Honest opinions on Crossfit

Lukas Luko

Level 2 Valued Member
I like tolaser  focus on few things (that is why i love Naked Warrior) and master them to perfect. Crossfit is mixing of everything, so you focus on everything, i don't think it is a good idea.

Maybe i am wrong, that is ok. I tried 2-3 times crossfit training and i was more tired that strong. So it is not my part of training. But me is me. There are people who enjoy this type of training, and i respect them if they get goals.
 

prowler83

Level 3 Valued Member
The weighted circuit idea seems to be the latest craze taking off. This kind of training offers some advantage, usually very good for fat burning, building anaerobic threshold, most muscle gains are gonna come from the muscle getting big from pump and more than solid proper muscle gains.  So not a great system for proper strength gains in most cases.

Since most have got the attention spans of goldfish in the modern world, the Crossfit/ Circuit idea suits the average cattleprod contestant. Lots of variety, ok at lots of things but a master of nothing. No strong specific skills come from this style of training. A point many of you have already touched on.Lets face it a snatch and a swing can give you anaerobic conditioning perfectly. One or two drills you dont need jump to 20 different stations to do it. But clever marketing is allowing this kind of training brainwash the masses and I guess it kinda makes me grit my teeth as this way is painted as so great and superior when it just isnt.
 

HerrMannelig

Level 3 Valued Member
I almost peed in my pants watching the video Joseph posted. My God you’re telling me that was real?
It was real as far as I know from an actual gym and from people being serious.
how much weight was on the bar?
I don't know, and it doesn't matter. It is likely a light weight, maybe the low 100s as a guess. This is dangerous with any weight. They are doing barbell "snatches" for reps. They are looking at the clock and pushing themselves without any reason or purpose. They do things like this with all sorts of lifts, including deadlifts, lifts which are require strict attention to form and are done only for low reps, being done without proper instruction, for time.

You can see "workouts" daily on the Crossfit site which would lead to this.

The goal it seems for marketed "fitness" is to thrash the body, to punish. I see this as the selling point. I see commercials for home programs, with sprayed down fit models, flailing about, and a voice saying how hard it is. Of course, hard undirected will get "results". Aside from stressing the body, it will expend energy and the body will adapt to it, however Gulag Workouts are inefficient, dangerous, and are unscientific.
Maybe i am wrong, that is ok. I tried 2-3 times crossfit training and i was more tired that strong. So it is not my part of training. But me is me. There are people who enjoy this type of training, and i respect them if they get goals.
This is always a thing...people are adults and are in control of their own lives. We can do what we want to do. For those who are "into" something, I guess that is their choice, however, I think there is a duty to some degree to help others make intelligent decisions, at least, to the extent where we are willing to share information to those who want it.
Crossfit is mixing of everything, so you focus on everything, i don’t think it is a good idea.
http://games.crossfit.com/what-is-crossfit

CrossFit is many things. Primarily, it’s a fitness regimen developed by Coach Greg Glassman over several decades. He was the first person in history to define fitness in a meaningful, measurable way (increased work capacity across broad time and modal domains). CrossFit itself is defined as that which optimizes fitness (constantly varied functional movements performed at relatively high intensity). CrossFit is also the community that spontaneously arises when people do these workouts together. In fact, the communal aspect of CrossFit is a key component of why it’s so effective. 

As you can see, it is a vague notion of "fitness" and does not have any actual goals.  They'll do anything and everything for the sake of this vague notion.

Basically it is "push your body at high intensity in various ways" to reach a vague state of "fitness".

 
 

jgruginski

Level 3 Valued Member
When I see pictures of Tamer's members doing swings or ropes or something else as a group, I always think to myself, "This guy has taken the good aspect of Crossfit (i.e. community, not herd mentality) and put the kettlebell at the center of programming. This is how it should be done".  We have things we can learn from CrossFit. CrossFit has reinforced old notions and/or taught us a few things: some people are sheep and need to be herded; marketing is powerful; community is key; group training can make money; marketing is really powerful. We can take these lessons and build upon them. Our problem seems to be one of pride and scruples. We have too much of both to want to put out half assed training. It's both a blessing and a curse (from a profit perspective). I'm just hoping to figure it out so I can make something I'm proud of in the end.
 

