To be successful in exercise, you have to be consistent. This is the paradox of fitness: Consistent is predictable. Predictable is boring. Ergo, consistent is boring. That’s a recipe for failure.
CrossFit overcomes this. The time to work out can be consistent…but what you’re doing is out of your hands. Indeed, at least at Sewickley there aren’t even that many options of times – though I find that forcing function to be productive. (If I don’t feel like going to the 5:30 or 6:30 class, there’s nothing beyond that. Just do it and get it out of the way.) What you do when you work out There is a “Workout of the Day” (WOD). The WOD is a mix & match of different elements you’ve learned. You’ve already decided to tackle a challenge, then you find out what it is. The local WODs are more involved than the ones listed on the national website.
It’s usually a lot of squats or the other things you wouldn’t bother to do. Power Squats look less ridiculous if ten other people are doing them. Everything you know you should do but won’t bother to do at the YMCA. Bench presses are the exception, not done (shoulder problems too easy to have.) Push ups are plentiful.
The class is commonly divided into thirds: stretching, one type of workout, then another. Hard intervals punctuated by rest.
Strangely, I find that if I even look at the WOD before the class — available in an app — I feel less motivated to go. I don’t even really want to know what’s next among the thirds (though at that point I’m committed.)
There is another needle to thread to get exercise right: a supportive but challenging atmosphere. This too between both the instructors and the fellow class members, Crossfit has just nailed. The fellow members are supportive – you’re going to get through this challenge together! Yet the instructor leading the class is pushing you to go hard.
For a deeper dive into the Crossfit philosophy, here is one Crossfit trainer on Tim Ferris’ podcast in 2015.
The price of unlimited monthly classes is less than two personal training sessions. Crossfit Mindfire in Sewickley has been fantastic, highly recommended.