I will not pretend that the CrossFit community has implemented the professionalism that would preclude us from being the subject of such attacks. However, I also will not sit back and watch as the masses descend upon an opportunity to attack something that is changing lives.
What people outside of our community fail to understand is that we are 99% life changing and 1% douche bag. Yeah, the long sock wearing, t-shirt lacking, head band sporting d-bag is the one sharing his videos on YouTube and Facebook. Unfortunately that means that is what the world sees and therefore assumes is what takes place on a daily basis.
Want to know what is not on YouTube? Men and women getting off of the couch for the first time in years or maybe ever. People making fundamental changes to their lives that will allow them to have a higher quality of living. A community that carries its own through tough times inside and outside of the gym. A group of people who come together to support causes unrelated to fitness.
There are generally two types of CrossFit critiques: personal trainer/CSCS holders; And the skinny fat/terminally lazy crowd.
Follow me here. Party #1 is extremely frustrated that their overpriced services are no longer being sought after because a group of people are meeting in a bare bones warehouse in the back of an industrial complex. The personal training and strength and conditioning communities have failed to adapt (IN GENERAL! THERE ARE PLENTY OF INCREDIBLE PERSONAL TRAINERS AND STRENGTH AND CONDITIONING SPECIALISTS OUT THERE! They are generally the ones not running their mouth with anti-CrossFit propaganda because, like any educated individual, they understand everything has its place in the world) and clients are becoming aware of a more efficient way.
Party #2 is so mad that their sorority sister or frat brother is no longer out late Thursday through Saturday night drinking until 2am every weekend. They are frustrated that people can make choice to change even when it is a tough choice. Instead of accepting the fact that their friend has made a choice to get better they get mean. And i mean really really mean. There is nothing worse then a skinny fat girl whose best friend starts CrossFit. “You’re gonna get bulky!” or “Your arms are starting to get manly…” are not uncommon statements in this scenario.
And the boys are just as bad. But it goes a different way. Generally a lot of bragging about their ability to crush everything we do without any evidence to support it. Your quarter ass back squat is less than my girlfriends ass to grass front squat so just keep it to yourself. Nobody believes your story bro.
Before I pick a part the blog that was literally written just to generate website traffic (and it definitely succeeded!) I do want to mention that I understand where criticism may come from. But what I do not understand is why it is specific to CrossFit. There are plenty of certifications out there that are much less extensive than the CF L1. There are plenty of personal trainers who are having their clients do irresponsible things.
And what’s worse, there are too many strength and conditioning personalities having their clients stay above parallel in the squat. This alone should have people up in arms! Want to not walk when your 40? Throw 400# on your back and do some quarter squats.
And why is it that nobody assumes responsibility for the epidemic of ACL injuries among female athletes? Why are strength and conditioning specialists not held accountable for failing to strengthen the legs of these athletes? Or teaching them how to plant and drive laterally? (“Loaded knee faults are FAR less traumatic when they don’t also carry a rotational/valgus force (feet forward not feet turned out). When you see athletes and kids dynamically load and land like ducks, red flags should go off in your head. Squatting makes you better at life and sport.”-K Star)
Understand something here, technique comes before weight and speed each and every time. That is instilled in us at the Level 1, it is discussed in any journal article about programming and any coach worth his salt inside and outside of this specific community will stand by that. If you do not have the technique you do not get the green light to bang weight and fly. It’s as simple as that.
Alrighty, now let’s have some fun. Here are some of my favorite quotes with a little insight into each (Here’s The Original Post):
“Secondly, the workout was going to have deadlifts, which I had never done and to this day I still don’t do them”
You are speaking more to the shortcomings of your own education and experience here. You will soon go on to discuss how extensive your background is in fitness and yet you never managed to understand or execute deadlifts, and even worse, you don’t understand the usefulness of this incredible lift in your training? I am not suggesting everyone must pull heavy deads, but to not utilize deadlifts in any capacity is very short sighted. Unless you are planning on never picking anything up off of the floor, the deadlift is an incredibly useful movement pattern to practice and perfect.
“I was constantly yelled at to go faster, to take shortcuts, and to do movements that previous injuries precluded me from.”
Ummmmm….. bullshit! What does it sound like to be told to take a short cut? “Don’t worry about getting your chin over the bar!” or “Don’t stand all the way up with the bar!” It is hard to imagine this is what you were hearing. But at this point we realize you have embellished the story so why pick it apart any further? Now what you are probably doing is poking fun at the movements you were executing, specifically the kipping pull up. After all, the super cool thing to do is to cry and cry about the shortcomings of the kipping pull up (guess what, i have multiple women that can do more strict pull ups than you as well! WHAT?!). Even in the most poorly run boxes I have never heard a coach tell someone to take short cuts, if only because it would mean you had a chance to beat his stupid time. D bag coaches don’t like you crushing their WODs dude!
“I should have known better that the thruster combination of cleans and push press shouldn’t be done for speed/time, but I did it anyway.”
