Why CrossFit Keeps Winning People Over

Hint: It’s not just about the body, says one trainer

Kate MacLennan—If the Terminator movies were all about the rise of machines, the exact opposite is true of CrossFit, says Pete Kendrick of CrossFit 604 in Vancouver. “The idea of working out on machines is gone. The more simple and basic the movement or exercise is, the more effective it is.”

Pete would know. He’s a former Canadian Jr. National Field Hockey player who has been in the CrossFit game for five years and coaching it full time for over six months. The magic of the sport and lifestyle, he says, isn’t the killer body that CrossFit enthusiasts enjoy (though we can’t help but notice that’s an awesome side effect); it’s in the competition and the camaraderie.

“We’ve changed the feeling of going to the gym. When you’re there you can’t wear headphones and just watch TV on the elliptical, you’re forced to meet people, to know them. There’s a bond and sense of community,” he says.

It's exactly because of that sense of community that the sport keeps winning over people who love to sweat. “It’s been growing in leaps and bounds from about 70 people at the first CrossFit Games in 2007 to the Games having a $1 million purse last year. And I think the sport of it will continue to grow tremendously. It’s just going to become more and more professional I think we’ll continue to see it influencing other non-CrossFit trainers,” says Pete.

And don’t think that just because you’re on the road travelling you can’t fit in your WOD (that’s the workout-of-the-day for all of you yet-to-be-CrossFitters).

“There’s a sense of being a member of ‘the box,’ which is what we call CrossFit gyms,” Pete says. “And probably every major city now has a CrossFit gym. Often when I’m in other cities I’ll only get charged a nominal drop-in fee—or no fee at all.”

Or just pack a skipping rope for the trip, then do handstand push-ups and single leg squats in your hotel room, and run around town jumping on ledges and taking advantage of the natural opportunities in the environment you’re in. “Take the Grouse Grind in Vancouver, for example,” Pete says. “That’s a workout that hits all energy systems. CrossFit is a workout based in everyday life movements, so you should always be able to find those around you.”

This blog post originally appeared on Lululemon.com/community.