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CrossFit - thoughts?

 
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CrossFit - thoughts? - December 8, 2008 4:07:27 AM   
Lieutenant_Dan

 

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This is not intended to be a trolling post, nor am I looking to start any heated debates.  Just curious if you have heard of CrossFit, and if you have what you think of it.  Full disclosure, I have been involved in CrossFit for about a year and I can honestly say it's the best fitness program I have ever followed.  I have a couple of PT friends who share my passion for CrossFit and a couple of others who think it's a dangerous, cavalier program that is bound to cause countless injuries.

If you have never heard of it, you can check it out at www.crossfit.com
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RE: CrossFit - thoughts? - December 8, 2008 1:48:09 PM   
TexasOrtho


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Dan I'd have to agree with you on this.  It is great, BUT I wonder about its applicability to a broader range of folks.  I can tolerate the intensity of it, but I'd like to find a progression to where someone like my mother or father could.

_____________________________

Rod Henderson, PT
Board Certified Orthopedic Specialist (or Super-Freak)
Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist
Movement Science Podcast and Blog

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RE: CrossFit - thoughts? - December 8, 2008 6:58:17 PM   
MS_PT

 

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Dan,

At our main clinic we have a dedicated crossfit guy and clientele who do crossfit. I love the program, the tabata squats will kick my butt!

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RE: CrossFit - thoughts? - December 9, 2008 5:25:10 AM   
Lieutenant_Dan

 

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Rod,

CrossFit is totally applicable to your mother and father.  It's completely scalable to anybody's ability level.  There are numerous accounts on the website of those in their 60's and beyond who have reached a whole new level of function and fitness as a result of this type of training.  I put my 62 year-old mother-in-law through a couple of workouts.  She bitched and moaned the whole time, but she got the point and in a sick kind of way she probably even enjoyed it a bit.  Okay, maybe "enjoyed" is a bit strong.

I'm surprised that this didn't draw a bit more negative responses.  Again, not that I'm looking to start a fight.

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RE: CrossFit - thoughts? - December 9, 2008 5:26:14 AM   
Lieutenant_Dan

 

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From: Camp Pendleton
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MS PT,

Try tabata medicine ball cleans, those destroy me every time

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RE: CrossFit - thoughts? - December 9, 2008 5:51:22 AM   
TexasOrtho


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Dan I'm always looking for a good fight, but I think I need to revisit CrossFit once again so we are on equal footing.  I've got a guy who wants to run a CrossFit outfit in our area, so I may go join him.  It has raw appeal and some good face validity to the methods.  I think I'll just need to go back and have another look.

_____________________________

Rod Henderson, PT
Board Certified Orthopedic Specialist (or Super-Freak)
Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist
Movement Science Podcast and Blog

(in reply to Lieutenant_Dan)
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RE: CrossFit - thoughts? - March 8, 2009 6:19:18 AM   
coreconcepts

 

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Been a while since I've been to the boards...
This is a hot-button topic in the fitness industry for sure.  I wrote an extensive column on this very subject for a research review publication.  Here's the long and short of it.

We can't paint all crossfiters with the same broad stroke.  There are some great coaches mixed in with many deplorable ones.
Crossfit facilities are ideal  - bars, rings, kettlebells, squat racks, medicine balls - my dream gym.  From this perspective corssfit get it right - straying from many of the most undesirable aspects of the traditional gym (rows and rows of cardio, weight machines, BOSU's etc).
A small segment of the population would likely benefit from crossfit workouts. (athletes in off-season for general prep and cross-training, high fitness level folks with no injuires or movement dysfunctions. 

Now the not-so-great aspects...

Crappy accreditation:  $1000 and a weekend course with no exam either written or practical to be an instuctor.
Poor/no screening:  Taking people through such intense and complex routines requires some form of movement screen.  It is ludicrous that no mobility, flexibility or postural screening is taught as part of the cert. process.
Random, haphazard programming with no logical progression:  There is no rhyme or reason to the crossfit workouts and no logical system of progression.  They've given crossfitters a hammer and everybody looks like a nail.
Poorly managed intensity:  There is time and place for balls to the wall intensity.  Intense bouts of exercise need to be integrated and interspersed with lower intensity workouts.
Bravado and cult-like attitude:  Many crossfitters believe the CF is the best and only way towards ultimate fitness.  Many of them have a disdain and hostility towards anyone who disagrees with them.  They find humour in people working out to the point of vomiting and suffering from life-threatening conditions such as rhabdomyolysis.  They even have distasteful T-shirts that make light of this. 


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RE: CrossFit - thoughts? - March 8, 2009 6:23:42 AM   
coreconcepts

 

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Oh and Dan - not sure if you are still around, but I want to address the issue of CF in the military.  Generally a terrible idea...

Although the military does need to branch off from their traditional cardio-based workouts, the number one need in the military is injury provention.  CF does not bode well for this.  Rather, a properly periodized program that focuses on creating better movement patterns and that honours progression would be more pragmatic.  Mix in a CF-type workout here and there, but CF should NEVER be the standard for military training. 

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RE: CrossFit - thoughts? - March 8, 2009 6:27:00 AM   
coreconcepts

 

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One more note...

