Why CrossFit? - Part 1

October 22, 2015

Welcome to the brand-new Athlete Institute General Fitness and CrossFit Orangeville News/Blog. The goal of this blog will be to write opinion pieces, share information from the latest research in not only the health and fitness but sports science world, highlight member achievements, introduce you to our amazing staff, and finally, share news that may be relevant to our amazing new facility.


Today's post kicks off a multi-part series on what makes CrossFit so incredible. CrossFit Orangeville is a large focus for us at the Athlete Institute. We believe in it passionately and feel as though it is a fantastic program for individuals in the Orangeville and surrounding area to get fit and move better.


Why CrossFit? - It is Scalable/Modifiable


I believe that most people view CrossFit negatively. On one end of the spectrum, many people experience CrossFit through "CrossFit Fails" videos online, or on the other end of the spectrum, they may see the extreme athletes that compete at the highest levels at competitions like the CrossFit games.


One of the best things about CrossFit is that it can be altered or modified to suit a very wide range of needs or requirements. Sure, there are a lot of very fit men and women who perform and excel at CrossFit, in fact we have quite a few extremely fit individuals who train at our facility. Having said that, there is also a very large portion of the CrossFit population who shows up, busts their asses, and improves through general CrossFit programming.


What you see on TV or on YouTube is not the same CrossFit that goes on in boxes across the world on a daily basis. Only a very small percentage of CrossFit athletes ever go on to compete in some sort of CrossFit competition, and only a small percentage of those athletes will ever go on to compete in a high-level event. It doesn't mean that it doesn't happen, but what it does mean is that most of the people who show up to workout in a box are doing so to improve their lifestyle and health and may never have any aspirations of competing.


Unfortunately for CrossFit, I think that too many people who have yet to try CrossFit only see the competitions and almost obsessive-like nature of CrossFit competitors, some even referring to it as a "cult-like" atmosphere, rather than seeing CrossFit for what it is - a way to get stronger, move better, and improve your health.


Truth is, I would go as far to say that most members within a given CrossFit box modify workouts on a regular basis. Take Constance, for example (video below). CrossFit put this video out recently giving a remarkable story of a woman who, although wouldn't be considered a high level athlete, can still do the fundamentals and true nature of CrossFit, which is to say she can work on improving her compound functional movements.

We actually get individuals in all the time here at CrossFit Orangeville who wish to try CrossFit that have to heavily modify their workouts in some way, shape, or form. Whether they are obese, have previous injuries, or even have very little strength or skill in performing a specific action, we modify to finish. Our goal is to keep members engaged and improving their health and fitness.

Just because a workout is listed a certain way by no means indicates that we will be making everyone in the gym crank through it as fast as possible whether they can complete all of the required tasks or not. Not everyone can perform a muscle up, or even a pull-up for that matter. So, we always modify to create a similar training stimulus to those who cannot complete a workout "as prescribed."


Having said that, someone could come in, having never squatted properly before in their life, and our highly qualified team of trainers could start working with them, improving their overall movement patterns so that they are not only improving their fitness and well-being, but they would be improving their livelihood as well. We remind every member who walks through our door that by being able to move much better than they were before, they are going to age more gracefully and be able to have the strength and stamina to tackle obstacles that they encounter in life. If their goal(s) down the road include competing in a CrossFit competition, well, we can help them excel at that too!

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