Six Crossfit Myths Busted
Regular Tonic readers know that I exercise five or six times a week – two bootcamps and at least three or four indoor cycling classes or runs. But I have a friend who takes some of the same classes as I do, and who does at least one workout every day (usually two). What’s more amazing is that he’s a former emergency room doctor and serial entrepreneur. And now Sheldon Levy, with his partner Blair Lyon, are opening a brand new, state-of-the-art CrossFit training facility in the heart of Yorkville.
Sheldon not only owns the studio, he’s competed in the CrossFit Open and is a CrossFit Level 1 Trainer. He knows that the idea of CrossFit training can be daunting for some. I recently caught up with him to see if he could help dispel some of the myths surrounding this fitness phenomenon.
Myth: You need to be already fit to do CrossFit
False! All you need is the desire and commitment to become fit, stay fit or increase your current level of fitness. CrossFit is appropriate for the entire spectrum from the clearly unfit to the elite athlete. While CrossFit certainly challenges the world’s fittest, the program is designed for universal scalability, making it the perfect application for any committed individual, regardless of experience. CrossFit scales load and intensity; it doesn’t change the program from one athlete or another – the needs of Olympic athletes and our grandparents differ by degree, not kind.
Myth: CrossFit isn’t for women (it makes them bulky)
False! CrossFit is for everyone ☺ Getting ‘bulky’ is a product of the type of exercises you do and the weights that you employ. Certainly you can bulk-up in CrossFit, as you can with any type of strength-based training regimen. This is really more about knowing your goals and having a plan to achieve them. By utilizing a combination of weightlifting and endurance/body weight training, anyone (male or female) can become as lean or muscular as desired. Body sculpting means something different to everyone, and by engaging in a consistent program of CrossFit exercise, under quality supervision, individual goals and personalized results are guaranteed.
Myth: CrossFit leads to injuries
False! Poor technique, unrealistic goals, shoddy supervision – alone or in combination lead to injuries – irrespective of the sport being undertaken. The activity could be Yoga or skiing or running just as easily as CrossFit.
This myth, as it pertains specifically to CrossFit, is more a product of a sport in evolution. Initially not mainstream and poorly understood, CrossFit has come leaps and bounds in its efforts to educate their instructors and the general population on safety in fitness. The training techniques in CrossFit have evolved to create a sport that is appropriate for the young and the old, by adjusting load and intensity, as opposed to exercise type.
Myth: CrossFit is a big time commitment
‘Truish’! What isn’t! Tell me something worthwhile that isn’t a commitment – not just of time, but of mental and physical energy and effort as well. Getting fit, truly fit, getting CrossFit is a serious undertaking and should be looked at as such.
A typical athlete should plan on 3 to 4 one hour CrossFit classes per week, one to two days per week of alternate type workouts (cardio, yoga, etc.) and one to two days per week of rest. This involves a commitment to balance, and should ideally extend to every aspect of our lives – be it exercise, diet, work, play, etc.
Myth: CrossFit gyms are like dirty garages
‘Truish’! Yes, some are. And not just CrossFit gyms! Certainly with the growth of the sport there has been a movement to more mainstream type facilities. At CrossFit YKV we are taking this to a whole new level – at YKV one can expect to walk into a beautiful environment – flush with natural light, 5-star hotel like standards for cleanliness and amenities, the best of equipment, a friendly and engaged staff and a strong ownership presence. Blair and/or I will be there every day of the week, 364 days a year (closed on Xmas day only) to engage with and be a part of the lives of our members and community.
Myth: People who do CrossFit become fanatics who only talk about CrossFit (and are therefore avoided at cocktail parties).
‘Truish’! What can I say, CrossFit engenders passion and who doesn’t like to talk about their passions in life and to recruit others to their passions – I certainly stand guilty of this accusation! But it comes from such a good place, having experienced the benefits of a CrossFit centric life, I know what it can do for people truly interested in achieving fitness. It frustrates me to see people paying good money to gyms and/or trainers, thinking they are getting results when I know they are not really achieving their full potential.
Jamie Bussin is the Publisher of Tonic Magazine. He tries to keep up with Sheldon a couple of times a week (he’s the one sweating, way, way, more). For more information about CrossFit YKV please visit crossfitykv.com