What’s really under that sweaty exterior…
We’ve all heard the rumours about CrossFit — it’s a cult, it’s dangerous, it’s only for ridiculously fit people who can scale a rope faster than a rat up a drainpipe.
So TheGo paid CrossFit Townsville a little visit to see firsthand what it was all about. We didn’t take part in the class because we were…errm… too busy getting photos, video and interviewing owner, CrossFitter and ex-Cowboys player Daniel Strickland (very important stuff); but we did find out some interesting things…
“I love the fact that I can smack the hell out of myself and get the same rush I used to get playing footy, but feel a whole lot less beat up than after a game…well sort of….”
What is CrossFit?
Basically CrossFit is functional movement that’s constantly varied and performed at high intensity. It’s a combination of gymnastics, weight lifting and athletics. The high intensity component coupled with the constant variation of movements is the real kicker and what sets CrossFit apart from other activities — it keeps your body guessing.
Have a sneak peek inside CrossFit Townsville…
Is it a cult?
Verdict: A bit, yes, but in a good way…
Dan says: “CrossFit draws a big crowd and has almost a cult-like following. People like to say, ‘Nah, I’m a CrossFitter’ — I don’t buy into a lot of that stuff, but I believe in the principles of the training and if people want to attach themselves to the CrossFit ‘label’, then I guess that’s fine. The real appeal is in learning to move correctly and always being challenged. I love the fact that I can smack the hell out of myself and get the same rush I used to get playing footy, but feel a whole lot less beat up than after a game…well sort of….”
Is it dangerous?
Verdict: Are prescription drugs dangerous? They have the potential to be if you don’t use them properly.
Dan says: “It certainly can be if CrossFit is in the wrong hands. The key is coaching the classes to make sure everyone knows the movements and works within their own safety zone. We have a safe range for each individual to ensure they get what we like to call ‘relative intensity’; so two people can do the same workout, but by changing the weights or reps they are able to go at two different levels during the same class. We have a little saying: Mechanics, consistency, intensity. So get the mechanics of the movement right, do it consistently, then you can apply intensity. It is really hard to slow people down sometimes because they want to go, go, go and their technique can get untidy, but that’s why we always have coaches on the floor. We ensure that athlete movement integrity isn’t compromised just so that they can finish first.”
Do you need to be a mad-ass fitness machine?
Verdict: No. But it looks like you’ll become one pretty soon (gymnastics rings, anyone?)
Dan says: “It doesn’t matter what level of fitness you are and if you’re carrying injuries. There are certain things that are tricky to work around, but we have a very open line of communication with our athletes and that makes it easy to find movement substitutions for them. The most important thing is always having the client’s best interest at heart.”
A word from the Doc
Sports Clinic NQ’s Dr Chris Ball
“When considering if CrossFit is for you, it’s important to remember that there are good gyms and bad gyms; just like there are good doctors and bad doctors. Make sure you discuss your injury history with the trainers — the way they react to that information and their effort to find alternative exercises will give you an indication of how highly they rate safety. There are certainly some risks with CrossFit, but no more than playing touch football. While I have heard some horror stories from medical professionals in other cities, fortunately my experience with Townsville gyms has been very positive. From my perspective, when I see the consequences of inactivity every day; I support any activity that gets people off their backside and doing something.”
Dr Ball is medical officer for the North QLD Cowboys and Australian Kangaroos.
Where to find CrossFit in Townsville
- CrossFit Townsville – Kirwan
- Strand CrossFit – North Ward
- CrossFit North Queensland - West End
- CrossFit4810 - Townsville CBD
So, what are your thoughts? Would you be keen to give CrossFit a go; or are you already smashing it?