Thursday, December 19, 2013

The good, the bad, and the ugly of crossfit.

I posted an article on my LinkedIn page a few weeks ago by Mark Rippetoe on "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly of CrossFit." It provoked quite a little debate there. I'm a fan of CrossFit and think that with good coaching and some structure it's an immensely powerful tool for getting fit and strong. For the general public and their fitness needs, I believe it's an appropriate modality (again I must add: with good coaching and progression). If you're at all intrigued by CrossFit, or curious about it, be sure to read the article below. Below is from my LinkedIn page:

  • CrossFit has become an incredibly successful business model. Here's an interesting article contrasting CrossFit: The Business Model and CrossFit: The Methodology.

    •  [Commentator #1] The only thing more trendy than Cross Fit, is people bagging on it. Not really anything interesting in the article. Just like in cycling, there are good coaches who know what is up, and there are idiots with low end certification who have no clue. All fast growing business experience growing pains. It just cracks me up how people need to bag on Cross Fit for what ever reason. less 15d ago

    • [Commentator #2] I thought the article offered a pretty balanced view of the pros and cons of CrossFit. Anything that gets people motivated and moving = good stuff. No, it's not "training" in the true sense of the word, but the definition is not paramount. My worry is about the low-end "trainers" who could cause more harm than good. Interesting article. Thanks for sharing Hugh! less 14d ago
    • Hugh MacEachran
Hugh MacEachran CrossFit is frank and unapologetic about producing generalists. Their emphasis is on what they call General Physical Preparedness (GPP). Strength and power are the cup, everything else is what you put in it. Rippetoe is a well known and credible character in the strength and conditioning community so his opinion matters. He's right in that CrossFit in and of itself won't produce specialists (weightlifters in this case). CJ will agree, however, that when you couple CrossFit with more specific "training" (cycling in CJ's case) the results can be impressive. Since Rip' specializes in weight lifting, he'll obviously be biased in that direction. less 13d ago

    • [Commentator #3] I have a very mixed feelings about CrossFit. I definitely thing that people who compete in CrossFit games are in excellent shape but I also think that as not a good a way to promote fitness and general health. It is not systematic enough and too dangerous for most people. A truly good training program should aim at stimulating your body (muscles, ligaments, cardio vascular system, and of course prepare you mentally) so that the change and progress could occur. CrossFit instead is showcasing their toughness aiming to achieve total and complete annihilation of your body. A good workout is not the one that gets your tired or makes you feel pain, but rather causes progress in your development. less 12d ago

    • [Commentator #3] CrossFit is a good way to test people fitness level but a very poor way to get then in shape. 12d ago

    • Hugh MacEachran
Hugh MacEachran Alexander, your point is well made. However, that's all in the coaching, not in the exercise modality. A good coach, CrossFit or otherwise, will prescribe the most appropriate skill and intensity level for the client. Good CrossFit boxes with good coaching have "on-ramp" programs that steadily, slowly ramp people up to the point where their skill, strength and fitness level can handle the load. CrossFit is infinitely scalable and that's one of the beautiful elements of the model. less 12d ago

  • [Commentator #3] Hugh, you are right. And just like with every rule there are exceptions. I 100% agree that with a good coach who will recognize the developmental needs of an athlete people can get good results. The only problem that I see is vast majority of people who are doing it are not that good. Fundamentally CrossFit was created a way to train military and law enforcement professionals who are supposedly already in a good enough shape. For an average person this style of training poses great risk of injury. I would argue that a traditional strength training protocol would be more appropriate for most beginners while CrossFit should be left for competition when the foundation is already built. less 12d ago

I'd be interested to hear your thoughts too!

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