Honest opinions on Crossfit

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Level 3 Valued Member
Mr. O'Neil, I meant to say she made greater size, strength and conditioning gains, not just size and strength gains.  I agree with what you are saying, for most students CF will make you an expert at nothing.  I do think the CF program as written can work for people with great genetics and a lifestyle conducive to recovery but this is a very small percentage of the population.


Level 3 Valued Member
@Christine - I'll be helping my dad with his deadlift technique at a commercial gym this afternoon. I'll gather a little more data and clarify :)


Level 3 Valued Member
@ 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 ?
My responses are based on official Crossfit definitions and methods. Your statements about Crossfit seem to be based on individual facilities, and I already acknowledged that "Crossfit" covers a lot.

You affirm what I write, as Crossfit makes no attempt to devise a sensible program to reach varying goals. Instead, it is uses one general method of high intensity intervals, and constantly works to the limit frequently, while varying the movements greatly.

In many cases, it is just a word, and it can be over anything. That makes Crossfit difficult to discuss.

So, again, what I am addressing is the official Crossfit as defined by the founder of the company.

To quote from the website "Crossfit: Forging Elite Fitness" on the "What is Crossfit?" page:
CrossFit begins with a belief in fitness. The aim of CrossFit is to forge a broad, general and inclusive fitness. We have sought to build a program that will best prepare trainees for any physical contingency — not only for the unknown, but for the unknowable. After looking at all sport and physical tasks collectively, we asked what physical skills and adaptations would most universally lend themselves to performance advantage. Capacity culled from the intersection of all sports demands would quite logically lend itself well to all sport. In sum, our specialty is not specializing.

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.com —This is the original blog and main hub for everything CrossFit. Come here for the free Workout of the Day. The WOD (as written) is designed to exceed the limits of the world’s fittest people, but can be scaled to meet anyone’s current fitness.
Now, there is a lot of stuff around this foolishness, and those things can be very good, but this is the essence of Crossfit.


Level 3 Valued Member
To add, this will not "Forge Elite Fitness". It will reach new and low plateaus in basic skills.

It will, however, expend a lot of energy, and have an effect, but it will be a specialized, specific, effect. That is what Crossfit trains. It is not some high level standard of Fitness, but a somewhat complicated and dangerous way to train for a very specific effect. It is not "training for everything", but training for one thing. It is not new either.

I hope that Crossfit's popularity and ability to attract trainers and coaches of value result in it transforming from Greg Glassman's folly into centres where people can get good quality and effective coaching and training on performance based disciplines, whether it be Olympic weightlifting, GS, powerlifting, specific sports, etc. In fact, this seems to be what is happening to some degree.


Level 3 Valued Member
Kettlebells are popular because they work even in small doses. I think about the idea of a minimum effective dose, which made most sense to me after reading Tim Ferriss' work. He was an RKC II at one time, I believe. The point being that the potential upside from what we see marketed as CrossFit is not nearly as great as the potential downside. Want to really hurt yourself? Do timed sets of a highly complex movement patterns that put multiple joints in their end range of motion. Oh, and then do them at the end of your training session when you're in a fatigued state. Intelligent programming states that you start with your most complex and explosive movements and work towards grosser motor patterns that are not as dependent on form and timing. This allows you to pattern the skills you need safely and then build capacity and/or strength. Who is this even more critical for? Beginners who have neither the reps under their belt or the GPP to focus on skill development only.  And while real life doesn't mimic that complex to simple progression, we're talking about training. As you approach competition, it is good to flip that on it's head or intersperse them, but you can't go full bore all the time or you'll wear yourself out.

Christine, I've heard you say some pretty smart things about sports medicine and staying away from injury, but the tipping point from activity to injury seems much nearer to the everyday Crossfit practice than it does to specialized training, kettlebell work, or GPP.  I also believe in all around "fitness", but that doesn't mean I do yoga with my kettlebells. And your reference point about the snatch test seems odd to me as the very name "snatch test" implies that we don't do it everyday. Try a snatch test every session and tell me how long you last. I'm not trying to be flippant but tell me what you believe. I get your point about periodization and the intelligence of the coach being an issue but when you buy into a system, franchise, or certification you assume some level of responsibility for those who certify you and who you associate with. The fact that the organization allows and, in its marketing and certification, encourages an underprepared trainer to try to help others with bad programming is scary to me. And believe me, I've seen an RKC at a CrossFit gym allow horrendous technique in repetition C&Ps and I wondered how pissed Pavel would be if he saw that. I was pissed myself and I'm not certified yet. But to say that someone isn't skilled enough to do a real CrossFit workout is to perpetuate the idea that only people worth our time are the ones "like us", who are already in the upper echelon of capabilities. How much better would our world be if we brought more people along with us versus making them feel inferior? That's why I'm here and working towards certification. To bring strength to those who most need it and to know that I've demonstrated the competency in my own skill development to be able to share that experiential knowledge with confidence.

So I feel that the idea of CrossFit is so much stronger than it's implementation in the public arena. The standards are set too low for the potential movement complexities trained to be considered safe. And while no system or fitness tool is for everyone, having trained people with injuries using bodyweight moves, bands and pulleys, selectorized stacks, and free weights, I feel that the kettlebell and Pavel's principles have the best carryover and practical application to overall health with much less potential risk for injury than CrossFit.

