There has been much conjecture over the years about CrossFit. Even more so it seems over the last couple of days with the poo flinging. If you subscribe to any fitness channels on Facebook or follow any type of fitness blogs you have read some pretty awful things for and against CrossFit. There are bodybuilders, doctors, friends, co-workers, physical therapists and the sort that you have probably interacted with at one time or another. Naturally, throughout your conversation you brought CrossFit up (Come on now, we know you did!). You may have had the unfortunate or the fortunate experience of dealing with these common arguments:
-Less sophisticated arguments
-Isn’t it just a class? It is ‘just a class’ so is Biology, Sociology and basically any type of structured time where learning is achieved like….lets say football practice, soccer practice or Olympic lifting practice. What do all these have in common? They all require a coach, mentor, teacher, counselor of some sort. It seems odd that for the first 18 years of your life you ‘need’ a coach/teacher in order to learn and apply complex ideas. But for some reason when most of us opens the door to a gym we do exactly what we would never do on the outside of those doors; which is, use our buddies advice and a muscle mag opinion article to get the desired goal. If you were getting sued would you go to your Bro for legal advice? Presumably, you would not. So, why are there not body building classes/strength classes? That should be the question to ask yourself. I have a few hypotheticals of why.
Isn’t it dangerous? No. Not in any meaningful way.
-CrossFit causes injuries! Laterally loading your axial skeleton causes injury (Thanks Rich Rosenblum. Example Below). Lifting a load with tension on a rounded lumbar causes injury. When squating, loading the knee joint before the hip joint causes shear forces to the knee that causes injury. Moving bad all around causes injury that is why you are in a class with a coach that you believe in. You generally have the ability to shop around at different boxes to see how well coaches push training movement over training muscle. Very important concept in coaching. You must train movement over muscle. Muscle will always come.
Laterally loading your axial skeleton!
-Those damn kipping pullups! There is absolutely nothing wrong with a kipping pullup. If you have the motor control, core strength and coordination kipping pullups are no problem. With that being said what is the issue behind the pure hate then with this movement? Well the issue seems to be the thousands of videos online that have athletes trying this movement and failing landing hard at the bottom of the pullup and causing unneeded stress on the ball and socket joint of the shoulder. Seems to be that…but the larger problem is the opinion articles for/against/indifferent to the kipping pullup.
There are so many coaches who clutch onto one opinion over anothers. Well with all things the argument should rise or fall on its own merit. Further there should be a schema that you can apply to all movements. Can the athlete control the movement during the entire range? When intensity is increased by what degree does form falter? Can the athlete start and finish in the most advantageous position for the movement?
If the answer to those three questions is yes, then why should you not start developing the kipping skill?
-More sophisticated arguments
-CrossFit has not been proven to work. If your acquaintances use this they are obviously a super-user admin at bodybuilding.com forum. No offense to BB Forum but the haterade is flowing like Niagra Falls. Speaking of Kipping search that word on the BodyBuilding forum. So not proven by what measure? First, if you look at CF as being in the same realm as pilates, Zumba, Yoga, P90X, or Insanity then you have not read the literature. This is only an issue because of the label we give the winner of the games and that is “Fittest Man in the World.” I will not defend why this title should be used except to the extent that if you have a better definition for fitness and a way to measure it please step forward. For right now I will tentatively accept the definition of fitness and the means used to measure it. Which leads to the next argument…
-CrossFit plays to its own definition of fitness. I don’t mean to sound demeaning but…duh, actually I do mean to sound demeaning dummy. Of course the definition proposed by the agency defining it will be the one used to institute a system, a schema for doing work. CrossFit has defined fitness as increased work capacity across broad time and modal domains. It is CrossFits contention that if you vary weight, length of workouts, and apply functional movements in the cardio, gymnastics, weightlifting modalities you will effectively increase your capacity to do work thus increase your fitness. Now if you search, “Define Fitness” you will stumble upon a history of many broad and varied definitions that are still changing today.
CrossFit provides a subset of physical skills or fitness domains: Balance, Stamina, Speed, Strength, Power, Cardio-Respiratory Endurance, Accuracy, Coordination, Flexibility, and Agility. CrossFit gyms all over the world work to make each and every athlete better in these domains. If there is a more concise definition of fitness out there please send it my way.
What many have a hard to conceptualizing is that CrossFit does not specialize or have a pinpointed goal. We try to offer as broad range of physical challenges as possible to better prepare you for any physical contingency. Coach Greg Glassman, founder of Crossfit, explains that CrossFit is training for the unknown or unknowable.
If you had to remove yourself or someone else from danger in any scenario would you like to have the cardio-endurance of a super-marathon runner? Or the strength of one of Louie Simmons beast moded 1200lb squatters? Or the ability to do a perfect Iron Cross on gymnastics rings? You would probably say, “Well I want them all.” We would say, “Sorry sir/ma’am, that isn’t likely but we can get you close!”
So yes CF does play to its definition of fitness because it perceives it to be the best definition for it. I don’t even see how this is an argument?
-CrossFitters do not care about form. This should probably be number one and the one you most likely expect. Where do people get this idea? Well because people label everything they do as CrossFit. They do ten sets of ten squats and they post on their facebook feed that they do CrossFit. Search CrossFit Fails on youtube and you see gymnasts, olympians, powerlifters, bodybuilders and crossfitters doing stupid things with weight. It is my contention that if you are not striving to maintain proper form and function when lifting, jumping, running, etc that you are not a CrossFitter, bodybuilder, or powerlifter. If you are not trying to put your body in the most advantageous position you can have you are not expressing your movement or body as you should be. CrossFit is quite literally training to maximize homeostasis for as long as possible and with the added benefit of being pain free.
Pain is not the natural consequence of getting older…it is the natural consequence of moving/not moving poorly. In fact if you ask coaches around the word what is the most asked question in the gym they will say, “Hey Coach, can you watch me? Am I doing this right?”
For your entertainment.
-To become a trainer all you need is a 2 day certificate. – Yes, so? A 2 day course does not make you a coach as much as a degree in Marketing does not make you a public speaker. Consumer responsibility has to play a part here too. Do your research ladies and gentlemen!
-With all that being said. When you hear these questions or arguments…the next thing out of your mouth should be, “I hear you but what are doing at 1000 or 1800 tomorrow?”
Jared – FTCF
Workout of the Day
Front Squat 90% of 1RM
Athletes if you cannot maintain the points of performance on the front squat that is okay. We will work till you can. Those that cannot