Growing the Community

We all have that friend who asks questions all the time about CrossFit, and we know deep down they really want to try it out. Often it’s difficult to articulate what we love about CrossFit.
By Jamie Toland, CF-L1,

We all have that friend who asks questions all the time about CrossFit, and we know deep down they really want to try it out. Often it’s difficult to articulate what we love about CrossFit. For some people, it just clicks. We come in, learn some basics, try a few beginner WODs and we’re hooked. But getting people through the front door is usually the biggest battle.

So if someone asks you about CrossFit what should you say to get them to give it a try? While there are literally thousands of ways to effectively respond, here are the main things I love about training, and maybe you can pass them along to some of your curious friends.

Constantly Varied

One of the biggest problems I had with conventional gyms and workouts was that I really had no idea what to do. You could possibly scrounge up an old football coaches’ workout plan or read a magazine article that boasts about the latest craze that would get you the beach body you’ve always wanted in 30 days.

But even these plans became stale for me, and let’s face it, on the off chance you actually finished the 30 days and did all the work . . . then what? For CrossFit, the prospect of coming in and doing something completely new or a experiencing a workout with movements in a new format or rep scheme is a huge bonus. Sometimes people confuse constantly varied movements with random. When you explain this to people, share with them that if you’re working with a trainer who knows his or her stuff they will have new workouts with a plan and purpose for you every day.

Community

CrossFit prides itself on the community and thrives because of the support its members. Before CrossFit, I would go into a gym and lift with other coaches or athletes, so there were often other people around. You could go to any gym and be around others and get a great workout while you’re there. But most time everyone is doing their own workouts, headphones covering their ears, ignoring the people around them.

What people new to CrossFit will quickly learn is that it’s not only beneficial to train with others, but it’s more worthwhile, too. The common struggle of completing the WOD and sharing the grind of a difficult workout creates a bond that far exceeds simply complete a set of reps for a time or score. The bigger reality is that not only do you have a class to train with or a community within your own box, but your training can develop a commonality with others around the world. Because anywhere you go, who ever you meet, we all know what Fran is like.

You Have to Start Somewhere

The on-ramp or beginners program is effective because it really can help with confidence for anyone who wants to ease into CrossFit training (which is the way everyone should do it). Most people are naturally nervous to walk in the front door because the fear of the unknown is a very powerful deterrent. For a lot of our friends they have probably only seen online (often sensationalized and baseless) articles and attacks on CrossFit, or broadcasts of the Games on ESPN2 or maybe the occasional local competition.

Real CrossFit training starts with a gradual build up to scaled or modified workouts, so the high end competition (like the Games) is not a realistic portrayal of what a majority of us do on a daily basis. Explaining to our friends or people who often express an interest in trying CrossFit what the on-ramp does and why it’s important could really make the difference in getting someone through the front door for the first time. And sometimes that’s all it takes to get a new person hooked for life.

What are some ways you or your box has tried to get people to come in and try out CrossFit to get started? Share your ideas in the comments on our Facebook page or email me your stories at JTolgrinder@gmail.com.

Stay on the Grind.
Jamie Toland (JTol)
Twitter @JTolgrinder

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