Honest opinions on Crossfit

kris

Level 3 Valued Member
I can understand that a lot of people answering to this post are not physically able to do a proper Crossfit session, that's right HIITT is taught, but I don't understand crap, fitness regression , unsafe, and so on....thoses words are not in the " sports people " dictionary. Crossfit training is the same as everything, good and bad instructors. As long as I can learn something new and safe  folowing my SF goals , it' s all good.

Ok for Strong First but not Strong only.

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

Carnivore1

Level 1 Valued Member
Christine,

As far as the Marine Corps is concerned it's HITT. It's more geared for what we do in the Marine Corps, therefore high intensity TACTICAL training.
 

William

Level 2 Valued Member
Crossfit is a means to an end. It's exercise, not training, and you will achieve a decent level of GPP without focusing on either strength, endurance, or power at the expense of the others.

The only question or opinion that matters is this: Is that what you want? If it is, find a Crossfit gym.

If it isn't, do something else. Whatever you choose,  be patient and enjoy the journey. Like the man said: “It's the road, not the inn.”
 

RussellPeele

Level 3 Valued Member
I didn't properly explain myself at first--I only want to give respect to anyone who WORKS HARD to improve himself (or herself)

About half the time, i train at a primarily crossfit gym(bench, platforms, kbs up to 48kg, punching bags, and pullup bars, everything i could want) About every other day I am asked, "why don't you do the crossfit workouts!?"

I hold back from the whole truth and respond, "I have more specific goals, and I like to plan my own training."

Here's what they do right--work hard. Most of the fitness world looks for excuse after excuse to avoid hard work. zumba, body part splits with one lower body day/week, instability stuff, shallow squats, steady state cardio, banned deadlifts, lunk alarms, all the informercial crap, lipo, tanning, supplements galore... all fueled by the desire to sidestep hard work and discipline. Most people at the gym are just passing time, getting zero results, and thinking about who to blame--genetics, the media, global warming, anyone but themselves...

aside: If you're posting on here, you are probably miles ahead of crossfit.

At least crossfit has brought hard work mainstream. maybe it'll catch on... maybe even pervade other avenues of life (academics would be cool)

 
 

NJRick

Level 3 Valued Member
 

Russell,

As a high school teacher, seeing hard work really catching on in academics would be very nice to see! I believe that crossfit is a step in the right direction for most. However, it seems inefficient, likely to cause injury, and very expensive. (saw what you want about the price of kettlebells) To paraphrase Dan John, other methods of training are fine, they're just wrong :)
 

HerrMannelig

Level 3 Valued Member
I can understand that a lot of people answering to this post are not physically able to do a proper Crossfit session, that’s right HIITT is taught, but I don’t understand crap, fitness regression , unsafe, and so on….thoses words are not in the ” sports people ” dictionary. Crossfit training is the same as everything, good and bad instructors. As long as I can learn something new and safe  folowing my SF goals , it’ s all good.
This is what I hear most often...critics are somehow not able to do Crossfit or that one has to do it in order to have valid thoughts on it.

I wrote out some responses below this, however, I have deleted them, as I do not intend to change anybody's mind, and I think this topic is boring. I will keep two points, which I think anybody should know:

* It prescribes exercises in high volume (for time or for a set number of high reps) which require proper form and which will degrade significantly with fatigue, greatly increasing the risk of injury and making one weaker, rather than stronger. High rep barbell deadlifts, snatches, clean and jerks, and the like are common, and frequently mixed into intervals or done for time. Citation: http://www.crossfit.com/cf-info/faq.html#WOD0 Many of those Benchmarks are dangerous for anybody. Not all WODs, facilities, or "Crossfit" workouts will necessarily include those elements, and of course, not all facilities will do these things. But if the first step to do Crossfit ethically is to scrap most of what is "Crossfit", that is telling.