Bill Been

Level 6 Valued Member
If you'd like to be able to push your daughter's car out out of a ditch, you need a base of strength developed with squats , presses and deadlifts. If you'd like to be unable  to push your daughter's car  out of the ditch, but be flawlessly prepared to push your daughter's Malibu Barbie Corvette out of the ditch 150 times (210+ with kipping).....Crossfit is perfect.


Level 6 Valued Member
"I hope that Crossfit’s popularity and ability to attract trainers and coaches of value result in it transforming from Greg Glassman’s folly into centres where people can get good quality and effective coaching and training on performance based disciplines, whether it be Olympic weightlifting, GS, powerlifting, specific sports, etc. In fact, this seems to be what is happening to some degree."

This is definitely happening.  "HQ" as it is called, consisting of Glassman and his yes-men, has become a thing to be avoided and distanced from by any intelligent Crossfit coach.  Affiliates with intelligent coaches program and promote strength as the base. "To get better at Crossfit you need to get stronger" is the new reality of CF that the intelligent affiliates are embracing.


Level 3 Valued Member
Affiliates with intelligent coaches program and promote strength as the base. “To get better at Crossfit you need to get stronger” is the new reality of CF that the intelligent affiliates are embracing.

Then our plan is working...


Level 3 Valued Member
Joe, yes, I am for sports safe, and following the guidelines written for a Crossfit training session, the risk of injury is the same as every Strength training. I took the 100 snatches test just to demonstrate that it is possible to keep a good technique with a " low volume " of resps with load. It is clear that the SFG snatch nest is not use as a Crossfit WOD, anyway WOD are not the same.

@ thanks Joseph for your explanations.

@ Russel, don't worry about, I understood perfectly what you mean, just bear in mind that's some "female" are stronger and fitter that a lot of males and have enougth qualifications and fitness levels to train " males " athletes.

@ all, everything written on Crossfit on this post was written for kettlebells training years ago. And they are still very bad and unsafe kettlebells instructors. New and Taugth in training take a while to be absorb and too long to be teach properly.

@ all, a very good post, plenty of opinions !!!!!




Level 3 Valued Member
@christine - I was talking about MOST people. By most people, I am referring to 95% of those training at 24 hr fitness (the biggest commercial gym in the U.S.) I more than agree that there are plenty of strong women out there. I've been shown up on the rock by women time and time again. I've had to run 300-600m repeats in track practice alongside the top female quarter miler in the nation (nightmare). I have turned over clients to one of my favorite female trainers more than couple times. What I said before was in no way a slight against women, but people.

I was just as critical of the men, but i'll continue because it's fun to rant. I've watched countless "bench presses" done with weights the lifter cannot bench press and the same with curls... followed by tons of cable crossovers. However, I have seen very few men walking around with an appreciable amount of muscle mass, even in the chest and arms (that's why they do those exercises, right?). Further, these guys rarely seem to get more than 2 plates on the bar. Then it gets good--these same guys run into me at a pool party and ask me where they can get steroids. I say they aren't necessary. response: but i've plateaued. I can't make any more progress without juice. I say: I'll email you a simple program that will get you back on track. If after 6 weeks, you haven't broken said plateau, take the easy route. When they get the program, they don't do it because appropriate weight benching, squatting, deadlifting, and rowing are involved (actual mechanical work!). Then they go ask the front desk guy (who doles out crap advice using his steroid physique for credibility), and buy their juice. it's very sad.

sidenote: i no longer work at 24hr fitness. Their training program was garbage and I had to completely violate certain policies to get my clients results. However, it was a very valuable experience. That company is a marketing machine and they teach you how to sell.


Level 1 Valued Member

We talked about hitt earlier. The Marine Corps introduced hitt (or their version of it) last year

I'm interested in what you know of it. Can you tell more?


Level 4 Valued Member
Nick -- read pages 76 & 77 of Easy Strength.  Also read pages I through 264.

Drink the vodka, not the Kool-aid.

You want clarity, not artificial flavors and colors.

Andrew Palmer

Level 3 Valued Member
Seems like the future of training, that gets incredible results for everybody, except that it is a jack of all trades kind of thing not thought through nor done very well. But then again, this is exactly the sort of thing the majority of the human species in the developed world seem to desire. At least they're motivated to do something.


Level 1 Valued Member
The Chicago Police Department has recently dropped Crossfit as there fitness regimen for candidate training due to excessive injuries.   In a conversation about his latest knee surgery, a local CF practioner explained how his girlfriend suffered 3 slipped discs.

Aside from that, I don't like the generality of the brand.  Being lumped in with a franchise seems pretty bland to me.  I might not be making as much money as some CF facility owners right now, but maybe I will someday.  I can tell you this though, none of my students will be making any trips to the emergency room or not be able to tie their shoes when they're forty on my account.

That's just my opinion.  Do what makes you happy.  There is no right or wrong of it, just consequence of choice.

Godspeed brother!


