The Crossfit Community Promoting Fitness Through Comraderie

In our society today, everybody is looking to jump on board with the latest fitness trend. Things like Zumba classes, P90X videos, and yoga classes are all the rage. But, there is a new type of fitness that is becoming more and more popular called Crossfit. According to Crossfit Inc., “CrossFit is constantly varied functional movements performed at high intensity. All CrossFit workouts are based on functional movements, and these movements reflect the best aspects of gymnastics, weightlifting, running, rowing and more. These are the core movements of life.” This fitness trend began in the late 1990’s in Santa Cruz, California, and now has over 13,000 locations worldwide. Crossfit has expanded as a brand rapidly; even hosting a worldwide competition every year to name one male and one female contestant the strongest man or woman in the world. Crossfit has a few unique terms, such as WOD (workout of the day), or box (the gym). Crossfit is typically performed as a class that can be as small as two people, or as big as 20 or more people. While Crossfit is a highly profitable business, what sets it aside from other gyms and workout regimens is the community. This community provides many advantages the typical gym does not, including a family, a cheering section, and an attentive coaching staff for every class.

Crossfit is a Group Experience

Pete Diprimo wrote in his book, The World of Crossfit, “Crossfit is a group workout. There are no earphones or iPods or doing your own thing. You know your coaches and other members by name. Coaches cheer you on when you struggle and when you set personal records. Members push and encourage each other.…” This particular quote represents not only what Diprimo experiences at his Crossfit box, but it accurately describes the best part about being a Crossfitter, the community. Every Crossfit class entails loud motivating music, a coach making sure every athlete is safe and performing every exercise correctly, and a Crossfit family cheering each other on through a tough workout. This sets Crossfit aside from the typical gym.

Crossfit seems intimidating. However, WODs can be scaled for anybody at any athletic skill level. The unique thing about WOD’s is there is always a way to scale a movement to match somebody’s current ability. This makes Crossfit the perfect exercise regimen for athletes of any ability and age.

Crossfit is a Motivator

When an athlete is working out alone and becomes tired, they typically stop pushing themselves as hard. Sometimes, that athlete gives up their workout regimen all together. The Journal of Sport Behavior conducted a study called “The Relationship between Basic Psychological Need Satisfaction, Behavioral Regulation, and Participation in CrossFit.” and found that, “Of those participants who do attempt physical activity routines, there is often a lack of persistence as nearly 50% of participants will drop out within the first six months.” This could be the result of their only motivation being to get in shape or lose weight. Crossfitters on the other hand have a different motivator, the community. The article states that Crossfitters are “…motivated to pursue the activity for the inherent interest they have in CrossFit, beyond any external forms of regulation to participate, such as the guilt felt from others or the seeking of rewards, is a noteworthy finding for sport and exercise practitioners to know.” This shows that the Crossfit community provides a welcoming and encouraging place to lose weight or to get in shape; that improves people’s odds of achieving their goals.

Crossfit Cares About the Community

Members of Crossfit boxes not only look out for fellow crossfitters, they also help their neighborhood and community outside of the box. For example, Crossfit for Hope is a foundation that donates 100% of funds raised to many different causes such as Hope for Cures, which raises money to fight childhood cancer and other illnesses, and Hope for Brains, which provides educational opportunities for the less fortunate. Crossfit for Hope manages to donate 100% of donations to their charity by having Crossfit Inc. pay for their overhead. It is estimated that thirty cents of every dollar raised would typically be taken to run the organization without Crossfit Inc.’s help. While this is charity on a national level, most Crossfit boxes perform their own fundraisers as well. For example, Crossfit Thunder in Huntington, West Virginia performs a WOD called “The Twelve Days of Christmas” every year at the beginning of December. All members of Crossfit Thunder come together to complete this difficult WOD and raise money to buy children in the area Christmas presents who otherwise would not have presents for Christmas. This fundraiser raises over $2,000 every year and usually supplies presents for at least 10 kids in the Huntington area. This is just one of many fundraising events the box puts on every year.

Crossfit Thunder

As an avid Crossfitter, I am proud to be a member of Crossfit Thunder. This is the box I have called home for over three years. While we all come from different backgrounds, we call each other family. This community of approximately one hundred members provides encouragement, strength, motivation, and a third place. No matter how stressful the day has been, I can work out with my 5:30pm crew and forget about the worries of the outside world. This group of people push me to my limits every time I perform a WOD, but most of all they provide a sense of kinship and camaraderie. I asked members of my Crossfit box a few questions in the Crossfit Thunder Closed Group. One of these questions read “What motivates you to keep coming back to the box?” Answers to the question varied, but the one thing every answer contained was “the community.” This shows the loyalty members have to this community.

