I'm thinking about checking out some CrossFit classes, but I know they are super expensive and all the rage right now. Does anyone have any opinions on if it's worth the money and where I should go?
I'm looking to stay in DC.
Thanks in advance.
If you're in the NW area, check out MPH, Balance, CrossFit DC, and District CrossFit.
Links to all can be found under 'District of Columbia' - http://www.crossfit.com/cf-affiliates/
And if it's worth the money, that's up to you to decide. My opinion is a bit biased, but it depends on why you want to do it and what you're looking to get out of it.
i for one am curious is other tri'ers have done crossfit and how they find it affects their tri training. I would seem to add little dircet benefit to the three legs, but could add a tremendous amount to your base and overall stength. Any converts out there?
Convert? Yes. Couple years now, and coming out of retirement to do IM Wisc with Crossfit as my main source of training.
Is it important to you to (at minimum) have a strong upper body for swimming, and core and legs for biking and running? It is for me.
Do I like to do functional movements? Yes. Sitting down to push/pull weight isn't practical.
Is CF for everyone? Absolutely not, and that's cool.
Before you start, ask yourself what your goals are and what you hope to get out of doing crossfit. That goes with starting any program - weight machine circuit at Results, Insanity, P90X, training for a tri, doing Zumba, doing push ups/sit ups/squats, etc.
I am a convert. Crossfit is AWESOME!!! I am now working into my triathlon training, and I am having a little difficulty with the transition, but that is also do to the fact the last time I ran was Marine Corps Marathon, and swam was just before Myrtle Beach. So I am not saying it is all crossfits fault. I will say that I am pushing time equivalent to the times I was doing at the end of last season, which I find truly amazing.
I have also gained a lot of strength and muscle that I have not seen since my early 20's, and I am now 37.
I will give the best advice if you do decide to jump into Crossfit. Check you ego at the door. Start light and learn the basic forms. The weight will come, but you want the form to be correct, so you can excel.
Good Luck and let us know what Box you decide. If you live in the NOVA area where I live. I goto Crossfit Sweat Springfield, and we have a couple of triathletes in there.
I think many folks in this club would like it. Jen has helped me with some tips and encouragement as she's a groundbreaker for Crossfit endurance athletes, coaching as well. Tes at Potomac Crossfit is starting an endurance group, and has been coaching runners and triathletes with crossfit endurance principles. info at potomaccrossfit.com. For the really interested there is an official Crossfit Endurance seminar in DC, 16-17 April, http://www.crossfitendurance.com/seminar-schedule/Convert? yes. Things you can do are really eye-opening after just a few months of training. Effective for tri training? They say it is. Who knows. I miss carbs.
i'm currently in a crossfit gym and am wondering what other people's experiences have been with theirs (i won't say which NW gym i'm at-- it's not like you'd need a lot of guesses, but i don't wanna have people to predetermine their response based on where i'm at).
i mean, i get the idea of crossfit and i really like it. it's functional and that's fantastic. the community is awesome and certainly beats me turning tony horton on mute for an hour while i crunch through p90x.
but there are a few things that make me scratch my head:
ok, so that's enough of my rant/complaining. i'm interested in people who are doing crossfit that can address those three things from their perspective. i'll stick with my current gym for a while to see if my perception is just off... like i said, the community is really cool and i'm a big fan... but crossfit is born out of a sense of community and i'm sure i can get that at the other NW gyms.
also, i realize there are some crossfit coaches/groupies in the tri club... please don't take my rant personally-- i really will appreciate some objective critiques and an honest conversation.
Coaches: Potomac Crossfit. Talk to Brian or Allison.
Paleo: Don't deny yourself. Enjoy the bacon. Crispy bacon. It's delicious. As much as you want, all kinds. Bacony heaven delicousness. Try a Paleo Challenge to get started.
hhmmm. i do like bacon...
I hope I can answer some of your questions and continue the discussion.
