Thursday, June 20, 2013

Crazy CrossFit #1 - Stupid Shit gives the community a bad name

WTF are you doing?? THIS is fitness?
Let me preface this short article with the fact that I love CrossFit programming - I love the constant variation and combination of lifting, body weight and non-standard exercises (kettlebells, HSPU, sled pulls, etc). I wanted to get that in there because, while I love the idea of CrossFit, sometimes the community of CrossFit is bat-shit crazy. 

Whether it's on high from CFHQ or is just percolated by a need for "one-up-manship", some of the crap that goes on out there by CrossFit trainers is pretty flipping horrendous.

It's not that I dislike the programming style; it's that people take it too far. Da fak is this guy doing? Hula hoop for time? CrossFit circa 2009 was at the top of its game - they had people like Robb Wolf, Greg Everett, John Sheaffer, Mark Rippetoe, CrossFit Football (Power Athlete HQ)Gym Jones (Twight) and a number of other highly skilled, highly educated (former) supporters of the movement. Today they have Reebok and Dave Castro.

Keep it up, Dave. Your spine is not yet splattered across that back wall.
Meaningful, thought provoking advice from the people who bring you shoes:

I don't intend for these posts to be as controversial as, say Beast Modal Domains or anything like that. I interview CrossFitters, I support the methodology and even incorporate CrossFit into my training - but I do not believe for a second it's the only thing keeping me and my followers in shape. 

Technique and skill trumps high rep, low weight every time. Efficacy in moving the weight around should come first and foremost - and that is a message that many CF trainers and MOST new CrossFitters fail to grasp. The newest CrossFitters today are coming into the programming through crap like this:

Or from having watched the CF Games (which I generally watch as well, mind you). The problem with these is they place NO emphasis on the training required to successfully and realistically accomplish these movements.

On top of that, we have people with literally no fitness background "training" other people to focus on speed or weight over function! How beneficial is it going to be to a client if they get that "Rx" by hurting themselves and then being out of training for three weeks???

The bottom line is: the "community" has exploded in the last few years with little or no controls over how the methodology is interpreted by the average box owner. If I were "king for a day" at CFHQ, I would re-assess how affiliates are established by creating a "Level 2" program that required some educational background in the area of physiology, exercise science, sports science (or the like). Make this level 2 a requirement for establishing an affiliate and allow level 1s to be the trainers there. Build foundations, not a house of cards.

That, of course, would severely curtail the $3,000 affiliate fee revenue stream for HQ.

The methodology is effective, but the community continually does stupid shit that undermines any legitimacy the program hopes to find.

Finally - if you're reading this and you feel like I'm slamming you, read it again. I'm not. The community is the basis for WHY CrossFit is a successfully marketed enterprise. It's not unique in the sense that the "snatch" or kettlebell work are new and epic elements of fitness. It's foundation is the community....and right now that community is a little bit out of control.

If you're saying to yourself "Hey, I fall into that category!", you probably should re-assess what you're doing at your box. Take a little bit of time to educate yourself on the physiology of the human body; learn a little about the functions of fitness and the effects of exercise on the body. Don't take your CF cert and think it's the end-all, be-all of your fitness education. It SHOULD BE used as a doorway to further your knowledge and awareness.

Parting Shot: if you have to spend a good portion of your time defending your fitness program, you're either doing it wrong, or there's some room for change and improvement. Which do you think it is?

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