The unprecedented growth of CrossFit has come about by serving the primary need of fitness and health club consumers – the need for building social networks. CrossFit has grown over 100% per year since 2005, surging from a couple hundred members in 2005 to an estimated 3,000,000+ members worldwide in 2013.
CrossFit has become “the Facebook of Fitness” by establishing and cultivating a welcoming, supportive social structure and network. Members make friends and social contacts with fellow group members and thus have an emotional attachment to the community – not just the fitness program. This leads to regular attendance and better fitness results as a function of regular participation in physical activity.
At CrossFit Fortius, a CrossFit gym in San Diego, members talk to and support one another in a highly social, nonjudgmental atmosphere that is very different from that of a typical health club. There are no mirrors on the wall, and no one is staring at you since everyone else is working out at the same time and focusing on the getting through the workout. Many members make lifelong friends and some even find their significant other.
CrossFit is a broad, general and inclusive fitness – one that best prepares trainees for any physical contingency. In a typical CrossFit workout, athletes conduct a warm-up, a skill or strength development segment and then a “Workout of the Day” or WOD. The WOD by design varies from day to day, but typically includes a mixture of functional exercises conducted at high intensity from anywhere between 5 and 20 minutes.
Key to the CrossFit method is the idea that CrossFit is the “sport of fitness” — it attempts to harness the, “natural camaraderie, competition, and fun of sport,” by keeping score, timing workouts and defining rules and standards of performance. CrossFit is just that – a cross between weightlifting, gymnastics, running, plyometrics, endurance, and other functional physical activities.