Let's Talk: How to improve CrossFit

Discussion in 'Strength & Conditioning Discussion' started by DrBdan, May 30, 2014.

  1. DrBdan

    DrBdan Something clever

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    Since the main forum can be slow at times I thought I'd try to start some threads to drum up some (interesting? informative? fun?) conversation. For my first try I thought I'd go with the low-hanging fruit: CrossFit. Everyone has something to say about CrossFit! Here is my question:

    Question:
    Assuming that CrossFit is here to stay, what changes (if any) would you make to improve it? Either at a company-wide level or at the local gym level. Would you keep and/or change the CrossFit Games?

    Here are some articles about CrossFit to get you thinking:

    CrossFit: The Good, Bad, and the Ugly - Mark Rippetoe

    In Defense of CrossFit - Chris Shugart

    A Review of Crossfit - The Sweat Pit

    Adaptation: Period, Persistence, and Prioritization - Major Damon Wells (via StartingStrength.com)

    Discuss.
     
  2. The Day Walker**

    The Day Walker** White Belt

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    #1 take all the 30 rep DLs out of WoDs. I think there might even be a WoD where they DL 50x...
     
  3. Synapse

    Synapse Blue Belt

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    The problems with Crossfit just mirror the problems with fitness as a whole - lack of credibility, the ease of which a "certified" trainer can peddle garbage to an unknowing consumer, etc. It's the same problem plaguing the supplement business - a nearly complete lack of regulation.

    If I tell you I'm a certified doctor of physical therapy, but I drop a Randy Savage flying elbow on your hurt back, you will sue my ass. If I tell you I'm a Crossfit (or whatever) certified trainer and have you try to deadlift twice you body weight as many times as you can in 5 minutes, it's no big deal.

    Crossfit just exploits these problems to their fullest, in a way that makes them the most money. Who can blame them?
     
  4. monkeyrhythm

    monkeyrhythm Blue Belt

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    Curl specific WoDs. I don't know how Crossfit can profess to 'forging elite fitness' whilst completely ignoring the curl?! If that's not a clear indicator of shite programming I don't know what is.
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2014
  5. belph

    belph Pissing into the wind.

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    You cant. Their guys at the top would have to change various things, and why would they do that ? They're a goddamned cash cow. If you mean to improve discussion here, then just have a crossfit thread. Obviously that would still do very little if someone asks "how do I improve X" and someone suggests Xfit. But fuckit, that would at least cut down on the threads.







    Note: I did not read the OP.
     
  6. Eric Brown

    Eric Brown Crusty old bastard

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    By removing everything that makes crossfit unique or "crossfit" you get either circuit training or traditional strength and conditioning. Example: Outlaw crossfit did have (have not checked in a while) training that was very close to traditional S&C, with a heavy emphasis on the quick lifts. Their people seemed to do pretty well at the games.
     
  7. DrBdan

    DrBdan Something clever

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    Pretend you're one of the guys at the top. You realize that there are some good aspects of CrossFit but they are currently overshadowed by all the negative aspects. What would you change?
     
  8. tdluxon

    tdluxon Red Belt

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    I agree... it is way too easy to get certified and open gyms. I live in a city with about 100,000 people and within the last year like 8 new CF gyms have opened up. There is no way that all of the instructors at all of those gyms are really qualified to be training people without prior weightlifting experience.

    Taking a weekend course is not enough to make you a legit trainer.
     
  9. belph

    belph Pissing into the wind.

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    Well, I'd probably turn crossfit into something like WSM for one. I would probably expand the games as well, Im not sure how but there are ways I imagine. Next I'd probably try and kill WODs off and take away some of the randomness. Obviously variety is probably one of CFs big attraction, so id probably have weekly events still. As for the certification issue, I would begrudgingly grandfather all certs, but any future ones would take more than a weekend and $150 to get.
     
  10. ThatBJJGuy

    ThatBJJGuy Brown Belt

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    get rid of all the smug egotistical people that do "Cross Fit" that need to tell you they do "Cross Fit"
     
  11. Tosa

    Tosa Red Belt

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    What crossfit shows is that there's a market and demand for gyms that offer more intense "training", basic "exercises", general "fitness", and a group environment. In fact, people will apparently pay quite a bit of money for these things.

    Now just offer these things in a sensible format, so that I don't feel compelled to use quotation marks.
     
  12. DrBdan

    DrBdan Something clever

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    Tell me more about this sensible format...
     
