Why does CrossFit work so well?

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CrossFit is a way of life. It's unlike anything else for people wanting to overcome addiction issues, those with negative patterns of behaviour and those that want to change their lifestyle. It's gaining momentum in the US and we want to bring it to the UK, and:

  • Keep people off drugs, off alcohol, out of prison, for good

  • Prevent people from entering this vicious cycle


So why does CrossFit work so well?



CrossFit provides a new positive focus. It sets measurable goals and people can visible see their progress. Especially for people:

  • In rehab. Recovering from addiction in rehab is intense. It is easy to become discouraged or overwhelmed. CrossFit brings focus and hope.

  • In prison. Being in prison can breed resentment and an opportunity to learn new negative behaviorus. CrossFit is a good distraction.

  • In transition. When people leave prison or rehab it's so easy to slip back to old friendship and destructive behaviours. It connects people to a community of cross fitters – somewhere they can belong. And somewhere that is supportive and inspiring.

  • At risk. Young people for example may be losing their way and are at risk of getting caught up in drugs, gangs and crime. It helps create a new identity and surrounds them with positive influences and role models

You are who you’re with.


During addiction recovery or whilst in prison or going through a transition, people may need to step away from the places they used to frequent, old friends or gangs. These old connections can create a barrier to achieving a full recovery or sustaining a positive behavior change. As a result people may feel lost or isolated. CrossFit creates a new community that is safe, encouraging and accepting. It’s not like going to a gym where you don’t have to talk or even look at anyone. CrossFit training is a team effort.

Together we can


Using drugs, alcohol or other forms of risk taking behavious almost always damages health - physically, mentally and emotionally. Rebuilding health and creating respect for your body and what it needs, is critical to a good recovery. Balance of mind, body, and spirit leads to success in recovery and behavior change. When you realise the capability of your body and how good it feels when you take care of it, why would you risk destroying that?



CrossFit isn’t easy. It coaches people of all shapes and sizes to improve their physical well-being and cardiovascular fitness in a hard-core yet accepting and encouraging environment. Much like any behavior change process, CrossFit requires dedication and perseverance. Week after week, people find that they can handle more and more. More than they ever thought they could.



Through CrossFit you can physically see and feel the progress from week to week. The sense of achievement is phenomenal and people can begin to see their own potential. This opens up new opportunities. New friendships, new hobbies, a new job. Through new connections and in realizing the skills and assets they have, CrossFit has opened doors that people could only ever of dream about.

The 180 Project has helped four young men to find meaningful employment with a local construction firm.


It is so easy to attach a label to someone which can limit a person’s self-belief and potential. Addict. Ex-offender. Homeless. Hopeless. People often struggle to define themselves away from these labels. CrossFit produces new identity. Strong. Fit. Healthy. Determined. Committed. At The 180 Project, the only label we use is ‘Athlete’.


Getting high on life

High intensity exercise like CrossFit triggers positive chemicals like serotonin. Releasing those chemicals through exercise makes people less likely to seek the chemical highs through drug use or other forms of risk taking behaviour. CrossFit produces the feel good factor and can help those who may be feeling depressed which is often associated with people making behavior changes and going through a transition.


The 180 Project puts the CrossFit philosophy at its core. But it’s not all about CrossFit. We combine CrossFit with education, mentoring and peer support to achieve total wellness – physically, emotionally and socially.


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Cross fitJack Watkins