The Unspoken Side-Effect of Crossfit
Very often you will hear about the amazing physical benefits consistent and well implemented crossfit training will have. You will lose fat, gain muscle, get lean, and do many tasks that you previously were not able to. This is great and all, but beyond that there are even greater benefits (in my opinion) to it that often get overlooked. One of the “side-effect benefits” of crossfit training is improved self-confidence.
In today’s world mental health has become a very prevalent issue. One of its biggest symptoms being the lack of self-confidence. Without self-confidence a person cannot truly achieve his/her full potential in any area of his/her life. In those cases we all lose, they lose on being the best they can, and the rest of us lose on benefitting from their unfulfilled achievements.
I believe Crossfit can be an antidote to a lack of self-confidence. Before going any further I do want to clarify that I am not a medical professional and do not intend to cure nor treat any disease within these sentences, but I will speak of personal experience as an athlete and a trainer. When I credit Crossfit as confidence building I really am referring to any fitness discipline that will keep an individual engaged, healthy, and safe. I will use Crossfit in this piece though because it is what I am familiar with.
When you begin well implemented crossfit training you will be taken through various fitness disciplines such as gymnastics, powerlifting, weightlifitng, etc. Just the fact that you are learning how to do new things (power cleans, squats, pull ups, etc.) you are building your ability repertoire. That alone will lift your mood and promote a higher sense of self-esteem. Do you know how to read? I bet you do. Think of a time before you knew how to read & write, and then compare it to a time after you learned. Felt good right? Or if you don’t remember, imagine that you do not know how to read and/or write, how would you feel? A little less confident most likely.
In crossfit training you are encouraged to track and keep a number of measurements. The more objective measurements the better. How much can you squat? How many pull ups can you do? How much muscle mass do you have? Etc. Through consistency and time you will see significant improvements in most of your numbers and that will once again improve your confidence.
Crossfit constantly will challenge you in ways that you may not have been challenged before. It will definitely prepare you for challenges coming up ahead. If you are an avid crossfitter, think of that one WOD that you did in your early days that you thought you wouldn’t be able to get through (Murph?). Think about the feeling of accomplishment after completing said workout. How’d it feel? Pretty freaking good huh? Crossfit does a great job of exposing you to yourself. It gives you an opportunity to look at yourself in the midst of adversity (physical & mental adversity) and decide the type of person you are or are becoming. If you keep coming back and showing up, you are becoming a disciplined person who does not shy away from a challenge. Sounds like a pretty confident individual.
If you are looking to build on your confidence, improve your health and fitness, and enjoy the process look no further than your closest crossfit affiliate or some sort of fitness discipline that interests you. I do suggest engaging in a sport where you’ll have help and guidance to ensure you are doing all movements in proper form and staying as safe as possible.