Skip to content

The benefits of the box – looking beyond the buff…

Most people start CrossFit in pursuit of greater physical strength and fitness. Yet the box offers so much more than muscle-ups and heart-burning reps…

I have been drawn to exercise my whole life, and there is one thing that has been overwhelmingly consistent across all forms of sport and exercise, and that’s the feeling after working out. Every training session leaves me with a smile on my face and a positive attitude.

So what are the benefits of an exercise regime such as CrossFit, other than the obvious physical benefits?

Breath of Fire

CrossFit stokes a fire in us, and we take that out of the box and into the rest of our lives. In the 1970s, two professors developed a broad framework within the field of motivational psychology that they called self- determination theory. Self-determination has three pillars: autonomy, competence and relatedness.

So, where do you find these in your daily WOD (Workout of the Day)?

In terms of autonomy, you do CrossFit because you want to – not because you have to. Add to that the principle of training for the unknown and unknowable, and you have a programme that encourages individual experimentation and creativity, not only of the coaches but of the athletes doing the WOD. Once the timer is on, it’s all up to you!

Competence: the list of skills in CrossFit is endless, and every day you will learn something new, or find a more efficient way to move. You will get stronger, faster and fitter, there is no doubt. You will become competent at things you never thought possible; walking on your hands, lifting objects twice or even three times your body weight, climbing a rope; the list goes on. And every time you master something, you become more self-determined.

How about relatedness? In a CrossFit class, your fellow members are not there to compete against you, they are there to be together with you and celebrate your achievements, to be there when you ring that PR (Personal Record) bell! It’s not a company but camaraderie! PR or not, Rx (Competition standard weight) or not, you are connected to a community of like-minded mortals who are all shouting for you to finish. One of the coaches at my certification course said: “it’s amazing what can happen in a room full of strangers when you put some weights in their hands and shout 3,2,1 GO!” I couldn’t agree more.

CrossFit is about the journey, the struggles and the victories that will ultimately provide the greatest rewards in life.

For me, the most rewarding part of coaching at CrossFit ExAnimo (Craighall Park) is watching people grow from strength to strength, in the physical sense of course, but even more importantly, in their self-determination and fiery, indomitable spirits!

Author: Bronwyn Hubbard (Coach and Owner @ CrossFit Ex Animo)

Back To Top