Up until four years ago I was a die-hard ‘cardio’ addict. But after a devastating injury to my knee, I entered the realm of strength training for rehabilitation. I also realized that I could no longer compensate for less-than-stellar eating habits with excessive miles of running, swimming, and biking, due to my injury. Enter Crossfit. Since discovering Crossfit, I have made the biggest strength improvements ever, discovered that high-intensity training is a much more efficient way of making gains in overall fitness, and best of all found a wonderful community of like-minded people. That said, I have trained at a number of different ‘boxes’ over the years whilst moving across the country for school/work, and I have learned that not all ‘Crossfit’ gyms are alike.
I have been to the box that unintentionally pressures its participants to go for the ‘Rx’ (prescribed) weight, to do more than is safe and effective in training. I have been to the box that has an amazing social atmosphere, but perhaps is too focused on accomplishing the ‘sexy metcons’ (long ‘testing’ not ‘training’ type workouts) within that collegial environment. I have been to the box that has its main focus on Olympic Lifting, with exceptional coaching with regard to technique and form, but perhaps a little less work on conditioning. After I moved to Guelph, I was very pleased to find a box that seems to have balanced the majority of what I look for in a Crossfit gym: strategic strength-based programming; a conditioning program that is ‘smart’ and doesn’t exhaust you one day to the next; occasional ‘testing’ workouts; a coaching staff that prioritizes technique, safety, and operating within your personal limitations; and a great, supportive community.
So if you are looking at CrossFit Gyms, remember that not all CrossFits are equal. And if you want my opinion, I think that CrossFit Guelph is one of the boxes that has its priorities straight. I wouldn’t train there otherwise!