Just as I speak of the fact that fitness is not a fad, and must be a consistent part of your life, that doesn’t mean that there are not fads that pass through the industry itself.  Over the course of time, fitness trends have come and gone.  Leg warmers, step class, the shake weight, etc.  They have all run their course throughout the years.  That does not mean that they were inherently good or bad, but they just ran through the normal lifecycle of current knowledge.  Now, the most current wave of fitness to hit not only the United States, but the entire world is the phenomenon of Crossfit.  Now, I am going to use the term here, not as a brand, but as a thought process.  And I am going to do my best to differentiate reality from perception.  Crossfit was an organization that was founded in the late 90’s early 2000’s.  They were founded by Greg Glassman under the premise that people did not have to starve themselves and do endless hours of cardiovascular exercise to achieve the goals of weight loss and leanness.  Crossfit believes in working hard.  Deriving progressive benefit from shorter bouts of work, but working at and even above what you thought that you could previously do.  They believe in constantly varying your workout routine instead of performing the same exercises day after day.  They believe in clean eating and dietary purity.  Their methods are based on research.  Research that has been performed really in the past 30 years or so.  This is when we really started to challenge the traditional fitness beliefs.  And so far, the results have been more than promising.  It appears that as our research advances, so will our ability to achieve.

Now, what Crossfit is NOT.  Crossfit does not mean throwing people into workouts that they have no business doing.  The mainstream perception, however, is just that.  That if you’re going to do Crossfit, it means working out until you puke.  It means performing lifts that you’ve never done before.  Now, this MAY be the case, but one of the very most basic tenets of Crossfit belief is education and scaling.  Recently (in the last few years), the Crossfit phenomenon has absolutely EXPLODED!  I am willing to bet that not even the founding fathers of the movement could have forseen being on ESPN every year.  And, in that time, they have started to be subjected to some pretty serious backlash about their methods.  Most of which can be explained as over-expansion, and under-education.  Not on the part of the main body, but on the part of the individual gyms (there are over 2500 worldwide).  As with any franchise, you will have some locations that are better than others.  No matter how much the mother ship tries to regulate, there will always be those that slide through the cracks.  And that is what is being seen right now, is that not only are there a few of the individual gyms that are just not focusing on the education as they should, but there are also starting to be so many who are trying to copy the basic premise.  There is no copyright on the IDEA of fitness, just on the name.  I could open a gym and work off the same basic premise of a Crossfit gym, I just can’t CALL it a Crossfit gym.  However, if I don’t have the education and training to do what they are doing, I am going to end up hurting people.  Simple, right?  So, you have to do your homework on a gym.  Do they teach or do they just throw you to the wolves with a workout regimen?  If that’s the case, don’t join just to say that you do.  It ends up being a recipe for injury and disaster.

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