Photo Credit: Bryan Anderson
We’ve all been exposed to it - the jokes, the memes, and the “Epic Crossfit Fail” YouTube videos. There definitely exists a population of outsiders that call what we do (Crossfit) a “cult” and we respect those opinions. However, if a group of like-minded, driven, and goal oriented people that embrace health and workout together is another way to say “cult”, well then, tell me where to sign!
CrossFit, just like Zumba, Spin, Yoga, or Body Pump, is centered on a group of individuals that collectively pull together and sweat together, all towards accomplishing specific fitness goals. Why is it that we achieve better results working out in groups rather than alone? In my opinion, this is the power of Crossfit in creating a positive peer pressure environment. It aligns beautifully with human nature. We like the social aspect that brings with it recognition and acknowledgment. We like organically grown motivation. And lastly, we like to be held accountable by our peers.
Recognition & Acknowledgment: As humans we like to feel like we belong, we like to feel accepted, and we definitely like receiving recognition and acknowledgment for progress made. In a day job setting, most people are only working to please their bosses, to close the next big deal, or just to get the "adda-boy" from whomever. We also naturally surround ourselves with friends who are similar to us because they accept our likes and/or dislikes and share with us specific goals. Being a member of a “24 Hour Fitness” to participate in group classes or a Crossfit box to WOD in a group are truly the same things. They both provide a common place for you and your friends to compete, to acknowledge and give recognition, and to all feel the benefits of working together to achieve a shared fitness goal.
Organically Grown Motivation: Waking up at 5am to go to a dark empty gym to try to stay moving when you are tired and face a long day of work ahead of you doesn't sound super appealing to most people. If you naturally find it challenging to find this kind of motivation, organic motivation grown from a group of people may be your best solution. When you have a bunch of your friends create an accountability system as routine, it provides you a bit more to look forward to. Its fact - there is much more fun in the air when it becomes social and more than just working out. In the Crossfit world, this motivation to “SHOW UP” develops into “DONT GIVE UP”, allowing you to explore the outer limits of your abilities. If individuals of all different stages of life, age, weight, and gender are sweating alongside of you, I promise the influence your pillow has when that alarm sounds won’t stand a chance against this kind of motivation.
The Accountability Piece: Once you’ve found that environment where your efforts are recognized and you’ve found your motivation, you are almost there. The last and final piece of this positive peer pressure triangle is accountability. This is that unspoken contract that’s signed subconsciously when you’ve surrendered to the collective goal established by your peers in your workout group. A great, unescapable application of this in Crossfit is the classic “Partner WOD”. No one wants to knowingly let their partner down and when you have your friends around you, waiting there for you, depending on you, pushing alongside of you, accountability begins to take on a much deeper meaning. This is the factor that forces you to choose that healthy option for lunch and likewise to motivation, this factor gets your ass out of bed.
You do you! Don't let the judgment of others deter you from making choices that better yourself. Sure, “the first rule of Crossfit is to talk about Crossfit” (LOL!) - We’ve all heard it before. The "CrossFitter" talks a lot about CrossFit. We also care a lot about fitness and we help maintain an environment that motivates and acknowledges hard work and progress. Who knows, this positive peer pressure created by our Crossfit “cult” just might help influence people to refocus their goals to live long and healthy lives.