There’s a strong reputation around CrossFit for those who haven’t started training, but many of the rumours you might have heard are simply lies about CrossFit.
Here’s our guide about the most common lies about CrossFit, why they aren’t true, and what your experience will actually be like if you decide to take on the sport.
The 10 Biggest Lies About CrossFit and Why They Aren’t True
10. CROSSFIT IS ONLY ABOUT COMPETITION
Crossfit is as competitive as you want to make it.
The vast majority of CrossFitters compete against themselves and strive to succeed for their own personal satisfaction. If you are not keen on the idea of competing, then you don’t have to.
One of the best parts of CrossFit is its community. Everyone goes through the workouts together, and shared suffering and betterment can create incredibly strong bonds. There is a saying about CrossFit that it is the only sport where the loudest cheers are for the last to finish.
If the competitive element of CrossFit appeals to you, and you want to test yourself against others then go for it, there is plenty of opportunity to do so.
Start with local Throwdowns and competitions. Try the Open, where you can measure your scores over several workouts against everyone in your Box, city, country and even the world – You never know where you might end up!
9. LIES ABOUT CROSSFIT – I’M NOT FIT ENOUGH TO START CROSSFIT YET
There is never a perfect time to start, you have to begin and then adapt along the way. CrossFit is excellent in the way that it will challenge anyone; from a total novice right through to professional athletes at the highest levels.
Watch the pros, the events they undertake in the CrossFit Games or the Invitational’s are DESIGNED to test their fitness to the absolute limit, to see how well they can adapt.
8. CROSSFIT MAKES WOMEN ‘BULKY’
This lie about CrossFit is one that I hear a lot, but it is easily laughed aside due to a few reasons. The term generally means muscular, but is used lazily, and is based on looks rather than function and performance.
What CrossFit actually does is make people:
The idea that CrossFit makes women ‘bulky’ makes assumptions about how a woman should be, which is also wrong in itself. If a woman wants to build muscle and she works hard enough, then she will.
Besides, if this is her end goal and prime focus, then she will probably be bodybuilding in the gym, rather that working hard in the Box.
7. …AND MEN SMALL
Sometimes a picture paints more than a thousand words. This is one of those occasions.
6. CROSSFIT IS NOT APPROPRIATE FOR OLDER FOLKS
The CrossFit Games, the biggest event in the CrossFit calendar, has special divisions for its MASTERS athletes. For the 2021 season, these consisted of the 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59 60-64 and 65+ age groups.
The masters division is one of the fastest growing categories in the entire sport. Still don’t believe us? Check out this video of Jacinto Bonilla, a 73-year-old competitor:
5. I WILL HAVE TO TRAIN FULL TIME TO MAKE IMPROVEMENTS
CrossFit workouts and training programs can be scaled to suit any fitness level or schedule. They are designed in this way.
We all lead different lives and the modern world is a busy place, so you will train as much or as little as you want to.
If you are able to dedicate more time, train consistently and eat well, then you will see quicker progress than if you train once or twice a week, but in terms of exercise, a little is always better than nothing, and you can still make improvements.
If you want to be a professional CrossFit athlete then yes, you will most likely have to train full time. But for everyone else, we have a bit more flexibility.
4. MY GYM DOESN’T DO CROSSFIT
There are thousands of CrossFit Boxes in the world. Odds are there will be one near you. CrossFitters are friendly folks who support and encourage people that want to work hard to make things happen.
Go talk to your local Box, try a free session, and then see how you feel. I have a feeling you might never look back.
At BOXROX we meet and hear from incredible CrossFitters from all around the world on a daily basis. From people that build their own box, to outdoor winter WODs in the ice and snow; the CrossFit community is dedicated to fitness, and resourceful in the way that they choose to workout.
If you can’t train in a Box, try one of the famous CrossFit workouts for yourself.
3. CROSSFITTERS DON’T CARE ABOUT FORM
One criticism is that form and technique suffers in the race against the clock. Of course it is possible to cheat your way through a workout using poor form. But any committed CrossFitters knows that poor form = a no rep, and that means no score.
So if you want valid times that count – and care about your health – you need valid reps that matter.
CrossFit allows you to work closely with a qualified coach, who monitors your lifts and techniques and teaches you how to do them properly. They will help you to progress safely and effectively, whilst still maintaining the raw motivation to push you towards achieving new PRs.
But what about kipping
The concept of ‘kipping’ generates a lot of controversy in other areas of training and sports, because it is often mistakenly seen as a failed attempt to do a strict rep.
For the record, they are different variations of an exercise.
A kipping Pull Up or Muscle Up is, of course, different from a strict version. They exist in separate categories.
And what about technical barbell lifts
The main Olympic lifts such as the Snatch and Clean & Jerk, as well as the major strength lifts (Squat, Deadlift, Overhead and Bench Press) are simply too important to be done badly.
Look around any ordinary gym, and often the power cages are full of rounded shoulders or backs on Deadlifts, or squats that don’t go anywhere near parallel at the very least. And don’t forget that guy who SHOULD be squatting yet always seems to be doing his 25th set of bicep curls.
You’re unlikely to see that in the vast majority of CrossFit gyms.
2. IF YOU DO CROSSFIT, YOU CAN’T DO OTHER WORKOUTS
The beauty behind CrossFit is that you can make it what you want it to be.
Many people involved in the sport come from a huge variety of backgrounds, and this creates an incredibly diverse array of skills and talents. Many also use the sport to train for other sports.
Many Boxes offer specialised classes if you want to improve your mobility, gymnastic skills, or Olympic lifting for example.
You can also plan programs with your coaches if you want to dedicate more time to improving a certain aspect of your strength or aerobic capacity for example.
1. CROSSFIT IS DANGEROUS
If you are an intelligent person that listens to and absorbs the advice of your coach, then CrossFit is not dangerous. All sports come with the risk of injury, but that is a fact of life. This is one of the lies about CrossFit that has been hugely over-hyped.
If you learn and practice the techniques of each exercise that makes up the full spectrum of the varied CrossFit workouts, then you should not have problems. Build solid foundations in all areas and progress by scaling up.
No athlete in any sport trains every day at 100%, so the element of intensity within CrossFit is important, but it’s not everything.