CROSSFIT: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

I have a confession to share with you all: Last summer, I had a membership at a CrossFit gym. [Note: I obviously hesitated several times before actually getting up the nerve to hit ‘Publish’ on this post and thus the time-lapse between when I was actively “doing CrossFit” and when this went live]. 

Why the hesitation? It seems people get very heated one way or the other about CrossFit so I wanted to avoid the likely hate mail. I had a change of heart because this is my blog and if I can’t share my experience and voice my opinion here, where can I?

Crossfit Logo

First Impressions:

Curious about what this CrossFit thing was all about I contacted my local CrossFit gym to see about membership and pricing options. I found them (and all CrossFit gym websites I have looked at) to be secretive about their cost. No information publicly available and very little information given to me upon request. I was given a response of: “come in and try it out once for FREE and then we’ll tell you the cost per month is more than you make in a year membership options”. I found this annoying, but because I would have to pay for access to the campus gym over the summer anyway and was looking to switch up my workout, I decided to commit for 3 months. Below I go through the “Good, the Bad, and the Ugly” – in my opinion. Feel free to voice YOUR opinion(s) in the comments section.

The Good:

1. OLYMPIC LIFTING – Few things in this world make me feel more badass than the Olympic Lifts. “Back in the day” – aka when I was a D1 athlete, we frequently performed these lifts because we had a great set up of platforms and bumper plates. [See picture below.] Most standard gyms – including my current gym – do not allow Olympic lifting because they don’t have the proper equipment and/or they don’t deem it safe. I certainly agree with their reasoning, but I still miss the “RAWR” feeling of “yes, I DID just make this bar go from the floor to above my head in the blink of the eye“.

UW_RAC_weight room

{University of Wyoming-Athletic Department-Weight Room}

2. COMPETITIVE ENVIRONMENT – It is hard to keep up a level of intensity while working out alone all of the time. Having a set workout where you can compete against others is AWESOME! Maybe it is the former athlete in me, but I loved trying to keep up with the men during 400 repeats or attempting to put up the same weight as some of the stronger women. It was a great motivator that I certainly miss now.

Burpees{Burpees}

3. FUN/CHALLENGING WORKOUTS: The WODs are difficult (see this previous post). No doubt about it. If it was easy, you didn’t lift enough weight or go fast enough. Plain and simple. The nudge to get out of my comfort zone was there and each day I had the choice to answer back with a confident “I CAN and I WILL”.

4. SUPPORTIVE COMMUNITY: The owners and coaches at CrossFit gyms (at least the one I went to and the impression I get from hearing about others) really focus on creating a community not just running a gym. They want members to know each other, cheer each other on, push each other, and ultimately help to hold each other accountable. Standard gyms generally don’t seem to have a great system for creating a sense of community or membership. Through small classes were you directly work with and against other members, to “fun”-themed workouts (dress up for Halloween), competitions, and member potlucks it was easy to get to know others, make friends, and want to go back day after day.

Crossfit3{Drilling Snatch and Overhead Squat Form}

The Bad:

1. LACK OF ACCESS / INCONVENIENT CLASS SCHEDULE: You can only go to CrossFit gyms when classes are held. This was annoying since often times my plans would be to go to a specific class and then something would happen to delay me which could mean totally missing out for the day or my work schedule was just so long that I literally did not have a chance to get to a class.  When my schedule changes at the last-minute or I have a long day while a member at a more traditional gym I simply arrive x minutes later than planned and carry on with my workout. The scarce class availability at CrossFit just didn’t fit my schedule. {FYI: during the summer – which is when I went- the schedule is not as filled out. I was told the academic year has more classes available}.

2. “NUTRITION” – One of the “pillars” of Crossfit is that they pride themselves on having a solid nutrition base. What that means is: “We are going to convince you that Paleo is the ONLY way you should eat and you are WRONG if you don’t think like this.” Give me a break. I don’t need people with zero to limited nutrition background to tell me – a Registered Dietitian and PhD Student in Nutritional Sciences – that I am “unhealthy” because I choose to eat peanuts and to not eat chicken.