Twice a week, our box performs a team WOD. For these work outs, everybody forms groups of two people, sometimes three or four, and complete a work out as fast as they can. Team members come up with a plan to perform as efficiently as they can; playing on one another’s strengths and weaknesses. This provides us with a very efficient work out. I know that somebody is waiting on me when it is my turn to bust out a few reps. Because of that, I feel the need to work harder, which forces me to push myself to my limits. These work outs help to strengthen our bonds that we share at Crossfit Thunder.

Crossfit as a Family Experience

While Crossfit Thunder feels like a family, some members of the gym are actually family. There are many parents and children who work out together, such as my parents and me. This time together is a great way to bond and train for competitions. My family runs 5k’s together, and with our training at Crossfit Thunder, we have won 1st place trophies together. This makes for great family memories; memories to be proud of. The practice of families Crossfitting together happens all over the world. The Crossfit games conducted an interview with the Noyces family called Meet the Noyces. This is a family of five who are all Crossfitters, and four of them Crossfit together. While parents typically teach their children, things work the other way around in this family. Jamie Noyce, the daughter of the family is a Crossfit coach at the box the family attends. This means Jamie coaches her mother and father when they are at the gym together. Jamie’s mother Shelley loves to compete in Crossfit competitions. In fact, she won the 2012 Crossfit games in her age category, declaring her the 55-59 year old Fittest Woman in the World. Jamie’s sister, who does not regularly Crossfit with the rest of the family, competed in the Crossfit Open competition, which is the qualifier for the Crossfit Games. When she competed, she placed in the top 100 in her region, despite being seven months pregnant.

Hero WODs for Our Heros

The Crossfit community is also very appreciative of our service men and women. Any service man or woman who was a Crossfitter and died in the line of duty has a WOD dedicated to them. These WODs, called Hero WODs, are named after the service man or woman and are extremely difficult. For example, the Hero WOD Clovis is named after Clovis T. Ray, a US Army Second Lieutenant. This WOD consists of a 10 mile run and 150 burpee pull-ups, which can be broken up however the athlete pleases. According to @Crossfit_IoTA, these Hero WODs are not completed for training purposes, but are completed to honor the fallen hero. When executing the Hero WOD, it is extremely important to do it for the hero and think about their sacrifice to our country when the work out gets tough. There are hundreds of Hero WODs currently, and the list unfortunately continues to grow. Although Hero WODs are traditionally for our service men and women, boxes make their own Hero WODs as well, based on significant tragedies that have impacted the community.

Crossfitters Express Sportsmanship

As Crossfit continues to grow, so will the community. However, the community is already very large and caring. Even the most elite Crossfit athletes represent the encouragement and motivation found in any Crossfitter. BOXROX Competitive Fitness Writes that Sam Briggs, the female winner of the 2013 Crossfit Games, cheered on her competition after she had completed WOD 13.5, a qualifying work out for the Crossfit Games. Fighting exhaustion. Briggs began to cheer on her Competition, Camille LeBlanc-Bazinet, to complete a few more reps. This kind of sportsmanship separates Crossfit and its athletes from other competitions and organizations.

Although fitness is not for everyone, the Crossfit community will always hold a special place in my heart. The friendliness and compassion expressed by members all over the world makes any box feel like home. However, there is no box that will be as close to my heart as Crossfit Thunder. The members of this box support and encourage me like I am family, and I do the same for them. I have never experienced a fitness community as unique as Crossfit. It is very rare for something so big to have such a positive community. Crossfit has the only worldwide fitness community that focuses not only on fitness, but building communities within boxes, donating to charities, and expressing thanks and gratitude for our service men and women

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Photo Essay

The pictures below are from memories I have made with my Crossfit family, my parents, my brother, and some of my friends. The first group of pictures come from group events with my Crossfit community. The first picture actually comes from my first Crossfit class called On-Ramp where new members learn how to safely exercise and lift weights. I completed my first month of Crossfit with them, making memories I'll never forget. The second picture is from a fundraiser 5K for the Juvenile Diabetes Fund, and the third is from Memorial Day at Crossfit Thunder after we completed the Hero WOD, Murph. I am forever thankful for my Crossfit family and for the challenges I concur with them.

The second group of pictures are memories I have made with my parents. On the left is my step father while he worked up to a one rep max deadlift, in the middle is myself doing heavy deadlifts during a cardio WOD, and the last picture comes from a 5K where my mother and I took first place in our age groups. These are memories I will keep forever.

