Friday, April 9, 2010

Don't mean to make you cross..

Ok.. the crossfit thing. I am truely torn with crossfit. I think complexes are a great way to get in shape. I think a lot more people in the general population need to learn to work hard, learn technical lifts and move their body through space. I think that crossfit is a brand name for doing all of these things really well.
However in my opinion there are some real weaknesses with crossfit as it is written on the main site:
As the old saying goes if you don't know where you're going then any road will get you there. This works both ways, if you just take random turns then you could be going somewhere but more than likely you'll end up nowhere. I think once a person reaches a certain level of fitness they should have goals, and you cannot reach goals without specificity. Those folks are avoiding specificity, so then you can't really say you're working towards your goals, you're just working.

For the majority of the population there needs to be a corrective component to exercise. People are unhealthy they are in a constant state of asymptomatic injury, if you load them without correction they become symptomatic very quickly.

Just because something is hard to do, or makes you really tired does not mean that it has physiological benefit. Single legged overhead squats for example. I am all for single leg movements, and I am all for loading them as much as you can handle, but a single leg movement with the center of gravity extended so far above your center quickly becomes a trick and not an exercise.

Which brings us to 'gaming' the workouts. Crossfitters care about 'score' either reps for time, or time for the workout. Not that that is a bad thing, seeking constant improvement and having standards are great things.. however it should never be at the cost of strict form. Excessive kipping on pull-ups, or shortening range of motion is doing a different exercise, and more to the point those exercises have those parameters for a reason. So raise your standards.. even if it lowers your score.

I am all for cross fit as GPP, and it is great for challenging yourself for a day or a month or more, but as a training modality its lows are too high and it's highs are too low, and it Just doesn't get you anywhere.

1 comment:

Jesse said...

Word. I too am a big fan of complexes. I am not a fan of overly technical lifts incorporated into conditioning workouts though.

I was talking to a person in my department (late 40's, not in the best shape) who attended a beginner boot camp class with a gym trainer. He said he was super sore and asked me if I'd ever worked with Kettlebells. I told him that I liked KB's quite a bit and I use them from time to time.

I asked him what they did in the class because so much of KB work involves swinging, which might not be appropriate in an untrained group.

He blew my mind when he told me they did double overhead KB squats. I can't for the life of me fathom that they were ready for that.

And yes, word on the sacrificing quality for a time or rep mark. With our group we usually use 10 reps as a goal with the caveat of "do as many reps as you can do correctly."

Nice post man. One of the many reasons why I trust you as a source of information.