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No, I am not doing Crossfit!

endurance strength training training principles Feb 17, 2011

Ok people let's clear this up.  Crossfit did not invent high intensity intervals, circuit training, or kettle bell swings.  Crossfit did invent a highly successful brand and franchise.  So successful in fact, that the last two times Brian and I have done circuit training someone has asked if we are doing Crossfit.

Wednesday I put Brian through the circuit I've been using which we repeated five times.  When one of Brian's friends asked "is that Crossfit?" He said, "Yea,  I think that's where she got it from."  I was livid.   I would prefer for people to assume that I know how to use a variety of training tools rather than assume that I'm just printed out some workout I got off a website along with thousands of other gym goers.

Yes, it hurts my pride as a training professional.  But that's not the entire reason I'm aggravated by Crossfit questions.

I am an athlete.  I am NOT a fitness enthusiast.  I am training with a specific purpose in mind.  Every phase of my programming points to peak performance in ultimate in October.

This is the opposite of what Crossfit is about.

Crossfit's stated philosophy from their "What is Fitness" issue of the Crossfit journal states:

The essence of this model is the view that fitness is about performing well at any and every task imaginable.  Picture a hopper loaded with an infinite number of physical challenges where no selective mechanism is operative, and being asked to perform fetes randomly drawn from the hopper.  This model suggests that your fitness can be measured by your capacity to perform well at these tasks
in relation to other individuals.

I have no problems with the Crossfit definition of fitness.  I think they have really great ideas about fitness.  What Crossfit advocates is orders of magnitude better than what most people currently do at the gym.  My issue is not with Crossfit and it's stated goals.

My issue is that many people, and even some ultimate players view Crossfit as a training program.  It is not.  Crossfit is a truly excellent general prep program.  Players who are new to the whole training thing will, in fact, benefits a lot from Crossfit workouts.  In the end however, Crossfit states very clearly that they are not about specialization.

As an athlete, however, I AM about specialization.  There is only one thing in my hopper.

The Crossfit journal goes on to state,

"Develop the capacity of a novice 800-meter track athlete, gymnast, and weightlifter and you’ll be fitter than any world-class runner, gymnast, or weightlifter."

This statement is a bit of a stretch, but possibly true in some cases.  We could also say,

"Develop the capacity of a novice 800-meter track athlete, gymnast, and weightlifter and you will be a novice at everything and elite at nothing."

Specialization in anything involves sacrifice.  This is true both in life and in training.

Some people will choose to be generalists and that is fine.  Do you want to be a generalist or do you want to be among the top tier athletes in your chosen sport?

PS.  I have no personal experience with Crossfit.  I am only going by what I have read from their website and by what I've heard from people who do Crossfit.  If you feel that I've taken any of the stated philosophy out of context or have misrepresented Crossfit, feel free to rant away comment below.

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