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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

My Point of View on Crossfit and Fitness....

In the past few weeks my personal experiences and involvement with Crossfit has been growing vastly. Crossfit alone has grown leaps and bounds in just a few years. These gains and strides are bound to come with some scrutiny...
Let me start by saying I am still young in running a business and in all my learning. I spend my days reading journals, books, articles, etc.... to better educate myself on these fitness and nutrition related subjects....

Having said that, I believe Crossfit and its methodology is 100% for everyone to at least try! Bold statement? I don't think so.

Here are some of the "problems" people argue against Crossfit...
1. Too intense for most.
2. Not functional for Older Adults
3. Promotes Rhabdo....
4. Promotes poor form and technique.
5. Injury

I'll address these 1 by 1....
1. If you think Crossfit is too intense than you need to look at who is coaching you and how they are programming. Any GOOD coach knows how to program, promote periodization, integrate different elements correctly, introduce new members or movements effectively, and FOCUS on technique, ROM, and Functionality. Don't say its too intense for you when I have 50 and 60 year old individuals in here saying it's easy sometimes.
2. Not functional for Older Adults? Just so happens I have lead into this one from point 1. I've studied Adulthood and Aging for the past 4 years and when it comes to issues in aging dependent on nutrition or fitness they can easily fit into 2 points.... 1.) Inflammation and 2.) ROM. Paleo nutrition has shown time and time again to decrease inflammation through the body by removing free-radicals as well as common food allergens. Crossfit (under GOOD programming) increases ROM, promotes flexibility, increases strength, increases stamina and cardiovascular endurance, and promotes proper posture/form (not just for lifts, but for life application such as carrying a bag, sitting in a chair, etc...)
3. The case in which a participant in CF was diagnosed with Rhabdomolyosis. This individual won a lawsuit for $300,000....What you might NOT read about was that the individual implementing "Crossfit" was not a certified trainer and was trying train Crossfit with limited knowledge on the subject.
4. Promotes Injury and Poor Technique? Really? As an Olympic lifter, I can tell you that my Olympic lifting improved with Crossfit. Why? Because you train in domains that are not specific to your sport which mean you get out of your comfort zone. The types of movements promoted through Crossfit cannot be done repeatedly with  poor technique or the injury/lawsuit list would be miles long and Crossfit would have ended years ago.
5. As I said before, if injury were as prominent in Crossfit as people speculate it to be, Crossfit would be shut down and shunned...Instead, it's giving away $250k to a top man and woman which was supported by Reebok....

Bottom line, I love the quote by Mark Rippetoe in saying that in order to be an ATHLETE you need to do what is necessary. What is necessary might mean training outside of your sport. What a better way to get introduced to what else is out there than a program that has an emphasis toward being GOOD across the board of fitness fundamentals?


  1. On issue 4, I am inclined to agree with the assessment that there is some poor technique in these workouts promoted or not. In regards to fitness I am someone who has diligently and regularly worked out for over 15 years. I also have an extensive background in industrial safety with solid knowledge of body mechanics and and ergonomics. I saw a video of a class and I was HORRIFIED at the body positioning and lifting methods (clean & jerks where multiple lifters are losing control mid-lift and breaking the fall of the weights with their stomachs & hips) that were being used by the participants and shocked that the trainers that were supposedly supervising had not intervened.
    If your argument against the accusations of poor technique is that it doesn't exist because if it did, there would be countless lawsuits, then I would wait and see what happens. I say this because if the work out that I saw is conducive of a typical session the injuries won't occur immediately but the cumulative injuries will occur in time followed by lawsuits if people have the presence of mind to correlate their injuries to actions that may have potentially occurred years in the past.
    I'm curious to know your response to my comments. Please respond.

  2. My argument is not that the bad technique/movement patterns do not exist. My argument is that Crossfit is targeted because of its high intensity approach to those movements. Any good Olympic lifter will tell you that for every good lift they have hundreds of bad lifts. A similar approach is for Crossfit. My largest issue is with Coaches/Programming for Crossfit that are lazy approaches. In my opinion, if a Coach has sound programming (not just gone through each day) and keeps a keen eye on participants development, there would be less and less ammunition against Crossfit. Unfortunately, as I said, Crossfit is targeted because of its high intensity approach that gets magnified into areas such as the Olympic lifts. For myself and other exceptional coaches, I know that Olympic lifting, proper muscle mechanics and reinforcment of movement patterns are the MOST critical in my classes.

    In closing, my argument was never that these things don't happen in regards to technique. My objection is that viewing Crossfit as such is unfair to coaches and communities that place particular emphasis on technique and it just so happens, as in every industry, there are those who give it a bad name and that is what get's published about.

    This post was more to encourage trying Crossfit and involving it into routines of athletes, not a start-up argument that Crossfit is perfect in every domain because it's not. I'm a firm believer that PROPER methodology and coaching of Crossfit and everything it entails will improve an athlete simply because it makes them train outide of their domain.