CrossFit and the Future of Fitness


Quite a story in the NY Times today: a report on how the fitness industry (including huge players like Lifetime Fitness) are apparently starting to rethink the modern gym. Instead of the space being clogged with expensive machines that isolate certain muscles (the tricep machine being sort of being the most dramatic example of a large and expensive machine with the intent of training a single, small muscle–and it may not even do a very good job at it compared to the simple pushup) corporate fitness giants are sweeping out the hardware in favor of raw space and simple tools. We have returned to the age of the medicine ball.

As I once wrote about, this past holiday season I was back in my home state of Iowa to visit family when I went to the gym that my parents have been members at for years–a facility owned and run by Rockwell Collins. Definitely a family gym, with lots of cardio machines, a few of the original Nautilus machines, Cybex and Universal, and a free weight section. I was in the free weight area when two women were working out and performing hang power cleans with a barbell and later a met-con workout with box jumps and burpees. Whether or not one of them belonged to a CrossFit gym in CR, there was no mistaking the influence. I then noticed that Rockwell Collins had purchased a set of kettlebells and multiple boxes for box jumps.

It will be interesting to see where the fitness world is at 5 years from now. As the article mentions, treadmills and cardio machines aren’t going anywhere. However, things are definitely changing.

In Inside the Box, veteran journalist and marathoner T.J. Murphy goes all in to expose the gritty, high-intensity sport of CrossFit®. From staggering newcomer to evangelist, Murphy finds out how it feels, why it’s so popular, and whether CrossFit can fix his broken body.