I don’t usually care about people posting ‘CrossFit Sucks’ kinds of comments and articles to their feeds– everyone is allowed their opinions.
But then a friend posted this article: “Why I Don’t Do CrossFit” and I kind of went off the rails; so here is my response to this article. It’s sad that there are those of us who think it’s needed to respond, but I really don’t appreciate a naysayer who had one bad experience ruin it for the rest of us.
Go ahead and give this guy a read. He attempts some good points. However, his thoughts don’t really carry much weight for those of us who have had a lot of success at CrossFit.
This guy obviously had a bad experience at a box and that affiliate obviously thought they were doing OK even though they were injuring their athletes. Most boxes have coaches that care about their athletes and members. If you cannot do the movement with great form, you are told to lower the weights and/or modify the movement. Too many people were getting injured by kipping their pull ups at my gym, so it was enforced that you must do strict first before learning the kip. Not once have I ever been yelled at by a coach. This guy was in the Navy– he should be used to be yelled at…but that’s a stereotypical thing to say… isn’t it?
The response of “Oly lifts shouldn’t be used in the way CrossFit uses it” isn’t really all that accurate anyway– with good form, one can rep out 30 Clean and Jerks and not feel like they’re dying the following day. Normal muscle fatigue is -wait for it- normal in the lats, the traps, the shoulders, the abs and the mid-back because those are the muscle groups you’re focusing on when doing those two movements.
I’d also like to add that Olympic Weightlifter and medalist Kendrick Farris can do Isabel (30 Snatches) with a very respectable time and he didn’t wait a ton of time before his next reps. And his form was perfect on every single one.
Repeatedly distressing your muscles is exactly what it means to be exercising, so CrossFit is perfect for that.
“Very few of them [coaches] have any real knowledge of proper form” clearly this isn’t true, because in that weekend of L1 testing, they go through WODs, they are tested individually, they learn the most minute details of a movement. I’ve been following a girl on Instagram who spent MONTHS studying for her L1.
CrossFit does not set you up for injury to begin with. People who do not do the movements properly are set up to injure themselves. People who are idiots and think they can rock out that deadlift with a rounded back and poor form are setting themselves up for injury.
He sums CrossFitters up to being part of a herd mentality with no more motivation than belonging to a gym to feel like they’re part of an elitist group who think it’s OK to be injured while working out.
So now here’s my rebuttal: In 2 years of CrossFit and eating Paleo, I dropped 50 pounds, gained about 15 pounds of muscle, lost at least 20% body fat, have lost two pant sizes, three dress sizes, and at one point was down 2-3 shirt sizes (broad shoulders brought me back up a size!). I have only been injured due to 2 early discs, both pre-existing from 8 years prior from improperly lifting a massive box of books, which herniated after a deadlift (a movement I rarely do because of the risk), and tripping over my own two feet jogging to the rower and spraining my ankle. My knees click which is nothing to be worried about and squatting makes them feel better.
I sleep like a fricking baby at night and I have never felt so good about GOING to the gym than I do when I go to Badger CrossFit. I have tried doing the whole ‘globo gym’ thing and it was awful. I didn’t last a month.
Finally, he blockquotes a simple sentence from “Science of Running” stating, “We get stale, we stop improving our our body breaks down.”
I’ve been consistently going to BCF for two years, three-to-four times a week. When I first started, my Power clean was 60 pounds. My snatch was 35 pounds. My deadlift was 125. I had no double unders for over a year and my mile row was almost 8 minutes.
As of April, I can hang-power-clean 125 pounds. I can snatch 80 pounds. I almost have a bodyweight deadlift. I can string 32 double unders together and I have a 4:30 mile row.
The coaches are phenomenal. All are so supportive and know so much about CrossFit and kinesiology and the best way to get the most out of every workout.
I’ve been to gyms where it’s a meathead mentality and I obviously didn’t go again. I got lucky when I showed up at BCF for my first intro class. Boyfriend has been to another gym, more local to me, where they cared more about working you to puking than getting a value out of the WOD. I can proudly say that the only time I puked after a WOD was when I had stomach flu.
He closes with a question: “Do you want a broken body?…[Or] do you want to train smart?”
Yes. That’s why I CrossFit. My body was broken two years ago. Now it’s not. Now my thighs are strong, my form is great, my lungs and heart are healthier than ever and I am eating clean, training dirty- just as it should be.
Oh hi! Welcome back! I’d love to say I’ve been crazy busy but really, I’ve just be working so much that I don’t have time to think about writing for myself; especially when I write all day every day at work.
