CrossFit is making waves in millions of people’s lives, in part, because it has found a way to weave into its participants’ lifestyles. Much of CrossFit’s infiltration has been a shift in perspective with recognizing, in my opinion, that we aren’t all training for a specific deadline. This shift means that fitness for most people doesn’t have a time restriction. When it doesn’t have a deadline, the training can begin to look different. It may even look more fun.
After all, compliance is critical, right?
What I mean by “deadline” is that many forms of training include specific end goals with specific time frames. For example, someone training for a physique competition has a date in the future for which they need his/her figure to include certain results from training. This means training volume, cycles and linear progressions speak to the date of the show.
Athletes, for example, have a season of some kind during which their training begins to take shape based on when and how they must compete. CrossFit’s general physical preparedness structure has more general goals than that. Though there are folks in CrossFit with specific deadlines of their own depending on their application of their training, many folks are simply in it to look, feel and perform better.
Much of the linear obsessed, cyclical, dare I say “boring” approaches to training serve an excellent purpose, especially when there’s a deadline involved. Would you agree, however, that when a large chunk of the population just wants to look, feel and perform better, in general, that rigid, linear training cycles might be a mismatched approach for their needs? I do.
CrossFit has captured countless men and women in this way. This idea that I can progress my fitness by accumulating different exposures and working on my craft, movement and skills in the same way one would take on any other element of lifestyle is captivating. Furthermore, it speaks to my compliance. When people are working hard and moving well, they reap the benefits. The best program ever written doesn’t work if folks aren’t able to comply to it, right?
It’s as if we’re shocked that someone learning to cook could do so some other way than enrolling in culinary school, studying and graduating. It happens all the time and, for most people, that would be the worst way to learn to cook. I know that I either wouldn’t enroll or quit before I finished, much like people do every day when they can’t maintain their eight-week evolution of three sets of eight on chest and triceps day at Bally Total Fitness.
The application is wrong.
Now, not everyone who’s training in the CrossFit community does so in this way, but I think it’s proven to be a useful approach to changing lives that otherwise have attempted and failed to change in other ways.
Keep in mind, this general view of training without a deadline isn’t exclusive of goal setting and elements of a time-specific strategy. It is, however, a paradigm shift that’s catapulting a generally unsuccessful fitness industry into some major waves of improvement with CrossFit. And I can dig that!