1. Price - Let me bring this back to tris - why do clubs/tri coaches charge what they do? Are you getting deals? Is there group/individualized training? A program designed/tailored "for you" and not a canned program? Price for a CF box varies across boxes because it's not a franchise so they can pretty much charge what they want. CF boxes have of basic stuff like location (rent, utilities, etc) to consider, equipment, demand (is the owner doing it PT with only AM or PM classes), and what they think the value of their training is worth. Same thing with a tri coach. I'm sure the more experienced (sometimes more popular) coaches or programs will be more $$$ than someone who just passed the USAT test will be charging.
2. I'll skip to your third bullet point about coaching personality by using the previous paragraph as a segue. USAT coaches attend a weekend course, take/pass a test, and they are coaches (I'm sure there's more to it.) CF coaches attend a weekend course and take a 50 question test and if they pass they are certified (again, more to it). They can attend additional specialty seminars (KBs, Oly lifting, Running, etc) for more experience, and go outside the community - USWA, Concept2, ACE, etc - for more knowledge. How did your coach get certified and what's their background? Ask them. And usually they have their bio on the affiliate website. I think people gravitate to certain boxes based on location, cost, class times, workouts, coaches/personality, and community/group dynamic. Some might be a higher priority than others depending on the athletes need (needs the encouragement/coaching) and what the box offers (smaller class sizes). I'm where I'm at (as a coach) because of location and class sizes. We have zero fire breathers, a lot of beginners, and a group that just enjoys 'working out'. And they keep coming back, so I must be doing something right.
3. Paleo - I prefer to call it 'eating clean' and avoiding the word 'diet'. For me this is just how I eat. Where I am currently in life doesn't involve going out to happy hours or eating out a lot, but when I do it's not hard to make smart choices. Dairy and grains? Gone. Fish oil and bacon? Bring 'em on. When I have more of the former and less of the latter, it's not pretty - GI is messed up, skin is oily/breaks out, and I get more congested. Sure I'll have something non-paleo from time to time, and then pay for it. We're in the middle of a 7 week paleo challenge with a few members that was rough for a couple weeks, but for most people it's just how they eat now. Will everyone stick with it when it's over? I'm sure they will try to stay 80/20 clean, but might see those 'cheats' happening less and less if they feel sick afterwards. Would they have know legumes or gluten affected them negatively if they had not tried the challenge? Probably not, but if they run faster and lift more without it, it's up to them to decide to eat it or not and see how it affects their performance and GI, skin, sleep habits, pant size, etc.
I like to see triathletes and runners keeping an open mind and trying out CF and/or paleo either on their own or with a box. It's a different experience for everyone (good/bad) depending on location and coach and what they're looking to get out of it. Before starting any program - training for an IM, eating clean, starting CF - you should ask "what are my goals and what do I intend to get out of this experience?"
You can email me offline if you want to discuss this in more detail... as if this wasn't enough.
What box you coach at? I might have to stop by and hit a WOD with you all. Do you have a drop in fee?
alright.. it's been a long time since this thread, but i thought i'd give an update...
i got injured mid-way through this training season and crossfit has been amazing at helping me recover. i'm still not fully onboard with paleo (though i enjoyed the "going primal" book), but that's just a matter of preference, for now.
the cost and everything has actually come out as i've progressed, and definitely during the injury.. having coaches willing to work with you, call your MDs, and personally work with you towards your goal is pretty invaluable.. it's helped keep the motivation up when i would have faltered solo.
so. yeah. rant over. thanks, jen, for your advice...
I've been crossfitting on my won for 9 motnhs and eating fairly strict paleo diet for about 6 months. I've lost 20 pounds, including the weight that woudl not come off during my first tri season with NTP, and my per mile running time has gone from 10 min minute miles to sub 8. I have not been biking, but have never felt stronger or more fit in my life. I am hooked. Now, if I could just afford a crossfit membership somewhere!! It is expensive, and I am confident I woudl get what I paid for, but as a humble government servant, just can't make the scratch!
Congrats on your results. I'm glad you found something that works for you and that you enjoy. Get a pull up bar and some dumbbells from craigslist and you can still do CF from home on the cheap.