Alexandria Lewis-Collins, OTS June 2013 Why Participate in CrossFit Training? Surveys Analyzed
What is CrossFit? • Found by Greg Glassman in 2000 • Trainer and Gymnast • According to Glassman, fitness is defined as “increased work capacity across broad time and modal domains.” • Capacity refers to the ability to do real measureable work in the terms of force, distance, and time. Since life is unpredictable therefore real world fitness must be broad, in terms of duration or time and effort or modal domain. • It is a strength and conditioning program that was designed to help people gain a broad and general fitness. • All workouts are based on functional movement or the core movements of life. • The workout of the day (WOD) is performed at high intensity and rarely lasts longer than 20 to 30 minutes • WODs are constantly varied so peoples are prepared for any physical challenge • “Universal Scalability” • Regardless of a person’s background, goals, age, or fitness level the same work outs and routines are done. However the intensity and weight are scaled • Currently, there are over 5,5000 CrossFit affiliates worldwide. Glassman, G. (2002, April 1). Foundations. CrossFit Journal , 1-8.
Personal Statement • I have been a member at CrossFit gym since November 2009 • My Memberships Include: New London CrossFit, CrossFit Iron Will, and SECT CrossFit • I currently workout at CrossFit Iron Will 4 to 5 times a week. • I am friendly with many people who are CrossFit members and who have taken this survey. • I chose to do this study, because I was interested in what kept people participating in CrossFit.
Research Questions • What motivates a person to participate in CrossFit? • What does not motivate a person to participate in CrossFit? • What benefits are seen at a result from participating in CrossFit? • What brings a person back into the gym or “box” for another workout?
Participants • Current members at CrossFit Iron Will (CFIW) in Springfield, Massachusetts who were over the age of 18 • Members from other CrossFit gyms who had access to their website (www. crossfitironwill.com) and Facebook page (www.facebook.com/crossfit.ironwill) • Currently there are approximately 200 members at CFIW
The CrossFit Survey • Demographic Information • Gender • Age • Current Weight • Current CrossFit Membership • Length of membership • Number of times per week working out at CrossFit • Changes seen as a result of CrossFit (i.e. increased energy, weight loss) • Prior level of activity • Motivates for Physical Activity Measure Revised (MPAM-R) • Assesses the strength of five different motivates for participating in physical activity, in this case CrossFit training. • Fitness • Appearance • Competence/Challenge • Social • Enjoyment
Administering the CrossFit Survey • Before accessing the survey, participants had to agree to the information in an informed consent form. • They understood the purpose of the study • They must be 18 years or older • This survey is voluntary and anonymous • Could stop survey at any point • The survey was administered online through Survey Monkey • It was available on the CFIW website for 6 days and on their Facebook page for 2 days • The results were then analyzed using the Survey Monkey software
Meet the Participants Age Range Majority (74.4%) of the participants were between the ages 23 and 37. 60 Females 52 Males Total of 112 Participants 2 Incomplete surveys were not included
Getting to Know the Participants:Are you currently a member at CrossFit Iron Will? • The majority of respondents (73.21%) were current members at the CrossFit Iron Will (CFIW) gym • 26.79% were members at other CrossFit gyms located around the Northeast • CrossFit Swarm • New London CrossFit • SECT CrossFit • Land Warrior CrossFit • Forever CrossFit • CrossFit Firestorm • CrossFit Bang • CrossFit Religion • CrossFit Craic • CrossFit 203.
Getting to Know the Participants What was your activity level in year prior to joining CrossFit? How would you describe your current weight? • The majority of respondents led active lifestyles prior to joining CrossFit. • Over half were either an athlete in high school and/or college (50.89%) or went to the gym 3 to 4 times a week (60.71%). • Approximately 13% of people were not participating in any form of exercise prior. • Nearly 13% of people reported to participate in additional forms of activity such as: • Mountain biking • Boot camp type training • Running • Power yoga • Pilates • Martial arts • Zumba • Paintball • Hockey • More than half (58.93%) of respondents reported that their weight was ”just right for their height and body type.” • While 38 people or 33.93% reported that they were slightly overweight. • Approximately 7% of people reported to be very overweight.
Getting to Know the Participants How Long Have You Been Working Out at CrossFit Gyms? On Average How Many Days a Week Do You Workout at CrossFit? • The majority of respondents had been participating in CrossFit for either 1-2 years (27.93%) or 2-3 years ( 30.63%).