I think responsible PT's and other rehab and orthopedic specialists need to stop taking such neutral stances towards CF.  I would suggest reading the works of 3 of the best in the business for sports-related rehab - Gray Cook, Mike Boyle and Stuart McGill.  They have some excellent and very valid criticisms of the system.

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Post #: 9
RE: CrossFit - thoughts? - March 31, 2009 5:44:03 AM   
Lieutenant_Dan

 

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Coreconcepts -

Sorry, haven't been on this forum in a really long time.  I just read your post and wish I hadn't read it tonight because I really need to get to bed and now I'm probably going to have a hard time getting to sleep because my mind is racing right now.  So, I need to address a few of your points.

1.  You are right - in CrossFit, just as in any other type of sport or conditioning training, there are really good coaches/trainers and there are really poor ones.  Problem with CrossFit is that everybody loves to make videos and post them on Youtube/Vimeo and the whole world can see just how poorly the bad ones are at "coaching".  But, as you say, you can't paint the whole community with the same broad stroke.  Wasn't that long ago that you could do a search for "Marathon or Triathlon" training program on the internet and get swamped with tons of free training programs (now everybody realizes that people will pay top dollar for that and the free ones are harder to come by).  Some of those programs were good and some were bad.  Does that mean that marathon/triathlon training is bad?  No, of course not.

2. Crappy accreditation - Hmmm...answer me this...what is required for me to get my CSCS credentials?  Answer: tens of thousands of dollars for a University degree an additional $300 for the exam and a keen ability to take a written examination.  I have several friends who have this credential who have NEVER trained an athlete in their life.  They have a degree and they read a textbook.  While many will have degrees in Kinesiology or some related field, that's no longer a requirement.  I know people with business degrees who have their CSCS (not saying they're bad coaches...just saying).  What about the CPT credential, what is required?  Money and the ability to memorize a textbook.  Don't get me wrong, I have been to several level 1 CrossFit certs, I "work" as an assistant trainer at these certs and yes I see people who can't move to save their life.  They probably won't make great coaches.  But, dismissing the CrossFit certification because there is no written exam, I think, focuses on the wrong issue.  Secondly, I also have my level 2 crossfit certification and I can say, hands down, that was the most thorough and objective certification process I have ever gone through.  No written exam, but an extremely critical examination of your ability to teach movements to small groups.  I have been through practical/hands-on exams through the NATABOC, took the OCS exam and obviously PT licensure exam, ran through the wringer of practical and oral exams at PT school and can say that the CrossFit level 2 certification is as thorough and as practical as any of those other exams.

3.  Random, haphazard programming - You need to read "What is CrossFit" it's available for free download on the website.  The very definition of CrossFit is "Constantly Varied, functional movements performed at high intensity"  The reason they don't follow logical progressions is because life doesn't follow logical progressions.  Show me a firefighter, police officer, soldier, stay at home Mom who can accurately predict every physical demand he/she will face tomorrow, the next day and 2 weeks from now and then I will agree that everybody needs to follow logical progressions.  Remember, the primary goal of CrossFit is GPP, not sport specific training, again, read "What is CrossFit" they clearly state that.

4.  Poorly managed Intensity - When you did your research of CrossFit did you actually look at the CrossFit website?  Did you look at the workouts that were prescribed?  A quick perusal of the WODs (workout of the day) will show quite a bit of variability in the intensity that is prescribed.  These workouts range in length from just a few minutes to up to 45-50 minutes, depending on the athlete.  Also there are quite a few pure strength or pure power days mixed in and even some longer distance running/rowing.  Those are not all "balls to the wall" workouts.  The requisite intensity level of those workouts has to be different, therefore you are working different energy systems.

5.  Bravado/Cult-like - Yes, admittedly there is some of that.  Some of it is good natured fun and quite frankly some people kind of scare me.  You will have that in any circle, again ours is out there for the world to see and criticize.  With regard to poking fun at those who work so hard they puke...It's not endorsed or encouraged, at least not at the affiliate I go to.  If it happens, and it has, not to me though, we first make sure the athlete is okay and then, yes they get a little ribbing and a free t-shirt.  As far as rhabdo is concerned - When I first saw the "Rhabdo" character I was a bit taken aback.  I would argue, though that percentage-wise more crossfitters know about rhabdo than do triathletes, marathon runners, body builders or military recruits.  All of these populations, and others, are subject to the potential dangers of rhabdo.  I have been an avid triathlete and marathon runner for years and for the life of me can't remember one article ever published in their respective major mass market publications that address the issue of rhabdo.  If you read the article in the CrossFit Journal that addresses Rhabdo, it is not mocked or seen as a badge of honor, it is treated as a serious issue that can be life threatening.  This is stressed at every certification.

6.  CF in the military - refer to #3

Thank you for your posts, I think that this is a great and valid discussion.  There is a lot of confusion out there about CrossFit.  Is it the "perfect" program?  No, and they will tell you that.  They will also tell you that if you have something better, show it to them.  If it is truly better they will gladly adopt it.  They really are about the "Open Source" model.

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RE: CrossFit - thoughts? - September 4, 2009 5:44:59 AM   
maxile

 

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Hi
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Post #: 11
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