If you’ve ever taken a group fitness class, you know a few things.
1. The quality of the class is strongly contingent upon the instructor’s ability to lead the class.
2. The vibe of the class matters and while the instructor can do his/her best to keep things positive, if you are surrounded by a caggle of negative Nancy’s, it’s unlikely you’ll have a good time.
3. There’s an underlying sense of competition (with others in the class, with yourself), you simply can’t avoid it, and while this can be extremely effective/motivational for getting you to work harder, it can also be demoralizing if the vibe/environment isn’t right. I am far more likely to enjoy my hour in class if I am friends with my classmates, and friends with my instructor, if I am getting consistent encouragement, feedback, and having pleasant conversations with my friends between sets.
Friends make fitness fun, period, and that’s why I LOVE CrossFit and why I am constantly trying to debunk its reputation for being overly competitive, even mean and thereby intimidating. I am not interested training anyone so hard they “hurt” and I hate that so many of my client’s make this reference when discussing why they hadn’t tried CrossFit in the past. When facilitated properly, a CrossFit class can and should be like any other group fitness class you’ve taken and depending on items 1, 2, and 3, can be an amazing, blissfully exhausting, exercise experience.
My goal, every day, is to try and optimize the CrossFit experience for folks new and unfamiliar with CrossFit. Every class has a knowledgeable, kind, encouraging, attentive instructor. Regular events, socials, and giveback opportunities allow bonding in and out of the gym. Members say hello, introduce themselves to new faces, and keep a watchful eye over newbies. I keep a pulse on the environment and try my darndest to gear my marketing toward like-minded folks, good people interested in a good workout and far less worried about the whiteboard or a “score.” The Coaching staff and I promote healthy competition, and talk endlessly about the right way to do this, because watching your progress, and comparing it to others’ (to some degree) can be healthy and motivational when initiated correctly.
At the end of the day, I want people to walk out of the gym and think, that was WAY BETTER than, or totally different than what I expected. I want them to remember the classmate they lifted with and the funny comment he/she made, remember a coaching cue that helped them through a movement, think back on being encouraged, pushed to do more than they thought they could but not hurt, not strained, not beaten down. I want everyone to leave feeling accomplished, not defeated because, when you feel accomplished, even to the smallest degree, it spurs you to continue. There will always be new challenges and hurdles, but if you can spend an hour with friends, get a great sweat on, and leave feeling the slightest bit better about yourself, there’s really nothing better and I bet, I bet, you’ll think a little differently about CrossFit and you just might come back.
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If you are interested in learning more, give us a shout at [email protected]. We’d love to have you!