HerrMannelig

Level 3 Valued Member
Along these lines, if you wanted to get as well conditioned as possible in the shortest period of time, would you turn up the heat or would you stick to the PM as written?  In the long run the PM is the better option, but is there a better option for more immediate results?

Lets say you had an event coming up in 3 months that you needed to be really well conditioned for?  Is it good to push to failure or almost to failure for short periods of time?  When fighters have an event coming up, their training camps essentially consist of pushing themselves harder than what they would be able to sustain for longer periods of time, presumably for the purpose of being better prepared than they would be if they trained at a pace that would allow for sustained improvement for the next year.
Looking for "immediate results" is a bit misguided.

Check out this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yosFViNEy6g

He trains fighters.

Within a training program, one can peak, but it is part of a larger picture. You cannot take a program used by someone peaking for an event as a general method of training.

So, if one is short on time, any improvements achieved in that time are probably very temporary. It is a polishing of what one already has. So, what "works" is probably very dependent on where one is already and what one is doing. Whether or not increasing the intensity to hit a peak is advisable for a particular goal would depend on a number of factors, and I am not experienced in that kind of thing. Keeping one's training steady may be better, to get a constant overall improvement, but ramping up the intensity to get to higher performance for a time may be good too, depending on the details.

 
 

MikeTheBear

Level 7 Valued Member
This has been a good discussion.

I like some of the Crossfit workouts and I do them at home.  Note the "I do them at home" part.  While I try to push myself, I don't let my form suffer, which is what would probably happen if I trained at a CF facility and had everyone telling me to push it. I do not use CF workouts exclusively but add them to my other training. I don't expect to gain super strength nor do I expect to be able to run a marathon by just training Tabata. CF is good for overall conditioning, nothing more. As Russell said, the high level CF competitors spend lots of time working on basic strength and practicing the Olympic lifts. I do the same, and  I add CF workouts in for variety and fun. Go ahead and criticize me for wanting to have some fun and variety while training, but after being at work all day my training time should be fun.
 

HerrMannelig

Level 3 Valued Member
But then it isn't really "Crossfit" is it? As a brand, company, and program, it is what it defines itself to be, not what people assign to the name.

Otherwise, anything can be called "Crossfit" (and anything is at times).
 

RussellPeele

Level 3 Valued Member
crossfit is crap?

compared to what? a program designed from Dan J, Pavel T, Jim Wendler, (fill in other good coach here) sure, relative to those, crossfit is inferior.

compared to average bro routine: bench press force reps (it's all you!!!) + bench burnouts + run the rack curls + partial leg press... relative to this, crossfit rocks.

compared to average female gymgoer routine: yes no machine, hamster work while reading cosmo, crunches... relative to this, crossfit is AWESOME.

it depends on your reference point. crossfit may be the best thing to happen to the mainstream fitness industry in a long time.

disclaimer: i don't do crossfit, nor do i plan to.
 

tentigers

Level 3 Valued Member
technically i have probably done 'Crossfit' for years, lots of running, swimming, cycling, bodybuilding, circuit training (PHA i believe), bodyweight training, assault courses and loads of team sports.

my gripes are calling it new and looking down on other modes of training and believing they are superior to everything else.

That said if you are a general member of the public who want to get generally fit and you find a Good box you will be fine, if you find a bad one then you get the abominations.

however martials arts and other gyms can also have the same issues, get a good club and its great, get a bad one well, you get ' I do Karat-teee" mentallity lol
 

HerrMannelig

Level 3 Valued Member
crossfit is crap?

compared to what? a program designed from Dan J, Pavel T, Jim Wendler, (fill in other good coach here) sure, relative to those, crossfit is inferior.
I do not think "something is better than nothing" is a reason to find value in everything.

