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.