Gym-going students are divided on whether CrossFit improves physical fitness or harms the body. Jonathan Kouts, a BYUH alumnus from Arizona and a CrossFit coach, said it is the best way to achieve overall physical fitness. Pa’i Punaini, an exercise and sports science sophomore from Utah, said it is just a lofty elitist group of muscle heads who take working out too serious, even to the point of being too strenuous on the body harming themselves.
Thomas and Tara McBride, owners of the CrossFit gym in Kahuku, said CrossFit is meant for anyone and adaptable to all.
Tara said the media portrays CrossFit as something “weird” or unnatural; athletes like Rich Froning Jr., a four-time CrossFit Competition champion and spokesman for CrossFit who is considered to be the fittest man on earth, model their bodies in an almost more than human way according to the Guinness Book of World Records.
Jake Landro, a sophomore exercise and sports science major from New Zealand and former participant of CrossFit, criticized the program for using too much high weight and high rep workouts that can cause serious injury to joints and muscles. Tara said their gym avoids this by always having a coach observing, correcting, and demonstrating proper technique.
Liam Greening, a freshman graphic design major from New Zealand, said the workouts are all less than an hour, and one never has to worry about what workout they will do because they are always preplanned by an instructor.
Reuben Scalese, a junior from Washington D.C. studying business, said he likes the diverse types of workouts and the variety of movements in them. “The cons are the cost and the fact that gyms are not always close by. Workouts, which must be with an instructor, can be inconvenient at times.” Some gyms can cost as much as $300 per month and gym times usually lean towards early morning or late afternoon after five, Scalese said.
Lindi Young, a senior exercise and sports science major from Kansas, is a CrossFit coach and said, “CrossFit can be specialized to anyone.” She said she has taught spry young teens, elderly women, and everyone in between.
However, Lillee Bloxham, a sophomore hospitality and tourism management major from Utah who frequents the gym, said the program isn’t appreciated by other gym-goers. “CrossFit is looked down upon in gym culture [and] in traditional bodybuilding, or at least that is how I saw it with my gym friends. We look to big results in weights, volume, and size of muscle growth, while Crossfit is more localized on athletic coordination. For me, CrossFit has an unappealing image.”
The McBrides offers classes for different groups of people from teens to the elderly, said Thomas. “We incorporate workouts for everyday life to increase overall fitness and wellness… [CrossFit] has no specialization, but incorporates all types of movements.” According to the official website, CrossFit is a multifaceted workout style and incorporates gymnastics, running, weightlifting and other high intensity workouts for taking on normal everyday tasks.