Crossfit is inferior to things which are already well established. It is fitness regression. The fact it is well marketed and has some popularity doesn't change anything.
compared to average bro routine: bench press force reps (it’s all you!!!) + bench burnouts + run the rack curls + partial leg press… relative to this, crossfit rocks.
I would say that the typical bodybuilding type of workout is superior to Crossfit because it doesn't pretend to be something it is not.
compared to average female gymgoer routine: yes no machine, hamster work while reading cosmo, crunches… relative to this, crossfit is AWESOME.
Bad things are not good because there are worse things.
it depends on your reference point. crossfit may be the best thing to happen to the mainstream fitness industry in a long time.
In that case, everything is relative and we cannot make declarative statements on anything.

However, I do not let that paralyze my judgement. I have standards and I stick to them. There comes a point where I declare something to be "garbage" and discard it, even if there can be some value salvaged.

I called Crossfit and other such things "Gulag Workouts". If you make it, you will be lean and "fit". If you do not, you will be hurt.
 

MikeTheBear

Level 7 Valued Member
"But then it isn’t really “Crossfit” is it? As a brand, company, and program, it is what it defines itself to be, not what people assign to the name.


Otherwise, anything can be called “Crossfit” (and anything is at times)."

You're right, on both counts - I don't actually do pure Crossfit, I only do Crossfit workouts for variety and fun.  But then again, anything can be Crossfit, so perhaps I'm just doing my own version of Crossfit. For the record, I train Olympic weightlifting at a Crossfit facility that has the option of paying only for Olympic lifting coaching with no requirement to join or do Crossfit. The owner is a big fan of Olympic lifting and has received training as a coach, and the facility also has one other full-time dedicated Olympic lifting coach.  No one has pressured me into trying Crossfit.  This is a forward-thinking facility, IMO, and should be the model for other facilities.

I fully admit that I don't neatly fit into any category and that's the way I like it. I consider myself an Olympic lifter who likes to do metabolic conditioning (to stay in shape for skiing) in the form of CF, kettlebells, and the occasional bike ride or short run. What does that make me?
 

HerrMannelig

Level 3 Valued Member
compared to average bro routine: bench press force reps (it’s all you!!!) + bench burnouts + run the rack curls + partial leg press… relative to this, crossfit rocks.
To add, Crossfit's workouts on the site are often dangerous to attempt to do. Their structure is random, and the volume excessive. It is not scaled nor is it sensible.

"bro routines" are often not optimized or particularly useful for a training goal, but they are generally  not dangerous in themselves. They do these things because of ignorance of proper training and vague goals. They do not think they are doing something new or unique. Quite the contrary, they are emulating what they see.

But Crossfit is heavily marketed and promoted as something new. It is promoting dangerous things and its members (whatever they are called) will defend it at all costs. They constantly slip around, changing. Well, I am not going to play that game. Either "Crossfit" is something, or it isn't, and I am going with what it officially is. It is dangerous and ill advised. Whether or not constantly fatiguing the body is good or not, it gives methods which are very dangerous, such as high rep barbell snatches and high intensity intervals which are impossible to do and maintain safe form.

It is, essentially, a form of high intensity interval training done constantly and poorly.

Crossfit has a lot of peripherals which are good. There are good coaches for powerlifting, Olympic weightlifting, gymnastics, etc on the periphery. Many affiliates may focus on these, and scrap the essence of Crossfit.

Maybe that is what would fix it...scrap the WODs and main site, and have a gym network of "performance based training", and that performance could be anything, as long as it is based on performance. Gyms could be connected which focus on certain aspects, instead of flailing about, tiring people out, causing injuries, and waiting for people to figure out they have to not do Crossfit to succeed at Crossfit.

If "Crossfit" is just a word, then it will be impossible to have opinions on it. Fortunately, at the moment, it is owned and defined by an individual, and that is what is being judged.

