The harmful image of CrossFit

Meyken Houppermans
Founder and Head Coach
We absolutely love CrossFit but we hate the rough macho image. Not only because that image does not reflect CrossFit at all, but moreover because that image drives the people who can benefit from it the most in terms of their health, away from a great opportunity to improve their well being and quality of life. In this article we refute that rough macho image and explain what CrossFit actually is and why it can be for everyone, regardless of age, impairments, fitness or whatever.

The harmful image of CrossFit

Big bulky shirtless guys and ripped girls with six- packs. Super heavy weights banging on the floor. Blood, sweat and vomit. Super fit people showing off on social media. Intimidating workouts and aggressive looking gyms. For many people, this is the image of CrossFit.

Yet, this is so NOT what CrossFit is, at least not everywhere! This image only reflects a tiny percentage of the worldwide CrossFit community. Yet, the ones who seek the most attention, who display themselves the most, who shout out the hardest, are often the ones who determine the image.

Because of that image people have misconceptions about what CrossFit is. And because of that, the ones for whom it can mean the most in terms of health benefits, are driven away from it. A harmful image.

CrossFit is about the quality of life

CrossFit is about improving your physical and mental well being and the quality of life. CrossFit challenges you to develop yourself physically and to get stronger, healthier and fitter. CrossFit also challenges you mentally. It helps to develop a positive mindset, to think in possibilities instead of focus on limitations. Feeling stronger and healthier, both physically and mentally, enhances the quality of life.

CrossFit is for everyone

CrossFit is for everyone. Regardless of age, impairments, fitness or whatever. It is for everyone because of the diversity, scalability, modify-ability and relative intensity. Say what?

Diversity means that in CrossFit, no workout is the same and we work on a broad variety of fitness domains. From cardiovascular endurance, to strength, balance, flexibility and stamina. It is never boring, and it has something for everyone.

Scalability and modify-ability means workouts are adjusted to your level and to your needs. If for example a workout prescribes pull-ups, but you are not there yet, or if you’re in a wheelchair and a workout prescribes jumps, your coach can offer tons of great alternatives that match your level and needs.

Scaling and modifying is definitely not about making the workout easier! It is about adjusting the workout to your level to make sure your get the same results as any other. And exactly that is why in CrossFit we can all workout together. Beginners and advances athletes can do the same workout together, experience the same intensity, yet at everyone's own level. That is relative intensity.

Although CrossFit is for everyone, that does not mean that everyone likes CrossFit. As goes for anything in life, right?

Too old, too injured, or not fit enough to start CrossFit?

Three big misconceptions about starting with CrossFit are that 1) you are too old 2) you are too injured or 3) you are not fit enough.

Let’s keep it simple:

1)    You are too old to start CrossFit?

Are you also too old to sit down and stand up from the couch a few times a day? To walk the stairs? To pick up the groceries? To go for a walk? No? In that case, you are not too old to start CrossFit because these are the type of movements we do. 

2)    You are too injured to start CrossFit?

Are you that injured, that you cannot move one single body part? Has your specialist told you that the only thing you are allowed to do, is lay on your bed and not move anything at all? No? In that case, you can start CrossFit because every workout can be adjusted to what you still can do. Exercise enhances recovery, and in case of a permanent impairment, exercise makes your body (and mind) stronger to work with and around the impairment.

3)    You are not fit enough to start CrossFit?

Do you need to be Tiger Woods to start playing golf? Do you need to finish a cooking course cum laude before you start cooking? No? Same thing goes for CrossFit. There is no entry level, we just start!


CrossFit is about all kinds of people from all walks of life workout out together, being part of a community of likeminded people, and having fun together. It is about working out in small groups under the supervision of professionally qualified movement and health specialists to improve your health and well being and have a great time.

Yes, sometimes we run around shirtless or in booty shorts. Maybe because our shirts got dirty and sweaty, or because it is hot inside, or simply because we feel comfortable in it. That is just as ok as working out with pink hair, in your onesie, in your jeans, bare footed, or whatever makes you feel comfortable!

Inspired to start?

We at CrossFit Eudokia stand for inclusivity and Positive Health. We focus on healthy ageing and your well being.

Feel inspired to start? Please feel free to contact us anytime for a No Sweat Intro to discuss how we can help to on your health journey!