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Whether you are into Crossfit or you are just looking for a new challenge, I thought it’d be interesting to talk of how being in a S&C gym can really affect your training.
I am aware of the double-edged sword that is CrossFit – however, even for the militant CrossFit hater, there are valuable lessons to be learned from it as well as a more CrossFit-like environment.
Regardless of whether you agree or disagree with it as a training protocol (and overall a brand, because that is also what makes CrossFit what it is), the idea of a smaller, more dedicated gym – also with a much minimalistic approach – has surely its benefits.
Despite loving boutique gyms and equipment-driven classes like the next fitness bunny, I find that engaging with a ‘S&C’ environment can positively affect your training.
The minimalist effect
Even if this can vary from gym to gym (or boxes, when talking about CrossFit), you’ll find a much simpler and more efficient setting than your average gym.
First, when compared to most commercial gyms, there aren’t any mirrors present, and it’s unlikely you’ll find people training with their headphones in, or ordering a post-workout shake. The functional aspect of things comes also from the mindset you have when you come to smaller gyms. When my clients come to train, they are there to train.
You’ll find a different vibe, even during classes – which leads me to point no. two.
The Community Focus
I find that the bigger the gym, the harder it is to really get to know other members. You may bump into someone in a 30-people class, but it’s unlikely you’ll be able to truly engage with them. From the coaches (who will get to know you) to other members, when you are in a 8-people-class setting you’ll get to know one another pretty well.
The community aspect is what makes you come back for more. Whether this is because you get to know the staff, or you really want to catch up with your friend after a good sweat, inspiration and motivation come from a sense of belonging.
Admittedly, since you’re becoming part of supportive community of like-minded athletes, you have an unwritten obligation to show up and get after it.
Accountability is what makes you sure you won’t give up by the end of the ladder, because at the end of the day you’ll all be on the floor panting together.
Wherever you decide to train, create a close-knit bond with a few other people. Have an understanding that you’ll all not only expect to see each other on specified days but also push each other every day.
Get out of your Comfort Zone
Let’s be honest. Programming is not renownedly fun. I mean, it is to me, but that is a different story. A lot of the time our programming heads to a dead end – and mainly because goals are shaky, or we are not really clear of what we are training for.
Plus, I always advise to really get some guidance before you decide to try your first barbell clean (tried that, done that.)
Smaller S&C and CrossFit environments encourage their members to get out of their comfort zone. You will try new moves, or pick up higher weights because you know there is someone there to watch your back. Many people simply haven’t been exposed to that type of training, and can find it overwhelming. As a rule of thumb, just do something you’re not accustomed to in order to shake up things.
On that note, as a coach, having 8 people to look after instead of 30 makes me much more confident when it comes to pushing them to try new moves, as I can follow them every step of the way.
Ultimately I am not suggesting you join a CrossFit box or S&C gym tomorrow – however, switching up and trying a brand new environment (as much as embracing the new mentality) can truly help to shake your own training up.