The TRUTH about Crossfit

DC Photographer Elliott ODonovan - Sarah Phillips Final-5DC Photographer Elliott ODonovan - Sarah Phillips Final-4 DC Photographer Elliott ODonovan - Sarah Phillips Final-2 DC Photographer Elliott ODonovan - Sarah Phillips Final-1Screen Shot 2015-01-13 at 9.50.22 AM DC Photographer Elliott ODonovan - Sarah Phillips Final-3

Sarah is featured wearing Bliss Capri and Ruffle Tank by Vimmia

Photography by Elliott O’Donovan also featured in Northern Virginia Magazine.

It has been a little over 6 months since I joined Crossfit South Arlington and I couldn’t be happier with my decision to join. It is challenging, gives me that sense of competition, it works every muscle in my body and the best part is I have been seeing results. I, like many people, was nervous to join at first. I had heard all of the terrible rumors surrounding Crossfit but since joining my gym, I can attest that from my experience, they are all completely FALSE.

Common Crossfit Misconceptions

1. Crossfit makes girls bulky: I have heard tons of rumors about this, so much so that I was almost afraid to give Crossfit a try myself. And after Crossfitting for the past 6 months, I think I can attest that this rumor is absolutely not true! You are able to choose your own weights, so if you believe lifting weights will make you larger in a “bad” way then don’t load up your bar. But if you want to build muscle, burn fat, increase your overall strength, and have an all over more toned and healthy body, then I suggest you load up that bar and give this workout method a try.


2. Crossfit is unsafe: I was also scared about this when I first started but once I realized that the coaches were more involved than any other training or workout I had ever participated in, my mind was put at ease. I guess each box (gym) can vary in their methods but at mine, our coaches walk us through ever single part of a movement before we do it, starting with a pvc pipe, instead of a bar, to make sure our form is perfect before moving on to a weighted lift. At this point you are the person that is determining your weight, so if you don’t feel comfortable moving up in weight, don’t. No one has ever pushed me to do more than I felt like I could do. No one has ever made me feel unsafe or like I was putting my body in danger. They put a strong emphasis on building core muscles, which is important for overall safety when lifting. And I think I am more aware and in tune with my body than I ever have been before.

3. You have to be paleo: Of course they offer this as an option and many people at CFSA are paleo but I am not and I have no plans to be. I love cheese way to much, sorry I’m not sorry. If you decide to give the paleo diet a whirl, a coach is there to help you meal plan and guide you in the right direction. Our box even offers an option to pick up prepared meals each day, so it can be super easy. But they certainly don’t shove this down your throat…

4. Crossfit is a cult: If you call making friends with your classmates “cult-like”, well then I guess college was a cult too. Many people at our Crossfit gym are friends and I think that is awesome. Casey and I have been crossfitting together, which I love because it gives us time away from home to do something together. We motivate each other to show up and push each other during our workouts, I love it! I am super competitive and that is probably the main reason why I dig Crossfit so much. The friendly competition is a huge plus for me, something I wasn’t finding in my other workouts.

5. You have to be in really good shape to get started: Also not true. There is such a wide variety of athletic ability and fitness levels at our box. There are people that come in extremely out of shape and then you have people that walk in the door that can bang out 10 muscle ups right out of the gate. It doesn’t matter what your fitness level is, the first step is showing up. The coaches will help you take it from there and will guide you into your workouts so that you feel confident and comfortable with what you are doing. Don’t expect to be an expert at handstand pushups on day one, it takes time build the strength to do some of these harder moves but soon enough you will get there. The most important thing is to set goals for yourself and to celebrate when you achieve them.

6. It is expensive: This is true, it is more expensive than your average gym membership. Pricing varies from box to box but if you are committed to getting in shape and becoming healthier, then it is well worth the investment. Find other things to cut back on, like shopping or dinners out but skimping on your fitness/health is never a good idea. All you have to do is show up and your coach will walk you through the entire workout, which is a huge reason why I love it. I hate having to go to a gym and plan out my every move, that is why I love the class environment and structure. At our box, they also offer yoga twice a week, which is included in your membership. So thats a plus! And if you travel frequently, you can drop into other boxes around the world and enjoy a workout for the price of a tee-shirt. A pretty cool trade in my book!

Crossfit is really what you make of it. If you want to devote all your time and energy into it, you can and if you don’t want to be paleo, then don’t! You are the one calling the shots here, Crossfit is just there to help step your workout up a notch, to challenge you to be a better, stronger and healthier you. So if you have the urge, drop into a box and give it a go (first class is complimentary), I promise you won’t be disappointed.




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1 Comment

  • Reply
    January 13, 2015 at 10:09 am

    I couldn’t love this post more. CrossFit is amazing and can do wonderful things, physically AND mentally. I can do things now that I have NEVER been able to do before…and I’m 2 weeks away from having a baby…Love love love this post. And you both have always looked amazing!

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