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Is CrossFit a Trend or Cult?

By Ben Smith

CrossFit’s astronomical growth, both as a business and workout philosophy, can be attributed to the wildly effective results its participants experience. With a community-driven approach, CrossFit gyms are often a place where people socialize and make friends, while getting fitter in the process. It’s this very combination of functional fitness and camaraderie that resulted in the number of CrossFit gyms growing from just 15 in 2005 to north of 10,000 in 2015. (LA Weekly)

Mayo Clinic, a leading national hospital, defines functional fitness as “exercises [which] train your muscles to work together and prepare them for daily tasks by simulating common movements you might do at home, at work or in sports.”

Functional fitness, which is typified by CrossFit, has engrained itself in the health and wellness community as one of the most efficient and useful approaches to exercising. CrossFit has little competition when it comes to delivering an all-encompassing fitness experience.  The purpose of this post is to explain exactly why CrossFit is so popular, not to dispel the benefits of other programs, such as yoga, Pilates, and boot camps, which are also an effective means to get in shape.

CrossFit is so effective because it includes aspects of practically every workout regimen, and can be tailored to any fitness level: running, movement proficiency, calisthenics, core training, weightlifting, gymnastics etc. Proficiency with so many different types of exercises transforms people into the best possible version of themselves, as you become skillful across many different “types” of fitness.

Those who choose CrossFit as their primary workout regimen realize how effective and enjoyable functional fitness can be, which explains why they preach the “CrossFit gospel” so frequently. The functional fitness community, i.e. CrossFit, is here for the long haul. Never before has a regimen revolutionized the fitness community in so many ways. It’s tough to find examples of other workout philosophies that have multi-million dollar partnerships with Reebok and TV deals with ESPN. Before you label CrossFit a cult, give it a try to see just how amazing it is.


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