A couple of years spent spectating on people's CrossFit obsessions instead of doing something useful with my life has led me to believe that CrossFit has a lot to tell us about life in late western capitalism. People with physically demanding blue-collar jobs are not CrossFit's primary demographic, and the online subculture, at least as far as I can see, skews heavily toward post-industrial knowledge workers. Why would you pay $200 a month to throw weights around in a garage if you already do that as a day job? The exploding popularity of CrossFit and other "xtreme exercise" trends like Tough Mudder suggests a kind of atavistic revolution, where sit-down office workers can feel the thrill of an increased heart rate and a few soft tissue injuries without having to become a bricklayer.
Of course, to the hardened CrossFitter, statements like "please try not to die" and "be careful, your life is precious" are likely to elicit the same sort of reaction as a parent asking their 13-year-old to hold hands while crossing the road. And fair enough, who am I to say that a willing adult shouldn't perform explosive weightlifting manoeuvres under questionable supervision, or promote a hairy-chested competitiveness that encourages participants to mock and shame people who engage in less strenuous forms of exercise.