Whether you choose to accept it or not, CrossFit has become a professional sport. There are people out there making a living training and competing in the CrossFit Games and other big name competitions. Now with the emergence of the National Pro Fitness League (this has no affiliation with CrossFit, but is attracting a lot of CrossFit athletes), it will be interesting to see where competitive fitness goes in the future.
I bring this up because I think it’s important to take a minute and reflect on why you choose to do CrossFit. In my humble opinion, I think there are 3 categories:
- Using CrossFit to train for another sport or GPP (general physical preparedness): if you run, play tennis, ski, do triathlons, or just want to be a better and healthier human, and you use CrossFit to supplement or prepare for these activities, you fall into this category. There is little sacrifice required when it comes to this category (e.g. time, risk of injury, volume, etc.). You can train using CrossFit for years and continue to see results. Coming into the gym 3-4 days a week will more than likely correlate into success and progress with your pursuits outside of the gym.
- CrossFit as a Sport (Recreational or Part-time Athlete): this category is for people who enjoy the competitive side of CrossFit. They like signing up for the Open or joining a team for a local competition. This category requires a little more sacrifice regarding time and more consistency in the frequency of training days. There will likely need to be more focus and dedication to nutrition as well. At times additional focused training may be required to address potential weaknesses.
- CrossFit as a Sport (Elite Athlete): a very small percentage will land in this category and the percentage is getting smaller every day as more people enter the sport. The level of dedication regarding time, volume, consistency, nutrition, and battling with/through injury is high. Your training will not always be fun and will at times be seen more as work; building blocks used as a means to an end. There will be times where the ratio of risk to reward will be very high. It takes a special kind of person to maintain this level for any extended time period. If you are seriously considering entering this category, I would recommend having a conversation with either AJ or Whitney to better understand the demands that are required for training at this level.
I bring this up neither to discourage nor encourage, but simply as some food for thought to aid in goal setting. The goals of someone in Category 1 will be markedly different from those in Category 3. I think it is also important to have a plan and evaluate where you are periodically. Maybe you are on the fence right now between categories and need to take an honest assessment of where you would like to go in the future. Wherever that is we are here to help and are excited to be there with you along the way.