Are you currently asking yourself this question? Maybe something is bugging you. Perhaps you’re finding things too difficult?
Well, if this is on your mind, have a read of this first. Before you make your decision to stop doing CrossFit.
Depending on your situation, quitting Crossfit might be suitable for you. Equally, you might be quitting for the wrong reason. The reason behind your consideration for quitting should be established first, in order to make the correct decision as to whether to continue with your journey. Let’s look at the reasons why people commonly quit and work out whether you should carry on.
I’m not getting any fitter.
First off, it’s probably good to review the number of days per week you’re going. Suffice it to say, the more you do it the fitter you’ll become. And that will happen quicker the more you go.
How do you know you’re not getting any fitter?
Have you done empirical studies as to your VO2 Max for example? Or is it a perception you have in your mind that your fitness is stagnating?
This Best Gym Hacks article here will help guide you on optimal days per week to do CrossFit. It details how quickly you can expect to improve and why.
Or if you want to understand more about your V02 Max, this article will help break that down.
Perhaps the programming at your current CrossFit gym is not cardio-based enough. Or just not well-thought-out, as sometimes can be in rare instances.
Or perhaps you’re not going enough times per week in order to get the most out of conditioning. Another reason is possibly you aren’t pushing yourself as much as you could.
We need to be used to feeling uncomfortable
It takes a level of discomfort and sacrifice in order to reach a high level of fitness. That’s in any sport.
If programming is the issue, have a look if any other CrossFit gyms are nearby, the programming which you might prefer.
Mind over matter
As human beings, we often put ourselves down. Some of the more cynical among us do it more than others.
Naturally, then, a consequence of this is that we are not as good or as fit as we might think.
From the outside looking in, you may be much more improved compared to when you first started with regards to fitness. Your technique has likely come on leaps and bounds and you just don’t know it! Just ask your coach. We all need validation and assurances.
To that end, make sure you’re not just putting yourself down or self-deprecating, because the chances are you doing much better than you think you are.
With regards to CrossFit improving cardio, this Best Gym Hacks article will outline that yes….it does work, and how.
I’m not losing weight fast enough, or at all.
Again, the first question to ask is how many days per week you train. Is it more than 1 and less than 3?
The article noted above which you can see here details that 3x per week+ is the best number of classes, to get the most benefits out of Crossfit.
You are what you eat
Once the first question is answered about days per week, the next logical question is: what are you eating?
Are you still eating the same way you always have done? Are those bad habits still a bad habit?
It’s no secret that to lose weight eating the right foods along with exercise creates a strong recipe (pun intended) for slimming down.
As the above pyramid shows, everything is founded upon nutrition.
Greg Glassman’s philosophy notes it’s the most important element in the stack of 5 to create a fitter human. Thus, visually, it’s quite easy to see how important nutrition is in terms of CrossFit.
It is known as the Theoretical Hierarchy Of Development. Sounds fancy, but here is a breakdown of what that means.
So, with that little nugget (pun intended), review what you’re eating and make sure you put the right stuff into your body. If you’re not, could this be why you’re not shedding the poundage quick enough?
On there you will find super easy, tasty and balanced meals in under a minute.
Fitness in 100 words
This famous quote sums CrossFit up very well. Overall, it’s a simple philosophy. There’s not a lot to the principle itself.
“Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar.
Keep intake to levels that will support exercise but not body fat. Practice and train major lifts: deadlift, clean, squat, presses, C&J, and snatch. Similarly, master the basics of gymnastics: pull-ups, dips, rope climb, push-ups, sit-ups, presses to handstand, pirouettes, flips, splits, and holds.
Bike, run, swim, row, etc., hard and fast. Five or six days per week, mix these elements in as many combinations and patterns as creativity will allow.
Routine is the enemy. Keep workouts short and intense. Regularly learn and play new sports.”— Greg Glassman, CrossFit Founder
Simple methodology, complex layering
CrossFit is so vast in its movements, workouts and all the many permutations, although a simple principle, the complex layers underpinning it all make for a great hobby and sport.
Having been doing the sport for almost 13 years now, I can honestly say I still love it now as much as the start.
Embrace the techniques you are learning. Bask in the fact you are still learning. We are built to learn.
Everyone else just seems better than me
Are you standing in the gym looking at everyone else in disbelief that they’re smashing it and you’re not? Don’t worry, we will go there at some point or another.
I co-own 2 CrossFit Affiliates and have been doing it a long time. Yet I am humbled every week.
There is always something to get better at. There is always something to improve.
Your fitness and strength fluctuate. Life can be difficult and has a direct effect on how you perform.
We all have OFF days. We also all have ON days.
Going back to the self-doubt comment earlier, we tend to remember the one bad day, but forget about the 20 good days.
Master of technique
The beauty of CrossFit is the sheer amount there is to learn. Coupled with the amount of mixture every day. Glassman’s fitness in 100 words states that “routine is the enemy“.
With all that in mind, because there’s so much to learn it will take so long to learn everything and get good at it.
Practice makes perfect
They say 10,000 hours is a good amount of time to master anything. So to master the Snatch, there is lot of hours’ worth of training that needs to go in.
Maybe that 10,000 idea was debunked. But still, you have to put the time in.