Getting to Know the Participants:What Changes Have You Seen Since You Started Working Out at CrossFit? • Almost 93% people reported an increase in muscle tone • Three-quarters (75%) of people reported an increase in energy • Over half (65.18%) reported that they have lost weight • Approximately 40% of people reported additional positive outcomes. • For example, 14% reported improved mental health outcomes including • Decreased stress and depression • Overall improved mental endurance and increased mental toughness • Increased confidence, self-esteem, and improved self-image • Finally, they felt as if they had a clearer outlook on life and with this came an increased moral and an overall improvement in their mood and wellness. • A quarter of the respondents (25%) reported fitness oriented outcomes such as increased strength, mobility, endurance, and stamina. • As a result of this, they saw increased lung capacity, better results on blood work, lower resting heart rate, and an increased appetite. Furthermore, permanent injuries became less bothersome. Concept 2 Rowing Machine
The Motivates for Physical Activity Measure Revised (MPAM-R;1997) • Developed and validated by Ryan, Frederick, Lepes, Rubio, and Sheldon in 1997 • Assesses the strength of five different motivates for participating in physical activity • In this case CrossFit training • Five Motives: • Fitness • Appearance • Competence/Challenge • Social • Enjoyment Ryan, R. M., Frederick, C. M., Lepes, D., Rubio, N., & Sheldon, K. M. (1997). Intrinsic motivation and exercise adherence. International Journal of Sport Psychology, 28, 335-354.
MPAM-R: Fitness Motives • Fitness refers to being physically active out of the desire to be physically health, strong, and energetic.
MPAM-R: Appearance Motives Appearance~ being physically active in order to become more attractive and to achieve or maintain a desired weight.
MPAM-R: Competence/Challenge Motives Refers to being physically active out of the desire to improve at an activity, to meet a challenge, and/or to acquire new skills.
MPAM-R: Social Motives • Being physically active in order to be with friends and meet new people Enjoying spending time and being with others participating in CrossFit motivates people to continue this activity. External factors such as friends wanting you to participate are not likely when a person is deciding to engage in CrossFit training.
MPAM-R: Enjoyment Motives • Enjoyment~being physically active because it is fun, it makes you happy, and it is interesting.
Last Question: Please feel free to share any other information you think I should know related to CrossFit participation. • Nearly 20% of people had information to share • Common themes occurred (some similar to information received as the question “what changes have you seen since you started working out at CrossFit”) • Overall Healthier Lifestyle • Community • Fitness Related
Last Question: Please feel free to share any other information you think I should know related to CrossFit participation. Fitness Related • “I started doing CrossFit because I wanted more of an all body workout and to tone and strengthen my core. I like the physical and athleticism of CrossFit.” • “I had started CrossFit for all the wrong reasons but after reluctantly giving it a chance it changed my entire outlook on the way I was living my life. I have always been an athlete but it was difficult for me to find a sport after high school that could compare to that group mentality and high intensity. CrossFit has been motivating, inspiring, and humbling for me and I couldn't be happier that I've returned to the physical athlete I used to be... I'm in better shape now, actually, than I have ever been.”
Last Question: Please feel free to share any other information you think I should know related to CrossFit participation. Overall Healthier Lifestyle • “I've been participating in CrossFit for approximately 2 years. I've lost weight and my physician took me off of blood pressure medication. I love CrossFit and will continue for as long as I can.” • “Participation in CrossFit has completely changed my body structure and how I look at food in general and specifically. I have become more attractive to the opposite sex and have noticed an increase in self confidence as well. I have gained in strength and loss more fat than I thought possible in the amount of time I've been doing it. I feel like doing this on a regular basis puts me in another subculture that is not particularly normal, but I don't care that its different and want to pursue it even more, if not only to see how far I can take it than to continue to challenge myself and to get closer to the best version of myself.. I feel that joining CrossFit has opened my eyes to nutritional truths that have eluded me for years, and that along with the plethora of nutritional information, the constantly varying workouts has led to my success. I feel truly blessed to have joined this.”
Last Question: Please feel free to share any other information you think I should know related to CrossFit participation. Community • “In my experience, the social network we create through our gyms and through other gyms is a bond way tighter than most people would ever imagine. Most of my friends are CrossFitters these days, and we do talk about CrossFit, but mostly we talk about anything else. But somehow, something about what we do have brought us close together. From conversations, I understand that my experience is not unique. I want to by at the gym because I love the work, but also because it's a social gathering with people I want to spend time with.” • “CrossFit has been a breath of fresh air for me with consistent progression over my 3 years of participation. I enjoy the people that do it, the atmosphere it creates, the challenge it presents, the results that I get, and the messages it sends.” • “The community that is created around CrossFit is very important to its success and popularity.”
Ending Quotes • “I love the CrossFit experience because of the way that it makes me feel physically and mentally. I not only love to see improvement in myself, but it is amazing to see how others improve as well. It is especially exciting to see people get their firsts: first pull up, first muscle up, first double under...anything that they could not do when they walked through the door the first time and worked hard to achieve. Everyone is at a different level, and everyone supports one another in a respectful manner. It is the best thing that I have done for myself, in a long time, and I have no plans to stop, well, ever!!” • “The main difference for me is every day is different and a challenge. Some days your strong others not so much, but each WOD is a challenge. Not the same body specific exercises, than the treadmill, week after week. Plus I've never been involved in a gym that elite athletes support you like CrossFit. They don't care how long it takes you, or how much you lift, as long as you do your best and you don't quit. I love it! I've never been supported in my goals like this.”
A Special Thanks… • To Heath Speckman, the owner of CrossFit Iron Will for allowing me to conduct this study. • To the athletes at CrossFit Iron Will for taking time out of your day to take this survey. • Ellen Rainville, research supervisor, for her countless hours of advice.