Think of fitness as food. The globogym is your major fast food chain. You walk in a McDonald’s anywhere in the world, you know what you’re going to get. Same goes for Planet Fitness, The Edge Fitness and most of those other 24 hour gyms you see everywhere.
CrossFit is like a locally owned Italian restaurant. While all Italian restaurants have the same general goal (“Eat this Italian food here.”), each one has a different menu and cooks things slightly differently. Sometimes the globogyms try to do CrossFit as well, the same way fast food joints will throw in a meatball here and there or create an Olive Garden.
The analogy goes even deeper. If you frequent the local Italian restaurant, they’ll get to know your name, they’ll tell you about little specials they have for the good customers or make special request dishes for you. They’ll take extra care in making your order because your patronage is important to them. They started their business because they not only love to cook, they want to share that love of cooking with others. Behind every CrossFit gym is a CrossFitter. We try to learn everything we can about our gym’s members and do everything we can to bring our love of CrossFit to new people and watch it change their lives the way it has changed ours.
The globogym’s similarity to fast food works the same way. You’ll get a one-size-fits all situation with someone who may or may not know what they’re doing and who has seen so many people come in the door he can’t get them all straight. The only place that comparison falls apart is that fast food places want you to keep showing up, whereas the globogym does not. They would actually lose money if more of their members showed up. Instead, they put a super-low price on their membership and hope you’ll forget that you’re being charged $20 a month for something you never use.
Here’s something else to think about. If you try a new Italian restaurant and get food poisoning, was it the food that kept you hovering over the toilet hating life, or was it the chef who didn’t cook things properly? You might never go to a particular restaurant after your bad experience, but you do eventually go to another Italian restaurant. Substitute “Italian restaurant” with “CrossFit” and “chef” with “coach.” You can leave in the toilet part, ’cause that might still apply. People at bad CrossFit gyms get hurt. People at bad Italian restaurants get food poisoning. Italian food doesn’t inherently make you sick, CrossFit doesn’t inherently make you injured.
Like food, you can also create fitness all on your own. In this analogy, CrossFit becomes a cookbook. You can find all sorts of information on workouts and movements and CrossFit related awesomeness and go right out to your garage and start doing CrossFit, just like you can grab a cookbook from the shelf, go to the grocery store and start making your own food. Sometimes, you’ll be able to make food that’s just as good as what you get at your local restaurant. When you’re cooking, there’s always the chance you’ll read something wrong or get one of the ingredients mixed up and make everyone sick. Sort of like not reading all there is to know about an exercise movement and then going out and getting yourself hurt. Again, the former people will typically say they messed up the recipe while the latter will say CrossFit hurt them.
You have a wide variety of choices to get yourself fit, just like you have a wide variety of choices to put food in your mouth. Think long about the choices you make and if those choices were bad, think long about why they went bad. Test and retest. Taste and re-taste.