Kipping T2B crop

{Toes to Bar Ab Workout}

3. KIPPING: Words cannot express my disdain for kipping pull-ups. Oh wow, you can do 50 kipping pull ups but no strict, deadhang pull-ups. Not impressed. Also, no one ever gave me a good reason for doing kipping pull-ups other than “you can do more for time if you kip than if you don’t”. Umm, okay. I can also get from my Point A to Point B quicker in my car than I can on foot. That doesn’t make it ‘better’ for me to drive my car than walk.

4. MARKETING: This isn’t really a con…just an FYI/Public Service Announcement. One of the reasons CrossFit is so popular is due to a “genuis” marketing scheme (also used by every other exercise program in the history of the world from Step Aerobics to P90X), which consists of: 1) Take fit people. 2) Have them do CrossFit. 3) Voila, CrossFit is the best damn thing ever. Do some people see extraordinary results after undergoing CrossFit training? Yes, I’m sure they do. But people also undergo dramatic transformations from training to run a marathon, taking Zumba classes, using “Insanity” DVDs, calling Jenny Craig…and anything else you can think of. There are very fit people who do CrossFit – that is true. There are also very UNFIT people who do CrossFit…just like there are in any other workout program.

HSPU{Handstand Push ups}

The Ugly:

1. $$$$ – So SO So SO Expensive – Crossfit gyms are insanely pricey! Full disclosure – I had to pay $125 a MONTH to only attend 2 classes week! Full, unlimited classes cost over $200 a month I believe, and this seems pretty standard at most gyms. WAYY too much in my opinion, especially on a graduate student budget. I know some Crossfit gyms have open hours every night or a few times a week where members (regardless of how many classes they can attend a week) can come in to do what they want. This would have made the whole experience a lot better and helped to justify the cost because I would have seen it as paying for a gym membership and a group training package, rather than just group fitness classes.

CrossFitters often counter this by saying that “you get so much more” than a standard gym. Agree to disagree I guess. Does it work out to be cheaper than paying for a gym membership and personal training? Yes! Is it cheaper than full-time access to a gym + group fitness classes {which is what CrossFit essentially is}? Heck NO!

Thrusters{Thrusters}

2. CULT-LIKE (Crossfit is the best and only form of physical activity) MENTALITY – Crossfit certainly seems a little bit like a cult. A fitness cult, but a cult nonetheless. This is something I am not particularly fond of. The “Crossfit is Life” attitude annoyed me to no end. I generally have a “live and let live” outlook on life and think that there is no such thing as a “bad” form of exercise/physical activity. To each their own. Yet, in “Crossfit land” there seems to be a constant bashing of all other types of exercise/athletes/competitors.

I heard comments like “Runners/Triathletes/etc are not fit” ; Body builders are not that strong”, etc. To pull a comment directly off a recent blog post from the Crossfit gym I went to: “Who would you rather have help you move … a CrossFitter or a world-champion triathlete?  I’ll take a CrossFitter any day.” I believe comments like this are 1) super rude and 2) way off base. I’ll take the world champion triathlete to help me move. They are used to working out for hours at a time and will go until the job is done, not stop  when they hit the 8 minute WOD time cap. Just saying! [A snarky comment, yes – but it just gets across my frustration with the comments made to me and to the general Crossfit community on a regular basis]

I don’t think there is anything wrong about being passionate about Crossfit. I believe people should be passionate about their lives and the activities they choose to fill their time withHowever, I do take issue with people being so narrow-minded that they do not think any other form of exercise is “worthy” and make out of line, inappropriate comments about them. That doesn’t make you “elite”. It makes you a jerk.

Also, just something I found humorous. For all of the bashing I have heard about triathletes from those involved with Crossfit it is strange that the opening event of the 2012 Crossfit Games was a mini triathlon. 700 m swim (with fins), 8 K bike, 11 K run. Oh and it took the winner of this event about 2 hours to complete it…aka a long time. So therefore, I would say that what the “inventor” of Crossfit has been quoted as saying in articles, “That Crossfit training would make elite endurance athletes like Ryan Hall better”, is completely wrong, as suggested by the results of the Crossfit “Tri”.