The last set of pictures come from times my training at Crossfit Thunder has paid off. These pictures were taken after different running events I have completed. On the left is my friend Collin and me, and the last two pictures are from the Warrior Dash, a 5K obstacle course through the mud I completed with friends and my brother. These events make me thankful for my health, athletic ability, and most of all, my friends.

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Reflective Piece

One of the outcomes of the English 201 course is to gain the ability to research effectively with a variety of texts to get information. I believe this course has helped me gain this ability. For both of our major essays, I had to research and find several sources. With the topics I chose for both essays, sources were very limited. Because of this, I had to learn how to search for information outside the realm of what I was originally thinking. Both essays taught me how to research for ideas outside of my original topic or thesis, and then tie them into the essay seamlessly. I believe this skill has taught me a new way to think critically and will be useful later in life.

Another outcome of the English 201 course is to be able to use those sources. This outcome has to do with quotations, summary, paraphrasing, and ethics of research. While searching for a scholarly book source for my second essay, I had a very hard time finding a book to use, mainly because there are not very many written. Furthermore, the books I could find often had authors that did not have a background in the topic they were writing about. This made me feel as if I should not use the source, because it is not scholarly. This is a skill I have acquired while taking English 201. I have also learned different ways to cite my sources inside of my essays. I have used several methods such as parenthetical citations, in text citations simply stating where the information came from, and for digital writing, I have learned how to use hyperlink citations. With our society quickly moving to digital sources and writing, I believe learning how to use citations via hyperlink is an important skill. This is a skill that is not outdated, but will be very useful in the future and will still be applicable.

With these two outcomes specifically, I feel more confident in my writing abilities. These skills will stick with me and will more than likely be useful in some stage of my life.

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Annotated Bibliography

“What Is CrossFit?” What Is CrossFit, Crossfit Inc.,www.crossfit.com/what-is-crossfit.

This article comes from the Crossfit website itself. The article discusses what Crossfit exactly is and explains the idea behind Crossfit. In short, the article discusses that the workouts in Crossfit are based off of functional movements. These workouts are high intensity and are designed to be completed as fast as possible. The workouts themselves are also randomized. However, while workouts are randomized, results from each workout are kept to track progress. The article also states that Crossfit has a community. This community is an essential part of the idea behind Crossfit. This community makes the Crossfit workouts effective because it builds a sense of belonging. This relationship helps to inspire an atmosphere where people are having fun, while also providing competition, which helps to encourage high intensity. This helps to provide better results, making Crossfit a sport that “cannot be matched by other means.”

Pete, Diprimio. The World of Crossfit. Mitchell Lane Publishers, Inc., https://books.google.com/books?id=PuqXBgAAQBAJ&pg=PA44&dq=crossfit&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj5us3rls7QAhVC5CYKHcWhDUIQ6AEIMTAC#v=onepage&q=crossfit&f=false

Pete Diprimio, a sports writing and fitness instructor in Indiana, wrote this book discussing Crossfit, as well as a few other fitness methods. A particular part of this book that sticks out is a paragraph on page 5. This paragraph states “Crossfit is a group workout. There are no earphones or iPods or doing your own thing. You know your coaches and other members by name. Coaches cheer you on when you struggle and when you set personal records. Members push and encourage each other.…” This paragraph sticks out to me because I experience this personally every day that I train at my Crossfit box. This paragraph that Diprimio wrote is one of the fundamental parts of Crossfit; it makes the sport what it is, a big community. This claim by Diprimio does an excellent job describing what that fundamental part of Crossfit does, it motivates everyone who is there to become stronger every day.

Davies, M. J., Coleman, L., & Stellino, M. B. (2016). The relationship between basic psychological need satisfaction, behavioral regulation, and participation in CrossFit. Journal of Sport Behavior, 39(3), 239-254. Retrieved from http://marshall.summon.serialssolutions.com/2.0.0/link/0/eLvHCXMwrV1LS8NAEB6KghTER31VK-zJU6Pb3ewmPYjY2tKDio-ix7DZTWoP1trGgwf_u7NpktYHnrwFAoEwM998m3wzHwBnx9T5hgmcxVKbhsay1J5mTRbSCGuUC86Ubmg7N3x54d4-ep0r0StBbuGaRTsHyRS5zYu2H81PsDXZZSpIQM7Gr461kbK_W3NPDZV5LZjTBmN2NHu5IX1uC8G7eyig2rKd2fJvpJncusL_jstps-muw0ehXMplJs94_LSuJz-W4M63Of7bS2zAWsZSyfksrTahFI0qUC7A8r0ClTnfJEck9UqfbkGCWUcKfd3TcEwyHRhpKUwH8gVuyTV2TnK_MF5RJ61iawA-ZpBZi9WJGhlyoxYU4GQ4Im3b4LvDZBv63U6_3XMyXwdn4FPuGKF0REWMZ8tI-WFoZGhY0_U8SmMtuAzx2he-dpu-YNKTkebI-oRvYt7kHKO4A6vKyv9HSTomaPaAUOXGEY2F68WeSw0N_VDY5IxlhHyH0Srs2sAGtmqTidKBK5FYWbyqQi2PTJCV7zSYh2X_79sHUEYGJWeisxosJZO36BBW8qz4BC4x7F0

