Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About CrossFit
Gang. CrossFit is a popular method of exercising these days and has generated many questions for yours truly. CrossFit is both popular and controversial. Chris Shugart – a well respected coach in his own right – who has done an extensive report on CrossFit, the good and the bad and the ugly.
This is an extensive report, and goes into an amazing level of detail about CrossFit. He also interviews other respected coaches regarding CrossFit, as well as additional info, background, vids, etc. I was very impressed with this report from Chris and if you want to total picture of CrossFit, this THE report to read:
The Truth About CrossFit
by Chris Shugart
“Was I in the right place?” I asked myself for the second time that day.
The little street near Southern Methodist University in Dallas was an incongruous blend of old houses and new bars teeming with college kids. It was 9 p.m. and the sun had set, making it impossible for me to read the street numbers. Finally I pulled over next to a bar called The Green Elephant to look at my directions again.
And that’s when I saw them, a handful of men and women lunging down a long corridor holding Olympic bars over their heads. A well-built young man held a timer and appeared to be either encouraging them or yelling at them.
I’d finally found CrossFit Dallas Central, one of 650 CrossFit affiliate gyms.
Later I learned that the athletes — which included members of the SMU lacrosse team — were performing what the owner of the facility called a “single-movement mindfuck.” This group was on their 28th minute of overhead walking lunges, the only exercise in that day’s workout. The record was 400 meters in 20 minutes flat. The sweat poured.
Earlier that day, at 6:45 a.m., I’d had the same experience, driving around an industrial-warehouse district in Plano looking for building numbers in the dark. That time, instead of lunging lacrosse players, I was clued in by a man running by my truck wearing a weighted vest. I followed.
The Brink Bottom Line:
For specific details, pro and cons, etc, you really need to read the report above. Here’s my basic summery however: CrossFit is a system of high intensity circuit training. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that and done correctly, high intensity circuit training can lead to a solid balance of conditioning, endurance, and functional strength. CrossFit has developed specific protocols for their particular brand of circuit training. So far so good.
The issue is, circuit training is not remotely original to CrossFit. CrossFit proponents tend to make a lot if claims – similar to the kettlebell followers BTW – that range from untrue to total fantasy, and that’s where they tend to get into trouble with people. Some of the exercises recommended are an injury waiting to happen, or simply goofy. People, being social animals, like to be part of something, and CrossFit is a system which holds your hand and enters people into the cult-like group that is CrossFit. Bingo, you’re in the “in crowed” by doing CrossFit and that’s attractive to many people…
Can a person get into great shape using CrossFit? Absolutely, but it’s just one more tool in the tool box of ways to go about getting into good condition (defined here as a balance between functional strength, endurance, and bodycomp) and various ways of conducting high intensity circuit training has been around many decades before CrossFit. The training I conduct with tactical law enforcement (e.g., SWAT, etc.) revolves around high intensity circuit training, but is more specific to that population’s requirements and includes guns! See my vids if interested.
There’s many ways to approach training, so feel free to try CrossFit for a change of pace, but don’ drink the kool-Aid and end up in any cults…