The Desk-Jockeying Crossfitter: It’s Not That Simple

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“I lost 2 dress sizes…my wedding dress just slipped right off,” says a woman from Minneapolis. In the same interview, “If you want a challenge that’s going to give you dramatic results fast, CrossFit is for you,” says a 64 year old man (Kudos to him for even working out. I hope we all can when we are his age). An instructor says, “You’ll get stronger, leaner, and faster.” You would think this interview was actually an infomercial springing up on your T.V. at 3am. It seems so cool. It’s the biggest craze! I cannot WAIT to get my hands on it! I can do EXACTLY what the Olympians, elite athletes, Special Ops, Batman, and Superman are doing and all I have to do is scale down weights and reps?!

 

 

 

NOPE!

 

 

 

It really is NOT that simple. Crossfit is either something you genuinely love or hate. I can see why it is such a hit; the positive energy, vibes, feels from being around people who push you to your limit…the screams and jeers, “LETS GO!!! YOU CAN DO IT!!!” get you feeling good, and not for nothing, getting up, moving, and losing weight is probably the best benefit…but at what cost?

 

 

 

Google ‘CrossFit’ and click the link, “What Is Crossfit?” If you are too tired or just want the post, THIS is what CrossFit is:

 

 CrossFit is the principal strength and conditioning program for many police academies and tactical operations teams, military special operations units, champion martial artists, and hundreds of other elite and professional athletes worldwide(Gripe 1).

 

 Our program delivers a fitness that is, by design, broad, general, and inclusive. Our specialty is not specializing. Combat, survival, many sports, and life reward this kind of fitness and, on average, punish the specialist.

 

 The CrossFit program is designed for universal scalability making it the perfect application for any committed individual regardless of experience. We’ve used our same routines for elderly individuals with heart disease and cage fighters one month out from televised bouts. We scale load and intensity; we don’t change programs(Gripe 2).

 

 The needs of Olympic athletes and our grandparents differ by degree not kind(Gripe 3). Our terrorist hunters, skiers, mountain bike riders and housewives have found their best fitness from the same regimen.

 

 Thousands of athletes worldwide have followed our workouts posted daily on this site and distinguished themselves in combat, the streets, the ring, stadiums, gyms and homes.

 

 We also publish the CrossFit Journal, designed to support the CrossFit community detailing the theory, techniques, and practice d by our coaches in our gym, in essence bringing your garage or gym into ours, making you a part of the CrossFit family(Gripe 4). 

 

 We offer seminars, trainer certifications, and training and regularly provide consultation services to athletic teams, coaches, and police and military agencies throughout the free world.

 

 Ever hear, “If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is”? Delve in to what CrossFit is…it’s a strength and conditioning program for police academies, special ops, elite athletes, etc. 

 

            Gripe #1: MOST PEOPLE WORKING 9-5 JOBS HAVE POOR POSTURE, POOR MUSCLE ACTIVATION, PROPRIOCEPTION (body awareness), AND QUITE SIMPLY, THE LACK OF ABILITY TO MOVE A WEIGHT USING THE PROPER MOVEMENT PATTERNS (PUSH/PULL/SQUAT/HINGE).

 

 

 

Where do I even begin???

 

 

 

These people are NOT ELITE ATHLETES nor ever have/had the desire to be. They just want to workout and be told what to do. You wouldn’t throw an accountant on the football field, have him (or her but for the sake of not having to use him/her, he/she, you get it) run some routes, do ladder drills at his own pace, just to make him feel like he’s the next Victor Cruz (and believe me, there are people who will feel that empowered). We can all agree on this: people want to look good naked. Period. They want to hit the shore, the Hamptons, Miami, in their skimpiest bikinis ;-), fresh board shorts, and get laid. That is why most people work out. I would think that’s common knowledge. With that said, you CANNOT give someone a WoD (Workout of the Day) and expect them to perform it correctly without adding negative stress to their musculature and structure. Leave CrossFit for the people who have:

 

 A)   Trained with a trainer 1-on-1 or in a small group setting and learned how to move properly and efficiently.

 

B)   Who are actually ELITE ATHELTES OR AT THAT LEVEL!