KB Swings{Kettlbell Swings}

3. RANDOM PROGRAM LACKING BALANCE: My experience at CrossFit has been that the lifts/WODs are selected at random. There is not much structure in terms of making sure different muscle groups or movements are focused on regularly. In the 3 months I was at CrossFit I squatted with a bar on my back ONCE. And no, it is not that I just simply did not go when back squat day was happening, it is that it was hardly on the schedule. However, I could usually count on Kipping pull ups or Kettlebell swings to show up several times a week. A month went by with no dead lift on the schedule, then it was the strength session 3x in a single week. RANDOM. Not balanced. Annoying.

CrossFit – while they claim to incorporate agility and plyometric movements, do not. No to very small amounts of multi-planar/multi-directional movements occur. This makes CrossFit a poor choice as a sole training program for most athletes. As a former college soccer player and someone who still plays recreationally it is those side to side, forward-backwards, rotational type, sports movements that suffer as a result of CrossFit training.

Crossfit2{Getting used as a hurdle to warm up}

OVERALL: Is Crossfit a good workout? Yes. Is it the end all, be all, pinnacle of fitness? No. It has its downfalls as well as its strengths and if those in charge of it would acknowledge them and not have this “we are the best ever” attitude, I wouldn’t be so negative in response. Would I do it again? You bet. In an ideal world I would retain a normal gym membership and a CrossFit membership so that I could do the WODs in a group setting, and still maintain a traditional, progressive, structured weight training schedule. However, until costs go WAY down at CrossFit gyms or I come in to A LOT of extra $, I will stick with my regular gym. We’re pretty strong and fast over here in ‘RegularFit’ land too!

To some degree I think it is the most recent “fitness fad”…. but I don’t necessarily think that is a bad thing! Is there really such thing as a “bad” workout fad? If it gets people off the couch and being active then why not! I’m a big believer that the best form of exercise is the one that you will actually do – and continue to do….so if CrossFit does that for you, go for it! I would just ask that you refrain from building a shrine of kettlebells that you bow down and worship every night and we will get along just fine. Unless you tell me you can do a million kipping pull-ups but not one legit dead hang pull-up. Then friends off. Sorry.

Agree? Disagree? Agree to Disagree? Hate Me? Love Me? Let me here YOUR opinion and experience in terms of CrossFit.

-Tanya

*Pictures from this FB Account

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78 thoughts on “CROSSFIT: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

  1. Samantha says:

    I loved this. 🙂 I am extremely active, lift weights, and have never tried cross fit. What I do pay attention to is occasionally I will see a move on a site that I like enough to try it on my own. Reasons for never trying: I have just been too put off by people I have met that do it (and I agree, some are not particularly fit at all), it is expensive, and I am a very happy and healthy long-time vegan. 🙂

    In the end I do agree with you that if it gets a given subset of the population to enjoy being active that wouldn’t otherwise that is also a great thing.

    Thanks for your great review however. At least you actually gave it a try!

    • Samantha says:

      PS. I was stunned by the triathlete comment, maybe it is just the ones I know, but they are major power horses and their level of fitness and training is actually a bit intimidating.

      • Tanya says:

        “They” (meaning narrow-minded CrossFitters) seem to talk smack about ANY workout that isn’t CrossFit and endurance exercise gets most of it. Which made me mad since while I was going there I was training for a marathon and had very rude comments made to me about it.

      • Samantha says:

        And it would be fine if they wanted to feel that way, but they are really missing the point of fitness by bashing the other options out there…in the end people absolutely need to be moving.

        I am actually impressed you stayed as long as you did.

  2. Sean says:

    I have used the Crossfit model before as a conditioning tool. The one thing I always had an issue with was the constant mention of the pillars of fitness but never has been a workout with agility at all. I wonder if their definition of agility is different than the entire strength and conditioning field? Does rapid box jumps count as agility, bc the technical change in direction? I don’t get it.

  3. Cullen says:

    Tanya I’m with you too. I know several people who were injured from Crossfit gyms because they were encouraged to lift weight heavier than they could properly handle as many times possible regardless of their form. I know there are probably some good Crossfit gyms out there run by good instructors, but from what I’ve read it doesn’t take much to get “certified” to run a Crossfit gym. Then once the gym is opened their isn’t much oversight or organization from the overall Crossfit brand. With the amount of these things opening now it’s a shot in the dark whether or not you get someone who really knows anything about actual strength training. I read an article in Men’s Health awhile back and the author had a great quote about Crossfit, “It’s like a cult crossed with a pyramid scheme, and the base is always widening.” Thanks for you post Tanya!

