What explains the intense loyalty to CrossFit among people who take it?
First and foremost, the CrossFit program yields results, and quickly. It's unlike any other program out there -- it's functional, safe, and universally scalable (meaning it can be done by any individual, regardless of fitness background/age/gender etc).
Then there's the community aspect. Most CrossFit facilities are like a family. Members are welcomed and greeted by everyone, and because of the high intensity of CrossFit, create bonds quickly. They understand the commitment and intensity required, and through this intensity, share a common bond. Every member is extremely supportive of one another, and always push each other through positive methods. Class size is limited, and therefore everyone gets personalized attention and support.
How important is your online community in building CrossFit? Member engagement seems to be unusually and extremely high across all CrossFit sites, whether or not they're in New York City.
Extremely important. This is a universal trend for CrossFit, as it started with the original CrossFit.com. The "mainsite," as it's called, posts a Workout of the Day ("WOD") and a picture of a CrossFitter usually doing something fitness related (and pretty cool) each day. Posting the workout allows for members to get an idea of what's in store for them the following day, allows them to prepare mentally, or help determine their training schedule based on how long the workout may take.
By posting pictures of members, or recognizing them through the blog, it creates a great sense of accomplishment. Many people aren't used to seeing themselves on a website, especially one that gets a few hundred visits a day, accomplishing a great feat of strength or skill, so it's highly encouraging and motivating. The comments help members keep in touch with another, offer support, or discuss/argue certain articles, points of view, etc.
Who are the people leading CrossFit?
CrossFit classes are led by CrossFit-certified trainers. Aside from CrossFit certifications, many of these trainers have detailed backgrounds in fitness training, sports, military and law enforcement.
Who are the people taking CrossFit?
Everyone. CrossFit is universal. In our facility you will find Marines, police officers, lawyers, doctors, engineers, mothers, housewives, artists, producers, students -- you get the idea. People who are seeking an alternative to the mundane "globo gym" lifestyle.
The beauty of the program really lies in its efficiency and functionality. Everything in our program can be transferred to real-world usability. The movements we train will prepare an individual for whatever they might confront in the real world. Bicep curls are not a functional movement. They will not help a soldier carry a wounded friend. Side raises will not help a firefighter climb a ladder, or an older man with mobility issues step in and out of his car everyday. The movements we train in CrossFit do. They are meant to prepare an individual for the unknown and unknowable, and through personal experience, is successful in doing so.