So I’m back. I promise. I’m also finally back into the groove of working out regularly after all the medical drama is over and all my stress and family obligations are also over.
I am working every day this month except for one day. Literally. I have one day off in January and it’s this Saturday. It’s coming at the perfect time because I’m exhausted and stressed and generally punchy and unable to find enough coffee to drink during the day.
Here’s a little bit of randomness to bring you up to speed on my last few months of quiet-time.
I’ve been making time to get to CrossFit but it’s about that time that everyone signs up for class so I get on the waitlist, resign myself to not working out and then, an hour before class I get the email saying I got in, only for me to realize that I haven’t had any water that day and I’m exhausted and oh I just got this shitload of work to do.
I made some CrossFit goals this year:
Bodyweight Deadlift (only 20 pounds short)
125# Clean and Jerk (I’m at 100 so far)
125# Back and front squat (115 and 95 each currently)
100# Push press (I think I’m currently at 80)
20 pounds lost from my body. I’ve gained 10 this year after losing the 50, which I know is normal, but I want it gone again. 170 is my final goal.
Last week was Benchmark week and, while I was feeling a bit under the weather and work was crazy, so I didn’t make it in until Wednesday for DT and Back Squat 1RM.
My all-time PR, from when I was still 234 pounds, was 115 pounds. When I lost 40 of the 50 pounds, six months later, I went down to 105 pounds. This past Wednesday, I finally went back up to 130. One goal down!
I also PRed DT by 3 minutes. Three months ago I put 65 pounds on the bar and finished in 15 minutes flat. I kept the 65 pounds and finished in 11:40. I was exceptionally happy even if my hands were in so much pain. The grip dies after about round two. I was still really happy.
I stayed out of the box on Thursday for church and sleep and went back on Friday for Deadlift 1RM and FRAN.
The Deadlift was great! My ultimate goal is to get bodyweight but 170 seemed really hard. When I finally made it up to 180, my form fell apart but I got the weight up without rounding my back. In 3 months, when we do it again, I really want to make it up to 190, meaning I’ll have more than a bodyweight deadlift if we go with my most recent low-weight, though I’ve gained some of the 50 pounds back.
I really strongly dislike Fran and not because she’s tough, but because I suck at both of the movements. I am not getting better with my pull ups and my thrusters are really low because we almost never do them. I was also dehydrated and tired and sore from doing the Deadlifts so, while my time three months ago with 45 pounds was 7:02, I finished in a piddly 9:48 and was not happy with myself. What a disaster.
Now, On the Paleo Front:
I fell apart during the holiday and didn’t really limit myself to eating what I wanted because it would simply be too hard and I was cooking most of the foods anyway so it was a bit of 100% paleo 80% of the time. But, by the first, I was ready to get back on the wagon and I did hardcore.
But. I soon realized how sensitive my body has become since I went Paleo. I was having dinner with my best friend on Friday at Chilis and had a Santa Fe Chicken Salad with a picante ranch dressing that usually is fine with me, but for some reason, an hour after finishing eating, I was in the bathroom with some awesome lactose reaction-ing. At least I felt skinny when going back to the table? So I’ve officially decided not to eat at Chilis anymore. Which makes me sad because I love their foods, but I just can’t make it happen anymore, I guess.
I’ve still been doing really well, though I may be dealing with some carb flu, which has always had a bit of a latent reaction for me. I’ve been ornery and have a headache every morning and wahh. I’m drinking coffee and taking tylenol and generally hiding away in a dark office and dark apartment and dark. Just lots of dark.
I have officially come to realize how much my body has changed. You ready?
It’s amazing how much the body can change in a year and a half. I am so proud of myself.
Weight at the beginning of the year: 196 lbs. Goal by the end of the year? 170 pounds. 26 pounds to go!
The title is the tag. I can’t wait for a full weekend of CROSSFIT!
Boyfriend and I board a plane on Wednesday afternoon to LAX and the home of the CrossFit Games, The StubHub Center on the campus of USC: Dominguez Hill.
25,000 people will be there
90 men, women and teams will compete to become the fittest in the world
I will be there
I will be knitting
So. On the CrossFit front: I’ve been doing plenty, but haven’t for a week as I’ve been doing a sort of CrossFit: Functional fitness. I’ve been moving apartments and I’ve been doing quite a bit of lifting, boxing, sorting, etc. with help from Boyfriend, best friend and Mom. I’m currently wrapped in Kinetic tape on three spots. It’s working, too, which makes me very happy.
