Underground

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Today’s guest post is courtesy of CF West trainer and firebreather Jocelyn Forest.

Everyone knows that the fitness world is a multi billion dollar industry.  You can’t flip through the TV channels without seeing an infomercial on the latest ab machine that promises to help you lose 10 inches in just days or your money back.  Or flip through a magazine without seeing before and after photos in little magic pill advertisements that lure you in by making you think it’s an in-depth 5 page article on some break through weight loss science. On a daily basis you pass by 24 Hour Fitness or Curves Studios that push mechanical circuit training and expensive health bars.  You hear Jared’s voice on the radio talking about how all he did to lose weight was eat 2 six-inch turkey subs everyday and voila!  Plastic surgery, such as liposuction, and worse, gastro intestinal by-pass surgery, is now mainstream as people trade their doctor’s phone numbers like personal marketing assistants.  The worst part is that just about all of them are completely unconditioned, overweight, and out of shape.  Why?  Because the shit doesn’t work.  That fitness industry, man, it is a monster.  The real motto: Get people to spend, spend, spend, but keep them fat so they have to keep coming back for more.   

Why do you think no one really knows about CrossFit even though it’s been around for over a decade?  I hear stories all the time about how Glassman got kicked out of so many different places (sound familiar CF Westers?), not just for dropping weights, but for spreading crazy ideas about how all you need to be fit is high intensity exercise at short durations, constantly varying what you do.  No supplements (besides maybe a little fish oil), just real food and intense functional exercise for short periods of time.  No nonsense.  Not rocket science.  But certainly not the biggest money making idea for the fitness industry either.  It’s no wonder real fitness intellectuals talk about him like he’s a fitness deity, a pioneer having the courage to speak the truth, get kicked out of Golds and Spas and other Global Gyms all over the place, and forced to run out of garages and old warehouses (hence the birth of the CrossFit box).  Isn’t it a fantastic fitness renaissance?.

However, lately people are starting to hear about CrossFit.  CrossFit boxes are starting to be abundant nationwide.  Hell, worldwide even.  The Games have become such a big event in just a few short years that a regional qualifier has been implemented to narrow down the large number of competitors to simply the best few athletes.  There have even been rumors that the Games might be shown on ESPN within the next two years.  When I think of how much I truly believe in CrossFit and ponder the fact that it has bettered the lives of so many people, it makes me pretty happy.

But, call it the punk rocker buried deep inside, there’s part of me that loves the fact that CrossFit has been underground, a counter fitness culture if you will.  Part of me doesn’t really want it to be discovered by everyone, for fear that, once mainstream, it will change.  Like when one of your favorite underground bands gets discovered, and you start hearing their songs played on Top 40 a thousand times a day.  I fear that once discovered, some fitness industry money making guru will implement a new machine or a magic pill, and the true nature of CrossFit will be lost. 

 That would be a damn capitalistic shame. 

End note:  I also heard a rumor that CrossFit has implemented a new rule that, as of last January,  any new CrossFit  affiliate owner can only own 1 box.  This is because of an offer made by Bally Total Fitness to open 30 new affiliates, which was turned down by the Glassmans.  Talk about a ray of hope for the future of CrossFit. [Sam’s note: this is true.]

What are your thoughts on the underground vs. mainstream status of CrossFit?

Workout:

5 Rounds

10 Deadlifts 70% 1RM

10 Box Jumps 24″

10 Pushups (or 7 clapping or 5 chest slapping pushups)

Please post WOD completed and score to Comments.