How does CrossFit become a lifestyle

What CrossFit really is - and what isn't

You can get a little fearful: Anyone who watches what is happening in a CrossFit box - that's the name of the mini-studios in which training takes place - thinks the notorious Spartans to watch in preparation for war.

People swing heavy ropes, lift heavy weights, do handstands, squat until the muscles shake, and push to their limit. You will look in vain for treadmills or even a cozy sauna in such a box - for that sees it mostly like on oneAdventure playground for very, very sporty adults.

CrossFit pro Willi Chen, 44, looks like he can crack nuts with his hand, but also knows about the often daunting effect of the CrossFit look. Few of them dare to be so fit (and look the same). Chen said:

For me, living consciously means maintaining my mobility, functionality as well as my physical and mental performance into old age.

“CrossFit is ideal for this. Beginners do not need to be afraid of training at all, the intensity is gradually increased. But willpower and the willingness to leave the comfort zone are part of it.“We confronted the native Taiwanese, who has been making his customers in Vienna sweat as a CrossFit coach since 2008, with the most common prejudices about his favorite workout. And this is what came out:

Prejudice 1: CrossFit training is just a fitness trend

It feels like a new sport is emerging every month - from “parcours” to “electro yoga” to “stand-up paddling” to “calisthenics”. Some things are really great, some are more amusing. From Chen's point of view, there is only sustainable access to an active lifestyle. This includes components such as agility, speed, coordination, force, flexibility, balance and endurance:

A real overall training helps to be more efficient in everyday life, mentally and physically - and that is exactly what CrossFit trains. So not a trend, but a real long-runner.

Willi Chen

Prejudice 2: CrossFit training is dangerous

All physical activity carries a certain risk of injury. No matter whether you go swimming, sit on your bike or pick something up from the ground. In order to prevent injuries, it is important to adapt the level to the athlete's ability and not to his ideas. That's why there is CrossFit only with a trained trainer at your side. It is their responsibility to adjust the training intensity, the severity of the weights, the repetitions and the speed of the exercise execution to the abilities of the trainee.

Prejudice 3: CrossFit is only for athletes

All movements and workouts can be "scaled", ie graded and adjusted. If someone can't do push-ups, they're doing them on their knees or against a wall. It is an illusion to swing from practice to practice like Tarzan. But little or no experience is no reason to forego CrossFit. The addiction factor, on the other hand, is high.

Prejudice 4: CrossFit training is not for women

There is CrossFit for everyday athletes and there is CrossFit for professionals. Anyone who watches the many videos of the famous CrossFit games online can be amazed: Not only the men, but also the women usually look tough, super defined, strong and quite powerful. But these are professional athletes who sometimes even train for decades and eat specifically to achieve this look. Hobby athletes do not need to be afraid of the "Hulk look".

Prejudice 5: The goal of CrossFit is total exhaustion to the point of collapse

Well, there is the so-called “comfort zone”, then there is the “discomfort zone” and, based on CrossFit pro Willy Chen, the “danger zone”. It is similar to mountaineering: You don't climb an eight-thousander in one go. There are countless base camps between the start and the summit so that the mountaineers can acclimatise. The body is allowed to get used to the altitude. Of course it is basically possible to climb a mountain in one go, but then it’s not good for your health. The risk of losing consciousness, vomiting, breaking off, injuring yourself increases. In the CrossFit box you live a similar principle as on the mountain: It's about adapting the intensity to the ability of the athlete. Those who do not underestimate themselves, but also not overestimate themselves, have a clear advantage.

What CrossFit really is

  • A real all-rounder: CrossFit is a diverse combination of a wide variety of sports and movement sequences. The complex workouts are carried out with increasing intensity. It's about mastering as many, often very different, types of movement and sequences as possible and becoming strong, fast, persistent and agile at the same time.
  • Good for pack animals: CrossFit is suitable for beginners and advanced, but especially for all those who like to train in a group and be motivated. CrossFitters appreciate being part of a community; friendships for life are often made in the box.
  • Not for the faint of heart: It's true - those who practice CrossFit regularly will get bruises and abrasions. The willingness to suffer a little is part of it. But you make progress very quickly - and that's motivating!
  • CrossFit never gets boring: It's just easier to maintain motivation and not lose interest in training if it doesn't get boring. The CrossFit exercise pool is broad and flexible.

Funny to read: Our author Stefanie Schwarz tried Crossfit and found that the sport is not suitable for “harvestmen like them” (sic!).

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