What Is CrossFit?
What is Crossfit training? Crossfit is a new wave in the world of fitness. It has taken the industry by storm and is rapidly rising in popularity. It seems as though nowadays, you can find a CrossFit gym or “box” as those in the industry call them pretty much in every city. There is so much hyperbole swirling CrossFit every day, you wonder what is fiction and what is the reality. If you believed everything out of cross fitters mouths, everyone should repent for their training stupidity and jump on board now. Crossfit is a hybrid workout between many types of training blended into one system. It is quite literally supposed to make you the jack of all trades and the master of none. So you become proficient in most facets of training but become exceptional in none. So let’s dive into it so we can determine what it is and what it’s not. We will understand what is good and what is bad.
When people ask “what is CrossFit training?”, many images come to mind. The number one thing about CrossFit is that it has mobilized many people who weren’t currently exercising. It was marketed excellently and therefore, caught fire quickly with the masses. It is a great form of exercise for many as it blends multiple movements that are functional and develop overall body strength and endurance. It changes training stimulus quite often so people don’t get bored. The WOD (workout of the day) gives people challenges to perform a given workout more quickly. There is a lot of support and comradery, thus providing a lot of motivation in these gyms. Overall, it is a positive influence in the field of fitness.
One of the main things about CrossFit that is not good is that it lacks any form of periodization. The number one parameter they use to measure things is time. Did you do the workout in x amount of time? This leads to inherent dangers such as using poor form and cutting corners to cut down on time. This increases the injury potential a great deal. The other major shortcoming is exactly the mantra that they live by, non-specificity. To be suited for a sport, CrossFit will fall short most of the time unless it’s for CrossFit. I was speaking to my neighbor one-night grilling over the fence. He happened to coach football at one of the local catholic schools. I was very familiar with their program and they went 0-9 the season before. He told me the kids loved going to the box his buddy owned and that they did Crossfit: Football Specific. I said, well isn’t that kind of an oxymoron considering that the system of CrossFit is built on non-specificity? Then he said, “how so?”. I said how can something be specific when it’s part of a non-specific modality?” He said I am not sure. I told him that is why it is bad for football. To finish my statement, I said “If you ever played DLS (the school that I trained many kids from locally), my players will rape your kids for 48 minutes. They are built to play football, all power, and speed. That is why I don’t like CrossFit for athletes.
Conclusion: What Is CrossFit?
CrossFit is in many ways a cult-like organization. They circle the wagons when attacked and they are often offensive toward other training styles. What makes me laugh is that CrossFit is what it is. Nothing more and nothing less. It is a style of training that is based on non-specificity as its central theme. Is it the best way to train? Yes, if you want to be good at CrossFit. Very few sports are right in the center of the spectrum between pure power and pure endurance. That’s what it will basically do. Make you very average at most qualities along the spectrum. It’s funny because cross fitters will take NFL football players through a CrossFit workout to show their superiority. I hate to burst you bubble cross fitters, you would all fare poorly putting on football uniforms and trying to play football with the pros. They would even destroy the CrossFit poster boy Rich Fronning. Just as a Cross fitter would get destroyed by an Olympic lifter, a marathon runner, of a power lifter or even a bodybuilder in their given disciplines. Beating someone at something you do isn’t all that remarkable; it just makes you better at practicing your given discipline. Let’s call it what it really is, a well-marketed system that makes people who practice it feel as though they are hard-core. I can appreciate it as a style of exercise, but enough with all the “best” workout crap. Maybe next time, I will delve into the high injury rates involved in this style of training. Until then, peace.