Why the CrossFit Formula Works…and Access Does Not

Ask any CrossFitter and they will tell you the reasons they love CrossFit. Any given member will rattle off a list that contains the ideas of the best workout of their lives and the community of people around them. These two points are the driving purpose behind CrossFit. If you read the actual mission statement of CrossFit it talks about constantly varied functional movements, and community. If you have ever competed in The Open, you know this to be true. The workouts are grueling, painful, and difficult, but the community pulls you through it. The people on the sidelines watching, commiserating, and cheering. There is nothing like it in the world. Walk in to nearly every CrossFit box in the world, and you will find this to be correct.

There is a growing trend recently to allow some members twenty-four-hour access to the box. You can see the appeal, members are allowed to come and go as they please, working around their schedule and not the gyms. They can come in and complete the workout on the board, or they can do whatever they wish to do. In theory, it sounds great. In reality, it’s not the purpose of CrossFit.

Just imagine, you are in the gym at midnight. It’s quiet and empty. The floor is yours, the weights are yours; no sharing needed. You are free to do what you want, the way you want it. It kind of sounds nice. But again imagine, you are in the middle of the workout. You know, that part in any workout where your brain starts telling you how bad this sucks and how you really don’t want to do it anymore. Where you start rationalizing that three rounds are just as good as four; that fifteen thrusters are no different than twenty. We’ve all been there.

The problem is, when you are alone, and no one is watching, do you have the mental strength to keep going? I’m sure where you sit right now that answer is yes… but do you, really? I’m not judging you. I’ve been there myself. One of the last workouts I attempted alone was Karen (150 wallball shots). I added seven minutes to my time… SEVEN! I was alone, the workout hurt badly, so I took my time. I walked around, changed my shoes, changed the music, answered a text, and simply delayed the pain.

No one was around to motivate me. No one was around to stay ahead of, or try to catch. I couldn’t look over and see my friend pick up the ball again and keep moving, reminding me to pick it up and keep moving. I didn’t have my community. It’s the same reason I failed at the Gold’s Gym’s of the world. I didn’t have the community to share, motivate, and encourage. I did the workout, and I did all 150 reps, because I have integrity, but I did it slowly because I didn’t have my people.

Frankly, I am not going to find the results I’m looking for by working out this way. If I am not using the intensity CrossFit was designed for, I am never going to reach my goals. Why did you end up in CrossFit to begin with? The other gyms weren’t working for you. You weren’t reaching goals or seeing results. How many times have you said something about needing a personal trainer? Guess what? At CrossFit you have one. Your coaches are experienced, they are trained, and at times they are working out right next to you. When the coaches are there, will you do the workout correctly? Will you have the form and technique you need? Will you have the intensity and drive you need? We started CrossFit for a reason and we have stuck with it for a reason.

We see results in CrossFit because it works, and the reason it works is because of intensity, coaching, and community. The formula has already been done for you. The work has already been done. Solo workout sessions can work for some, but honestly will not work for all. Don’t forget why you are here and what you have accomplished. Sure, it sometimes takes sacrifice to get here, but don’t all good things take sacrifice?


By: Amanda Stewart


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