1. The Work Ethic
CrossFit isn’t easy. It promotes hard work that you will rarely find outside of competitive athletics. Compared to conventional fitness programs, the work ethic, discipline, and commitment of CrossFitters is unparalleled.
2. Improved Training Methods
The competitive, free-market nature of CrossFit has lead to a variety of developments in the way we train athletes now. Competition has elevated the expected standards of fitness and coaching. Good coaches are constantly seeking out eduction from a variety of experts and improving upon their own methods. Whether they like to admit it or not, collegiate strength and conditioning programs, professional sports teams, and even U.S. Olympic training centers have adopted many of the methods popularized by CrossFit to make their own athletes better.
3. Good Nutrition
CrossFit promotes a simple but sensible approach to nutrition. I am a fan of the Paleo/Primal framework as it is applied to nutrition as it makes sense from a both a physiological and behavioral standpoint. Unlike some of the other communities in the fitness industry, the CrossFit approach to nutrition is healthy and sustainable. The competitive culture of CrossFit has also spurred on continually improved protocols for both athletic performance as well as body composition.
4. Renewed Interest In Weightlifting and Powerlifting
CrossFit has indirectly promoted growth in sports like Olympic weightlifting, powerlifting, and strongman in the United States. Prior to CrossFit’s boom in popularity, you would be very hard pressed to find bumper plates or proper weightlifting bars in any facility outside of the Olympic Training Center or collegiate athletic facilities. Thanks to CrossFit, these items are now commonplace in many facilities, and as a result, sporting organizations such as USA Weightlifting and USA Powerlifting have found a new generation of competitors eager to represent the United States.
5. The Community
There is a strong, socially-based impetus that motivates CrossFitters to give their best effort at every training session and continually support each other. Coach CJ Martin articulates this point far better than I am capable of in his post ‘Don’t Workout With Strangers‘, “CrossFit facilitates development of mental fortitude because of the rigors associated with its relative intensity, but more importantly, it fosters friendships in a way that is only typically seen in team sports and certain divisions of our Armed Forces. CrossFit can at once be inspiring and humbling. It presents hurdles that seem insurmountable and the thrill of achievement when they are overcome. It’s precisely because of these rigors and their associated emotions that we grow close to those who share the experience with us. We cheer the loudest for others because we remember overcoming a similar obstacle and know the sense of achievement. Their successes become our inspiration and drive us to achieve even more.”