No, that’s not a typo. CrosFit has conquered the fitness world over the past several years changing the landscape of how ex-sorority girls and third string water polo players work out. Almost two decades ago, some nerd named Greg decided to take functional fitness and combine it with worthless body movements like burpees and market the shit out of it on Instagram. Well unfortunately for everyone that didn’t get roped into a pyramid scheme after high school and played sports, we’re stuck having our social media feeds dominated by Eric doing a 115-pound Power Clean. Don’t get me wrong, functional fitness is an amazing way to workout and stay fit. Those that actually competed in college are probably quite familiar with explosive muscle movements. That being said, CrosFit is no more a sport than being a drug dealer is a real job.
Everything about CrosFit is designed to overcomplicate and confuse those on the outside while simultaneously make those who are a part of it appear hotter, stronger, and cooler. As much as I hate it, CrosFit has executed one of the best marketing con jobs since Apple convinced the world their phones were worth a mortgage. Think about it. “Workout of the Day”? Boring. Commonplace. Not sexy. “WOD”? An acronym immediately makes anything cool. Why else is the civilian public enamored when they hear Soldiers talk on the radio in movies? The ambiguity creates the allure. But CrosFit didn’t stop there. Rather than just leave it at WOD, they threw in numbers and decimal points. I saw an Instagram story last week that was a selfie with the caption, “Let’s not talk about 20.2”. WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?! Is 20.2 the answer to some math problem? Your weight in stones? Least favorite number? The craziest part is 20.2 involved THREE exercises. I could fit that in a 2008 tweet let alone a story caption.
“Thrusters, ankles to bar, AND double unders? Oof”
I literally added three more words to the original caption AND threw in some Gen Y slang (Sup, fellow kids).
Don’t forget about Rx either. Yeah, let’s throw in some prescription jargon in there too, it’s not like the country is consumed by an opiate crisis or anything.
Look, I know this seems like a reach, but the number masks the difficulty of the workout. A would-be CrosFit acolyte reads 20.2 and thinks the person who posted it is Miss Universe.
All this talk of WODs and numbers is great but what CrosFit has done to social media is truly its greatest crime. Pull up five picture or videos from any CrosFit gym’s Instagram and you’ll see the following three things.
1. Hot, Half Naked Men and Women
Sex sells, you can’t deny it and I’m in NO WAY shaming people who dress less while working out. It is a proven fact you lift 5x more weight when your shirt is off which is probably why everyone is struggling with the new Army fitness test. Showcasing a myriad of attractive people makes CrosFit look like the coolest party on campus and you’re not invited. But all it takes to get an invitation is investing $180 a month in a membership, $500 in Lulu Lemon gear, and $150 on some No Bull workout shoes. It’s a small price to pay for some Instagram clout. But the underlying premise behind everyone looking hot in CrosFit gyms goes much deeper. Eventually, hot people sweating around each other get close. They build chemistry, go on a few dates, get engaged, and before you know it, they’re pumping out little CrosFit kids to carry on the cult. I’m on to you Greg.
2. Smiles, praise, and words of encouragement
High fives and praise are great in the gym… if you’ve never played a competitive sport. “Good job” and “Don’t quit” are phrases thrown around Little League practices. Walk inside a collegiate practice and you’ll hear things like, “Lift up that goddamn bar or I’ll skullfuck for the next three hours” screamed by a major league washout to a bunch of twenty-year old kids. You want me to take CrosFit seriously? How about up the intensity and testosterone to the point where the team captains are getting into an all-out brawl with the three of the juniors, meanwhile one of the freshman is puking into a trash can. Working out can be fun, training for a competitive sport should emulate a Mortal Kombat fatality.
3. A dog, because who doesn’t like tossing around 25-pound weights without the threat of murdering an animal?
The apparent creed of CrosFit appears to be along the lines of, “If you don’t post your workout on Instagram, then it didn’t happen” But hey, there’s some truth to this. Nothing truly happens in this day in age if it doesn’t end up on social media. Naturally, the choice here appears pretty simple. Either waste forty minutes of a workout taking pictures in the perfect light and recording yourself throwing a five-pound medicine ball at the wall to then tag every single human in the gym, or, die alone at the hands of our future CrosFit Overlords.