 

 
 

HerrMannelig

Level 3 Valued Member
I fully admit that I don’t neatly fit into any category and that’s the way I like it. I consider myself an Olympic lifter who likes to do metabolic conditioning (to stay in shape for skiing) in the form of CF, kettlebells, and the occasional bike ride or short run. What does that make me?
That makes you, you. You do not need a brand name or a personal guru. :)

 

 

 
 

Pavel

Founder and Chairman
Master Certified Instructor
That is a lot of emotion, gents.  whether you love Crossfit or hate it, please stay calm.
 

Carnivore1

Level 1 Valued Member
In response to crossfit the Marine Corps came up with HITT. High Intensity Tactical Training. It supposed to be the new model for how we do fitness in the Marine Corps, much like MCMAP was to hand to hand training. Like I said before, I do crossfit workouts some times. I have friends that are level 1 certified and I know they do things the way they should be done. They both been doing fitness training for years. I was never into weightlifting unti a friend introduced me to kettlebells and Pavel. I find the IDEA of crossfit awesome because as an infantry Marine I never know what will be asked of me, and as a father I want to know I can do anything my family needs.it boils down to this in my opinion.  Of your gonna do it, do it right and do it safely. Thanks for reading.
 

Kyrinov

Level 6 Valued Member
Sort of picking on a point that came out of this larger discussion with respect to short term gains vs. long term.  I've just been reading a good bit of pop neuroscience I'm sure a bunch of you have read (if not, get it - very relevant to training) called "The Brain that Changes Itself."  Interesting stuff that reflects a lot of the training mentalities reflected in here.  One of the parts I found most interesting related to motor learning experiments done with (if memory is correct) stroke patients or some similarly handicapped subject group.  What was interesting was the observed Monday vs. Friday effect.  The subjects had their greatest improvement on Friday after five days of therapy.  However, this "Friday peak" would disappear by the next Monday.  The Friday results improved rapidly, but were rapidly lost.  The Monday results often plateaued and improved incredibly slowly.  BUT when the subjects ceased their therapy/training for several months, it was found that their level was equal to the Monday of their last therapy session.  So what are you going for?  Friday ability or Monday ability?  Personally, I'll take the Monday.  Its not flashy, you don't feel it day to day but damn when I'm doing hard traveling and haven't slept proper in days and maybe not eaten proper and have to lug sixty seven pounds of food and gear and keep an eye out for human predators, I'm certainly not going to have my Friday abilities left.  Just a thought.  The neurology of motor learning is certainly interesting reading.
 

dmaxashman

Level 3 Valued Member
good thing the original post clarified he wanted "honest" opinions on crossfit otherwise i think people would have held back too much.

russell, i like your post.  i am not a crossfit fan boy either but i think you raise a good point about putting things in perspective.
 

kris

Level 3 Valued Member
In matter of " sport injuries ", the % is the same as  most of sports. In matter of training, same as every kind of training,  a good technique is paramount. In matter of  intensity, we are " free " to work at any pace, must most of  crossfit people like HIT.

@steve, it is possible to be SF ( I am ) and I am free to use my SF technique in my crossfit gym. I am training 5 day/ week, for 90 minutes, and like the variety of fitness tools and exercises. 3 times injured  with kettlebells instructors, I am regaining most of my fitness level with my crossit coach following my goal, a SFGII certifcation early 2014, and Iron Maiden.

The most important is to have the coach hyper qualified in everything, this is why Croosfit is looked as " unsafe ", very rare to find " The Coach ". This took me one year !

 

 

 

 
 

MikeTheBear

Level 7 Valued Member
The one thing that Crossfit has done is bring Olympic lifting into the mainstream.  Whether this will make the sport more popular is a question to which I don't have an answer, but my guess is that it will. Yes, some affiliates teach/allow technique that is an abomination, but some do a very good job. It is also true that we can sit and have an entire debate about whether it is worth learning the Olympic lifts or whether there are simpler and easier ways to develop power such as Dimel deadlifts or kettlebell swings. I don't care about any of that. I think it's a great sport and like the fact that it may be gaining in popularity through Crossfit and the Crossfit games.
 
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