Put together Cleans, Muscle Ups, Back Squats, Toes2Bar, Kettlebell Swings, and Running. That’s a lot of hours to get excellent.
Always room for improvement
The point worth noting here, then, is that you will never be excellent at absolutely everything.
Even Mat Fraser and Tia Clair Toomey do have weaknesses. Not many, but they exist. Mat Fraser is not the most captivating and Tia has a jarring accent, for example.
Mat Fraser PB’d his Front Squat by 45lbs in at the 2021 CrossFit Games – after nearly passing out! Even the greatest are still getting better.
You do you
So, while you think that everyone else around you is better, be safe in the knowledge that you’ll be better than them at something else. It’s not a competition all the time! Go at your pace.
Another example from me – many of my friends and members at the gyms are seemingly impressed by my Clean and Jerk versus bodyweight ratio (Sinclair coefficient).
However, go to Floor Press, Strict Press or Strict Anything…and my performance is laughable. Literally. I often joke about how bad it is.
This weakness for me is only fuel to get better. So if something comes up in programming which I wouldn’t benefit from, I change it in with something like Strict Handstand Push-Ups so I can practice those. #WorkAWeakness
Think about working-a-weakness yourself. This can even be in the warmup of any CrossFit class. Or the use of Open Gym, should yours have that option.
I’m struggling with an injury
Another one we will struggle with at some point.
I’ve lost count of the parts of the body which are subject to aches, pains, overuse, and under use.
Taking care of your body is of paramount importance. That goes from your nutrition through you through to training, through to your warm down and maintenance such as stretching and massage.
Many CrossFit Gyms have yoga as part of their offering. If yours does, get involved. It will help keep you flexy and loose.
First of all, do not overtrain. The article here will show you how many days per week is a good amount.
Over-training can get you injured. CrossFit has a bad rap for causing injury. But is that just the Reddit keyboard warriors stabbing the keyboard? This Best Gym Hacks article is useful in answering that.
Secondly, if you are injured outside of the gym, remember to scale or sub out a movement which will aggravate or worsen the injury. This article here will give you some idea about scaling.
So if you are struggling with an injury, you have tried scaling and subbing something out and still, it isn’t working for you…then perhaps freeze your membership for a month. Or at least until the injury has improved.
Make sure to rest
Sometimes, rest is just inevitable. We all need to rest. Our bodies need to recover. Embrace it. Failure to do so creates injury.
Don’t forget to speak to your coach. Get their view. If they’re worth their salt and the injury cannot be trained around, then they should tell you to freeze your membership.
Stop. Calibrate. Listen (to your body)
For me, deadlifts have never been good for me in general.
My posterior chain, hip flexors and abdominal area all makes for tight lower back pain. So I just avoid Deadlifts.
I’m not some super-serious athlete heading for The CrossFit Games, and I’m okay with that.
If you can accept that you do not to certain movements to look after yourself, then you’ll be alright.
The world will not end. This means leaving your ego at the door, however, and not getting carried away doing Deadlifts because your mate is.
I’m just not enjoying myself
This is a very important question to ask: why are you not enjoying yourself?
Is it a mixture of all of the above points? Are you struggling socially with the environment? Have you just not found your mojo?
Maybe it just isn’t your cuppa tea… And that’s OK. it’s not everyone’s cuppa tea.
If you are struggling socially, try and make conversation with any and all of your peers in the gym.
Lean on the community
One of the drawers for CrossFit is the community.
So once you strike up a conversation with someone, don’t be surprised when they start chatting back to you in great depth. Then when you see them again next time you’ll have meaningful chats.
Rinse and repeat.
Do that a few times and the next thing you know your friendship circle has increased exponentially and without your meaning for it too.
Try and attend social gatherings put on by the gym. For example drinks, barbecues, bowling nights, and smaller social nights with groups. This will help make your experience with CrossFit even more enjoyable, I promise.
Be truthful to yourself
If it’s just not for you and it’s not got anything to do with ego, fitness, injury, or anything else above, then that’s okay. Just tell your coach exactly that. “You’re just not enjoying yourself”.
I often say to my friends and members at the gym “if you’re not enjoying it you’re doing it wrong“.
There was a time several years ago I fell out of love and simply wasn’t enjoying it. I took nine months off and it was the best thing I could’ve done. It made me realise how stressful life is, and that exercise – CrossFit specifically – helped me recalibrate after a hard day.
This may not be the case for you, but it may be the case for many others. Taking time away from something is often healthy.
Although you may well be a member already of a CrossFit gym, the below flowchart can still be useful to decipher whether Crossfit is for you.
Take a look at it and see where you sit.
Summary of should I quit?
Make sure you are thinking critically. Answer the below questions truthfully – it will help you make an informed decision.
If you find the answers are not conducive to carrying on, think about what adjustments you can make, to ensure you’re benefiting from CrossFit.
- Am I having fun?
- Am I overtraining?
- Should I be interchanging movements around injuries?
- Do I need to accept there’s much to learn?
- Should I do more classes per week?
- If I quit CrossFit, will I do something else active regularly instead?
- What am I not enjoying and can it be adjusted?
- Have I made an effort to chat to other members?