Recently, I had a new athlete join CrossFit FerVor here in Mansfield, Texas. She had been “staying in shape” by attending the four week boot camps that I see advertised in the area, you know the ones. Seems like they have a good business going. Classes are regularly booked and they seem to keep people coming back.
I hear from folks who believe that they are basically the same as what we do here at CrossFit FerVor. I occasionally hear this about other modes of training such as: P90x(r), body pump(r), Insanity(r) etc. Honestly, to the uninitiated, I can see how they may seem similar: Use of body weight exercises, workouts that regularly change, group environment are all things that these modalities share.
However, they differ in significant ways that make all the difference. Boot Camps, if you apply yourself, will improve your fitness over a basic gym membership. They will provide some structure and accountability but very little in the way of training and due to the model (they bring no real tools to the training) they just can’t provide all the benefits of a full blown strength and conditioning facility like we have at CrossFit FerVor.
This is not a shot on the trainers; just the system they operate within. Additionally, when someone comes to me that has been part of their system for months and cannot perform a simple movement, like an air squat, properly and has never been corrected on the form of that or other basic movements, this tells me that the trainers are either: unaware of proper form in movement; they don’t care to train their clients; or they have overbooked themselves to the point that they can’t logistically provide a basic level of feedback and accountability that is fundamental in performance improvement training.
Frankly, I am not too surprised by the popularity of this model specifically for the failure modes listed above. I have found that many people don’t REALLY want results as much as they want to have a plausible excuse for their lack of results. It’s the “Yeah, I am ________ (overweight, out of shape, skinny fat, etc., You can fill in the blank) but I have been __________ (doing cardio, going to boot camp, watching P90x, Insanity, etc., you get the point) and eating better, not sure why I am still (weak, fat, injured, etc).” Therefore, they have temporarily removed their guilt regarding their lack of real results. Listen, If you are the kind of person who wants to pay for the ability to have an excuse, CrossFit is probably not a fit. But if you are really searching for something of value to invest your time in, something that will yield objective, measurable, data-based results, then you should really consider CrossFit.
Don’t be fooled by the hype, just ask to drop in for a free session with the bootcamp and see what they have going on. Then do the same at your local CrossFit box and judge for yourself.