by Jak Lundown
My thoughts on Cross Fit
| The evolution of working out always has its fads and surges in popularity. In the past exercise programs have ranged from subtle changes in preferences to the downright strange. For instance, we have embraced rollerblading, aerobics, an infinite assortment of video instruction courses (Tiabo, P90X, Insanity, Jazzercise …), Zumba, Pole Dancing, yoga, Curves, and my favorite the Shake Weight. Those were mainly the stranger of the fads, but in the more intense category there is cross training, kettle bell training, circuit training and a plethora of endurance / extreme obstacle course races to name a few. While each specific program has its own marketing scheme, compulsory dress code and critical equipment branded for this purpose, they are all basically the same, promoting the enthusiast to get up and move. When boiled down to the basics you really are left with the core workout approaches, flexibility and balance, cardio, core strength and specific muscle group strength training, the branding and hype just represent a new business plan. The hottest fad right now is Cross Fit, a corporation created in 2000 that affiliates local gyms to operate under its charter. The website claims nearly 5,000 affiliated gyms in North America and hosts the Cross Fit games, which is now aired on paid network television. Cross Fit has surged in popularity and individuals and organizations across the country have embraced this program, generally following the prescribed workouts online without being officially affiliated. The Cross Fit workouts have transcended the gym floor and implanted themselves into the fitness aficionado’s vocabulary and culture. It is common to see people post the results of their workout on Facebook or scrawl their results on the office whiteboard. It is water cooler talk and the new one upper favorite in the work place. Cross Fit is the latest proxy to fill that void in the high school football meathead’s life and a way for his office jocular groupies to follow.|
The high school social dynamics never really end even after high school ends and many continue with the high school football jock persona or simply fake it later in life. There are those that maintain it throughout life and those that found self control and the gym later in life and embrace the culture to allay past regrets. And for those who can’t be the best it is a great way to force one’s self into that cliché. In a world of mediocrity and doldrums Cross Fit provides an outlet for those who know they are stuck in the average life that they did not foresee as a member of the up and coming jock group in high school. They express this perceived dominance each day by announcing their return from the gym and describing in full their epic workout. They have the similar social flaw that causes people to tell you how they are really doing in the morning when you ask as part of the standard greeting that is assumed will return a simple “Good”. The Cross Fitter finds it necessary to linger in his or her sweaty short shorts, fitted Spandex shirt, and minimalist shoes and when someone taken back by their jumbled appearance comments “what did you just leave the gym?” they jump at the opportunity to tell you the ten minute spiel of every exercise they completed for the WOD (Work Out of the Day). The victim vacantly listens and regrets walking into this trap, wondering how the Cross Fitter didn’t get the message that this is not the place to be parading around in their sweaty gear. The irony in this situation is that they all will sit down and do the same job for the same pay. So for all those Cross Fitters out there, “Shut Up”, I don’t care what you did at the gym and take a shower and put on something respectable.