A quick search of “CrossFit Athletes” brings up a plethora of images like the ones below. Lots of young, fit, chiseled men and women whose physical prowess is intimidating to many. This is the sport side of CrossFit, but does it tell the whole story? Is that all that CrossFit has to offer? We think not. Below we’re going to go over some of the biggest misconceptions of what CrossFit actually is.
Everyone does kipping pull ups at CrossFit.
Everyone that has looked into CrossFit has seen the notorious kipping pull up. This is something that constantly gets brought up on fail videos. People loved to call this version of the pull up out as cheating or injurious. The truth is much like a pistol squat; it’s an advanced movement that few people can do without the baseline strength and flexibility. We go over ways to achieve the same desired effect of a pulling motion regularly with our clients. When new clients see other members at their gym doing this version of the pull up they naturally want to try it. That’s where the coach needs to step in and remind the client about the prerequisite strength required to do this movement safely. In my 10 plus years of coaching CrossFit our approach has changed over the years and we are much more disciplined around not allowing beginners to try this movement too early in their development.
Here’s a short list of our Pull up progressions we use:
-Ring Row or DB Row (depending on ability level)
-Jumping Pull up (1-8 inches below bar)
-Ring Pull up from seated position
-Jumping Pull up 9-18 inches below bar)
-Strict Pull up
-Kip Pull up (Once 3-5 strict pull ups has been demonstrated safely)
-Chest to bar Strict Pull up
-Chest to bar Kip Pull up (Once 3-5 Chest to bar Strict Pull ups has been demonstrated safely)
The workouts must be highly intense everyday to the point of maxing out your heart rate.
This is again absolutely not true. The CrossFit methodology is synonymous with high intensity workouts. This is true and the workout will push your limits. But at no point is it a requirement to push yourself to an unsafe and unhealthy limit during your daily workout. We do our best everyday to customize and fit the workout to your personal abilities. If that means you need to stop in the middle of a workout and breathe or grab a water that’s totally fine. Everyone is just trying to get a great workout everyday and that looks different for almost everyone in the group.
At a CrossFit gym they force you to lift heavy weights and max out.
False! We onboard everyone of our members through a fundamental program. This program shows a new client all the movements in a 1 on 1 environment. The fundamentals allow us to see how the new client moves with an empty barbell. Once we see how the client moves we can make recommendations to them based on how they move with that movement around adding weight. We know that resistance training with free weight is one of the absolute best ways to train, but we also know it takes time to build strength and we need our newest client to be patient with that process. Realizing that little to no equipment is require to become fit is a big milestone for our clients. Rushing into lifting heavy weight is a recipe for an injury. We need to accept the process and listen to your coach. Continue to value quality movement over fast and heavy movement.
If you ain’t first you’re last in CrossFit.
Ricky Bobby may have said it, but the only competition that happens daily at our gym is within yourself. There are other people working out with you but, it really doesn’t matter what time you get done. You will still get a really good workout regardless of what time you finish and how many people you beat or don’t beat. A big part of the daily workout is modifying it to your personal ability and going at your own pace.
I need to get in shape before I start CrossFit.
This might be one of the most common excuses I hear when people talk about coming into the gym. The age ranges at our gym and many CrossFit gyms in the county are teenagers to 70’s or 80’s. Age is just a number and as mentioned before we will suit the workout to your abilities. The best thing you can do if you’re on the fence is to just start. Stop waiting around for a sign or number before you can get started. JUST START!