One of the most controversial trends currently sweeping the country is Crossfit. Usually the
discussion argument surrounds whether Crossfit is the next phenomenon to whip our overweight/obese country into shape, or whether it’s just another fad that people are addicted to because they get to say “Do you Crossfit?” to everyone they meet.
Whether you like it or you hate it, you can’t deny that the CrossFit community has to be one of the fastest-growing out there. But why is this style of exercise, which basically just mixes various popular training styles together into one, incredibly popular training regimen?
CrossFit started as a philosophy by Greg Glassman and Lauren Jenai to merge together some of the most athletic training disciplines out there into one unified form of training. It incorporates gymnastics, Olympic lifting, calisthenics, strongman and strength and conditioning. Recently it has morphed to include other disciplines such as swimming, cycling, running, and a host of others. Crossfit, Inc. describes it’s trading style as “constantly varied functional movements executed at high intensity across broad modal and time domains”.
But what makes CrossFit really special, is it’s uncanny ability to amass a following that would die for their sport. And honestly, I think that’s where many people have a problem with CrossFit. It set’s off what I call the “cult-radar”, which causes people to stray away from anything that is too “trendy”, like being a New York Yankees fan during Derek Jeter’s retirement – or Ugg’s.
As a former strength and conditioning coach, I see the pro’s and con’s of the training philosophies. But as an entrepreneur, I see many Crossfit characteristics that can make you a better business owner.
So the decision is obviously yours on whether you should join Crossfit and become a part of the trend. But I have laid out my professional thoughts on the benefits of both:
9) You’re going to have haters
Like I said, Crossfit has it’s haters; and if you become part of the Crossfit community, you are going to have your fair share of conversations surrounding your “selling out” and “following the crowd”. You will be constantly on the defense. Likewise when you become an entrepreneur, you will often have friends and family who doubt your sanity. They will wonder why you are risking a steady salary and benefits to possibly make a few bucks doing something you love. They will ask you why you would want to work 80 hours a week making peanuts instead of working 40 hours a week making an annual $70,000.
Much like Crossfit, as an entrepreneur you will have to build mental toughness and intrinsic value to be able to ward off the haters who simply don’t understand.
8) You should have a coach
Even the top Crossfit athletes have coaches. In a sport that requires you to push yourself to the brink, it’s necessary to have someone who is looking at your training from an outside point of view – telling you what you need to focus on and where you are lacking.
Just like with Crossfit, you will be pushing yourself to the brink as an entrepreneur. And it’s very easy to get sucked into working in your business, so it’s extremely important to have someone to help you work on your business. Having a coach or mentor to help you look at your business systems objectively can help you identify what you need to focus on, and what you might need to improve upon.
The most successful people in the world have mentors, you should too.
7) You need to schedule appointments
In order to make Crossfit a part of your life, you need to fit it into your schedule. Going to a class once every week isn’t going to give you the body and the energy that you desire. So getting a schedule of the classes and planning out when you will be attending is important to staying on track.
As an entrepreneur, if you don’t schedule blocks of time to work on specific tasks, you will never grow your business. Especially if you are working on your business outside of your fulltime job, just fitting in some work when you can won’t cut it. Sitting down and entering blocks of time when you will be working, along with what you will be working on, is imperative to your success.
Schedule time for your health, and your wealth – it’s the only way to stay on track.
6) It’s an investment in your future
Crossfit isn’t cheap. You can expect to pay at least $100/month depending on where you are located. But if you break down a 4-day-per-week training schedule, it’s only about $6 per session. That’s a pretty good deal on personal training. But regardless of the cost, it’s an investment in your physical and mental health. You are training your mind and body to withstand the stresses of life.
As an entrepreneur, you will not only be investing money to build your business, but you will be investing oodles of time. If you look at this equity as an expense, you won’t make it very far. However, if you look at it as an investment in a financially free future, you will be able to grind it out with purpose!
If you view Crossfit (or any fitness for that matter) and entrepreneurship as an investment in your future, you will succeed.
5) You’re competing against yourself
Even though you are training with a group of people in Crossfit, you are always trying to beat your previous number (of reps or time). You are at war with yourself to set new records and improve by 1% everytime (read James Clear’s article on marginal gains).
As an entrepreneur you are also trying to improve just a little bit every time; a little more efficient, a little more effective. Sure you have competitors, but if you’re always chasing them, you will never build your business to it’s potential. You will miss opportunities that might lead you in a more profitable direction.
Crossfit helps you challenge yourself personally, this will directly help you challenge yourself professionally.
4) You’ll have to fight through tough times
Crossfit is hard. you will have to push yourself through a few extra reps, or for a few extra seconds – that’s how you get better. There will be days when you don’t feel like training. Maybe you’re a little tired, but if you skip a workout every time you don’t feel like working out, you will never progress.
As an entrepreneur, you will be faced with months when your not sure if you will make it. There will be times when money is tight. There will be times when you lose clients. There will be times when you have to work through the night. And if you aren’t mentally tough, and performing at your best physically, you may not make it.
Mental and physical toughness is key in Crossfit and business.
3) Structure is key
Crossfit incorporates many different disciplines into one training session; thus it’s very important that a good program is structured for safety and optimal performance. A good Crossfit gym has a healthy mix of injury prevention, technique, strength, conditioning and recovery work, to build the human body in an effective and efficient way.
Likewise, as an entrepreneur you will have to balance many disciplines such as finances, marketing, operations and customer service to grow your business. A solid business structure, with systems that support growth, is key to your professional success.
Structure in your personal life and your professional life is the only way to build a foundation for greatness.
2) Community will make you successful
Possibly the most valuable aspect of Crossfit is it’s uncanny ability to grow a tightly-knit community of dedicated fitness enthusiasts. It is rare that you talk to someone who is a Crossfitter who isn’t madly in love with the sport; enough to defend it to the death (figuratively speaking). It a passionate community that helps it’s members become better people; many of which wouldn’t be as fit or healthy as they are without it.
Being an entrepreneur can be lonely. Generally, your family and friends will not understand why you are sitting at a Starbucks on a Sunday afternoon, when they are all watching football at your local pub. But if you seek out other entrepreneurs who are just as dedicated and driven as you, you will all push each other to be better and share your tips on growing your business.
Community is one of the most powerful ways to change your life for the better.
You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with -Jim Rohn
1) Health is wealth
When we compare Crossfit, with being an entrepreneur, it’s easy to see that both build and require dedicated individuals. The benefits of both undoubtedly outweigh the negatives. But the most important part of life is maintaining a healthy mind and body, so that you can achieve the things you want in life. In order to succeed at Crossfit and as an entrepreneur, you must be healthy. As you train in Crossfit, you become more fit and healthy – this helps you perform better as an entrepreneur. As you build up the grit that it takes to be an entrepreneur, you will become more successful in Crossfit.
By putting your health first you are setting the stage to live with purpose, to become financially free, to have the energy to experience the journey of life as the driver, and not just be a passenger along for the ride.
Whether you are open to the idea of Crossfit or not, it has qualities that can help you become a better entrepreneur.
Entrepreneurship has it’s downsides; like unsteady income, periodic long hours and personal sacrifice. But to me, the benefits such as financial freedom, creating your own future and passionate living outweigh those negatives.
Crossfit also has it’s downsides; like potential injuries and personal sacrifice. But I feel the benefits of a strong, healthy mind and body outweigh those negatives.