* The official "What is Crossfit?" question is answered here: http://www.crossfit.com/cf-info/what-crossfit.html
Our program delivers a fitness that is, by design, broad, general, and inclusive. Our specialty is not specializing. Combat, survival, many sports, and life reward this kind of fitness and, on average, punish the specialist.
And in this statement, it is admitting a program which is ineffective as designed, as it borrows from elites, but does so mindlessly.  It is something which will (when scaled or applied suitably) have a big effect on people who are already untrained. Maybe that is the benefit...people who have done nothing their entire life will suddenly be working intensely. They will be tired out, worked to their limits, and generally exposed to a variety of paths. It is setting the grounds for future improvement. People who do it may want to "specialize", as that is the only way to train for anything. This sort of fundamental basis for a program will breed elitism, while not resulting in any actual elite abilities. They work hard, very hard. Unfortunately, they don't get anywhere. They are on a treadmill telling walkers they are falling behind. They are furiously running on the treadmill, but the walkers get further. Yes, I do not trash myself like they do. I am a "specialist". That is the only way to get anywhere.

 
 

LoneRider

Level 6 Valued Member
It honestly depends on the CrossFit gym. Some gyms, like Jeffrey Tabb described, have the mentality of:

" I have never gone to a cross fit gym, but I have known several guys who have been into crossfit.  I understand that all crossfit gyms are not the same, but the guys I have known who were into it described being pushed to their limits every workout. "

And some derivatives of CrossFit, i.e. CrossFit Football and CrossFit Strength Bias are very strength and power biased and CrossFit Endurance (a very interesting view on endurance training).

Having trained in CrossFit myself for almost a year before I switched into Power to the People, I think that if the programming at the gym has a solid direction (i.e. the strength bias of CrossFit Football) and good coaches then it's worth a look.

On another note this gym: CrossFit Whole 9, did a five week cycle of Power to the People combined with short but intense conditioning workouts.
 

Zach Ganska

Level 3 Valued Member
Certified Instructor
CrossFit is designed to maximize "fitness," being defined by their community as VO2 max.  This is an extremely fickle quality (for more see Easy Strength).  WOD are designed to push one to their anaerobic threshold to increase fitness.  This simply cannot be done year-round without negative consequences.

Russell made an excellent point at the beginning of this thread; the most successful CrossFit competitors I saw at my university (which had a HUGE CrossFit craze lead by a top ten competitor) were training very heavy, low reps, focused on the technical nuances of the squat, clean, etc.

I don't see the CF community promoting this mentality though, most emphasize WOD's.  If the best of the best are training first and foremost using methodologies that are found in SF to be stronger for their anaerobic WOD's then being Strong is once again proven to be the most important quality and should be emphasized first before anaerobic VO2 max training.  Scheduling yourself a month or so focusing on VO2 max training after you've been focusing on strength a majority of the time is highly beneficial.

Yet this is not promoted at most facilities, they're catering to short attention spans and impatience, those wanting to get ripped in a month, giving them WOD's that aren't organized towards a long-term overall goal.  Since most facilities under the CF umbrella are doing this it is beyond fair to criticize the methodology creating said facilities.

Can a StrongFirst certified instructor operate a CF gym and produce long-term gains?  Absolutely.  For those who are CF certified in this community I have no doubt their programming is in-line with SF principles and that they are of great service to those who train under them.  Given Christine's credentials I'd train under her. That being said MOST CF trainers do not have this mentality.

A highly respected teacher/administrator at my university who is "top ten" in the world as a CF competitor frequently said things along the lines of CF 'weeding out the gene pool" etc., in concern to those who were dropping out.  This person was not reprimanded but instead praised and held in high regard by everyone in his (expanding) circle.  I have found more CF's with a similar mentality than those who would say, "hmmm, maybe I need to know how to adapt my system to individuals rather than trying to force individuals into my system."

In the end everyone's level of fitness (VO2 max) will be dictated by how strong they are, save yourself frustration (and possible injury) and be StrongFirst.

 
 

B.Hetzler

Level 3 Valued Member
The fact that these discussions are so popular and so emotional is interesting.  Whether you love CF or hate CF, the fact that such strong stances are taken is very poignant.

Crossfit is what it is.   It is a reality that everyone has an opinion on.  Like it or not they do some things very, very well.  I think everyone here that makes a buck off of training people would LOVE to have their abilty to generate a following and market what they do - they are essentially like Nike (I like Nike, but they market shoes better than manufacture shoes).  The Metabolic conditioning results they achieve is hard to argue with. 

I do think they do several things wrong.  Their application of their programs is poor, and anything outside of the world metabolic conditioning is questionable.