    • Tanya says:

      Hi Cullen, thank you so much for sharing your comments here! You’re right, it doesn’t seem to take much to become CrossFit certified and you could get a good or bad gym/trainer(s). I think the entire fitness/training world is like that though, sadly. Hard for folks without much experience/knowledge to know where to go and who to trust!

  4. Lauri says:

    Tanya
    I’m recently new to the crossfit gym after training to run half and full marathons for last year and a half. I called a crossfit facility previously and the unlimited was 199 a mo. There was no way I could justify to my husband paying that amount when I am not currently working. However I did need a change up in exercise routine as running doesn’t do much for my weak arms and saggy under arms. I noticed a groupon for 2 mo unlimited for 95.00. I have been to 5 classes so far and as I am not a fan of bulking up and using split squats with weights I do however like the small class bonding at 6 am Yikes! But when my 2 months is up I’m not sure again I could justify the cost. I agree with most everything you said and hard that some make it out that Crossfit is the only way to go. I have been fortunate enough to find a gym with a trainer who believes in all forms of exercise like you as long as your up and moving. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and posting your story because as much as I am enjoying it the “cult” mentality is definetly not for me.

  5. psychologicallyphilosophical says:

    The ODD thing is, I was JUST saying, I want to try it!!! I am looking for ‘something different’ to do, someone mentioned CrossFit and the seed started growing. However, I cannot justify the expense…WOW! Even with a FT salary, that is too pricey no matter how you slice it!
    I think I am looking for the competitive environment you mention, the group motivation but flip side, you are right…group classes at my gym…
    So, yes I DO agree with you. Paleo? It will be ‘entertaining’ to hear the nutrition pitch! 🙂
    So, you bought a one month?? Perhaps I will try that, we will see. I appreciate your insight, It couldn’t of come at a better time!

    • Tanya says:

      haha oops. When I went there was a 3 month option, but everywhere has different rules. One of my friends recently opened a CrossFit gym and only allows a minimum of a 6 month membership. People can do “drop in classes” to check it out or come there while out of town and away from their normal gym, but that is $20-$30/class. You might be able to just buy a “punch card” with x # of classes…maybe. Just see if they are willing to work with you!

    • Tanya says:

      Like I said, it wasn’t on the schedule regularly – not that I simply did not go when it was back squat day. Honestly I believe it was on the schedule only 2-3x the entire time I was a member. Why don’t you actually read what I wrote before posting a rude, anonymous comment.

  6. Ben Lehmer says:

    Here is an excellent article about the advantages of kipping pull-ups. There are a lot more articles – some good some bad – out there. Enjoy!

    You should have asked me when I was coaching you, I love assigning homework!

      • walt says:

        Kipping pullups are great for tearing your shoulders and that’s about it. Some people like having torn shoulders though. Those pictures of Xfit ‘athletes’ doing exercises with their necks in full extension aren’t confidence-inspiring either. My friend is a PT and Xfitters keep money flowing into his clinic.

        I will say this in defense of that article: arguments between the ‘Xfit community’ and ‘Kettlebell community’ are great fare.

      • Sean says:

        The posted article is completely anecdotal. Using an example of one individual is not evidence. There is no mention of his training between the “test”. The improvement could have very well been bc that individual actually worked on weighted pull-up which actually increased his kipping numbers. There needs to be an N greater than 1 to provide evidence.

  7. Kristen RD (@swankydietitian) says:

    Great recap!
    I have been a bit turned off by Crossfit cause of the cult like way they seem.
    I do not like that they bash other workouts at all!
    I was going to bootcamp classes and I kind of got a similar click type feeling. I haven’t been going as much cause of that.
    And yeah, that is soo expensive! Crazy!
    Sorry I have been MIA.

  8. Tiffany says:

    Truth! I tried crossfit and really enjoyed mixing my workout routine up, but thought it was too pricey. And the nutrition advice? Don’t even get me started…..

