Frequently Asked Questions
Everything about the sport of CrossFit – from it’s training philosophy, to the equipment it uses, to the exercises it prescribes, to it’s business model, to the floorplans of the affiliates where it’s practiced, to the communities it creates – is different from the experience a traditional gym offers. We encourage everyone to learn more about these differences from those best equipped to speak to it – it’s founders – by reading Greg Glassman’s Historic Article on Fitness (click here). Additionally, we invite you to hear our perspective on what differentiates both CrossFit Affiliates from Globo-Gyms, and CrossFit from Traditional Training Methodologies.
By definition, CrossFit is a “core strength and condition program…designed to elicit as broad an adaptational response as possible.” More simply put, CrossFit is a training methodology that defines fitness as the ability to excel at a variety of skills and activities rather than one specialized discipline. Instead of trying to build fitness by just running, riding a bike, swimming, rowing, or lifting, CrossFitters build fitness by incorporating a multitude of different activities into each workout. Will we lift weights? Yes. But we may also add in a series of cardiovascular disciplines, like 400m runs, 500m rows, or even by skipping rope or using old-school Schwinn Airdynes. Will we run? Sure! But we may also perform gymnastic exercises like box-jumps, push-ups, and yes – pull-ups and rope climbing. Such variety benefits participants not because it helps keep workouts interesting, but also because it:
1.) Prepares participants for a broad array of physical activities;
2.) Saves time. CrossFit has been scientifically proven to both require less time to elicit a superior response to other exercise and training methodologies;
3.) Helps reduce the learning curve associated with the adoption of new sports. CrossFit helps improve an athletes ability to learn new movements and skills by constantly asking participants to try new movements and skills. Expecting the unexpected has a way of helping one become more comfortable with the unexpected!
4.) Lessens the risk of injury. By systematically identifying and addressing individual weaknesses, CrossFit can both proactively address mobility or strength deficiencies before they become an issue, and rectify them after they’ve become problematic.
5.) Creates communities. Because CrossFit workouts are:
Practiced in a small group setting,
Scaled to allow each participant the opportunity to perform comparable workouts, regardless of age, athletic background, or experience;
The experience of pushing yourself to your own personal limit becomes one that’s shared. Such journeys forge relationships amongst even the most unusual bedfellows, and create a community unlike that found in any other sports or recreational activity.
It’s because CrossFit:
- Makes anyone an athlete. From snowboarders and skiers looking to stay fit in the offseason, to a grandmother trying to regain or retain her mobility, to a new mom trying to lose her pre-pregnancy weight, to people tired of breaking the promises they make to themselves to get fit, strong, and healthy, CrossFit is nothing short of life-changing for everyone who’s ever wanted to get better at, have more fun while, doing, or do more of the things they love to do.
- Makes elite athletes better. CrossFit’s methodology both identifies and rectifies progression-hindering weaknesses in elite athletes, regardless of the discipline. From All-State to All-Conference to All-Time, and From Tennis pros to Triathletes, CrossFit can compliment any elite athlete’s training regimen.
- Accommodates Anyone’s Life. Even Yours. With workouts that never exceed 30 minutes in length, CrossFit enables anyone – to become the most physically fit they’ve ever been, regardless of how hectic their schedules are.
- Inspires, Empowers and Transforms. CrossFit workouts are scaled to the ability of each it’s participants. Although the loads lifted, distance ran, or work performed in a particular workout might vary by participant, the effort expended never does. The concept may sound remarkable, but the empowerment it yields and the changes it enables are exactly that. Participants giving 100% easily recognize one another. Such recognition cultivates a community where respect, support, and encouragement come automatically to those courageous enough to try rather than those with natural talents.
That it’s the right routine for you.
