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What Do CrossFit T-Shirts Tell Us About CrossFitters?

I have a friend who is fond of saying that he loves CrossFit, he just hates CrossFitters. Ironically, he owns a CrossFit gym.

As CrossFit Games are wrapping up, I am remembering attending the CrossFit Regionals last year as a spectator. The heavily muscled thick legged crowd (I belonged! I belonged!) was sipping on Progenex shakes, and wearing t-shirts with threatening slogans.

So, slogans… Is that a thing? I probably saw more t-shirts with messages in that one day than I have in an entire year prior. I thought messages on t-shirts were oh-so-1990s? Seeing “Got MILF?” on some random dude’s chest at my local gym is only mildly entertaining.

There is actually some fascinating research in the areas of advertising and popular culture into messaging on t-shirts, and how these messages help the wearers create personal identity and communicate values.

So, if a t-shirt is a product is the embodiment of wearers' values, what do CrossFit t-shirts tell us about CrossFitters?

Here is a photo essay from my day at the CrossFit Regionals, answering that question.

  • CrossFitters love explosions and robots. Hence, t-shirts with all things "fire", and references to making "machines". Insert a Terminator 2 reference here.

  • Bleeding is ok, and the only monster under the bed is you. Although, if your head is bloody during a CrossFit workout, I don't think you are doing it right. Beast mode?

  • CrossFitters are hard on themselves. If you fail, it's your fault. Punish your weaknesses, punish your choices. Punish, punish. If it doesn't hurt, you are not working hard enough.

  • Questions and humour are less prevalent, than explicit statements and anger. Humorous questions are rare, but do occur. To answer your questions - yes, I am, and your butt looks great. 

Quite an intense crowd, no? I am tempted to wear something with Jamaican overtones, and words “Chill out, dude”, just to cut the tension in the air a bit. Something like this, perhaps?


YOUR TURN: Do you have a t-shirt with a message on it? What does it say?

Hugs, SOLO


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