I have worked in the fitness industry for the last eight years, and one thing that has remained constant is, people come, and people go. Many times people come back, but here recently I have seen more and more try to do CrossFit on their own at their house or at a globo gym.
Anyone that knows my background in CrossFit knows how obsessed I am with this program, and how much I love to exercise. In 2011, I got my CrossFit Level 1 certification and immediately thought I needed to do more. I decided to cancel my CrossFit gym membership and outfit my garage with as much CrossFit equipment as I could afford.
*disclaimer: it was my mother’s garage.
In my mind, I justified creating a home gym by crunching the numbers and convincing myself of how much money I would save. Telling myself that I would not have to be held to a class time that did not fit my schedule. Or that I would never have to do another burpee and I could program bench press every week. This was going to be the best thing ever.
Or so I thought.
The first month or two was great. It was something different, and I was able to try a competitors program instead of the daily class workouts. I started hanging out with my friends more outside of the gym. We would go to eat or grab a beer after work. With my new found time I would not have to rush out of work to make the 7:00 PM class. I even would put in a few extra hours a week. #brownnoseingdoesntwork
But as I am sure you suspected, I slowly started to become less motivated. Staying at work a little longer left me tired and hungry when I got home. My friend time outside of the gym usually left me full of food or drunk. On the days that I would work out, I spent a good amount of time trying to figure out what I was going to do and even more time checking Facebook and Instagram.
I found some motivation after I bombed at an event in Houston. It was one of my worst performances in a fitness competition that I can remember. That motivated me to get a little more serious about my exercising regime, so for a few months I got back into my competitor program and trained hard.
But then the program started to be too much. It had a lot of stuff in it that I did not like and honestly it was too hard after a long day at work. It wasn’t just hard because of the movements, loading, and structure, but it was hard because I was doing it alone, and suffering alone sucks, and slowly I started to fall off again.
I found a quick fix though!
I discovered C4 pre-workout. I remember getting my first container, and it was like a gift from God. I would start sipping on it when I left work, and by the time I got home I was fired up and ready to smash some weights, but as my tolerance grew my new found motivation did not.
I knew what needed to do, but I did not want to admit defeat and walk back into the gym a failure. Luckily for me, one of my good friends was a coach at the gym and pretty much told me to quit being a dumba** and come back in. My first workout back I had so much energy and intensity I knew that I had made the right decision.
That year I cracked the top 1,000 in the world for the first time in my CrossFit career.
Intensity has everything to do with results. If you lose intensity, your results will suffer. You may be reading this going, “I honestly could care less where I place in the world.” And that is understandable, but everyone that is reading this cares about the way they look in some way. Whether you are trying to lose weight, get jacked or just trying to extend your life in a healthy way, you must have intensity in your workouts. When intensity is lost so is your results.
What does a CrossFit class do that provides you intensity every time you walk in? Here are the things that did it for me:
First, the community. I was not alone. I suffered through workouts with others. When I was in the pain cave and looked over and saw someone else there, I felt comforted knowing they were feeling the same way I felt.
Second, the coaching. I had someone watching me instead of me going through the motions. When I was alone I cut reps short, probably rounded my back on everything. Once I was back in the gym, I had one or two pairs of eyes on me that could correct me when I was doing something wrong or help me do something I was not able to do alone.
Third, the programming. Trying to find a program to follow or a workout online sucks. Having someone prepare a workout for me (whether I thought it was stupid or not) was way better than trying to figure one out. Not to mention everytime I wrote a workout for myself, it was always something I was good at.
Fourth, the time. Yes going to class I was held to a schedule, but I was in and out of the gym in an hour. That was warm up and cool down included. When I was working out alone at my house, it would take me two hours to get a workout in. When working a regular 9-5 job being in and out of the gym in an hour was a big deal.
I am super biased on all of this. I own a CrossFit gym and want people to come and enjoy what I have helped create and what I have fallen in love with.
I believe that CrossFit can be done anywhere by anyone with a group or alone. I think that someone can see excellent results doing it like this and I am sure there are plenty of people who have. But I also believe that those people are scarce and extremely self-motivated. Most of us are not.
To get every bit out of a program like CrossFit, you must be able to apply intensity. If you are lacking motivation, you are probably lacking intensity. If one of the four reasons I listed for myself are things that motivate you then find a CrossFit gym.
All that being said everyone goes through slumps with exercise. I probably go through a week-long slump every other month. I tell you all of this because I do not want you to go through the same things I went through.
I still have all the equipment I bought back in 2012. It sits in my garage now, and it is used to hang up clothes after the wash, and to store boxes. I leave the gym now after working classes with the intention of working out when I get home, but the couch usually changes my mind.