Sometimes the discussion taking place in the comments section is powerful enough to deserve a post of its own. I can be more efficient with my replies and give new readers a glimpse into the conversation.
On Wednesday, I posted about Crossfit and introduced my friends, Cassidy and Hunter. As expected, the topic was somewhat controversial and there are those on both sides of the discussion.
Crossfit seems to be love it or hate it program. Like just about everything else in life, I think it’s what you make of it. I’ll fall back on one of my core beliefs: consistency of any workout or nutrition program blows the sporadic perfect regimen out of the water.
Remember, sometimes I poke fun, sometimes I’m playful, but I always try to be accepting. This blog is in place not to solve the problems of the fitness world, but to share ideas and stories while educating through some level of entertainment.
Without further introduction, let’s get into the comments (many of them abbreviated) from the post.
As a formerly ACSM licensed trainer, I’m not a huge fan of Crossfit. By design, Crossfit pushes the individual to exhaustion, with invariably another round tacked on to “redline.” When you are at that point of exhaustion, good decision-making fails and safety is compromised.
I agree with tomdog that we are most susceptible to injury while at the point of greatest fatigue in our workouts and competition can lead to decisions of the less-than-sound variety. We must, as human beings, exercise our best judgment and be aware of our own limits. Crossfit, or any other program, can’t make this determination for us.
I am sure there are lot of good crossfit coaches out there like Cassidy and Hunter but show me one SSC coach who approves of this popular work out called Grace where you clean and Jerk 135 lbs 30 times for time.
Colt and I agree on so much. In particular, a rep scheme of 30 on a complex exercise like the clean and jerk can be dangerous, even for an experienced lifter. But like I mentioned about tomdog’s comments, the athlete in training is responsible for determining the limits of his or her ability to maintain form. This is less about Crossfit and more about personal responsibility.
I am surprised, though, you didn’t mention a critical aspect (deficiency, in my view) of CrossFit: safety and commonsense.
Josh is right. So here goes: Crossfit workouts don’t claim to keep you safe. Common sense tells us that that is our responsibility. Sensing my theme yet? I will say that my personal injuries have all been a result of overtraining, and some of the very competitive advanced Crossfit workouts can force you into a state of being over trained. Overtraining and significant pain after a workout doesn’t make you a badass, it makes you less consistent and more prone to injury. If your program, trainer or gym is telling you differently, find a new one.
Josh skillfully continues:
And as a parting shot, I’ll add that as an ethos it is internally inconsistent. They preach functional movements, spartan workout conditions, a commitment to basic building blocks but want people to shell out a grand for a six month membership? For what? To jump up and down and jam out max reps pushups? Don’t need to burn cash to do any of that.
I couldn’t agree more. With the slightest amount of resourceful behavior, similar workouts can be accessed and or created for free.
Carnivore responds to Josh:
@Josh I have a feeling Kap didn’t want to have the Haters attack him on the crossfit topic. although it would of been great for his pageviews I feel he did not write this blog with his true feelings.
To the contrary; I always write with my personal authentic perspective. That said, I’ll agree that my style is to present my own life encounters, support them with data and connect with you. My readers educate me with their own personal experiences. This stuff isn’t always exact science. If it was, we’d all eat the same foods and train the same way. The decision-making falls in your capable hands.
Speaking of personal experiences, Ryan and JW offer two very different perspectives.
I went to 2 Crossfit classes and disliked my experience both times. I didn’t enjoy the feeling that you were competing against others in the class (despite the notion from the coaches that you should only worry about yourself and your time), and I also didn’t enjoy the yelling and overall chaos that consumed the Crossfit facility.
I have been CrossFitting for almost 3 years and I love it. I enjoy it for a variety of reasons, but the competitive nature of the workouts is a large part of my enjoyment. I always dreamed of playing professional sports, but at a very young age, I realized that was unlikely. With CrossFit, I get to push myself to be better and stronger every day. I compete against myself, but also against people with equal levels of fitness.
Crossfit isn’t for Ryan. Love this. He’ll find his niche and soar without this product. JW is a buyer and seeing gains. Training is totally personal and everyone can be uniquely appreciated for his or her own style and choices. There is clearly no right or wrong here.
If crossfit is so great how come NFL, NHL, and MMA fighters don’t train that way?
I agree with JRE that training for sport requires a different and sometimes more specific approach. I personally would not train to play in the NFL with Crossfit workouts. However, I’m confident I can find athletes in all sports who have utilized Crossfit as part of their regimens.
There is always something good to take out of experience…and that is crossfit has brought Olympic weight training to the forefront in the United States. They have managed to get more men, women & kids to start moving and pushing weights.
No question. The more educated folks are on the benefits of weight training, the better equipped they are to make an appropriate decision for them.
I am a college baseball player who has always trained for power like you. Always doing 1-5 reps for the big compound lifts. I love this type of work out and has helped me get bigger and stronger. One thing I always struggled with was endurance through my games, something I really need as a catcher). I recently started putting a crossfit/ bootcamp workout into my routine once a week. I feel that this had helped my endurance throughout my games as I am essentially doing 150+ body weight squats a game, sometimes double if a catch double headers. I feel my body is operating the best when I am doing 3 strength workouts and 1 crossfit workout a week.
Matt’s note is proof of concept that the mental element of training is every bit as important as the physical. In his mind, he’s made a connection between his crossfit and bootcamp work to duties as his club’s catcher. He believes it, I believe it, and therefore it is.
I’d also like to make the assertion that maximal strength (one-rep max) is a definite goal of CrossFit. In fact, if you read CrossFit’s 10 domains of fitness, strength is one of them. Your one-rep max of any given lift is most definitely a priority.
The problem here is we’re assuming every gym runs crossfit.com programming exclusively. I don’t think you guys realize that CrossFit is a theory, or maybe more a collection of ideas, and is open source. It isn’t crossfit.com’s workout of the day.
He also wrote a well thought-out note on his experience making big strength and size gains utilizing Crossfit workouts. Let me reiterate that people respond differently, both physically and behaviorally, to different stimuli. Today’s theme is not about eliminating ideas. Instead, I celebrate them all for their value.
That said, whether a one rep max is a goal of Crossfit or not, I would argue that the rest and recovery systems for most (I’m sure not all) CF workouts don’t create the ideal environment for strength and power training. Better than other forms of training? Perhaps. Better than 5 X 5? I’d argue no.
I’ve been doing Crossfit for 2 1/2 years. It was a life changing experience for me and the many members of our box. I loved how it the movements were all basic and functional. I loved the fact that every class was different. I think in that first year we maybe did the same WOD twice 5-10 times. It was never repetitive.
This is just an excerpt from Brian’s articulate thoughts and is a perfect ending note. The bottom line is simple. If something is changing your life for the better, neither I nor anyone else can argue with its validity.
One thing is for certain. People who love Crossfit can’t stop singing its praises. For that reason, I’ve been gifted lovely humor below. Remember as you read to not be offended. As I said at the top of this post, I’m playful. Enjoy.