Monday, September 01, 2008

Common Language

I often overhear our athletes trying to explain what Crossfit is to some poor, uninitiated person. After about ten seconds it becomes evident that they are struggling to give voice to clearly what is the most important driving force in their lives.
Witnessing this is a little bit like trying to discuss Zen with my three year old.
It should be simple right?

We do have a few technical Crossfit-isms about increasing work capacity and constantly varied movements performed at high intensity. But these still fail to illustrate what it is we do, what it is that has changed us so.

Sometimes I've tried to describe Crossfit as a horrific combination of weightlifting, gymnastics, and sprinting. And this works sometimes to mixed effect.

But what I have found to work, is the old fashioned anecdote. I'm not sure why people are so removed from understanding basic exercise theory, but they are.
And every-time, I give an example of a workout, and they get it.

"What's this Crossfit?"
"Well, typical workouts are usually made up of a couplet consisting of one powerlifting or olympic lifting element, and one gymnastic body control element."
"Like what?"
"Well, take C-rin in the photos above. First she bangs out 10 deadlifts, then she does 15 pushups. And she does ten rounds of this couplet for time."
"Holy shite!"
"Yeah, I know. 100 deadlifts and 150 pushups."

Try it. Maybe they'll stop looking at you like you have a third eye.

How do you describe Crossfit when asked?
Post struggling, stammering, cult descriptions to comments.

Coach Kstar


FilthyBrit said...

There's a fine line between freaking the uninitiated out and piquing their interest in Crossfit. In my experience, though, nothing works better than this: tell them that your workouts vary every day, that they normally take, at the most, 20 minutes, and then have one of our SFCF women (like Corrine) give 'em tickets to the gun show. Works every time.

Corrine, you look smoking.

Nick said...

I always go with the - "its a mix of bodyweight exercises, weightlifting, and sprinting" spiel and I add in that the workouts are generally less than 20 minutes.

Then I shock them with the "I lost 30 lbs in six months...what have you done lately?" It generally gets the point across.

beccarussell said...

I say it is the most narcissistic fun you will ever have... and that you won't forget it for weeks because that is how long it will hurt.

I also usually add something about how it is a cult and I am proud to be a member.

Aneel said...

I tell them
"the First rule is that I can't talk about it"

Anonymous said...

I tell people that they will not enter the halls of Valhalla if they choose to continue wasting there precious time on earth riding the elliptical. I also tell them that crossfit is a community, not a cult, that is always inviting of new people. I consider SFCF my second family. I think we have not only a great group of athletes, but people amazing character, support, and amazing blog skills. SFCF is unlike any other place I have ever trained at.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

I say, "I've drunk the Kool-Aid and its DELICIOUS! Take a sip, you won't regret it!"

;) Kitty

Ross Naughton said...

I usually say, "I'd tell you about it, but you're fucken spineless." I call this "elicitation of self-executing interest."

But if I'm really proselytizing, I just talk about how much fun it is. Xfit boosting often suffers, I think, from an excess of hardcorer-than-thou chest thumpery. This is a bummer b/c it's off-putting and obscures one of xfit's chief selling points, which is that it's a hella good time. I always say that being a regular at class is like being on a high-school sports team, in its synthesis of hard work and irreverent dicking around. I find that anyone who enjoyed high school sports responds to that point.

Ross Naughton said...

PS -- Solid little xfit set-up here on GU, but it's on the Navy base so I may not get at it very often. Hard to work outside! Air is more like steam. Miss the refreshing fog.