Inside the Box

How CrossFit® Shredded the Rules, Stripped Down the Gym, and Rebuilt My Body


In Inside the Box, veteran journalist and endurance athlete T.J. Murphy exposes CrossFit, the fast-growing “sport of fitness.”


In Inside the Box, veteran journalist and marathoner T.J. Murphy goes all in to expose the gritty, high-intensity sport of CrossFit®.

Murphy faced a future with a permanent limp from one too many marathons. Desperate to reclaim his fitness and strength, the 47-year-old signed up for his first CrossFit workout with nothing to lose. Anaerobically blasted by each workout of the day, Murphy discovered a sweat-soaked fitness revolution that’s transforming bodies and lives.

CrossFit is the sport of fitness, a radical new approach to exercise that is turning the traditional gym workout upside down. Every day at thousands of CrossFit gyms across America, fitness seekers of all shapes and sizes flex their inner athlete by racing to finish fast-paced workouts. Each workout mixes weight lifting and gymnastics into an explosively effective and addictive new way to lose weight and carve out a new physique.

Inside the Box is Murphy’s journey through CrossFit. From staggering newcomer to evangelist, Murphy finds out how it feels, why it’s so popular, whether it can fix his broken body.

Read a chapter! T.J. Murphy takes on the notorious CrossFit worked known as “Fran” in this online chapter.

Paperback with photographs throughout
6″ x 9″, 192 pp., $18.95, 9781934030905

Inside the Box: How CrossFit® Shredded the Rules, Stripped Down the Gym, and Rebuilt My Body

Shipping Dimensions: 6.22in x 9.03in x 0.80in pp $18.95, Inventory 9781934030905, Shipping 1.00lbs


1 The Encoounter: The Many Paths to CrossFit
2 The Unknown and the Unknowable: What Is CrossFit All About?
3 Inside the Box: The World Within a CrossFit Affiliate
4 Making the Invisible Visible: CrossFit’s Focus on Movement and Mobility
5 Two Oars in the Water: CrossFit’s One-Two Punch of Diet and Exercise
6 CultFit: The Community and Sociology of CrossFit
7 Irene’s Journey: A Case Study
8 The Jet Stream of High Performance: The Making of a Firebreather
9 My Date with Fran

Epilogue: The Future of CrossFit
Glossary of Terms
Glossary of Exercises
About the Author

Preview book.

“Laced with self-deprecation and sharp observation, [Inside the Box] reads as a CrossFit origin story. Throughout the book Murphy is most compelling as a cultural guide. With uncanny “noticings” and clever descriptions he pulls you into the CrossFit community, its people and its ethos. As a forceful diary, Inside The Box speaks to those merely curious about CrossFit and to the fire breathing monsters hooked on its potent thrill.  Vibrant and life-affirming, Murphy urges the reader on.” — WOD Talk magazine

“For me, Inside the Box was like a walk down memory lane. I highly recommend it to anyone who has been considering starting CrossFit but just hasn’t been sure if it’s right for them.” — Greg Amundson, the original CrossFit Firebreather, former SWAT officer, and founder of the CrossFit Goal Setting Course

“Murphy’s experience [in Inside the Box] is one that will be lived thousands of times in the coming years. It is an awakening not only of the physical but of consciousness to one’s ability and what is possible. He eloquently takes you on the ride of finding community and bringing purpose back into one’s own life.” — Brian MacKenzie, founder of CrossFit Endurance

Inside the Box made me very nostalgic of my own beginning with CrossFit. And it really made me proud of this community that I am involved in. CrossFit is unique as a sport, but even more special because of the community it has created. Inside the Box is a wonderful representation of why and how we are all so dedicated to our own fitness, but more importantly, to the success of our peers.” — Annie Sakamoto, CrossFit trainer and elite athlete

“In his book Inside the Box, journalist T.J. Murphy goes deep into the high-intensity, gut-testing world of CrossFit.” —

“Interwoven with [Murphy’s] personal journey is the backstory on CrossFit and its evolution, along with the tales of other CrossFitters he met along the way…For anyone who hasn’t experienced CrossFit, it’s hard to understand what goes on inside the gym, but this book does a good job explaining it.” —

“In his book, Murphy also does an effective job of explaining what a typical CrossFit “box” (an actual gym) looks like, what a CrossFit experience is bound to be like for the first-timer (humbling and exhausting, and, depending on the first-timer’s nature, either utterly addictive or completely off-putting), and the importance of community in contributing to CrossFit’s popularity.” —


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