But the reality is they are a huge presence, like them or not.  Emotionally arguing one side or the other won't slow them down one bit at the end of the day.  The real question is how do those that are not CF fans live with CF?  In addition to the growing CF following, there is also a group that is growing just as fast - those that have gotten hurt, or can no longer do CF.  Take the energy spent arguing a fight no one wins over something no one can alter, and find a way to benefit from them. 

Personally, the 5 local CrossFits here are a really good referral system for us.
 

RussellPeele

Level 3 Valued Member
@zach and brandon - well put. so well put that we can put this one to bed.  On a lighter note regarding nike...

http://www.theonion.com/articles/nike-to-cease-manufacturing-products,1687/
 

kris

Level 3 Valued Member
@ Sean, yes, High  Intensity TACTICAL training, it is not a training tailored only for the Marine Corps, and will see if I pass or fail for the SFG II ...
 

Carnivore1

Level 1 Valued Member
Really? Then you obviously know more about it than I do. I haven't been able to partake of it as of yet. What do you know about it. Working at Parris Island I don't get too much word whatthe rest of the Corps is up to.
 

yogadude

Level 3 Valued Member
My roomate was a Crosfitter for about 9 months at what I would consider a good Crossfit school with competent coaches.  I feel like I got a good view of what CF is without ever having to take a class myself.  She enjoyed the classes and the social aspect of training with people.  I would occasionally give her a ride home from classes.  She would often get in the car gassed so badly that she would feel like throwing up.  She still enjoyed it!  Type-A personalities will most likely resonate with the intensity of CF classes.

I didn't bite my lip about what I felt about CF in general and we had frequent  good-natured CF vs. Kettlebell arguments.  I did not want to poo-poo too much on something she obviously enjoyed and I figured I would let the CF program do it's magic and overtrain her until she did not want to go any more.

As it turned out my roommate quit going to her CF school for time and financial reasons.   Sure, a class is less than an hour but when you add in prep and drive time it can take 2-3 hours to get in her 1 hour  3-4x/week workouts.  She got busy at her regular work and didn't have the time to spend going to classes so she quit.

From my roommates  standpoint, Crossfit worked and she enjoyed it.  I do not think she saw the failings of their program until she agreed to let me create a home workout for her using kettlebells and bodyweight exercises.  She made more strength and size gains training with me for 2 months as compared to 9 months of Crossfit.  Crossfit had the advantage of training her 'beginner' body but our StrongFirst inspired training still absolutely smoked her CF training when it came to actual results.  Her workload and time spent training is about 1/3 of what it would be at CF.  I feel that one of the keys to her success is that I have her  cycling her workout intensity.  This is something you will never find in a CF school.  You can not cycle the intensity of open-to-the-public class. I believe it is  this lack of private attention to your routine that is the weakest part of CF.   They will basically overtrain all but the most incredible of genetic specimens.

I guess I should add that they screwed her out of the cost of a months membership ($165) because her school asks students to give 1 month notice when cancelling a membership.  It's a really low business move.  If you want to quit doing something it's not like you are gong to want to do it for 1 month more just to get your moneys worth.    Most people see that the contract is month-to-month and are happy with that, not realizing they can not just quit at the end of a paid month.   It's typical corporate business and I bet it is standard for all CF schools.

My summary of CF is that it will work for the small percentage of the population with the right genetics, personality type and lifestyle.  Type-A personalities seem to be attracted to CF.  Problem with this is that Type-A personalities will still most likely have average physical genetics and not survive the program leaving them burned out and wondering what they did wrong.

 
 

kris

Level 3 Valued Member
A lot of confusion in this post : Croosfit as a sport and crossfit as training. As training, this is how a Crossfit course must be run : Warm up with cardio exercises at low intensity , mobility exercises and dynamic stretchings ( around 10/20 minutes), after pure Strenght training with kettlebells, barbells or bodyweight (exactly the same exercises as Pavel courses), 5 minutes of active recovery and WOD. WOD is a choice of exercises already trained technically and perform at high intensity but with lightest weights to always keep a good technique. If it is impossible to keep a good technique, weights are dropped. Light jog and stretching as cool down. Something wrong with this Crossfit Training ?

