding YOU back - Top 5 Common Misconceptions Preventing People from Starting CrossFit

It’s easy for us all to forget after a few months or years in CrossFit that taking the plunge to start can be very daunting.  Like any other sport, there are plenty of people who simply aren’t interested in giving it a go, which is fine, but there are also a large number of interested people who hold back as a result of these common misconceptions.  If you know someone who is hesitant to join because of any of the following, assure them they are not alone:

    1. CrossFit is too intense!

      My first question to newcomers is ‘what brings you to CrossFit?’ followed by ‘what do you think CrossFit actually is?’

      The answer more often than not is always the same to both questions – intensity.  Very few of us are uploading videos of our 20-minute warm-up, or our weekly Romwod session, so the media surrounding CrossFit is one of high intensity – heavy weights, high level gymnastics and incredible speed.

      However, there are two important steps before intensity; mechanics (technique) and consistency.  Can you perform a quality air squat (mechanics)? Once that is proven, can you complete 10 good air squats (consistency)?  Now, how fast can you complete those 10 air squats (intensity)?  It is a dangerous misconception to try and live up to as an affiliate that intensity is the sole purpose of CrossFit, and a small number lend to this misconception.

        2. Females become ‘too big’

          As a female coach introducing females to CrossFit, I hear this one all too often – ‘I really want to do CrossFit, but I’m worried I’ll end up really big and muscly’.  More often than not, I get my favourite ‘I don’t want to look like you’.

          This is a rich area which I will barely even begin to delve into here, but it is genetically impossible for the majority of women to look like the Games athletes.  Not only does it take a huge training volume (well above and beyond 6 x 1 hour classes a week), but also a combination of very strict and specific nutrition, and genetic blessing.  Yes, blessing.

          Generally, women find they lose some weight, and tone certain key areas.  That’s not to say that some women won’t gain some muscle bulk, but hopefully by the time that does happen, they have been introduced to our community which encourages strong girls and begin to feel comfortable within their body.

            3. I’m not fit enough for CrossFit

              Wrong!  People put off joining because they say they just need one more month in the gym to build their fitness base before starting.  They come back 3 months later, more unfit than ever, and finally begin their journey and question why they didn’t start sooner.  There’s a reason you’re unfit – what you’re doing is not working for you, in one way or another.  Why delay health and fitness any longer? Once you join classes you will see people of all ages and abilities performing the same workout.  You are not the most unfit person to join, as most people believe when they walk in the door to a box.

                4.  CrossFit will injure me

                  Yes, it’s true - some people who do CrossFit acquire an injury.  And how’s that knee looking after 10 years of rugby? Or marathon running? Or netball?  How is your back after 20 years of a 9-5 desk job and sedentary lifestyle?

                  Our main goal is to make people healthy.  We are giving you the tools to live a fit and healthy life, and there is some risk involved in all sports.  If you join a good box, with coaches you can trust, you are in excellent hands to actually help you prevent injury, much more so than if you decided to continue doing nothing at all.

                    5. CrossFit is too expensive

                      Depending on the country and city you’re in, CrossFit averages around $200 a month and can be a big reason why people steer clear, even though they want to partake.

                      However, if you were to look at the cost of a Personal Training session being $60 for an hour, once a week, a CrossFit membership still falls below that monthly cost, and your weekly attendance is unlimited.

                      CrossFit classes are not just a boot camp; many people feel the benefits of a PT session within a group class, and get to reap those rewards 6 days a week if they so choose.  When you break it down, each of those CrossFit ‘PT’ sessions are actually only costing you $9.

                      Add to that low cost the benefit of a group training environment, high intensity and an unbeatable community, and you will find that every cent is well worth the investment.

                      So, how can you help?

                      We all know one or two people who talk of nothing but CrossFit and their own journey, their daily WODs and their nutrition goals, and this can definitely get on the nerves of people who don’t do CrossFit (and even those of us who do!).  Introduce people to what CrossFit is really about, break down whatever barriers they may have and encourage them to give it a go. And, at the end of the day if it truly isn’t for them, then that’s okay too! As long as they are moving towards a healthier lifestyle, whether it be CrossFit or another form of fitness, be supportive of their journey.

                      And finally, try and remember that at one point we were all beginners with these same doubts and fears.  Be the person in your box that goes out of your way to introduce yourself to new members, and help them finish their WOD with your encouragement.  Let them know that they are now part of your community!

                      Ellie Bowden is an ex-elite water polo player and law graduate, who is now a fulltime CrossFit Coach at CrossFit Wandsworthin London, UK.  Ellie loves competing and we will hear from her about community, women and competitions.

                      Brent Marks
                      Brent Marks

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