There’s a running joke about CrossFit. “How do you know that someone is into CrossFit?”, “Because they won’t shut the fuck about it” :). All joking aside, it’s not that far from the truth – and rightfully so. CrossFit is the type of workout where you pretty much bring yourself to puking without killing yourself. Yep, in the first three sentences of this blog post, we’ve already dropped an f-bomb and talked about puke. Now, let’s get to the point and talk psychology.
CrossFit is becoming the workout of choice for entrepreneurs. It’s a well-known fact that VCs like to bike, but for some reason (that you probably expect and understand), entrepreneurs can’t get away from the extreme stuff. We love intensity, and that’s why we seem to love CrossFit. It’s measured, competitive, and mentally engaging — just like running a business.
1. It’s Productive
“I do CrossFit because startups are stressful!” said Manpacks founder Ken Johnson in an interview. “And without much of a time commitment (one hour, 3 to 4 times a week) you can stay in really good shape. I used to run to the gym before lunch every day, but my routine was getting so repetitive. With CrossFit, the workouts are always changing — one day, I’m climbing ropes and doing handstand pushups, the next I’m doing Olympic lifts heavier than I ever thought possible.”
Entrepreneurs love CrossFit because the startup-mode thrill — it’s brutal, exhausting, and heavily dependent on your community. And it’s damn worth it. Just like the pain you go through to build your business.
“We carry so much more energy throughout the entire day after a workout,” said the company’s co-founder Jonathan Hefter in a Techcrunch article by Gregory Ferenstein.
2. It’s Measured
Entrepreneurs love putting pressure on themselves to achieve tangible results, and that’s what CrossFit is all about. Your progress, improvements, and setbacks are tracked on a chart. You can’t get away from it. Seeing this data in front of you will push you harder to perform better. At the end of the day, you’re ultimately tied to a number. It’s a workout that completely complements the entrepreneur’s psyche.
3. It’s Openly Competitive
Entrepreneurs thrive on competition, but with CrossFit, you’re not competing against others — you’re competing against yourself to be better than your best. You’ll see everybody’s scores, but your focus will be 100% devoted to yourself. Entrepreneurs thrive on this motivation because they’re always setting new ridiculous personal challenges. What feels better than winning and beating them?
4. It’s a Tough Mental Game
Sure it hurts, and sure you want to puke your guts out. Sure you don’t think you can’t go any harder or faster, but guess what? You always manage to do it. More than anything, CrossFit is a mental game, and it’s up to you to beat it. And then there’s the whole peer pressure thing. Because you are doing the same workouts as everyone else in the room, you push yourself harder and further than you would normally. Who the hell cares if you’re tired it won’t kill you? The reality is you’ll pass out before you die.
5. It’s Social
“I love the sense of community built around CrossFit,” Johnson said. “Everyone shares a common drive to push themselves beyond personal limits, and people notice when you’re slacking off — I’ve gotten emails from instructors asking why I hadn’t been to class in a few days. The community is definitely a motivating factor.”
Classes are about 10 to 15 people at a time, and you’ll see the same people often. You’ll get to know them well. You’ll cheer them on, and they’ll cheer back at you. You continuously support each other to push harder, and afterwards is even better because you’ll hang out and catch up on life. You’ll be so sick to your stomach from the intensity of the workout that you’ll never want to talk about CrossFit again. But somehow you do — because you’re obsessed with it.
“Extroverted people are social people and CrossFit is very much a social fitness class!” says Marc Hébert, co-owner of Maritime CrossFit. “People are encouraged to ask questions, to interact with their classmates, and to cheer on others during workouts. It is this team dynamic along with a personal competitive nature that keeps people motivated and addicted to CrossFit.” You leave every class not only in muscle pain and feeling great, but with new friends. This, leads to discovering that …
6. You’re Sucked In
If you don’t go to class, your instructors and peers will hunt you down – typically using Facebook in a very public way. You’ll never hear the end of it. You have to go back. Even if you just had the flu. Even if you just had a baby. No matter how hard life gets, you stay committed. You have no choice. Being accountable to others is how great Entrepreneurs build their companies – by having customers, employeees and investors. CrossFit is no different.
So, if you are lacking in the workout department, it’s time to consider something new and exciting to rev your startup engine. CrossFit is the workout of choice for entrepreneurs for a reason. Now, it’s time you join a gym and get fit! WOD will quickly become a part of your daily lingo and you won’t shut up about it.
Have you tried CrossFit? What has it done to change your life?
Tags: crossfit, entrepreneurship, maritime crossfit, workouts for startups