 

 

 
 

kris

Level 3 Valued Member
WOD can be compare in matter of technique and intensity to the " 100 snatches test " in 5 minutes for the SFG certifications! But longer . In group classes, ( 8 persons ), everybody train with his proper load and pace. This is Crossfit as training.
 

kris

Level 3 Valued Member
@ Russell, what do you mean by " the average female gymgoer routine " ??? Can you clarified, please?
 

HerrMannelig

Level 3 Valued Member
From my roommates  standpoint, Crossfit worked and she enjoyed it.  I do not think she saw the failings of their program until she agreed to let me create a home workout for her using kettlebells and bodyweight exercises.  She made more strength and size gains training with me for 2 months as compared to 9 months of Crossfit.  Crossfit had the advantage of training her ‘beginner’ body but our StrongFirst inspired training still absolutely smoked her CF training when it came to actual results.  Her workload and time spent training is about 1/3 of what it would be at CF.  I feel that one of the keys to her success is that I have her  cycling her workout intensity.  This is something you will never find in a CF school.
That is by design. You designed a strength routine...which is "specialized". That is something Crossfit fundamentally tries to avoid. By specializing in nothing (in reality, they do specialize), one advances nowhere.

That is a very weird thing. The design of Crossfit is based on recognizing skills and abilities of powerlifters, gymnasts, Olympic weightlifters, etc, and yet, avoiding "specializing" by focusing on those abilities, while adopting their methods. Constantly changing the stress and constantly fatiguing will only give a very basic level of strength and ability and any further improvement will be impossible.
Our program delivers a fitness that is, by design, broad, general, and inclusive. Our specialty is not specializing. Combat, survival, many sports, and life reward this kind of fitness and, on average, punish the specialist.
This is based on a fallacy, that "specializing" means restricting oneself. Specializing means to progress in a specific way, which is the only way progress can be obtained after the initial training response. Basically, it is saying "don't be good at anything, because it means you will be comparatively bad at other things, so be bad at everything!".
 

HerrMannelig

Level 3 Valued Member
WOD can be compare in matter of technique and intensity to the ” 100 snatches test ” in 5 minutes for the SFG certifications! But longer . In group classes, ( 8 persons ), everybody train with his proper load and pace. This is Crossfit as training.
You can redefine the "Workout of the Day" to be similar to a periodic test, but that is not what they are. They are daily prescriptions. Now, aside from the inherent danger in some of the workouts, that kind of training is fine (with scaling and proper variation of intensity and instruction on technique, etc), however, it is not anything special as Crossfit markets it. It is a specific kind of training, and it is in fact specialized. It does not develop the skills from which it draws inspirition. That kind of training will not lead to much progress in powerlifting, Olympic weightlifting, or calisthenics. It will stress the body in a specific way and any progress will be along those lines.

That being said, the idea of Crossfit (when stripped of hype and marketing) is probably very good for our modern societies, where people are far too sedentary. However, the goal and nature of Crossfit cannot be glossed over. It should be plainly stated exactly what kind of training it is and how it is not new.
 

kris

Level 3 Valued Member
@ Stephen, you certainly know how messy is the fitness industry in Australia, everybody can work in Fitness with 3 months course part time in a Tafe or online, for 2000$. There is no regulations, no controls, nothing. This is totally right, many clients are injured, not only in Crossfit by the way. I can easily trust that your program work much better as the " crossfit " one.

@ Joseph, did you read my post on a " professional " Crossfit session ? Where do you find that Crossfit try to avoid wathever ? Crossfit can stick to any specifics training needs, a really gain of time for sports people to train many fitness components in one go. 60% of Crossfit training consist in kettlebells training, 30% is barbells and bodyweight and 10 % in gymnastic + mobility and stretching , coordination, reaction time and much more, this is the " real fitness ". To be fit is not to be Strong only, and it is possible to have a good level in everything. A lot of hours of training, 2 or 3 per day, 6 days week. This is when it is so important to have a long term periodize training program. You are writing a lot of opinions ? Afirmations ? Conclusions ? Based on what ? Internet ? Experiences ? Sciences ?

 

 

 

 

 
 

prowler83

Level 3 Valued Member
Crossfit sucks, even if most the herd and cattleprod contestants of the world have been brainwashed to thinking otherwise.

The End :)
 
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