  9. Sean Beliveau says:

    Well written! I’ve been a member of this Crossfit Gym for 4 years and would have to agree that it IS a bit cult-like…though I think (deeply hope) that it is a ‘good’ cult where people are banding together to make positive changes…also anybody who walks through the doors is ‘in’ if they so desire…I think the ‘crossfit is life’ attitude wears off after a few months (maybe longer for some of us). Agree that Oly lifting is badass. Sometimes I think the schedule is restrictive, but I just went back and looked at the schedule and there are about 50 hours a week of class times and classes offered from 5am to 7:30pm…and saturdays…I havent paid too much attention to pullup development for others but I know I went from 0 to 3 deadhangs before getting a kipping pullup and now have about 12 deadhangs and can do about 35 kipping – no shoulder issues. kipping helps (me) with the intensity which is really key to getting anything out of xfit.

    Having seen a lot of people come and go and reading through the comments I think I can make some generalizations about xfit:
    -if you dont need coaching, or if you know everything about fitness, you dont need crossfit
    -if you are a vegan, you are not going to do crossfit. it is primal, you will want to kill your dinner after your wod
    -if you are a conventionally educated nutritionist/dietician, you are not going to agree with the nutrition protocol and probably will not hang around very long.
    -if you are a regular person who knows nothing about training or being fit (as I was), good luck with the $25/month globo-gym membership and the food pyramid. Crossfit can help you make real changes to your life. i’d rather spend the money on this than insulin.

    and Jesse – you are getting called out here – more deadlifts! C’mon man!

    • Tanya says:

      Thanks so much for your comment and sharing your opinion/generalizations. I would rather see you (and anyone) spend $ on CrossFit instead of insulin too! 🙂

      I think there are less expensive ways to avoid becoming diabetic, but if CrossFit is what you like/want/need then absoloutely put some skin (aka $) in the game and get to living a healthy life!

  10. Allison @ Frisky Lemon says:

    Great post! I love a lot of things about Crossfit, but there are some things about it that I don’t love (like the intimidation factor and the ego that it breeds in some people). The thing I love LEAST is when someone tries to push Paleo on you because it’s “the only way to eat as a Crossfitter.” I’m a holistic health coach and a big supporter of Paleo, but I believe more that everyone has different needs when it comes to diet and that there’s no one way of eating that works for everyone. You have to experiment and figure out what works for you. Nothing makes me more crazy than when someone tells ME what’s best for ME. Only I know that…

    Thanks for the post!

  11. Elaine says:

    Did you take those photos? If not, do you have a source?

    A few thoughts:
    1) The randomness of Crossfit is part of its beauty, and the programming makes a ton of sense when looked at in a big picture view, but it is tough to see that when you are part of a gym ~2x per week and only for a brief stint. Once you start to see how workouts build upon one another, and you repeat them, you see major progress. Especially in the lifting.
    2) DId you really come up against a “constant bashing” of other forms of fitness at the box you attended? Because one of the things I love the most about Crossfit is the people. I have made amazing friends and found a great community-and NONE of these people are like you’ve described. I can’t imagine that such negativity exists to the degree that you say. But if it does exist in some capacity, that kind of attitude/narcissism is certainly not limited to Crossfit. Everyone thinks their preferred type of exercise is the best-hence why they chose it.

    • Sean says:

      Elaine,
      Full disclosure, I actually use crossfit to improve my general conditioning and have on and off for some time (4+years). Why on and off? Well, because of the what the program misses.

      First, the randomness of Crossfit is not a productive program. It fails to follow the major underlying principles of training; progressive overload and specificity. In order to see improvements, these principles must be followed. Obviously, if you take a group of ppl and incorporate them into a new program, improvements are going to happen, this is because unknowingly these principles are being followed. But after a while that wears off. In order to show improvements over time in movements you need to perform them regularly. Squats do not increase bc you do more air squats, pull ups don’t improve bc you do more back exercises, like pull downs or rows. You have to regularly do these exercises to see improvement. All “elite” crossfitters actually utilize a traditional progressive strength training routine that utilizes the same movement patterns in order to enhance their performance in crossfit.

      Secondly, the evidence clearly states that 2x per week of full body, properly progressively overloaded program is completely sufficient to stimulate muscular hypertrophy and improve performance (and three months is plenty of time). Is it better to do more, like 3-4 days per week? Possibly, but it is not needed. The key point is that programs follows the principles of training has repetitively seen results.

