CrossFit: Hard work, pain, and sacrifice propelled by a group dynamic
Inside the Box: How CrossFit Shredded the Rules, Stripped Down the Gym, and Rebuilt My Body (Boulder, CO: VeloPress, 2012), by T.J. Murphy, is the first book I’ve seen on CrossFit, so it really piqued my interest. CrossFit has been in the back of my mind for a few years, though I’ve never really researched it, as it is seen as somewhat kooky in endurance circles (though not, of course, by all). But, being a middle-aged man with my fair share of creaking muscles, an activity that promotes overall fitness has to be considered.
CrossFit is the sport of fitness, a radical new approach to exercise that is turning the traditional gym workout upside down. Every day at thousands of CrossFit gyms across America, fitness seekers of all shapes and sizes flex their inner athlete by racing to finish fast-paced workouts. Each workout mixes weight lifting and gymnastics into an explosively effective and addictive new way to lose weight and carve out a new physique.
Murphy did not come easily to CrossFit, looking askance at the tattooed, ultrafit examples that we are all exposed to. But knee pain that threatened to cripple him and nothing to lose, he ave it a shot. It turns out he’s not alone, that there are many paths to CrossFit. His book explores every aspect of the CrossFit world, from what it’s like to be an affiliated box (gym), to its focus on movement and mobility, to a case study of one typical CrossFitter, an no, it’s not the type of person you expect. CrossFit’s “Two Oars in the Water,” an emphasis on diet and exercise in tandem has its own chapter, as does the community and sociological aspects of CrossFit (is it a church?).
CrossFit does not exist in a vacuum and its emphasis both on following the rules yet not having a corporate structure make it an unusual case. With Reebok’s entry into this activity, what is the future of CrossFit?
The book's appendix includes visual representations of some of CrossFit's signature moves, so you can try CrossFit at home!
Oh, and by the way, if you’re single, for a good time call Fran: 21-15-9.
If you’re into CrossFit, are thinking about CrossFit, or make fun of CrossFit, read this book. I had a hard time putting it down, reading it almost in a single sitting. Murphy makes a compelling argument that CrossFit is worthy of your attention, warts and all. If I had money, I’d be joining a Box right now.
About the Author: T.J. Murphy is a veteran journalist, endurance athlete, CrossFitter, and former editorial director of Triathlete, Inside Triathlon, and Competitor magazines. He is author of Triathlete Magazine’s Guide to Finishing Your First Triathlon and contributor to Start to Finish: 24 Weeks to an Endurance Triathlon. His writing has also appeared in Outside magazine and Runner’s World. He is a five-time Ironman® finisher and a 2:38 marathoner.
Get info and read more about the book and CrossFiton the Inside The Box website and on Facebook. Follow T.J. Murphy on Twitter.
(Disclaimer: I was sent this book for free to review on my blog, courtesy of VeloPress. I did not pay for the item, receive payment for this review, or agree to give a positive review. Aside from information gleaned from the company website, the opinions are my own.)
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