Because I have tried many things regarding Health & Fitness, I have often been disappointed, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they aren’t good for some people.
I’d be hard pressed to say that Weight Watchers hasn’t done wonders for Jennifer Hudson and the sale of Spandex dresses. But the reality is that for any program to be successful, there has to be a commitment to change your behavior to ensure long term success.
This is particularly true in the world of fitness, where gimmicks, novelty, and shiny equipment tend to prevail. By simply joining, I lose weight and get fit. Wrong! If you change your habits, show up, participate, and persevere you lose weight and get fit.
It’s wonderful, you don’t have to talk to anyone…
I was in a coffee shop last week, writing a blog, when I heard a rotund middle-aged woman, sitting nearby, telling her girl friend about her gym. This woman had just finished eating a cinnamon roll with her coffee. She was bragging about her gym’s fleet of big screen televisions and their wireless sound system for your earbuds. “It’s wonderful, you don’t have to talk to anyone, you just watch TV while you walk on the treadmill.”
Twenty years ago I joined a club that had circuit training. When I went to inquire about the facility, a very attractive athletic chick gave me a tour of the facility. (FYI, that is not sexist, it is simply my observation) She showed me all the fancy machines that would give me the fit and muscular body I wanted. Ironically, what I saw on all the machines were people who were out of shape. All the fit guys and girls were all doing free weights; and admiring themselves in the floor-to-ceiling mirrors.
Once I joined, I was left to flounder. I did what everyone else did, I waited for machines to free up, I gravitated to the machines I liked and avoided the ones that hurt, or that I wasn’t any good at. I got frustrated and stopped going. It might be fine as a business model, (they’re still setting the hook and reeling in the fish), but generally, it is ineffective as a fitness regimen.
When I first discovered CrossFit 2a, the sandwich sign by the street said, “We don’t use machines, we build them!” This was back to old-school. No machines, no mirrors, no earbuds, no hiding and making believe you are working out. Be real, get real, do real. Real pain, real sweat, real effort, real community, real results. It’s like voluntarily stopping at boot camp for an hour before going to work. Only instead of a Drill Instructor yelling in your face, you get Nicole, Chad, Greg or Andrew teaching you, coaching you, motivating you. You have your friends encouraging you and sharing in your victories every time you succeed or set a new PR.
Fitness comes not by simply joining, but by doing. It is a relentless pursuit.
Note: 2017 Update – I still love CrossFit, in fact I am now a CrossFit Level 1 Trainer. But I love Olympic Weighting and Starting Strength programs as well.