      While I do somewhat agree with you that, to some extent, “everyone thinks their preferred type of exercise is the”. The difference is certain groups tend to vocalize their opinion more and blow their own horn.

      That being said, I agree with the article that Crossfit for the generalist is an adequate tool at improving fitness. With our current national trend the more programs and more ppl involved in physical activity the better. I would never tell anyone not to do Crossfit if they wanted to, but it has to fit in with their goals, Crossfit does not fit in with everyones goals.

    • Tanya says:

      Thanks for your comments Elaine,

      1. See response from Sean regarding “randomness”. Also I should mention that I did CrossFit workouts more than 2x/week. I just could only afford to go to the gym 2x/week. I don’t think I needed to go more or go for longer to determine that the programming is “random”. I could simply look through the WODs and see that.

      2. Yes, that is exactly what I came across, which is why I wrote that. If you read the positives I wrote (which it seems like you are more set on focusing on me daring to open my mouth about a negative opinion/experience) you would see I think the supportive community atmosphere which you describe is a plus. LOTS of support, in CrossFit endeavors. Very rude attitudes towards things NOT related to CrossFit. That’s great you haven’t had that experience.

      Does everyone think their form of exercise is the “best”, maybe. Maybe not. I run a lot. I do not think it is the best form of exercise. It just happens to be one I enjoy the most right now because it gets me outside, in the woods. I am sure there are people with rude attitudes towards other types of exercise in all areas like you mention. It is just seemingly much more prevalent in the CrossFit community.

  12. Jason says:

    I think the best point that can be made here is to constantly question your training/eating habits if your goal is fitness. I know that personal anectodes are not sufficient to prove empirical questions, but in my fitness life of hitting the gym 5 days a week I am still daily learning new ways to improve my workouts which I was previously not privy to.

    Cults, like Crossfit sometimes embodies, are always a negative influence because they surround themselves with followers that suffer from the fallacy of appealing to authority, and as such they do not allow themselves to be critical of their workouts. I’m positive that there are methods Crossfit uses which can be scientifically provable to be submaximal in terms of fitness goals, just as I’m positive that is the same for my workout setup. This is why I read on the subject and constantly inquire of my training friends about the potential for improvement.

  13. Anonymous says:

    This is a really great article. I’ve been a crossfitter for 4 1/2 years, and although I love it as a workout, I agree with everything you say. But it really does get me up off the couch and I love the environment. The cult thing drives me crazy and I stay away from it as much as possible. I particularly like your comment about the WODs being hard — and if they’re not, then you didn’t work hard enough. What I can’t stand at my gym is that I know when a workout is HARD for me — yet, I’m constantly pushed to lift more weight to make it harder. Great article!

  14. plateitnclimb says:

    OMG this is like my favorite post ever of yours! I could rant about how I agree or really see every point you made, but I will leave with this. Thank you for trying it and giving a fair review! I bash it and I see that you really can’t unless you try. I really don’t want to try Crossfit, and that is OK. Like you said fitness is fitness. Tanya again this is an awesome post!

  15. Former UW Coach says:

    I’ll take my background in S/C as a coach any day over anything Crossfit. I won’t get into many specifics, as there are SOME good points, but mainly, I highly disagree with Crossfit. I don’t buy the mentality of ‘primal eating’ (if you believe it, you better live it…go kill your own animals and raise your own crops), non-sense programming, or that it makes you a better athlete (have yet to see any ELITE college football player try it for the combine..and do well).

    I’m sure the ‘cult’ (as others stated) will attack my comments, but the very foundation of what Glassman preaches doesn’t make any sense. “Specialize in nothing, but be good at everything.” So….how do you show improvement or test your base when you have random programming that follows this model? I cannot wrap my head around that. Some will say “I got better at Bertha, Lucy, or Elvira…that shows improvement. No, it shows that you know what is coming and can pace yourself to better next time than the previous.

    Tanya – I completely agree with the bashing of the triathletes. Why bash them when they are some of the greatest athletes on earth? Hell, I don’t swim all that much and would easily complete the tri mentioned in under 2 hours. If Crossfit helped triathletes out so much, then why don’t elite ones do it??

