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Not all gyms are equal


Not all gyms are equal

Mention CrossFit and you will get a slew of responses depending on the individual. Most will say they have a friend who does CrossFit and loves. Others will say they know someone who got hurt, or “That’s intimidating”. You’ve seen several news stories both for and others bashing CrossFit. As unique is CrossFit is, so are the number of gyms which are affiliated with it.

My point in say that? Just because you or someone had a bad experience at CrossFit gym does not make all CrossFit gyms bad. That’s like have a bad experience at small local Motel and then boldly stating that every hotel, including Ceasar’s Palace in Vegas is terrible.

A client and fellow Level 1 Trainer sent me an article about this “new” fitness program that intelligently is trying to paint itself as the “New, Safe CrossFit without weightlifting”, by claiming it has no association with CrossFit, yet uses high intensity training, like CrossFit. By their own claims, weightlifting is safe, yet apply to CrossFit and it’s not. The article doesn’t only contradict itself, but cleverly breaks down what they do from a science based perspective that makes them different than CrossFit. Problem with that is from a science based perspective, they are doing the EXACT same thing as CrossFit, maybe with a few fancy, expensive monitors and claiming it to be more effective and safer at getting the job done.

For example, they state than an athlete should be in a certain “zone”, for a certain amount of time. The state you should be in the “orange and red to get that after-burn effect is 15 to 20 minutes.” Well that sounds sexy but why do you think most CrossFit workouts(METCON) last from 8-20 minutes? See, same principals, slightly altered methods of reaching that. They also imply CrossFit isn’t for everyone and is not scalable, which is also untrue. All workouts are scaled to athletes abilities, including weight used for the weightlifting and the workouts. I’ve trained individuals from 5-79 utilizing all these same principals and have seen all athletes complete multiples training sessions uninjured and stronger for it.

What’s funny is even their workouts are similar to a CrossFit WOD.

“The instructor takes them through a series of circuits called “blocks.” Each block lasts 4.5 minutes and has a three to five exercises that the clients run through. As an example, they’ll do 10 reps of rows on the TRX, then 15 reps of step-ups on the bench, and so on, and then start over at the beginning and keep going until the 4.5 minutes are up. The rowing machines are also used as part of these blocks.”

Seems a lot like multiple 4-5 minute AMRAP’s that CrossFit programs.

So, what is point in saying that not every gym is equal? Each CrossFit gym is owned by a different individual, has different trainers and if they stick to the CrossFit principals and do what is instructed it will be 100%, however some gyms do not invest the times, focus on technique or really invest time in programming. Maybe the writer of that article went to a bad CrossFit gym. Yes, it’s possible. However, that does not mean that every CrossFit gym suffers from those issues.

The individual who forwarded me the article has been to well over 10 different CrossFit gyms across the nation. That’s more than I’ve been to and he said, ” I have visited CF boxes across the country, and I’ve been impressed by how much they all care about their clients’ heath and safety.” I have to agree with him and say the majority of CrossFit gyms have good coaches, good programs and and provide a great environment to grow as an athlete and an individual.

Remember, as I said all CrossFit gyms are not equal, and even the gym that this article written above will have no two gyms alike in the franchise. That gyms program may be different from CrossFit, but it does mean it will get equal results, nor guarantee your safety anymore than any other form of fitness will. Don’t buy into articles like these which attempt to paint CrossFit as dangerous and offer “a better, new solution” to CrossFit when in fact they use the same exact principals.

All gyms aren’t created equal, do your research and be careful not to step in the bullshit out there.

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