In my last post I went over the things that don’t make sense to me as coach when it comes to Crossfit. However to be fair I want to present both sides. So here is the Good of Crossfit.
I’ve got to give Crossfit props. They do some things really well. Although most don’t have to do with training.
Community – They definitely do a great job of creating a sense of community amongst their members. I’m not sure if it’s so much that they identify with the process or if it’s a trendy place to train. Members can get all their ink done, pull up the knee high socks and ditch the shirts once they get at the WOD. If you are a CFer you eat, breath and live the culture. You’re all in or you’re out. I like that about them.
Record Keeping – It appears as though every workout is tracked and measured. And this is a great thing. How else are you going to know how you’re doing and if what you’re doing is working? A quick Google search will quickly provide tons of data regarding times and best scores for the various workouts Crossfitter like to do. Many fitness professionals would be wise to steal a page and keep these types of notes as well.
Marketing – They sure do a great job of getting the word out there. If you’re involved in fitness chances are you’ve heard of Crossfit. And they were the ones to land Reebok as a major sponsor of their brand and competition. Maybe you’ve seen the Crossfit games on TV. Or come across an article about in a fitness magazine. Whatever the method they are doing a really good job of getting their name out there.
Competition – They hold competitions to measure yourself against others. The Crossfit games are definitely fun to watch although technique is not the key but completing the tasks as quickly as possible. How many other fitness associations hold competitions to test themselves? None that I know of. And that helps keep them in shape and look the part.
Pushing Intensity – For all the cardio kings and queens out there that could benefit from a step up in the intensity of their workouts Crossfit has done well as mobilizing the masses to try powerlifting, Olympic lifting, plyos, sprints and other gymnastics moves. These types of training weren’t invented by Crossfit, although talking to them they may try to tell you otherwise, so they have been successful at getting new people to train in this way. And for everyone that believes more volume and longer workouts is the secret sauce to achieving success they may learn something.
Results – A recent study showed that a 10 week Crossfit program lead to improvements in VO2 max and body composition. This means that the workouts helped people lose weight and improve their fitness. A downside however was pointed out by a Men’s Health writer who said he lost 9 lbs doing Crossfit for a couple of months. The downside? He was only 143 lbs to start and his goal wasn’t to lose weight. So these results aren’t necessarily positive, especially when you factor in the high rate of injury.
The take home point is that none of these things needs to be exclusive to CF. Intensity, record keeping, marketing, community, getting results and holding competitions can and should be sought by all types of fitness professionals. Whether or not you fly the CF flag you can still aspire to these good things.
My take on CF is that it appeals to a certain type of individual. I like to train with a shirt on and don’t have any tattoos so I’m not sure if I would fit in. But for all the goofy things they do and claim, I will admit the things above that they do them well. And maybe our goal should be to develop better communities for fitness, to push the intensity and hold competitions ourselves.
What do you think?