Now, before you go and call for my head, hear me out. I have absolutely nothing against Crossfit, I think it serves a specific niche in the fitness industry and they definitely have a GREAT thing going. That said, there’s a host of reasons why I’ll never join a ‘Box’.
First, I can’t wrap my head around people going from a sedentary lifestyle to performing compound barbell exercises for heavy reps. This is dangerous for so many reasons! I’ve been lifting for about 15-16 years and there’s still days where I’m questioning my form and tweaking things as I learn more and more about deadlifts, squats, cleans, etc. Expecting sedentary people to master olympic-lifts and heavy compound movements with nothing more than a 20 minute demonstration is insane. I understand a lot of workouts are scaled to the participant but the technique used on these lifts hurt just from watching!
Next, and this is mostly relative, but the cost. Crossfit is not cheap, it’s quite expensive – a nearby Crossfit gym charges $160/month for full-gym access. I currently pay $25/month for a gym that caters to powerlifters; crazy considering the equipment found in a Crossfit gym and my gym is actually very similar! You’d think if you’re spending $160/month you’d have access to a team of trainers that did something more than a weekend training course to get their certification … just saying. I know that last comment was a bit harsh and the majority of the Crossfit trainers have a pretty thorough knowledge of lifting and fitness principles but it’s still pretty ambitious to call these folks experts on the finer points of olympic-lifting and nutrition – Is this paleo?
Moving on – and again this is simply relative, my Crossfit-friends make me want nothing to do with Crossfit. In my personal experience, Crossfit is the exact opposite of Fight Club… meaning that the first rule of Crossfit is to always talk about Crossfit! The next time I hear about someone’s first muscle-up I’m going to lose my mind! I have friends that have never seen the inside of a gym before joining Crossfit and now they’re giving me advice on how to deadlift … maybe this is less about Crossfit and more about my friends? Anyway, it’s great to see people getting off their butts and working out but god forbid you don’t check-in on Facebook and share your Fran time with the world.
My final issue with Crossfit is their day to day progressions/splits. A family member of mine follows the Crossfit WOD’s pretty closely and will do them out of his home gym and I can’t help but think it’s not only dangerous but the splits they use are a disaster waiting to happen! I recall looking at his workout (that he pulled from the CF website) and it went something like: Day 1: front squat, power cleans and jerks using 185 lbs + some accessory work; then the following day calls for overhead squats? WHY?! Kiss your lower back goodbye! I understand 185 lbs. isn’t a ton of weight and the loads are scaled depending on the participants experience but this isn’t smart. Anyone with an ounce of competitiveness in their body is going to try to bust their ass in the gym and this is where it becomes dangerous. You have inexperienced lifters performing ‘heavy’ compound exercises on back to back days that tax the same muscle groups.
In short, I have nothing against Crossfit, I think it’s great alternative to going at it alone and the ‘team atmosphere’ is GREAT for some. I just wish they’d place a bit more of an emphasis on technique and form rather than just banging out reps. I’d love to hear what you think!