What Do You Think Of Cross-fit?

Discussion in 'General Training' started by TangoDown, Nov 17, 2014.

  1. TangoDown

    TangoDown Member

    Never really see it mentioned here, which could be a tell-tale sign of what you all think lol.

    Personally, I think the concept is novel - getting regular joes with no experience to learn both your standard compound and Olympic movements and challenge them through exercise that's a lot more intensive than "30 minutes a day aerobic Zumba hip hop Richard Simmons circuit."

    Yet, off paper, you've got little to no progression or consistency in programming and quality of clubs in terms of how effectively they teach you and how much they monitor even acceptable exercise form is all over the place. Combined with the philosophy of kipping (kipping pullups, kipping dips, etc), does Cross-Fit really have a place outside of it's own little niche, and is it nearly as effective as building a strong and fit individual as traditional programs?

    Not to mention how expensive the clubs are...
  2. Totentanz

    Totentanz Super Moderator Staff Member

  3. Jester

    Jester Well-Known Member

    I think it's the last hope for American OL'ing.

    Otherwise, it's like any other organised-fitness fad except it lies on both extremes; better results generally, more injuries generally.
  4. Totentanz

    Totentanz Super Moderator Staff Member

    To elaborate on my earlier comment, I guess it really depends on where you live. I think Crossfit in the USA has turned into something horrible, similar to scientology for gymrats. Here in Michigan, crossfit is something to be avoided like the plague. Every crossfit gym I've seen is full of scrawny holier than thou assholes who will accuse you of liberal steroid usage if you achieved any kind of build or strength without using crossfit. And they charge $100 or more a month and you can only do crossfit in their gyms, nothing else or you are kicked out. Several have rules against listening to music while lifting or have rules requiring you to socialize, which for people like me who have Aspergers, or even just regular introverts, is just plain bullshit. You couldn't pay me to join a gym like that.

    I've heard stories about good crossfit gyms out there, but I think you'd be hard pressed to find them. Unless you can find one where Rippetoe himself frequents, these supposed 'diamonds in the rough' seem to be a myth from where I am standing. But again, I'm in Michigan so it might be different elsewhere in the country. But I doubt it.

    As for American OL'ing... I don't see that ever becoming a thing. Because when we do start doing something like that, we turn it into something like crossfit.
  5. Jester

    Jester Well-Known Member

    Rippetoe is off the CF wagon now

    Ranted on T-Nation and ESPN about it.
  6. TangoDown

    TangoDown Member

    I can't imagine why he was ever on it. His whole mission is to teach linear-progressive strength programming to novice lifters. Crossfit is pretty much doing everything for time with minimal rest.

    @Totz, San Francisco actually has a fairly decent Crossfit scene because we've got some of the bigger names out here (like Kelly Starret), but aside from better policing of form, it's still all the same and still insanely expensive.

    I can't imagine having to socialize with everyone at the gym. Of course, I suppose with the $100+/month membership fee it weens out most of the homeless and ancient folks with horrid body odor that frequent my gym...

    As to American OL, there's small pockets of it out there. There's a few "teams" here in SF that'll let anyone join for a price far more reasonable than CF. Show up and they teach you the ropes and then let you train on your own. I have a friend that did it for a few months. They'd meet at a high school gymnasium 6 days a week, though showing up 6 days a week wasn't mandatory if you weren't planning on competing anytime soon.
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2014
  7. Totentanz

    Totentanz Super Moderator Staff Member

    For what it's worth, they do teach olympic lifts in the high school weight lifting classes around here. But clearly, the sports most people with any promise end up going into are things like football, baseball and basketball. If we didn't focus so much on all those sports and put more emphasis on lifting, I'm sure we'd have some really great athletes coming out of the schools and universities.
  8. TangoDown

    TangoDown Member

    Aren't all football players basically required to lift? They have combines with 225lb rep-outs. Probably an overemphasis on bench press in their programs but I've never stepped foot onto an athletic team so what do I know?

    Baseball is a different story. Need more guys hitting the weight room to gain some power. They say power in batting comes from the hips, so I don't see why more weaker hitters aren't made to squat and deadlift. Instead they put 'em on these circuits with smith machines and shit. I saw a video of a coach having Hunter Pence train and they had him do high squats on a smith machine with 225lb.
  9. Jester

    Jester Well-Known Member

    Pro-athletes in the USA lift often - it's just within the context of their sport and general training.

    Re: US OL'ing - definitely check out Lyle McDonald's 20-something article series on this.

    Rippetoe was involved in CF because he saw it for potential.

    Having said that, Rippetoe isn't exactly a lifting expert. He's renowned, but is very far from someone I would take advice from on most things relating to lifting and nutrition. GOMAD is a good example of his nuttyness.
  10. Lol

    Lol Super Moderator Staff Member

    People that get on the CF bandwagon are doing it for the money. It's not about altruism. Fair enough.

    I've only visited a couple of CF gyms and only lifted in one. The guys at the one I lifted in were very cool and we're happy to let me do my own thing any time I was in their neck of the woods. I even got a spot of free coaching on my snatch technique.

    If Klokov comes to a CF gym near me to run one of his seminars, I'll certainly pay to go. Jon North and Donny Shankle have also been doing the globetrotting seminar thing at various CF gyms (boxes, ugh). Chad Vaughn and Kendrick Farris seem to be visiting CF gyms in the US.

    It was my interest in CF in the early days that got me to have a go at OWL and to try out their WODs for a bit of cardio "fun".

    I would never recommend kipping pull-ups to people who want to get strong. It's very easy to knacker your shoulders if you don't build up a tolerance to the movement gradually over time. The two main kipping techniques have arisen from a need to beat the clock. It's all about getting through the work as quickly as possible.

    To most people kpu's just look daft. But it's really just a different exercise and not to be compared to strict pull-ups. It's like saying that a press is a superior movement to a push-press or a muscle-snatch is superior to a snatch, if using the same loads. In reality, similar muscles are being used but, in one, extra (large) muscles are being recruited to help move the load. So, if you have the technique down, you'll be able to do more push-presses than strict presses or more snatches than muscle snatches with the same load. Same thing applies to strict pull-ups and kipping pull-ups.

    I really wish I had been introduced to OWL in my school years. I think a lot of the lads who I played rugby with at the time would all have benefitted from heavy power cleans and a decent squat rack. Sadly, there was never a free-weight in sight. It was the time of the multi-gym. Even the gymnasium ropes were removed in the name of "health & safety" (Sigh), so I do like the fact that CF has brought a lot of the old-school gear back into common usage.
  11. Lol

    Lol Super Moderator Staff Member

    I also think that if the wife or g/f decided to do a daily CF WOD, many here would be quite pleased about it (as long as they didn't start advising on squat form or something).
  12. TangoDown

    TangoDown Member

    But a muscle-snatch or a push press still requires an insane production of power from the entire body. I'd argue that they're a lot more applicable to overall ability whereas the flailing fish pullup is not under load and simply requires you to kick your legs in a certain way to propel yourself up and over the bar (simplification, I know). It's much more of an endurance sort of thing, which I don't think is nearly as applicable to strength or athletic ability, but more to "Crossfit" ability, which would be fine if Crossfit didn't tout the whole "good at everything, master at none" philosophy.
  13. Bryan Haycock

    Bryan Haycock Administrator Staff Member

    You can't use traditional crossfit to train for crossfit competitions.
    Jester and Totentanz like this.
  14. Jester

    Jester Well-Known Member

    Mini-necro ...

    ... but, if Klokov comes to town, you should only buy a ticket if he'll tell you what his injections on a weekly basis are like.

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