WOD = Workout of the Day
Composition: Unless otherwise noted, all training offered by CrossFit TT is performed in a group setting, at a pre-determined time. Each group training class offered on a particular day conducts the same workout of the day, or “WOD” – If you miss a morning class, you can pick up an evening class without missing a beat. Classes are lead by a head instructor; depending on class size, a second instructor may join to help ensure that each athlete is getting the level of instruction consistent with CrossFit TT’s Integrity Standard. Group Training Classes are infinitely scalable according to the needs, strengths, and weaknesses of each athlete. Additionally, select elements of each workout can be customized to suit the capabilities, fitness-level, or fitness goals of each attendee.
Structure: Consistent with CrossFit programming guidelines, few – if any – Group Training WOD’s will take more than 30 minutes to complete. That said, participants should still expect to be in the gym for one hour. In addition to comprehensive warm-up and cool-downs, time between the WOD and the Warm-Up / Cool-Down is spent instructing and practicing movements designed to both increase skill competency and improve mobility.
Advance notice: In order to reduce the temptation to selectively attend workouts which appear to be more favorable, WOD’s are released in the early morning hours of the day they’re to be performed on the CrossFit TT Website.
Personal training in a group setting.
Personalized training programs and one-on-one instruction yield dividends which books, DVD’s, or the insights of a fellow gym or pool-rat simply can’t provide. Conversely, group workouts enable individuals to achieve volumes more than they’d otherwise do if training on their own. With CrossFit TT, you get both. By enabling it’s clients to conduct their personalized training plans in small, class-settings with low coach-to-athlete ratios, and hands-on instruction, with the support of a community of like-minded, goal-sharing athletes, CrossFit TT affords the personal attention provided by personal training, in a dynamic, motivating group environment.
Learn More About: The Structure and Composition of a CrossFit TT Group Training Class, and What to Expect when you attend your first class).
They provide some equipment. We provide both the equipment and everything else you need to use it properly.
Unlike traditional gyms who’s business models revolve around providing members with general purpose equipment which can easily be used by as many people as possible, CrossFit affiliates not only provide their clients with the equipment needed to establish life-long, sustainable fitness, but also with:
- Instruction on how to use such equipment;
- The coaching needed to keep individuals motivated and on-task;
- Programming and training plans that get results
- Educational insights on physiology and nutrition;
- A community to support you on your journey,
Learn More About: Our perspective on why CrossFit affiliates provide superior training environments than those offered by most gyms.
It’s because we’re a CrossFit Affiliate that:
- We’re different from the local Sports and Fitness…Centers. They provide rooms and equipment. We provide the roadmap, motivation, education and personal instruction needed to ensure you get to where you want to be, and then some;
It’s because we believe:
- that CrossFit can enhance your athletic passions;
- that CrossFit can compliment (and not replace) your training program;
- that sport specific skills need to be practiced to be mastered;
- that passion is no substitute for experience
that we’re different from other affiliates.
We’re as passionate about the idea that no two affiliates are alike as we are about the idea that affiliates provides a better training environment than traditional gyms. What’s unique about CrossFit TT? Like other affiliates, CrossFit TT believes in the CrossFit methodology, and proudly provides the community with opportunities for individuals interested in the sport to learn, train, get-fit, grow, and compete. Unlike other affiliates, this isn’t where we stop – it’s where we start. Learn More About:
“I don’t want to lift heavy weights … I’m afraid they’re going to bulk me up.”
“I don’t want to get big. I like looking like a girl!”
We hear statements like this all the time from girls who are worried that lifting heavy weights is going make them look like Starla from Napoleon Dynamite. Relax. It’s a myth, and it’s not going to happen. Lifting heavy weights is not going to bulk you up. Lifting heavy weights is going to TONE you up. For a better understanding of why you don’t have to be afraid to add weight to your bar – and why you SHOULD be adding weight to your bar – please read below.
TEN REASONS HEAVY WEIGHTS DON’T BULK UP THE FEMALE ATHLETE
(by Tim Kontos, David Adamson, and Sarah Walls, for www.elitefts.com.)
1, Women do not have nearly as much testosterone as men. In fact, according to Bill Kreamer in Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning, women have about 15 to 20 times less testosterone than men. Testosterone is the reason men are men and women are women. After men hit puberty, they grow facial hair, their voice deepens, and they develop muscle mass. Because men have more testosterone, they are much more equipped to gain muscle. Because women do not have very much testosterone in their bodies, they will never be able to get as big as men.
2. The perception that women will bulk up when they begin a strength training program comes from the chemically-altered women on the covers of bodybuilding magazines.These “grocery stand models” are most likely pumped full of some extra juice. This is why they look like men. If you take the missing link that separates men from women and add it back in, what do you have? A man!
3. For women, toning is what happens when the muscle is developed through training. This is essentially bodybuilding without testosterone. Since the testosterone is not present in sufficient amounts, the muscle will develop, but it won’t gain a large amount of mass. The “toned” appearance comes from removing the fat that is covering a well-developed muscle.
4. Muscle bulk comes from a high volume of work. The repetition range that most women would prefer to do (8–20 reps) promotes hypertrophy (muscle growth). For example, a bodybuilding program will have three exercises per body part. For the chest, they will do flat bench for three sets of 12, incline for three sets of 12, and decline bench for three sets of 12. This adds up to 108 total repetitions. A program geared towards strength will have one exercise for the chest—flat bench for six sets of three with progressively heavier weight. This equals 18 total repetitions. High volume (108 reps) causes considerable muscle damage, which in turn, results in hypertrophy (muscle growth).The considerably lower volume (18 reps) will build more strength and cause minimal bulking.
NOTE: We are not going for HIGH VOLUME AT HEAVY WEIGHTS here at CF TT. German Volume is 10 *10, for 100 total reps, but we’re doing it at maybe 50% of our Max Effort. It is not the same at all. Further, when we’re going for our 5-rep, 3-rep, or 1-max rep of a lift, we’re doing at the most 30-35 of them. This is NOT high volume.)
5. Heavy weights will promote strength not size. This has been proven time and time again. When lifting weights over 85 percent, the primary stress imposed upon the body is placed on the nervous system, not on the muscles. Therefore, strength will improve by a neurological effect while not increasing the size of the muscles.
And, according to Zatsiorsky and Kreamer in Science and Practice of Strength Training, women need to train with heavy weights not only to strengthen the muscles but also to cause positive adaptations in the bones and connective tissues.
6. Bulking up is not an overnight process. Many women think they will start lifting weights, wake up one morning, and say “Holy sh__! I’m huge!” This doesn’t happen. The men that you see who have more muscle than the average person have worked hard for a long time (years) to get that way. If you bulk up overnight, contact us because we want to do what you’re doing.
7. What the personal trainer is prescribing is not working. Many female athletes come into a new program and say they want to do body weight step-ups, body weight lunges, and leg extensions because it’s what their personal trainer back home had them do. However, many of these girls need to look in a mirror and have a reality check because their trainer’s so-called magical toning exercises are not working. Trainers will hand out easy workouts and tell people they work because they know that if they make the program too hard the client will complain. And, if the client is complaining, there’s a good chance the trainer might lose that client (a client to a trainer equals money).
8. Bulking up is calorie dependant. This means if you eat more than you are burning, you will gain weight. If you eat less than you are burning, you will lose weight. Unfortunately, most female athletes perceive any weight gain as “bulking up” and do not give attention to the fact that they are simply getting fatter. As Todd Hamer, a strength and conditioning coach at George Mason University said, “Squats don’t bulk you up. It’s the ten beers a night that bulk you up.” This cannot be emphasized enough.
If you’re a female athlete and training with heavy weights (or not), you need to watch what you eat. Let’s be real—the main concern that female athletes have when coming to their coach about gaining weight is not their performance but aesthetics. If you choose to ignore this fact as a coach, you will lose your athletes!
9. The freshman 15 is not caused by strength training. It is physiologically impossible to gain 15 lbs of muscle in only a few weeks unless you are on performance enhancing drugs. Yes the freshman 15 can come on in only a few weeks. This becomes more complex when an athlete comes to a new school, starts a new training program, and also has a considerable change in her diet (i.e. only eating one or two times per day in addition to adding 6–8 beers per evening for 2–4 evenings per week). They gain fat weight, get slower, and then blame the strength program. Of course, strength training being the underlying cause is the only reasonable answer for weight gain. The fact that two meals per day has slowed the athlete’s metabolism down to almost zero and then the multiple beers added on top of that couldn’t have anything to do with weight gain…it must be the lifting.
10. Most of the so-called experts are only experts on how to sound like they know what they are talking about. The people who “educate” female athletes on training and nutrition have no idea what they’re talking about. Let’s face it—how many people do you know who claim to “know a thing or two about lifting and nutrition?” Now, how many people do you know who actually know what they’re talking about, have lived the life, dieted down to make a weight class requirement, or got on stage at single digit body fat? Invariably, these so-called experts are also the people who blame their gut on poor genetics.
These so-called experts are the reason you see so many women doing sets of 10 with a weight they could do 20 or 30 times. They are being told by the experts that this is what it takes to “tone” the muscles. Instead, they are only wasting their time doing an exercise with a weight that is making no contribution to the fitness levels or the development of the muscle.
In case you haven’t figured it out by this point in the article, what is currently being done in fitness clubs to help female athletes tone their bodies is not working. It’s not helping these women get toned, and it is definitely not helping improve athletic performance. Maybe it’s time for a change. Contrary to the ineffective light weights currently being used, heavy weights offer many benefits for women including improved body composition, stronger muscles, decreased injury rate, and stronger bones (which helps prevent osteoporosis). Let’s try lifting some heavy weights and controlling our diet and watch this logical, science-based solution make the difference we’ve been looking for.
We’ll admit that CrossFit is more expensive than most traditional Gym memberships. We also feel strongly that the type of training we offer yield results far beyond the capabilities of a traditional gym. Just as Free-Range Grass Fed beef is more expensive than the stuff they serve you at McDonald’s, quality products that work well are more expensive than those of moderate quality that don’t.
We’re not trying to be brash with our claims. The empirical evidence, explosive growth of the sport, and our experiences as athletes and trainers lend credibility to CrossFit’s claim of superiority. Study after study recognizes CrossFit as the exercise methodology most capable of providing a superior neuroendocrine response; from elites to amateurs, CrossFit has been proven to work for athletes of every caliber, and we’ve seen people accomplish in six months with CrossFit what many would have considered impossible to achieve in six years. Nevertheless, we don’t expect everyone to take such claims at face-value, and would encourage anyone skeptical to experience the efficacy of our programming first-hand. That’s why we offer a three-for-free training program – if after three classes, you don’t feel that you’d be just as well served at a traditional gym as you would by training with us, then we don’t deserve your time, energy, or money.
We’d also argue that CrossFit provides the best result-for-the-dollar out of any exercise routine, program, or methodology available. Consider the following:
1.) Personal Instruction: With small instructor-to-student ratios, CrossFit TT’s Group Training programs provide nearly the same instruction and attention as that offered by a personal trainer. Considering that many personal training sessions start at $50, CrossFit TT’s (and most other affiliate) our membership packages offer a tremendous value – one can purchase an entire month of unlimited Training at CrossFit TT for the price of three personal training sessions.
2.) Yoga methodologies like Bikram provide an exceptional workout. Like CrossFit, they offer personalized instruction, a dynamic workout environment, and yield high-quality results…hence a price structure similar to that of a CrossFit affiliate. Given such context, it might be easier to think of CrossFit as the Bikram method of Gym training – just because you can do the moves on your own, doesn’t mean that you’ll get the same result.
3.) A gym membership only gives you access to equipment and space. It doesn’t afford you the knowledge, environment, or community you need to realize your goals. In addition to the space and equipment, we also provide the programming, motivation, and instruction you need to not only use it, but to make the most of it.