This source discusses a small study that was executed and has many references to back up their information. Because this is a very lengthy source, I decided to pick one idea from it, which discusses the motivation Crossfit provides. The article states that “Of those participants who do attempt physical activity routines, there is often a lack of persistence as nearly 50% of participants will drop out within the first 6 months.” While the article does not provide a dropout rate for Crossfitters, the article does discuss that in the performed study, Crossfitters are “…motivated to pursue the activity for the inherent interest they have in CrossFit, beyond any external forms of regulation to participate, such as the guilt felt from others or the seeking of rewards, is a noteworthy finding for sport and exercise practitioners to know.” This finding is good evidence to prove that the group environment that the Crossfit community creates will help keep people motivated about working out, and make it more likely they stick with their routine.

Blake, Jack. “The Power of the Crossfit Community.” BOXROX Competitive Fitness Magazine, 20 Jan. 2014. https://www.boxrox.com/the-power-of-the-crossfit-community/

The source above is written by Jack Blake, a Crossfitter who is a trainee sport psychologist who trains at Crossfit Clitheroe, located in the United Kingdom. A powerful part in this article discusses the social support among Crossfitters. An example the article uses is from the 2013 Crossfit Games. Sam Briggs, the female winner of the 2013 Crossfit Games, had just finished the 13.5 workout. Although she was extremely exhausted, she began to cheer on and encourage one of her competitors, Camille LeBlanc-Bazinet, to complete a few more repetitions.

Blake also inserts that “The support of the CrossFit community even affects us physiologically, changing the hormones in our bodies.” This statement is backed up by research from Oxford University that found working out in a group setting releases more endorphins. This is important because endorphins are the chemicals in the brain that are responsible for a sense of excitement, exhilaration, and happiness. This endorphin release is what makes working out feel so good once the workout is finished.

“CrossFit for Hope.” CrossFit for Hope, Crossfit for Hope, hope.crossfit.com/.

This source is the home page for Crossfit for Hope. This organization raises money to donate to several causes. These causes include Hope for Cures, which raises money to fight childhood cancer and other illnesses, Hope for Kenya, which raises money to help people in Kenya by creating educational opportunities and by providing them a more stable life, Hope for Float, which raises money to help prevent infant drownings, and Hope for Brains, which provides educational opportunities for the less fortunate. Crossfit for Hope is a very efficient organization that has a 100% flow-through rate. Although the organization estimates 30 cents of every dollar would be required to run the organization, Crossfit HQ pays for the 30 cents of every dollar so Crossfit for Hope can use all donated money for charities.

Lawson, Nicholas et al. “Crossfit Thunder .” Crossfit Thunder , Facebook, 1 Dec. 2016, www.facebook.com/groups/763443097046888/permalink/1240844002640126/?comment_id=1241575589233634¬if_t=group_comment¬if_id=1480605222501396.

This source is a self-made questionnaire that was posted to Crossfit Thunder’s closed group for members only. The post contains 4 questions for coaches if they want to respond, and 5 questions for members. Any contributors were asked to respond to any question or questions they wanted to share an answer with and their names will remain anonymous to encourage any personal stories to be shared. Members and coaches who respond to the question(s) were also given the option to send a private message. Answers to some of the questions share similar responses. In fact, when members were asked the question “what motivates you to keep coming back to the box,” one of the reasons that every member mentioned was the community and people at the box. When members were asked “why did you start doing crossfit,” the majority of responses mentioned that their child influenced their decision.

“Crossfit Family: Meet the Noyces,” director. games.crossfit.com/video/crossfit-family-meet-noyces.