 

 Rich Froning, Matt Chan, Kyle Kasperbauer…#’s 1,2, & 3 in the world, respectively, in CrossFit. They are also WELL-CONDITIONED ELITE ATHLETES.

 

 

 

            Gripe #2: Scaling loads and/or intensities are NOT the only variables that will produce an effective workout for ranging from teens, athletes/non-athletes, amateur/professional athletes, the average Joe/Jane, and granny/gramps.

 

 No resources needed here. This is just common sense and knowledge. Scaling down a workout to fit the needs of someone else just by changing load/intensity is not enough to produce a safe and effective workout. Go to a cross-fit gym and look at the bumper plates. Yes, they are all the same size. Yes, they are color-coordinated. Yes, they are different weights. NO, not everyone can perform the same style lift, regardless of load. Common knowledge…we are all built differently therefore move differently. Movement patterns, ESPECIALLY the hinge pattern (because of the lack of recruitment from the hamstrings/glutes), need to be taught and mastered before they can be incorporated in lifts such as any style deadlift or squat. With that said, as a crossfit instructor, you do not know the client’s health history, injury report, whether or not they even have sufficient ROM to perform tasks in the WoD. Giving one program to the same people and just scaling loads/intensities is downright dangerous.

 

 

 

            Gripe #3: Let me use, ver batum, what this says: “The needs of Olympic athletes and our grandparents differ by degree not kind.” – What?

 

 I can understand what the philosophy is trying to say. I’ll break it down for you. A 1993 Toyota Tercel (my 1st car J ) and a 2013 Jeep Wrangler (what I want so bad next in white with black rims. STORM TROOPER, BABY!) go in for a TUNE-UP. We see it as BOTH will need new spark plugs, belts, and an oil change. Yes, that is the GENERAL picture. If the buck stops there, then I cannot argue but due to the fact that the needs go deeper than that, it all goes back to Gripe #2. We all essentially have the same amount of bones and muscles but the structures themselves vary person to person. Going back to the car analogy, the GENERAL is the same BUT THE ACTUAL NEEDS GOES DEEPER.

 

 

 

            Gripe #4: I am ALL FOR EDUCATION so with that said, make people understudy the top CrossFit coaches for 2-4 years before they can open their own practice.

 

 After 4 years of med school, a doctor does residency for 2-4 years before he/she can open their own practice or continue with fellowship. Well, CrossFit, as demanding on the body and as technical as it is, instructors should NOT be allowed to open up their own gym on their own accord just after they received a 2 day certification. I find it an issue that in 2 days, a person can become a Level 1 instructor, open a garage gym, call it CrossFit, then attract a bunch of people using the name to reap financially. Resource for that? Lol, why don’t you go talk to your local CrossFit gym and listen to, “Dude, they just come in, I charge them like $XXX/month and we just go to work.” I can understand that CrossFit sends newsletters and what not to help out their gyms but that’s no different then NASM sending me newsletters, I read them, then assume I’m an expert and can just open a gym because I get newsletters that help me out. Teachers can ONLY TEACH once they have learned THOROUGHLY. Why half-ass your name/brand?

So let me be frank. I DO LIKE CROSSFIT. I think the Reebok Games are awesome as shit. The dudes on there know how to lift and so do the girls (and they look oh so sexy doing it). All I am saying is, for the desk jockey who used to play sports, never played sports, or is interested in working out to make themselves look and feel good, then explore the safer, better options. There is NOTHING wrong with going in to the gym and LEARNING to lift the RIGHT way by someone who knows how to properly do it. Having someone make you work past fatigue because the clock hasn’t run out is just plain stupid and inherently dangerous. If you want to see “quick, fast results” then watch what you put in your mouth and learn proper technique. Who knows, maybe one day, CrossFit will be in your sight.

 

 

 

RESOURCES

 

-       http://minnesota.cbslocal.com/2013/01/25/looking-for-a-hard-core-workout-try-crossfit/

 

-       http://www.crossfit.com/cf-info/what-crossfit.html

 

-       http://www.crossfit.com/cf-info/certs.shtml

       http://games.crossfit.com/leaderboard

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