For the last 5 or 6 years I have been very fortunate to have worked with a group of the best S&C coaches in the country. I won’t list names or accomplishments but lets just say they have been involved in high performance sport with decades of experience between them. I have learned much from these individuals. I have taken a great amount of information away from that environment which I believe will improve the state of «fitness» training for the average individual. Concurrently, I have kept my toe in the door so to speak with the CrossFit community.
Now, to the point. Not all of the coaches I have previously mentioned are guilty of what I am about to state, but most are. I cannot begin to even count the number of times they have criticized/rejected that which they know nothing about. I hear their ignorance daily. Maybe they are afraid someone knows more than they do, I’m not sure. But I do know they are misinformed or not informed at all. Most have never set foot in an actual CrossFit facility or seen a capable Coach instruct a CrossFit class. The last straw (and hence, this post) was hearing from a nutritionist that CrossFit was bad. No explanation given, just that is was bad, and in the same breath gymnastic training was good. IGNORANCE.
This is my first and last post defending a movement from a position of education and experience in which I WHOLEHEARTEDLY believe in. That being said I want to explain what CrossFit is but I have no illusion of changing anyone’s opinion. From what I see day in and day out you must be able to think logically for yourself for this to happen and there is very little logic being used by most in this industry (especially the new coaches).
CrossFit is a GPP program. This is a term used by S&C coaches to describe a phase of training for developing general physical abilities. THAT’S IT. CrossFit is a tool we use for the average individual to improve their general fitness. We use a variety of methods to accomplish this. We combine gymnastics training, with weightlifting and power lifting as well as endurance training in a variety of ways. If any S&C coach can logically tell me why teaching someone to do a handstand and making the same individual stronger and move more competently is bad, please do so… I’m waiting.
It is generally used by most athletes in their off-seasons to develop some level of fitness and provide regeneration before they begin doing the specific training for their sports. It is alright for athlete’s to do a GPP program but not people who live an average life? I’m confused at the logic…
So now to the most critical point. CrossFit is not a franchise. Every affiliated CrossFit offers it’s own product. I do not have to offer anything I do not believe is beneficial to my clientele. I am a qualified, educated, experienced coach. Doing a GPP program is not the problem. CrossFit is not the problem. Coaches should be qualified coaches, not graphic artists who are good at weightlifting so they want to coach for 3 hours a week.
Yeah, but you also heard most CrossFit coaches are not qualified… Whatever your profession is right now, can you tell me that everyone doing it is qualified? Not all doctors, lawyers, engineers, accountants are fully qualified, does that mean their professions, or tools they use to complete their jobs are bad? Wait a second, Joe Blow, CPA (accountant) embezzles a bunch of money, oh I guess that means the world should avoid using calculators from now on!!! LOGIC?
Oh right, you heard a story or watched a Youtube video of someone doing something stupid or getting hurt… That means CrossFit is stupid? People do weightlifting and power lifting on their own and get hurt all the time, athlete’s are constantly dealing with injuries, runner’s are always hurt (they just might not be on video when it happens). In fact, the list of sports where people can get hurt is endless! People can get hurt walking their dog! So I guess, by this logic, no one should do anything, ever. Do you see what I’m getting at here?
But wait, you saw some people on ESPN doing some really stupid stuff too… Right. Believe it or not, CrossFit has become a sport. But when you come to a qualified coach they understand the difference between CrossFit the sport, and CrossFit training. If they don’t understand the difference, then in my honest opinion, they are not a qualified coach. To make it clear let me give you an example. I’ve got an athlete who wants to run a marathon. She qualifies for the Boston Marathon. For training she doesn’t just run marathons. She trains. Sure she runs, but under the guidance of a good coach there is a training program that provides a balance of different types of training to improve performance and prevent injury. She may be a marathon runner, but the Boston marathon is the competition and the training she does is exactly that, it’s training.
Let me summarize.
As I mentioned before, CrossFit is a tool. A GPP program is a tool used in many situations and it just happens to work for the average population to improve fitness. It is about longevity (don't confuse what you saw on ESPN with CrossFit the training modality). If qualified coaches are involved who know how to safely instruct whatever it is they are instructing (gymnastics, weightlifting, power lifting, runner mechanics etc) and purposefully design a program, it is the best tool I’ve seen for the job.
The bottom line is, CrossFit is about making people more physically competent. It is about longevity. Our goal is to have people leave our facility better than when they came in.
I’m tired of hearing how bad it is from individuals who know nothing about it. If you know nothing about it, don’t talk about it like you do. Ask questions and I will be happy to inform you. Your ignorance is not going unnoticed, and it does nothing to speak to your credibility.