Green Crossfit

29 Nov

I like a bit of weightloss TV, me. My favourite is The Biggest Loser (USA, Australia, Guatemala) I find it inspiring. Mostly.

The one I saw last Sunday had a theme: Green Week. The message to the contestants was to eat organic and local, reduce their carbon footprint and recycle. They achieved this by hustling the weightloss victims away from the electricity-driven gym machines (boo!) and do their jogging outside. Elliptical trainers were spurned in favour of swiss-ball wobbling. Most baffling was the recycling challenge: In teams they competed to shift the most fizzy drink cans from A to B. Each winner won – wait for it – an SUV!

While enjoying what the bossy Biggest Loser coaches interpret as Green fitness, something very obvious struck me. Crossfit really is Green! We have no running or cycling machines guzzling electricity while the trainee goes nowhere: we run in parks, we ride real bikes on real roads. Our barbells and kettlebells are powered by human grit. We don’t have enormous, expensive lat pull-down machines: we have a bit of scaffolding and rubber bands. Admittedly, we have Concept 2 rowers – using  2 AA batteries to run the monitor. Even if they fall out, the rower still works fine. Oh, and who would need a fizzy drinks machine when we have a perfectly good tap sticking out of the wall?

Alongside the regular Crossfitters’ commitment to good nutrition, many as a matter of course will go for organic and local produce. Some even grow their own. They run, cycle, use public transport to get to Crossfit London. If so, their gym carbon footprint becomes the size of baby’s bootie.

I should mention the movement called Green Gyms which has the laudable goal of tending the environment while getting the volunteers fit. I wouldn’t mind giving it a try it next year. I could put all my thrusters and deadlift strength into practical applications for shifting wood and building drystone walls.

Crossfit London has the most effective, most rewarding and most fun fitness protocols available anywhere. It is also very green and sustainable. Green issues are something everyone cares about, even if not consciously or consistently. But it’s satisfying to know while you’re lying on the floor gasping for air: Fran may be a right cow, but at least she cares for the planet.

8 thoughts on “Green Crossfit

  1. Now here’s a coincidence – I met with the chap who initiated the whole Green Gym idea through the BTCV yesterday – really cool project to get people active and involved in the green spaces around them… Especially now as funding is drying up for maintenance of public green spaces.

  2. i love this green aspect of crossfit. the low-tech, use your body to propell you stuff… but our dirty little secret is that both crossfit eating systems are pretty protein heavy and therefore HORRIBLE for the environment. win some/lose some. 🙁

  3. @ Brie – very good point: The Soil Association maintains that UK organic farming is on average 15% more energy-efficient than conventional farming. But it’s a complex picture

    @John – that is a coincidence. Maybe we could get a team from Crossfit London to volunteer for a day and see how it goes. That would be a great test of our functional fitness

  4. Great points all. Part of me thinks crossfit plus being veggie or possibly pescatarian would be the greenest combo

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