November 01, 2005
Although I'm lucky enough to work out primarily with kindred spirits at CrossFit NYC, a few times a week I head around the corner from my apartment to a "commercial" gym. When I do—gasping my way through the WOD—I'm inevitably met with uncomprehending stares, as though an alien had suddenly descended from the sky and plopped itself down in front of the pull-up bar.
But if my ways seem strange to my gymmates, theirs are equally bewildering to me: hours-long sessions spent wandering the floor, punctuated by short sets of preacher curls or goes at the hip-adductor machine. How, I wonder, can people work, day in and day out, so inefficiently? The answer, I recently realized, is practice.
And not just at the gym. Studies show that the average American worker spends ten hours a day at the office, yet, after chatting with colleagues, surfing the web, and strolling to the water cooler, accomplishes just one and a half hours of actual work. In other words, 85 percent of the time most people spend at the office goes completely down the drain.
Like most CrossFit converts, I was initially drawn in by the brutal efficiency of the approach: such little time, such great results.