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Why CrossFit is for you in 2022

Updated: Sep 26, 2022

Hey you! Yes, I’m talking to you. I want to share a little story with you.

Once upon a time, there was a girl–aka me–whose biggest dream was to shed some pounds. I wasn’t talking about those annoying five or ten pounds that just stopped me from fitting into that gorgeous pair of jeans; I was talking about a drastic change. You see, I’ve always been a little thicker than the average Singaporean girl. I got put in the TAF club (aka the Trim and Fit club, this program was created in the 90s to reduce obesity amongst school children. It has since been phased out, thankfully), I had to shop for clothes in the women’s section as early as eight years old, and I was told my entire life that if I lost weight I’d be beautiful and worthy.

You would think that would take a toll on one’s self-esteem, right?

Fast forward a couple of years later, I started working with a trainer and frequenting one of those big-name chain gyms. That change in lifestyle did wonders and eventually paid off; I lost over 80 pounds (36 kilograms) and dropped down three dress sizes.

But just like most people when they go through a weight loss journey, I was stuck at a plateau. I had gotten fitter, stronger, and faster than I ever had before, but I knew I had it in me to accomplish even more.

So, I asked around and somebody suggested an answer to my dilemma: CrossFit.

What is CrossFit?

CrossFit is defined as “constantly varied, high-intensity functional movement”.

If you're wondering what that means, think of that one HIIT class you tried previously—because back then you probably should make use of that gym membership you signed up for as part of a New Year’s promotion—but take it to the next level.

CrossFit combines functional movements from a variety of sports and exercises, training your cardiovascular endurance, gymnastics skills, and strength, making it constantly varied, allowing you to develop multiple physical skills at the same time. CrossFit workouts are also designed to be high in intensity, pushing your limits and allowing you to get those gains at a faster rate compared to conventional gym exercises.

Check out CrossFit's article: What is CrossFit?

So what are the benefits of doing CrossFit? (I’m so glad you asked):

It improves physical fitness, prolonging physical independence.

We’ve all heard time and time again about the benefits of incorporating regular exercise into our routines, so why CrossFit?

CrossFit's infinite scalability makes it accessible to anyone regardless of age. For the younger ones, you’ll get more bang for your back with CrossFit compared to just jogging and doing a couple of simple bodyweight exercises; CrossFit trains your endurance, strength, agility, balance, coordination, and more at levels of higher intensity.

For older adults, because the majority of CrossFit’s movements are designed to mimic the movement patterns of everyday tasks, doing CrossFit can help you perform these everyday tasks more easily and efficiently.

We don’t really think about this as young healthy adults, but this is something we’ll appreciate more as we get older and find that it becomes more difficult to climb stairs, sit up, and carry our groceries from the market.

It’s for everyone!

Functional fitness for the older adult
CrossFit Masters

No need to be intimidated when you look at a typical CrossFit workout; you can still attempt it even if you can’t do the workout with its exact prescribed difficulty. One of the reasons why CrossFit is so popular is because the workouts can be scaled. In other words, the load and intensity of the workout can be adjusted so that it accommodates your fitness level while challenging your physical limits at the same time.

For example, let’s say that one of the movements in today’s workout is 15 pull-ups. If you haven’t gotten that first pull-up yet, you can still do those 15 pull-ups! Instead of a standard bodyweight pull-up, you could scale it down to assisted pull-ups with your feet planted on a box set underneath the pull-up bar, or bodyweight rows using the rings. If that’s too easy or too difficult, ask your coach! They’ll usually provide a list of movement scaling options for you to choose from if you’re not sure which movement would be the most optimally challenging.

It’s fun!

The first thing you’ll notice when you see a CrossFit gym is that there are hardly any exercise machines, save for rowers, air bikes (not to be confused with the more commonly spotted spin bike), and maybe some ski ergs. But there are lots of other types of equipment that adorn the walls and corners of the gym space, like barbells, gymnastics rings, jump ropes, and more.

A CrossFit gym is like a fitness playground—there’s lots of space for you to move around in and plenty of interesting equipment that’ll keep you entertained and will help you work up quite a sweat.

The beauty about CrossFit is that because it has such a diverse range of movements, you may discover that you’re better at performing some movements than others. Outside of classes, you could either further develop the skills that you’re more comfortable with and enjoy doing, or you could do some extra practice with the skills that are still a struggle for you. Or why not do both?

Regardless of where you’re at in terms of CrossFit experience, there’ll always be something for you to work on. It may not be what your best friend has to work on, and that’s absolutely OKAY.

It’s a highly social activity (and you might make some new friends along the way!).

Every CrossFit gym has a different vibe and atmosphere depending on its coaches and patrons. Some are more competitive and intense, while others are more relaxed, supportive, and have tightly-knit communities. Your fellow athletes (yes at CrossFit, we call everyone who attends class an athlete) will come from different walks of life, all with varying levels of experience in CrossFit.

CrossFit with friends
After the Open 21.1 face-off

Depending on the day’s