  13. sub_thug

    sub_thug Silver Belt

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    Crossfit is having a lot of the same problems as every fledgling brand. As for their workouts, they program certain movements in a ridiculous manner (high volumes of lifts such as deadlifts and cleans), discount certain things entirely (having a treadmill in your gym means that you can do fast runs at a programmed pace, and stationary bikes are awesome for blasting your lower body), do not stress proper form enough, and believe dogmatically that there is only one WOD, which everyone should do. Not everyone can do sets of 3 muscle-ups for 10 rounds. For others, they can blast through Fran in just a few minutes, so it doesn't work them hard enough. Different people should train at different levels, but Crossfit doesn't seem to get that, which is one of the reasons why people develop rhabdomyolysis with a frequency that's unheard of anywhere else.
     
  14. bellend

    bellend Brown Belt

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    Remove kips forever.
     
  15. Tosa

    Tosa Red Belt

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    That's like asking for a business plan for opening a gym.

    Really it's about how to replace the WODs and games, with sensible, individualized training while still creating a community or social experience. And at the core of that, I think, is creating common or similar goals and training experiences, which helps people connect. Which what the WODs and games do. But it's also what, in my experience, powerlifting or weightlifting does.

    But neither of those appeal to the average person who wants to be "fit", however misguided that may be. Nor do they have a franchise of gyms and marketing to go with the training.

    Anyway, I haven't figured it all out yet.
     
  16. JauntyAngle

    JauntyAngle International man of mystery

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    The games are sort of cool, aren't they?

    Anyway, I have to accept Miaou's argument- the Crossfit Games aren't really that different from Strongman. Is there that much difference between max reps on log presses, when you continental clean the log, and, and max reps with a lighter (but still reasonably heavy) clean? Less emphasis on strength, more on muscular endurance. I mean, personally I see enough similarities to be uncomfortable saying "WSM is awesome but the Crossfit Games are evil and dumb".
     
  17. Oblivian

    Oblivian Aging Platinum Member

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    My main problem with Crossfit is not a problem for Crossfit at all - it's actually why they are successful. They need to define what "doing Crossfit" is. So many people throw that term around, and it's never defined. At this point, anyone doing a complex, combining strength and conditioning, doing a circuit, etc. can be labeled as "doing Crossfit". It's absolutely great for business, but it's a complete joke.

    To give a quick example, one could easily call any of the monthly conditioning challenges this forum used to have as "doing Crossfit". I'm pretty sure some people would assume a 100 burpee challenge is "like doing Crossfit".
     
  18. CarbonFistprint

    CarbonFistprint Brown Belt

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    Check this out:

    http://kevinogar.com/

    It's the website of the Crossfit coach and athlete Kevin Ogar, who was paralyzed Jan 11 this year during competition as he did snatches for time and dropped the bar on his neck. It's a tribute to him and an effort to help him fundraise (selling t-shirts, etc.) to do rehab and such. Quite touching, actually.

    ...oh, and they named a WOD after him. It's called "Ogar":

    OGAR
    14 minutes AMRAP (As Many Reps As Possible):
    3 reps snatch with 135 pounds
    1 muscle up
    12 wallballs, 20# 10'

    So Crossfit's response to an athlete and coach being paralyzed by a stupidly-performed fatigued Oly fit for time is to create a WOD in which you do the same fucking thing that paralyzed him.

    Crossfit is stupid at its core.

    Crossfit is unfixable.

    Fuck Crossfit.
     
  19. DrBdan

    DrBdan Something clever

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    I was thinking something similar and I guessed that you were too which is why I said tell me more.

    The first thing I would do is remove anything overtly stupid or dangerous from WODs such as Oly lifts done for time and kipping/butterfly pull-ups. I would also make it clear that puking, passing out, or injuring yourself is not "cool" and while it can be unavoidable to some degree shouldn't be expected or considered a badge of honour.

    One idea I have is to create a rough curriculum created that all gyms follow. Kind of an extension of how there is now CrossFit Endurance, CrossFit Strength, CrossFit Football etc. Start with a general program and then have streams that you can follow to specialize more. I don't think you could make it as strict and specialized as a real S&C coach would make it but you could have different focuses. So if someone wanted to focus on doing marathons and triathlons they could choose the endurance stream. It would have be a balancing act between making the workouts fun and making them as effective as possible.

    I would also choose to keep the CF Games. I agree that they are kinda like WSM and I think it would help to emphasize that a bit more i.e. the CF Games are put on by CF but at a CF gym you don't just do CF Game style WODs the same that a WSM competitor doesn't only practice the events.
     
  20. karnifx

    karnifx Yellow Belt

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    Evil? that's a hyperbolic misnomer if I've ever read an excuse to exercise an uneducated opinion on a subject. Endurance exercise and HITT training are far from this thing they call "Crossfit". If you want the real scoopful of ice cream just look at the results of the training and where it's utilized by professional athletes, care to name a successful UFC fighter that swears by "Crossfit"?
     

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