My Journey to CrossFit
Come on, guys, how long did you really expect me to go before I joined the cult? As we all know, the first rule of CrossFit, is to talk about CrossFit! I promise this isn’t a rave about how amazing it is though. It took me 2 years to make the transition over to CrossFit, even after competing in several of their affiliated team competitions.
Before I started CrossFit, I went to a functional fitness gym in West End, Gym Nation which is owned by 3 brothers and have an amazing full time trainer. The regime was gruelling – whilst they were functional fitness, they did not want themselves associated with CrossFit in any way. This includes the names of movements – what CrossFit calls a thruster, is called a front squat push press by Gym Nation. And there was no such thing as kipping in their gym either. Everything was strict, stricter than what you or I could have imagined before stepping into Gym Nation. I have a lot to thank them for – it’s thanks to them that my core is firmly on when I do a kettlebell swing, why I can keep a straight back whilst performing ass-to-grass squats and most importantly, for building the foundations of my current strength.
But alas, the lure of CrossFit and Olympic Lifting was too much. It was a sad goodbye, but a gracious one. I still do not hesitate in recommending Gym Nation, particularly beginners looking to enter the world of functional fitness. It is so incredibly different to your static gym movements, and if you don’t get taught the fundamentals correctly, then you will inevitably end up injured and wishing you had never left the globogym.
It took months for me to find a CrossFit Box that I was willing to join. It isn’t hard to see why there is so much controversy around CrossFit – there are some truly awful boxes out that that couldn’t care less for technique than how quickly you could break your back. But then we found CrossFit Torian – fresh meat to Newstead, they have been open since June 2014 but already had quite the member base. And it’s not hard to see why – their facilities are awesome which are shared with the Brisbane Barbell Club. That was an added bonus for me – I wanted both Olympic Lifting and CrossFit. What better place than somewhere that did it all under the same roof?
I trialled for a week. After the first session, I was a sure member. Their workouts are fun and challenging, and contained movements that I was interested in. The biggest selling point for me, however, was the pride they still took on their technique. They differentiated things like strict burpees and non-strict as well as employing strict pull ups as major strength components and before each WOD they will always run through the standards of each movement. The integrity of functional fitness is still intact at CrossFit Torian and the number one reason why I love it so much. Any old CrossFit box can do some fun WODs, but completing the workout with good technique and maintaining face is the difference between a good CrossFit box, and a bad one.
The reason CrossFit is called a cult, is because it, well, is one. I mean, come on – I saw a girl at my global work conference wearing nanos and pounced on her! Haha, and then the next day I took her to my CrossFit box!
But seriously, removing the negative connotations of a “cult”, what CrossFit really is, is just a family. When I enter CrossFit Torian now, I see a bunch of beautiful souls that I could hang out with and laugh and stretch with all day long. When I asked the girl at my work conference about CrossFit, we spent the next hour talking about our boxes before we were finally pulled apart.
The sense of community and support you receive from CrossFit is like no other sport. In no other sport will the winner and audience rally around those still WODing and count down their final reps with them and then cheer louder for the final finisher than for the winner. Every achievement is celebrated, because no matter how little it may seem to you – for someone else that was their lifelong goal.
My progress since joining CrossFit has almost doubled and I’ve been a member of CrossFit Torian for almost 6 months. My friendship base has grown, my strength has grown, and my health has skyrocketed. My foundations were built with Gym Nation whom taught me to never to compromise good technique for a quick time on the whiteboard, whilst CrossFit Torian has brought out and shown me my own potential.
People can hate on CrossFit all day long until the sun goes down, but at the end of the day, it’s only because they don’t understand it. They don’t understand that a kipping pull up does not replace strict pull ups, it is a means for achieving a faster time and is, in fact, a gymnastics movement. (Except butterfly pull ups…dat shit wack). They don’t understand that when someone pushes a barbell over their head and then drops it, it’s not from arrogance, it’s because that damn barbell is heavy and that weight needs to be done in singles. Olympic Lifting is a sport where specialised plates are designed to be dropped from heights due to the sheer mass that is being lifted.
I’ll admit that there have been some pretty shady moments in CrossFit history, but not all boxes should be tainted with the same brush. Each box has their own standards, regulations and mindsets. If you’re curious about the sport, why not head to a few boxes and see how much they all differ from one another? Form your own opinions rather than be lead by the bigotry of globogym meatheads that don’t know any better. You might just surprise yourself 😉
P.S If you read this far, well done! Have a cat tax: