Ever since starting CrossFit 2+ years ago, I have completely engulfed myself in learning as much as I can about fitness, nutrition, gymnastics, olympic weightlifting, powerlifting, and everything inbetween.
The more I learned about what it takes to be a well-rounded athlete and how to generally be physically fit, the more I realized that “CrossFit” is just marketing and branding. Sure the activities you do as part of a CrossFit program span multiple disciplines, but all it needed was to be called something in order for the general public to associate with it and want to sign up.
Kleenex, Kool-aid, Coke, and Q-tips are among the many other brands out there that have become synonymous with the products they are. These are just brand names for facial tissue, flavored drink mix, soda, and cotton swabs. CrossFit has become one of those brands, and they deserve it! They have spent a great deal of energy (and money) building that name into the empire it is today.
However, this does not mean that in order to become physically fit you need to sign up at a CrossFit box. You can get the same results by training at a strength and conditioning gym. Strength and conditioning gyms differ from your standard “Globo Gym” by employing coaches that pay very close attention to athlete training, quality of movements, and nutrition. A great example is Rise Above Fitness in California. These gyms may not be branded as a CrossFit affiliated gym, but you will still get the benefits of a “CrossFit” gym.
The strength and conditioning programming that I follow is posted on The Outlaw Way, and the specific program is called “Outlaw Power”. All of these movements I do at my local CrossFit box - Feral CrossFit, but they can be done at any well-equipped strength and conditioning gym, as well. My coaches are open and helpful enough to fine-tune the programming to help me on a daily basis, even though I do not need their full attention for the hour I am there. Their gym could be called “Feral Pick Things Up and Put Them Down Really Fast” and I would still go there.
Now that I am 2+ years wiser, I would urge you to also consider a strength and conditioning gym as a possibility, if you are deciding to join a gym. At the end of the day, it all comes down to how comfortable you feel at the place you pick and if it meet your goals. And lastly, have fun with it!