Do I Have to Be Fit to Start CrossFit?
No. Absolutely no. No one-thousand times over. Having been doing CrossFit for a while, and now working at a CrossFit gym, I get the opportunity to talk to a lot of people about CrossFit who have never tried it before. Whether its a person just checking out the Sweat Shop, or a person I’m having a casual conversation with, I have met many people who have expressed interest in joining a CrossFit gym. The two most common responses I get when I tell people they should join a CrossFit gym are, “I need to lose weight before I join a CrossFit gym,” or, “I need to get in better shape before I can join a CrossFit gym.” I always thought of this response as a kind of backwards since I always thought you would join a gym to lose weight and get in shape. But I remembered I am always on the inside looking out having having done CrossFit for the past five years. I realized that for people who have never trained in a CrossFit style regimen or gym, CrossFit gyms would be very intimidating places! So I can sympathize with people who might be hesitant because they feel do not fit the ideal body type or fitness level. But I always tell people the same thing, that you just have to come in and try it! Once you take that first step, I guarantee you will never look back.
What sparked my interest on this topic was this article I read on the CrossFit Journal on a woman’s CrossFit weight loss journey. She, like many, first asked a trainer when she came in if she needed to lose weight and get more fit before starting, and of course the trainer said no. This reiterated that the beauty of CrossFit is that it can be done by anyone because it is scalable to all levels. What that means is regardless of your physical ability, or fitness level, all the workouts are adjustable to provide you with the best workout.
People sometimes have a fear of being ridiculed or looked down upon because they are overweight or can’t perform all of the movements. I can safely say I have never seen this happen in any CrossFit gym. The CrossFit community is one of the most generous and supportive communities I have ever been a part of. And I am a bit biased when I say this, but I think the Sweat Shop is one of the best gyms out there when it comes to welcoming new members into our community, regardless of their appearance or fitness level!
We even have some weight loss success stories in our own Sweat Shop community, one being our residential 6 a.m. stud, Scott “Hot Cocoa” Cler. When I see Scott now, he is linking together pull ups, snatching 135 lb. like a breeze, and coming in first on 400m runs! I sometimes forget that when Scott started at the Sweat Shop he weighed 315 pounds, but has managed to slim all the way down to 230 pounds! I recently talked with Scott about his weight loss journey, and when he first started at the Sweat Shop. Like many people, when Scott settled into his career and had kids, he found that the combination of work and family responsibilities had derailed any regular fitness regimen and caused him to gain weight. Scott tried a few exercise methods for weight loss, but didn’t have any success with them until he turned to the sweat shop, and he has never looked back. When he first showed up at the sweat shop he expressed the common fears any person has when first walking into a CrossFit gym such as not being able to perform the movements or being the “new guy” at the gym. Being determined to live a healthier life put his ego aside and set his mind to becoming a healthier person and has made phenomenal progress.
Joining a CrossFit gym can be very intimidating for many reasons, but I guarantee you will not find a more accepting and supportive community than the CrossFit community, especially here at the Sweat Shop! If you have a friend, family member, or just know someone who wants to start CrossFit but is hesitant for the above reasons, please show them the CrossFit Journal article, this article, or have them talk to one of the coaches, we are always willing to help people! We want everyone to live healthier and fuller lives and we believe through CrossFit, everyone can do so.
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