The cult of CrossFit

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What’s the point of physical exercise? What’s the purpose of heaving, puffing and snorting your way around a gym three or four times a week? Personal health, obviously. The opportunity for competition at a demanding level of physical engagement too. But in a culture obsessed with appearance, exercise is increasingly seen as little more than a route to aesthetic perfection — a perfection designed not even for self-satisfaction, but to be deployed in competition with other aesthetically-perfect individuals.

It’s a tendency that no fitness company has reflected better than CrossFit. Once a branded fitness regimen combining different gymnastic and strength-training disciplines into a competitive community of leaderboards and point-scoring, the company has crystallised into a cult-like movement.

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