Last year I had the opportunity to take the Level-1 Crossfit Certification in Tampa, Florida. Out of the 65 participants at the certification, only about 8 of us, including myself were new to Crossfit (meaning that we had less than 3 months of experience training the “Crossfit” way). I remember sitting in this room with 65 other people and realizing how out-of-place I felt because I was a Crossfit newbie. I had always heard of Crossfit and lived just a couple of hours from where it originated in Santa Cruz, California. But I had never fully participated in any Crossfit workouts, or wore any of the Crossfit apparel that screamed out, “Hey look at me, I have this cool shirt that says CROSSFIT so everyone knows that I do Crossfit workouts!” Out of the 65 participants at this specific certification, 50 had on Crossfit apparel (shirts, sweatshirts, hats, pants). I couldn’t tell the difference between instructors and participants. It was at that point that I realized how huge the Crossfit community actually was.
Crossfit is a training style that will definitely separate the weak from the strong. It not only challenges you physically, but mentally as well. Crossfit is composed of three main components:
1) Metabolic Conditioning – cardiovascular conditioning (running, rowing, cycling, jumping rope, etc.)
2) Gymnastics Movements – bodyweight movements (push-up, pull-ups, dips, plyometrics, isometric holds, etc.)
3) Weightlifting Movements – Olympic style movements (deadlifts, overhead presses, cleans, bench presses, rows, etc.)
Crossfit workouts can vary anywhere from combining all three of the above components into a sequence of intense circuit-training movements, to a workout that focuses only on one movement at a time. After 2 days of intense-training, and completion of the certification course, I must say that Crossfit isn’t good, it’s GREAT! But let me clarify some points first before all you Crossfit fanatics start doing back-flips and chanting out “Crossfit for life!” Crossfit is great under the right conditions;
1) Quality Instructors – Out of the 65 people at the certification I attended, only about a handful were fitness professionals. The rest were simply Crossfit fanatics who wanted to call themselves “certified” Crossfit instructors. You can’t possibly learn enough in one weekend that will enable you to put the safety and health of someone else into your hands. But you can start charging them for your new “certified” title (not good).
2) Physical Capabilities – Crossfit programs are going to be physically challenging for people with previous injuries or postural imbalances (poor flexibility, muscle imbalances, lack of coordination, joint problems, etc.)
3) Program Variability – Since many unqualified individuals are becoming “certified”, they don’t know how to modify a program based on an individual’s limitations which can result in possible injury.
4) Complexity of Movements – Crossfit uses many advanced movements that if not coached and performed properly, could lead to injury.
On the positive side, I have never personally done a program that has challenged me both physically and mentally the way a Crossfit program has. Crossfit is like interval training, it NEVER gets easier if you’re challenging yourself to what your capable of. Crossfit will build your strength, endurance, and self-confidence if you’re willing to push beyond that “fitness-hell” we call your COMFORT-ZONE!
I’m not saying that Crossfit should be your only style of training, because then you would become one of those single-minded individuals wearing the Crossfit sweatshirt and ignorantly talking about how your way is the best way. I’m telling you to start adding in some Crossfit workouts to your current exercise program now and see how you measure up. I promise you that you’ll challenge yourself in a whole new way both physically and mentally.
If Crossfit is so great then why is part of the Stupid Gym Shit discussion? Because poor instructors and the exponential growth of Crossfit has caused it to lose some of it’s credibility. Ask around, people either love or hate Crossfit. There’s nothing in-between except for what I’m telling you here. If you go to a Crossfit Gym or work with one of their instructors, I challenge you
to do a little bit more research on what they actually know. Quality Crossfit instructors should be very well educated in Olympic lifting techniques, biomechanics, and program design. From personal experience I’m telling you that you don’t learn that in the 2-day certification that I took. Crossfit does offer more advanced certifications and a Level 2 certification on top of their Level 1 certification. But there are literally hundreds of Crossfit Gyms around the world with unqualified instructors beating the shit out of clients in an unsafe and ineffective manner. What good is a program if you’re injured and can’t do anything?
Why does Crossfit certify anybody? MONEY! Crossfit offers numerous certifications
and courses all over the world every weekend. Every course and certification is about $1,000.00. If these are happening all over the world, and you”re packing 65 people or more in each course, well, there’s your answer. Crossfit is growing in popularity with each year that passes, and there will become a point very soon when INTEGRITY will take over profitability (let’s hope sooner rather than later). Find a quality Crossfit instructor and let me know about your experience. Stupid Gym Shit is always on the look out to protect your health and money (can’t have you spending money on Stupid Gym Shit topics).
If you live in South Florida and want to check out a credible Crossfit Gym, go to www.911crossfit.com