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Thread: Critiquing CrossFit

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    Senior Member Baphomet3's Avatar
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    Default Critiquing CrossFit

    Here's former CF nutrition guru Rob Wolfe giving his take on why he (and Rip, and Everett, and others) split with CrossFit and what he thinks of the organization as a whole.


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    Member boonebaker's Avatar
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    I've never been a fan of CrossFit - never actually tried it though. I do remember reading a long article critiquing it about a year ago in one of the magazines I get (Men's Health, Men's Fitness, Muscle & Fitness, etc.) and I've had numerous times where I wanted to cite it in an argument but I've since forgotten which issue and magazine it was in.
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    Member CatSmasher's Avatar
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    Did you catch Rob on the Rogan podcast? The guy is a wealth of knowledge

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    Also, this is an institutional critique. Its about ****ty coaching and management, not specifically the workouts or philosophy more generally. My gym has a foundations course, three months long, including 4 one on one sessions.

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    Member warriorsoul's Avatar
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    I don't have sound right now so I'll have to check it out later but I did see Alan Belcher kind of dogging crossfit in one of his vlogs which got me curious as to why some people don't seem to like it, I've never been to a crossfit gym but I'm a big fan of combining different strength and anaerobic type exercises into a shorter more intense workout, that's what I assume it's kinda about

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    Senior Member Baphomet3's Avatar
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    For me, the primary critiques are that there is no mechanism for quality control or sound programming. Some are better than others. Outlaw. CFFB. Even some of our local boxes are quite good. But in general, and I've seen examples of this, it's the wild west and a lot of these box owners were mowing lawns and washing cars a few months ago and their idea of programming is to copy/paste the WOD from the main site, which, a good deal of the time, is nonsensical tripe.

    More specifically, I've found a pretty serious lack of methodology and knowledge regarding the treatment of special populations, training styles, progressive overload, conjugate methods, starting strength, and other basic progressions that are proven to improve technique, power, mobility, and athleticism. Can I get stronger doing crossfit? Yes, if I'm a novice. Can I ride crossfit to a double body weight squat, an explosive, elegant snatch, or a 350 lb bench press? No. Not without significant genetic fortune and pre-existing athletic aptitude bordering on professionalism.

    Can the owner/trainer at random box 371 correct my postural, range of motion, and strength imbalances? Identify potential for injury and make programming/technical adjustments? Scale, modify, and program for my unique kinesthetic needs and history of injury?

    Are there even models in place to address this kind of thing?

    Or has it become some cult of machochistic assholes hell-bent on puking and contracting rhabdomyolosis to prove how big their dicks are?

    And the tradgedy here, which Wolfe pointed to, is that no other vehicle or organization in a generation has had so much potential to fundamentally transform the culture of the nation and truly address issues of obesity, wellness, quality of life, and fitness in such an effective way. It may be the great calamity of our age that our one and best chance to get healthy was hijacked by ego and elietism and ex-military toolsheds with a pain fetish.

    So, it's very conflicted. I actually like crossfit quite a bit and borrow heavily from their core concepts, particularly some of their early programming models, but I also believe that Glassman and Castro are ego mainiacal tyrants, drunk on cult staus, and that a fairly substancial swath of the community has lost sight of the values and principles that made this thing special in exchange for some hero-worshiping, cheerleading, beat-down orgy.
    Last edited by Baphomet3; 12-11-2012 at 12:34 PM.

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    Member CatSmasher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Baphomet3 View Post
    For me, the primary critiques are that there is no mechanism for quality control or sound programming. Some are better than others. Outlaw. CFFB. Even some of our local boxes are quite good. But in general, and I've seen examples of this, it's the wild west and a lot of these box owners were mowing lawns and washing cars a few months ago and their idea of programming is to copy/paste the WOD from the main site, which, a good deal of the time, is nonsensical tripe.

    More specifically, I've found a pretty serious lack of methodology and knowledge regarding the treatment of special populations, training styles, progressive overload, conjugate methods, starting strength, and other basic progressions that are proven to improve technique, power, mobility, and athleticism. Can I get stronger doing crossfit? Yes, if I'm a novice. Can I ride crossfit to a double body weight squat, an explosive, elegant snatch, or a 350 lb bench press? No. Not without significant genetic fortune and pre-existing athletic aptitude bordering on professionalism.

    Can the owner/trainer at random box 371 correct my postural, range of motion, and strength imbalances? Identify potential for injury and make programming/technical adjustments? Scale, modify, and program for my unique kinesthetic needs and history of injury?

    Are there even models in place to address this kind of thing?

    Or has it become some cult of machochistic assholes hell-bent on puking and contracting rhabdomyolosis to prove how big their dicks are?

    And the tradgedy here, which Wolfe pointed to, is that no other vehicle or organization in a generation has had so much potential to fundamentally transform the culture of the nation and truly address issues of obesity, wellness, quality of life, and fitness in such an effective way. It may be the great calamity of our age that our one and best chance to get healthy was hijacked by ego and elietism and ex-military toolsheds with a pain fetish.
    great post.

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    I'm 6+ minutes in and i love what this guy is saying. This has been my biggest complaint with Crossfit the whole time. Too many people get injured trying to instantly keep up with people that have been doing circuit training for a long time. Many of the injuries are long terms ones that they will not discover until it's too late. The need to brag about puking and rattle off the list of injuries is so ass backwards. It really is a great way to motivate people and get in shape, but many of the complaints above scare away people that can really use that type of training.
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    Senior Member conk2000's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CatSmasher View Post
    Did you catch Rob on the Rogan podcast? The guy is a wealth of knowledge
    I second this. Its almost a requirement to listen to that podcast if you care about nutrition/training at all.
    "The gods we worship write their names on our faces, be sure of that. And a person will worship something, have no doubt about that, either. One may think that tribute is paid in secret, in the dark recesses of his or her heart, but it is not. That which dominates imagination and thoughts will determine life and character. Therefore, it behooves us to be careful what we are worshiping, for what we are worshiping we are becoming."
    -RALPH WALDO EMERSON

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    Senior Member Baphomet3's Avatar
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    Slightly off-topic, but visiting with some relatives over the holidays, two of which are serious endurance athletes and competitive marathoners, whom are both now seriously injured due to their training. In preperation for marathons they accumulate upward of 50 miles/week of running, which takes a tremendous toll on the heart, the joints, the ligaments, as well as creatin significant imbalances in the musculature of the jegs which can lead to muscle tears and worse.

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