Every day without fail, your one co-worker at the office has to tell everyone about what she did at CrossFit yesterday.

She’s constantly throwing around terms like ‘WOD’, ‘AMRAP’, ‘snatch’, and EMOM, she calls her gym a ‘box’, she boasts about how she was #1 on the leaderboard yesterday, talks about how she can’t eat the office snacks because they aren’t ‘Paleo’, and she’s constantly walking around the office in Reeboks because she forgot her heels at home.

Any time someone asks her why one would want to do her crazy workouts, she says, “Because it’s weirdly addicting!”, to which you think to yourself, “What IS buzz behind this CrossFit addiction?”

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What exactly IS CrossFit?

The true definition of CrossFit, according to CrossFit’s founder, Greg Glassman, is:

‘Increased work capacity over broad time and modal domains using constantly varied, high intensity, functional movements’.

To put it more simply, CrossFit workouts are always varied – meaning you could do 100 different CrossFit workouts and potentially never repeat the same one twice.

High intensity – meaning it gets your heart rate elevated, and functional – meaning the movements are meant to replicate what we do everyday in real life, such as: squats (like when you sit and/or stand), deadlifts (which would be bending over/picking something up off the ground), and presses (grabbing or putting something up over your head).

The CrossFit model isn’t just about getting a workout – it’s about improving your quality of life.

CrossFit Addiction

Although it hasn’t been scientifically proven yet that CrossFit needs a 12-step detox program, it does have some addictive qualities such as…

1. Community

CrossFit is a community and a huge one at that. So much so, that some call it a ‘cult’. Although CrossFit can be taught in a one-on-one setting, it is it typically run in classes. Most classes consist of a warm-up, lift and/or WOD (‘Workout of the Day’), and a cool-down, and everyone in class goes through all of these elements together under an instructor’s coaching.

Classes are intentionally run in groups to enforce community

It’s one of the only sporting spectacles where, whether it’s in a class, a local event, or the CrossFit Games, the last person to finish the workout always gets the most applause.

Language isn’t the only thing that unites CrossFitters outside of class either

It’s well-known that two strangers wearing Reebok apparel MUST be CrossFitters, so immediate friendships and bonds are formed in the most unsuspecting places. The CrossFit Community is so tightly knit, it becomes like family. You look forward to working out alongside your comrades and it isn’t rare for life-long bonds to be formed.

crossfit addiction_32. Workouts

There’s something about getting through a ridiculously hard lifting session or WOD with the support of your CrossFit family. You start together, you ‘embrace the suck’ (a CrossFit term) together, and you push each other to finish.

The workouts are always different, and there are ‘benchmark’ WODs that are typically repeated over and over again throughout the years to gauge progress.

These workouts are named after the ‘OG’ CrossFit women and are known as ‘The Girls’, and there are also WODs dedicated to our service men and women called ‘Heros’.

Completing these WODs are gratifying and rewarding, and in a class setting, they are highly anticipated and looked forward to. The top scores for many of these benchmark WODs are on display in the majority of CrossFit boxes.

Everyone completes the same WOD each day modified to fit their own personal needs.

Every movement in CrossFit is universally scalable to any walk of life, which makes it easy for just about anyone to jump into the sport. Progressions are heavily emphasized and each person in class gets a workout tailored to their own ability and fitness level.

CrossFit doesn’t discriminate against any age, level, ability, gender or walk of life.

crossfit addiction_23. It’s you against you

Some days you just don’t feel like working out. Some days you don’t hit a personal best. Some days it takes everything you have just to make it to class.

You may have a community of people to cheer you on and hold you accountable, but at the end of the day, your only true competition is with yourself.

When you enter class, you are ultimately entering a zone where you get to do the impossible each day.

It’s a space where your weaknesses become your strengths and where you are constantly defying your limits and breaking your boundaries. It’s a space of overcoming struggle and fear, and where there’s more of an emphasis on ‘strong’ than on ‘skinny’.

When you come to class, you don’t just do a workout a leave. What you overcome and achieve in class will be the hardest part of your day, and you leave feeling absolutely invincible to the world and capable of handling whatever life throws your way.

CrossFit doesn’t just contribute to a better quality of life from a physical standpoint, but it also does the same thing for your mind, self-esteem, confidence and overall mental well-being.

Should you drink the Koolaid?

Whether you choose to throw up a glass or not, this multi-billion dollar industry is here and it isn’t going anywhere.

It’s changing the lives of millions of individuals and re-shaping what we thought we knew about health, wellness, fitness and nutrition. Though controversial, CrossFit makes a bold statement and demands to be looked at and paid attention to.

There is strong scientific evidence supporting CrossFit’s methodology and should you try to embark on trying a class, do your research and find a box and qualified instructors that suit you and your needs.

And don’t be surprised if you begin to notice serious side effects such as increased mental and physical strength, toned muscles, increased self-esteem, solid relationships, increased health and well-being, less medications, more energy, better sleep, better quality of life, and doing the ‘impossible’ daily.

You just might become an addict yourself!

Connect with Expert Emma Pietrzak.

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