This video sources interviews the Noyce Family. This family is a family of four who Crossfit together regularly. In fact, the mother of this family, Shelley Noyce, is the Crossfit Games 2012 55-59 year old Fittest Woman in the World. The daughter of the family, Jamie Noyce, is actually a Crossfit coach at the box the family attends. This means that Jamie actually coaches her parents. The family in the video say that Crossfit is what brings them together, and they love doing it together. This family actually has another daughter who is not named. This daughter, when she was 7 months pregnant, competed in the Crossfit Open competition and placed in the top 100 in the region. This family is proof that amazing things come from working out as a family. The family is successful in their fitness, and share a strong bond through fitness.

@CrossFit_IoTA. “Hero WOD’s.” Iota-Fitness.com, 11 Nov. 2012, iota-fitness.com/bench-marks/hero-wods/.

This site explains what a Hero WOD is, why they are done, and lists all the Hero WOD’s up to the date of the article. The article does include a hyper-link to a list that is constantly updated. The article states that “Since day one CrossFit has embraced our men and women in uniform and they have chosen to honor the Heroes who gave their lives to keep us and our country safe.” This concept is extremely important to the founder of Crossfit, as well as Crossfitter’s from all over. The site continues by explaining what the purpose of the Hero WOD’s are. The author explains that Hero WOD’s need to be completed not for the athlete’s benefit, but in memory of the service man or woman the WOD is named after. This WOD’s are programmed to be extremely difficult. For example, the Hero WOD Clovis was created to honor US Army Second Lieutenant Clovis T. Ray. This man from San Antonio TX was killed when his unit was attacked by insurgents who used an improvised explosive device. In his honor, athletes complete a 10 mile run and 150 burpee pull-ups, which can be split however the athlete wishes.

“Paleo Diet for CrossFit.” LIVESTRONG.COM, Leaf Group, 21 Oct. 2013, www.livestrong.com/article/290230-paleo-diet-for-crossfit/.

This article discusses the diet that Crossfit recommends. According to the author, Crossfit promotes a paleo style diet which consists of nuts, seeds, meat, and fruits and vegetables. This basically breaks down to the caveman model. This model simply means that we should only eat the things we could hunt or grow ourselves. We should avoid eating processed foods and grains such as bread, pastas, and rice. The article also discusses the importance of tracking macros instead of calories. Our calorie intake should consist of the following Macro ratio: 40% carbs, 30% fats, 30% protein. This is believed to be the ideal diet to reduce the risk of diabetes, cancer, other diseases, and prevent obesity. The article does discuss that on days an athlete trains, they should increase their carbs to provide more energy for their cells.

Health Fitness Revolution. “Top 10 Health Benefits of CrossFit.” Health Fitness Revolution, 16 Mar. 2016, www.healthfitnessrevolution.com/top-10-health-benefits-crossfit/.

Health Fitness Revolution is an organization dedicated to making the world a healthier place to live. The article written by the organization discusses 10 benefits associated with Crossfit. These 10 benefits are: intensity, motivation, tome efficient, building relationships, dynamic workouts, personal coaching, improved heart health, increased joint mobility, overall improved health, lifestyle improvements. The article also goes more in depth and describes each benefit or explains why the benefit is helpful. For example, the organization elaborates on building relationships. The organization claims that “You’re surrounded by a group of people – even strangers! – who encourage you and help you push your boundaries.” This part of Crossfit helps athletes train harder, which means they will see better results in a shorter amount of time. The article also inserts that “Your coach will become an inspiration, counselor, buddy, nutrition advisor and your biggest cheerleader.”

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Works Cited

@Christandpc. “An Exercise of Faith: How CrossFit Compares to Christianity - Christ and Pop Culture.” Christ and Pop Culture, 21 July 2016, christandpopculture.com/an-exercise-of-faith-how-crossfit-compares-to-christianity/.

“Success Stories.” CrossFit Long Beach Gym Personal Training and Group Classes - Success Stories, www.crossfitlongbeach.com/success-stories.

“2011 Zone Challenge Is Here!!!” CrossFit Kinnick, 3 Jan. 2011, www.crossfitkinnick.com/2010/12/31/2011-zone-challenge-is-here/.

“50 States In A Year – Carrots 'N' Cake.” Carrots N Cake, carrotsncake.com/2014/09/50-states-in-a-year.html.

Wildhorizonscrossfit. “Clovis 2016.” W.I.L.D., 19 Aug. 2016, wildhorizonscrossfit.com/2016/08/19/clovis-2016/.

“Double Trouble.” CrossFit Hyannis, www.crossfithyannis.com/double-trouble/.

“Facebook.” Crossfit Thunder, www.facebook.com/CrossFitThunder/.

Crossfit . “What Is Crossfit?” YouTube, YouTube, 23 July 2010, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tzD9BkXGJ1M

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