We had 1 rep max a couple weeks ago and I did pretty good! I PRed my Deadlift (170), Bench Press (70), Clean and Jerk (95) and Snatch (75). Everything was at least a 10 pound PR, which made me really happy. I am also so close to bodyweight Deadlift, so I’m hoping that by the time we do 1RM again in three months, I’ll get it.
On the Paleo front, I recently made sweet potato brownies from Again Faster and took them into work. By the end of the day I had eaten 6 (I was hormonal, what can I say!) and everyone was asking me for the recipe. I even made them with agave nectar so my boss could eat them as she’s preggo.
Other than that, I’ve been working like crazy, knitting some and trying not to freak out over the smallest things. I have only two days of work before Boyfriend and I make our way to California.
So: The Knit/Crochet-a-long:
6 days, starting Midnight on the 22nd, until Midnight on the 28th. Knit something; anything. We are all on Ravelry to post pictures, offer encouragement, and be each others’ judges and coaches. We’re going for no DNFs. As I am the only one attending the actual Games, I’m going with something simple so I’ve picked up skein of Malabrigo Rios to mix with Wintry Mix Plucky Knitter. I’ll do random stripes in just stockinette as it’ll be a quick knit as well as a fun set of colors. I expect there will be plenty of funny looks but I don’t care. I’m so excited to be going again! See you all on ESPN 2 and 3!!
I’m off to my apartment to ice my sore back from picking up countless boxes. Then I get to go unload them.
So it’s been a while since I last wrote because I’ve not been in the right state of mind to write. I’ve been in a bit of a funk and I know I should be writing if I’m in a funk because I’ve been WODding but my funk has been affecting my workouts but… you know…
Tonight kicked my butt. After signing up for 4 WODs this week, I saw this post from Coach:
Be sure you are hydrated, well fed (before you come), and rested for tomorrow’s workout… That is all.
I almost thought about canceling my reservation but Boyfriend assured me it would be fun (he says that all the time, and then he does a WOD and says it sucks) and I would do great.
I spent the entire day today nervous, terrified even, especially when someone posted that the WOD was Whitten, a Hero WOD meant to break someone effectively.
5 rounds for time
22 kettle bell swings
22 box jumps
400m run (500m row)
22 wall balls
I drank copious amounts of water, ate a good lunch, snacked on an apple around 4 and tried to not think about how it’s going to be insane and how the hell am I going to be able to do this WOD in the prescribed time?
I warmed up quickly after getting changed. I saw people with pained expressions, panting, shaking their heads and I knew what my fate was about to be. I was not looking forward to this.
We started right away. I grabbed a 25 pound Kettle Bell and a 10 pound medicine ball and the rower since my ankles are still messed up. Squats felt good so I figured I could get through the wall balls pretty well. My back was a little tweaky but I was going to ignore it as much as possible.
3, 2, 1…GO and the bell felt light for the first 21. I kept pace but slowed down during the box jumps as I do step-ups (Still scared of the stupid box…) Then the row took its toll since it’s 100 meters longer than the other people’s run and rowing takes a lot more work than running in my opinion. Burpees were burpees and the wall balls were strung in 6s and 7s so I was happy.
The wall balls became my rest period. I pussed out and switched to the 20 pound kettlebell and it was super easy but I was able to get through them quickly enough to move onto the step-ups. The row was hell every single time and the burpees tweaked my back a little further with every pike.
Technically, the class had a time-cap of 47 minutes but I told Coach Robb I was going to keep going even if he said ‘time!’ I was in the middle of the last set of my step ups when time was called and I’ll be damned if I get stuck on the time cap and have to settle for a DNF like I’ve done before.
My medicine ball was picked up and I barked at someone (unintentionally) to grab me a new one and then thanked her dearly when she brought it over. I hid behind a set of boxes and finished my burpees while everyone cooled down and did my wall balls with crazy timing.
55:10 and I hit the floor almost as fast as the ball falling to the floor. I laid on the floor for a good few minutes before finally getting up and hobbling to the whiteboard to write down my time (with an exclamation mark, thank you very much!) all ready to come back tomorrow.
My back cramped up pretty hardcore on the way home but I am now full of meatloaf (tomorrow’s post) at one with my couch and will be for a good amount of time.
So in conclusion, thank you for your service and sacrifice, Whitten. Your family was blessed to be a part of your life and I’m glad we could continue your legacy by commemorating you today.