Although it is pretty big Stateside, CrossFit is still fairly new for most folks in the UK.
To that end, I thought I would put down a little primer (or CrossFit 101) for people who have stumbled across us and wonder what on earth we are up to.
Of course, you could just wander off to the CrossFit main site and explore their multitude of FAQs and exercise demos. But where’s the fun in that?
So without further ado:
You probably heard we ain’t in the health club ownin’ business; we in the changin’ fitness business.
There’s probably no other way of saying this: CrossFit is hard. It really doesn’t matter how fit you already are (or aren’t). In fact it probably gets harder the fitter that you get. And yes, some of the workouts can look a little…scary?
It needs to be that way. Ultimately real changes in your physical capacity only come from good, old-fashioned blood, sweat and tears (well, not the blood part. Tears optional).
The good news?
You’ll never be asked to do anything dangerous or outside your current capability. We can scale almost every exercise to make sure that everyone is able to complete the same workout at a level that is equally challenging for all. Plus, you’ll always have a coach with you providing support and motivation.
And you know what? Although you may not admit it at the time, but ‘hard’…well, it’s kind of fun.
This is for all you new people. We only have one rule. Everyone trains…no-one quits.
Call us old-fashioned, if you like.
We have created a fantastic facility for people to train hard in. And that what’s we want people to do! We’re genuinely not interested in you paying your monthly fee and never turning up.
So if you want to be a part of the CrossFit London community, we’d love to meet you. Regularly.
Jacuzzis? Fluffy towels? We’re not that kind of gym.
We are never going to have a steam room, rows of cross-trainer machines, and full programme of step and pilates classes. Sorry.
When you turn up at CrossFit London we’ll teach you new skills, ask you to pick heavy stuff up of the floor (and perhaps lift it over your head), get-upside down, manipulate your own body weight, and go hard at the workouts. Why? Because, it’s going to make a profound difference to your health and fitness.
The gym may not look like much, but it’s got it where it counts, kid
When you turn up at Arch 9 what you see inside may look a little…prehistoric. No bicep curl machines. No elliptical trainers. We don’t even have a single swiss ball.
Nope. You’ll see barbells, kettlebells, climbing ropes, gymnastic rings, medicine balls, a pull-up frame and more.
The CrossFit prescription is for functional exercises; movements that shift a large load, long distances, quickly. These movements employ multiple muscle groups simultaneously, and develop a broad and inclusive ‘real life’ fitness capacity.
If you can develop proficiency in the various squats, olympic lifts, gymnastics skills, and body weight movements you will be stronger, faster, leaner, more powerful and better equipped for life.
And no, the lat pull down machine will not get you there.
Always two there are. A coach and an athlete.
You’ll never come to the gym and workout on your own. Outside of personal training, you’ll generally workout with group of other people. We will always have a qualified coach working with you (and the others in your group) to help you develop your skills, motivate you, and push you a little harder than you would alone.
Working out in a group is fun. Don’t believe us? Then come down and see.
As your coach, I encourage you from time to time, and always in a respectful manner, to question my logic.
CrossFit is not like other health and exercise programmes. We will regularly ask you do do things (in the name of fitness) that will challenge you, but may also seem counter-intuitive; like a four-minute workout, for example. You may question why we recommend certain approaches to nutrition above others.
So ask us! You may be surprised by the answers. We have significant knowledge in-depth around developing fitness and coaching, as well as performance psychology and nutrition.
Also note: we are habitual experimenters. We will regularly try new things out and observe the results. Some days we’ll get it right. Other it’ll go wrong. Be sure to tell us which!
[Note: We have a strict gym rule about quoting from movies. If spotted, it carries a five burpee penalty per offence. I have ‘cleverly’ paraphrased a number of lines from a few flicks. If you can name them all accurately in the comments, then I will video myself doing the 25 (eek) burpee penalty and post to the site. However, if you should get any single one wrong, then I shall be grateful of the link to your YouTube burpee-related penance below. Game on.]