I read a lot of CrossFit blogs. In the 5+ years I have been doing CF this is probably one of the best posts I’ve come across. I’m leaving this at the top of the page for a few days because I think all of you guys need to read this. It’s a long one but it hits on a lot of those feelings your coaches here share, both for those amazing folks who remain and those that don’t stay long. CrossFit One World is in Union City, CA in the bay area.
ARE YOU THE ONE?
In the six years we’ve been running CrossFit classes, literally 1000’s of people have stepped through our doors and tried CrossFit. Imagine if all those people were still training at One World. If you thought a few of the sessions are a bit crowded now, think about the group sessions being twice the size. Yuck! What a mess.
The good news is that we don’t follow a commercial gym business plan. The commercial gym plan is to sign as many people up as possible. It doesn’t matter if they show up to workout or not. The membership sales guy at the commercial gym could give a rat’s ass about your fitness or health. His job is to sell gym memberships. As a matter of fact, they know that the majority of the people they sign up will show up once or twice and then call it quits. They know it will be busy around the commercial gym for a month at the beginning of each year. Eventually, all those New Year’s Resolutions are broken. Those same people may try a comeback several times throughout the year, but in the end, the commercial gym owner knows to charge them little, and people will continue to pay regardless of whether they show up or not. For most people, just saying you have a gym membership is actually good enough for them. It’s a genius plan. The commercial gym plan works because of one reason: people are ridiculously lazy. Training takes commitment. People want immediate results. When they realize you can’t look like a fitness model/bodybuilder in just a few weeks of walking around aimlessly using machines, the ideal of “working out to be better you” loses it’s luster. Suddenly, going home and chilling on the couch sounds a lot better than roaming around the gym not knowing what the hell you are doing anyway.
So what about those 1000‘s of people who have tried CrossFit at One World? Most either tried CrossFit or actually joined up. Some people don’t join because they simply can’t afford it. Some join and then circumstances that are out of their control cause them to leave. Hours change at work. People move. Family issues. I understand that. Some things can’t be avoided.
But there have been so many others. If CrossFit is so great, and CrossFit is for EVERYONE (as so many hardcore CrossFit folks will have you believe), then why aren’t all those people still training with us? For some, ego got the best of them. They either ignored the advice of the trainers and pushed themselves past what they were actually capable of doing. They ended up getting hurt. Not our fault, that one is on you. Others have joined and couldn’t come to grips with the fact that they were getting their asses kicked by others. This is usually an issue with men. Often, it’s hard for a grown man to come into the gym and have a girl working out next to him who is lifting more, running faster, and just performing more efficiently. If they are guys who played some sports “back in the day,” the girl being better issue is even worse.
In general though, the same shit happens with CrossFitters that happens with those poor souls wandering aimlessly around the commercial gym. We tend to keep people a little longer, but soon, everyone realizes three things:
- CrossFit is really hard.
- Being uncomfortable sucks.
- DO I REALLY WANT TO WORK THIS HARD AT BEING UNCOMFORTABLE?
It’s the choices you make after you ask yourself #3 that make or break you at One World.
It may take a little longer than your average commercial gym member, but it doesn’t take long to realize that you are not going to look like Rich Froning after 6 weeks of CrossFit. Damn! Isn’t CrossFit just like seven minute abs???? I can’t look like that after only a few weeks of short workouts a few days a week???? Ummmmmm…….no. And so, the CrossFit Circle of Life manifests itself: show up to every session on time for a few weeks…realize this is going to be harder than you thought…..start finding every reason in the book not to go to the gym…..pay your membership for one more month despite the fact that you don’t go……send an email to quit, and ask for a refund for that month you didn’t show. Seen it so many times!
Honestly, most people last 6-8 weeks. As a gym owners, Brad and I have come to realize that for every 5 people who start CrossFit, only one will stick with it. There was a time when I thought that we needed to start a beginner class. Yeah, maybe that might work, but truth be told, a beginner class is a scaled version of CrossFit. We are already pretty good about scaling workouts for everyone’s ability. It still comes down to whether you want to work hard or not.
The people who stick with One World are the folks who realize nothing comes easy. They embrace the fun side of One World, and then they plug away at increasing their fitness bit by bit. They are in it for the long term. They are not afraid to work hard and be uncomfortable. For those of you who have been doing this consistently, I applaud you!!! You are cut from granite. You should be very proud of yourselves. CrossFit is not for everyone, but it is for you.
If you are new, you can avoid the “throw in the towel” early syndrome by following a few simple guidelines:
- Take it easy. You have to walk before you run. If you want to come in and think that you should be doing everything at the level of everyone else right off the bat, isn’t that a slap to the face to those who have put in the work that you haven’t put in yet? Scale back. You will NEVER EVER hear a coach at One World tell you to do more than you want to do or are capable of doing. On the flip side of that:
- Listen to your coach. I’ve seen a lot of people train over the years. If I tell you to scale something, you prove nothing other than you are a stubborn SOB if you ignore me. Turn a 12 minute workout into a 30 minute workout over and over again and I can assure you that you are doing nothing to improve your fitness. You are resting more than you are working, and you are just being miserable longer than necessary. It’s a surefire recipe to quit within two months.
- Check your ego at the door. We are just exercising. We are just trying to get a little more healthier and better at life than we were yesterday. Don’t get hung up on what everyone is doing around you. Everyone around you will support you and give you encouragement, but they don’t care about your results. No one cares who comes in first or who comes in last. Get over yourself, and you will improve yourself in leaps and bounds.
The funny thing about CrossFit is it never gets easier. That’s why it works so well for those who are ready to commit. As a matter of fact, the better you get at it, the harder is gets. In the end, you set your own goals. You can see superhuman results in a few months, or you can take a longer road to reach your goals. Either way works, but you have to be willing to put in the work.
Millions are trying CrossFit around the world. Not all are sticking with it. Remember what I said about every five who start and only one stays? CrossFit is not for everyone, but it might just be for you. Are you the one?