Crossfit, when compared to the other options that are truly its main business competitors (spinning classes, orangetheoryfitness, bootcamps) is pretty decent.
The reason I, and many other professionals, find the crossfit crowd obnoxious, is because they act like they are so “hardcore”…. but they aren’t. They just think they are hardcore because it is a mixture of guys who do distance running and women who have never done olympic lifts and pullups. Its like “the hardcore option, for people who aren’t hardcore into fitness,” and it ends up offending those who actually are hardcore.
They say everyone from the professional athlete, to the soccer mom, will benefit from crossfit.
Me, personally, I can guarantee I would gain fat and/or lose muscle if I did Crossfit in my area. Not only that, but I would get weaker and fatter and crossfit is basically harder than what I do. It’s just not a very well designed program. (Hey, if you’re going to go for the “hardcore” “advanced” fitness label, I am going to judge the program against other hardcore fitness programs, not zumba classes)…
What crossfit does, is it attracts endurance athletes (joggers) by including cardio, who have never lifted weight. They explode with muscle because they have never lifted heavy before, and they showup at crossfit and do burpees, pullups, and olympic lifts. It also takes borderline chubby men who lift weight but never do cardio (think Joey from Friends), and makes them run and they see some deffinition for the first time. By including a little bit of everything they can guarantee that their intermediate/novice clients will be exposed to an area of fitness that their program was lacking.
However, it is just not a well designed program for the most part. It is very hard but I dont think the level of results acheived is in proportion to the difficulty of the workout.
It is cheaper than personal training, and if you really don’t know what you’re doing, like most people, it will probably be an improvement. But it is in no way a sharp, well devised routine. You can’t have a well designed routine for 24 people at once, it has to be customized. What you save in money, you also lose in results and progress, if the trainer you were considering as an alternative to crossfit, knows their stuff.
Luckily for crossfit there is not a shortage of ignorant personal trainers, driving more and more people towards classes and away from a customized routine.
The phrase “jack of all trades, master of none” really applies to crossfit. They mash everything together, and you don’t end up that strong, or that fast, or that ripped….. But you aren’t completely deficient in any area either.
Crossfit also is known as having the reputation of causing the most injuries, basically, in the history of popular exercise programs.
I DO sort of think crossfit is a fad, but I DON’T think large group fitness classes as a trend, are a fad. Group instructors usually get paid better than personal trainers, obviously, and the clients pay less. The classes make instruction affordable for people who can’t afford a trainer.