“Regularly learn and play new sports”
These words come from CrossFit founder Greg Glassman. This is an advice not often heard from traditional gym owners. They are more concerned with getting people IN their gym, than telling them “go outside and play!” Are they scared you will find something better? Or is it because what you do in there doesn’t really transfer to your everyday life? The answer could be yes to both.
So why is it that CrossFit encourages athletes to learn new skills and practice new sports?
It boils down to the functional fitness we strive to achieve through high intensity interval training. The movements you do in CrossFit transfer to anything you want to do in life, so why wouldn’t you take advantage of it?
The main reason we all workout, even if some of you say it is to look better in a bathing suit, is really to have a better life. To be healthy. To be free and independent of assistance. To be able to enjoy our friends and family. To be able to explore the outdoors. It is only when we step out of the gym that we find the reason why we spend so many hours in it.
Weightlifting and metcons are great for improving fitness, but it is only part of CrossFit as a training philosophy. Remember the 10 general physical skills? What do we do in the gym that will really challenge your balance, coordination and accuracy (not saying box jumps and double unders aren’t challenging but they eventually hit a ceiling)? You know what would?
Slacklining, golfing and shooting hoops.
Want real evidence of how much fitter you are today? Go chase your dogs. Play a game of pickup basketball. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Or try something completely new and go paddleboarding! You’ll appreciate all the squats and push presses, maybe even the burpees, when you realize that you can go a little longer, jump a little higher, or keep your balance on that board.
The gym is a great place to be and most of us have many goals regarding our squat weight, mile run time and pull up progression. But our fitness goals shouldn’t end there. There are plenty of mountains to be climbed, oceans to go swim in and sports to be played with your kids. Just don’t forget that fitness allows you to enjoy many things in your life, most of them found outside the gym.
by Coach Matt