Level 3 Valued Member
Winter coming and a huge storm let me without Internet connection, and would like to end this Crossfit post.

@ Russell, no worries, I understood perfectly your " female..." and you make me laught, so realistic, I don't have any " gender " problems, but this is me, " SF forum for ladies and gents ".

@ Joe, for the SF certifications test, 100/5 mn, my mistake, not " low volume " high volume, and " high intensity " ?, could be? but a good technique must be kept till the last one. So it is possible to keep a good technique with hight volume and intensity. That's right, injury prevention and play the game safe come first, and why I am involve in this post. Because " Crossfit " is very safe with a multi skilled Coach, this is the main problem of Crossfit, find the Coach. ( not only Crossfit...)

@ All, Crossfit is not new, just the trademark of " circuit training " .

Same for : HITT for The Marine Corps ( a wonderful website ! ), StrongFirst for Hardstyle from Pavel and .. for stronglast. Marketing is everywhere,..




Level 3 Valued Member
Because ” Crossfit ” is very safe with a multi skilled Coach, this is the main problem of Crossfit, find the Coach. ( not only Crossfit…)
The role of the Crossfit coach is therefore not to implement or teach Crossfit, but to fix Crossfit.

Crossfit is not a "good" thing.

There are some things which benefit greatly from personal instruction because of the complexity involved, or because one does not know oneself well enough (ie, most people do not have body awareness and cannot assess improper movements at all in themselves), but Crossfit, as officially and publicly presented, is dangerous and useless as it is.

Crossfit, Inc is legally a company and licenses its name for a fee. It is not a public domain concept. As such, any opinion on it, must be on it, not on a general concept. Otherwise, it is as vague as "fitness" or "bodybuilding" or "strength training".

What people want Crossfit to be, or what people do under the name, and the general idea of its goals are not bad, but Crossfit itself...well, it is not so favourable.


Level 3 Valued Member
" the role of the crossfit coach...."

Looked at " coach / definition " in differents languages,  whatever the field, didn't find " to fix  ", where did you find all theses negatives opinions ? On Internet or did you had a bad injury  after being coach in a Crossfit  gym ? Or health practitioner specialized in sports injuries ?

What is " good " for you in matter of training  ?

I more or less  "  know " everybody posting and we are all SF  addicted, are you ?


Level 3 Valued Member
What is ” good ” for you in matter of training  ?
Do no harm.

That comes first.

Regardless of whether a program is effective or not, it should first not be harmful.

My disapproval of Crossfit is from the facts, not from sentiment. However, keep in mind I am addressing the company and legal entity, Crossfit, Inc. and its products/services. If you can show me to be in error in my assertions  then please do so. I would love to hear that what I know about Crossfit is in fact in error and that it is a wonderful and effective thing. It is not a matter of emotion, and this is a thread for "honest opinions on Crossfit".

I developed my opinions on it from here. I think the information on that site is spot on when it comes to the facts of Crossfit.

However, you have now made the "argument" about the person, not the subject. Ad hominem arguments are not logical or relevant. If what I wrote on Crossfit cannot be addressed, and one must address my person, then I think my argument is sound. I do not think I am going to change anybody's mind, that is usually futile.

I do not use ad hominem arguments, but I could. Ad hominem arguments would do more to serve my position than yours I think.
I more or less  ”  know ” everybody posting and we are all SF  addicted, are you ?
I am not sure what you are asking. I am not "addicted", although I find some of StrongFirst's leaders (and not leaders) writings a very valuable resource, I have learned from many other resources as well. I am look for information and to learn. However, this thread is about Crossfit, which is explicitly against "strong first".




Zach Ganska

Level 3 Valued Member
Certified Instructor
Unsure if this has been posted, old article about Makimba Mimms lawsuit after suffering rhabdomyolysis: (excellent quote by Gray Cook as well)


CrossFit's official response? Rename the workout "Makimba" and classify it as a "children's workout."


So by the leadership decisions of that organization I fail to see anyway that CrossFit can be compared to StrongFirst.


Level 3 Valued Member
In line with this topic, I think this article is a very good point, "Conditioning is a Sham" by Mark Rippetoe: http://www.t-nation.com/free_online_article/most_recent/conditioning_is_a_sham&cr=
This is the most important thing to understand: strength is the most general of all athletic adaptations. All other physical capacities, such as power (a guy with a 400-pound deadlift cleans more than a guy with a 150-pound deadlift), even balance and coordination depend on the production of force within the physical environment. If strength improves, all other capacities improve with it, to varying degrees.

For a person who's not strong, time spent getting stronger returns more improvement in all measures of physical capacity than time spent specifically developing any of the other derivative capacities that so many exercise programs consist of.

This is especially significant when you consider that it just doesn't take very long to substantially increase your strength. Every athlete we've trained for strength who competes in a non-barbell sport reports that strength training has the biggest positive impact on their other abilities (which get trained in sports practice anyway).

As far as the breathing thing is concerned, strength training actually improves VO2max values in previously untrained populations. Granted, just a little, because VO2max, like the standing vertical jump, is one of those physical abilities that doesn't improve much with training. Go ahead, look it up.

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