Yep, because squatting and pressing could never be incorporated together. What are we even saying here? Why on earth could I not squat, stand, and press with some pace? Where is this inherently dangerous? Sure, if I collapse into the hole, stand up through my toes and then half moon the bar around my big stupid face then pace is not a good option nor is weight. But executed properly, the thruster can be done safely with weight by even the most inexperienced lifter.
“Never once, in the 5 years I was at Florida State University working out with a 3 time back-to-back national championship team, did my strength coaches give me a workout sheet that told me to do Olympic or Power lifts for time. Never once did they give me a workout that told me to do sets of 15, 20, or 30 Olympic or Power lifts. Never once did they tell me to do as many as I possibly could. Never once in the nearly 2 years I’ve been at A&M working for a men’s 4-time national championship track and field team and women’s 3-time national championship team, have these things occurred. Why? Because Olympic and power lifts are not meant to be done in sets of 30 or for time.”
Actually, sweetheart, the reason your coach never asked you to do that was because you were in sport specific training, and, depending on the race you ran (I believe you were a track athlete), the physiological demands varied greatly. If I am coaching a competitive volleyball player, the snatch is not going to be much of a friend to us. In fact shoulder to overhead work in general may be avoided altogether. The point being that when you are specifically training for a sport then there are changes made to what you would be asked to do. But when you are training to be generally fit, those same accommodations need not be made. So to say because your coach did not ask you to do it means nobody should do it is again short sighted and a little silly.
I know there have been studies done (and there was an “article” published) but just as I know that studies I disagree with are flawed, I am also aware that means studies I do agree with may be flawed as well. So I will rely on practical application. With proper technique and proper weight, 30 clean and jerks or 30 power snatches are good to go. They are a great indicator of a persons ability to generate power which really is a measure of our fitness. Yes, the old days of rounded back “Grace” are in my memory as well. And no, that was never an ok thing to see or do. But that goes for anything. If I play sports like a dumbass then I am not going to gain any benefit and probably get injured. No ones fault but my own!
“CrossFit seems to think that the more pain you are in, whether on that day or the days following the workout, the better. The more you disregard the pain and keep pushing through it, the “tougher” you are. But this is not true, and more importantly, it’s not healthy.”
Fortunately we understand 8-12 minutes is all you really need with an occasional long burner here or there. But that’s right, you also believed the chubby guy on Good Morning America who says we pass out Rhabdo like party favors. “You haven’t done CrossFit until you’ve peed a little brown soda” is what we say!
I have far more people concerned with our workouts being too short than too long. On the rare occasion we exceed 20 minutes during our workouts it is generally to show them how much their fitness has improved.
“Secondly, CrossFit coaches are able to get certified in a weekend…Very few of them have any real knowledge of proper form, which is especially critical for Olympic and Power lifts…most people are doing the lifts and other exercises all wrong and there is no one there to correct them.”
This is like saying that because your blog post was complete bullshit then very few personal trainers tell the truth and most people listening to personal trainers are being misled. Hmmmm, seems like that may be inaccurate as many personal trainers are able to publish credible and useful information quite frequently and many people have learned a ton from them.
The certified in a weekend thing is old news. A CSCS is earned in the comfort of your own home with a text book, and a number of personal training certifications require less than that. If a dude is peddling crap, don’t buy it! When did we become so pathetic? This morning the radio not only warned me about extreme thunderstorms in the area but it also went on to explain what that means, why it would be dangerous and what i should probably do. Im pretty sure just 10 years ago it just beeped, said there was a storm and then returned to the music because it assumed you had the wherewithal to make your own decisions.
Fitness is foreign to most people but that does not mean you are not capable of understanding if you are at a reputable business. Believe me, the fictitious gyms utilized in this blog post would have been lit up on Yelp! if they really existed. And even if you did not have access to the internet to check reviews, a bad coach will rub you the wrong way well before you are put in a dangerous situation. When did society give the ok to not having common sense?
“CrossFit means job security for medical professionals due to the high rate of injury among the ranks of Crossfitters.”
This line is so 2006. Get a new one.
And for anyone buying into it, the rate of injury in running is sky high compared to everything else! The rate of torn ACLs among athletes is sky high as well. But I don’t see that being discussed publicly. You still go for your useless jogs and played your sports.
“This is simply not true and every single thing that I’ve posted in this article refers to EVERY SINGLE GYM THAT FOLLOWS CROSSFIT. There are no exceptions, if you’re following the WODs, it’s not good for you, it’s not safe, and you’re putting your health in danger. Take it for what it’s worth, but please believe that your box is NOT different, no matter what your coach says.”
Are you kidding? Didn’t you’re mother ever teach you that, “there are exceptions to every rule?” So even if there was any weight in what you said, which, by now, there is not, now you’ve definitely lost it. If a thousand monkeys banging in on a thousand typewriters eventually write the works of Shakespeare then surely at least one CrossFit gym has managed to get it right.
The “please believe that your box is NOT different” has to be the best line. Disregard the change in body composition or the increase in self confidence or the reduction of chronic pain or the better standard of living or the better nutritional choices or the better friends you surround yourself with or the higher standards you now live by. Ignore ALL OF THAT because clearly you are wrong.
Yep, seems accurate….