    As for Paleo….I don’t think we want to go there. I’ll rip that apart with sound research and data. Where is the peer reviewed and published data for Paleo? Nothing like trying to compare clinically ‘proven’ research to a fad diet/’lifestyle.’

    Off the soap box and done.

    • DSolberg says:

      Ray Rice of the Baltimore ravens does cross fit.
      Tennessee Tech incorporates CrossFit workouts into their strength training.
      I think you should actually review what the triathlon was before saying you could complete it easily in under two hours, with your foot in your mouth.
      Being better at Bertha may be attributed to strength gains and technical proficiency.
      We show improvement by tracking our mile times, 5k run times, 1k row times, max load in specific lifts, flexibility and over all wellness.

      • Anonymous says:

        Are you 100% sure Ttech does it? Just may have a connection there….

        And yes, I did my research on your triathlon. I train in the mountains running hills, hitting obstacle courses, etc. as a member of the army. I’m sure I’d beat most crossfitters.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Ha, I saw you there last summer as I left Kroger parking lot and thought “oh, she’s one of those people.” No, just kidding, I was actually going to ask you about it and never got around to it. So, thanks for the full review online!

  17. Angie says:

    Ha, I saw you there last summer as I left Kroger parking lot and thought “oh, she’s one of those people.” No, just kidding, I was actually going to ask you about it and never got around to it. So, thanks for the full review online!

  18. Nathan says:

    A couple of things to point out…
    Mini Triathlon: swimming in the ocean, riding a single speed bike off road, running over a mountain (albeit a little california mountain, not the Rocky’s) and ending in a marine obstacle course. Oh, and then they spent the next few days lifting weights and performing movements that a triathlete wouldn’t even dream of.

    Scheduling: If it’s important you’ll find a way, If it isn’t, you’ll find an excuse.

    The loudmouths, I truly am sorry to everyone out there from all the sports that get bashed. That attitude that other sports are lesser is not indicative of the whole program, rather its those that shout loudest, who also usually have the lowest IQ’s.

    The programming: is a damn big challenge. Try programming 5 workouts in a week that will fill the needs for folks coming in 2, 3, 4, and 5 days a week. Good luck. It’s a hell of a challenge and for some boxes it doesn’t work out and for that I am sorry. However find yourself a good gym with a good programmer and you are in for a treat. Crossfit is no different than any other sport (or finding a personal trainer) in that there are shitty ones and there are great ones. Do not judge the whole program off of your one experience, that is as closed minded as the people bashing other sports.

    In summary, thank you for expressing your opinions I love to see people not afraid to criticize something. In my own criticism I’m not attacking you, I’m merely pointing out that the program, like all others, is executed well by some people and poorly by others. To end, I truly am sorry about your experience because crossfit has so much potential and it sucks (to put it plainly) that you didn’t like it. That said, to each there own, everyone has to find what brings them their own happiness.

    • Tanya says:

      Hi Nathan,

      Thank you so much for your comments. (I did not feel as if you were attacking me at all). Just to be clear though I REALLY did like some things about CrossFit. There were obviously some things that were not so great, in my opinion! If I could afford it, I would have BOTH a CrossFit membership and my normal gym membership so that I could go and do the WODs in a group atmosphere, but still keep my traditional/progressive/structured lifting schedule.

      The scheduling comment – not making exuses just being honest. Only having ~6 classes a day (not counting the kids, supplemental, or yoga/type one which my age and membership did not allow me to attend) is a lot more restrictive than making time to go to a typical gym. Especially when I am working and literally cannot get to anywhere between 4-6 of those! If I had a standard 9-5 or 8-5 job, no problem getting to a class. As a PhD student that is simply not the case. I often find myself working out long after the CrossFit gym has been closed or getting to the gym somewhere in between hours (not exactly at 5pm, like when a CrossFit gym class starts).

      Seeing as how I have actually been a high level athlete and still compete locally in soccer and trail races while regularly working 12 hour-long days-including the weekends, I am not in the business of “making excuses”.

      Finally, I think the CrossFit gym I went to did a good job of programming things – it is more the nature of the WODs in general and lack of time to truly focus on strength in CrossFit gyms that is what I consider “random”.

      But I am getting long here, so I will stop. Thanks again for taking the time to share your insight!

  19. Kailey (Caffeinated Runner) says:

    I love how unbiased you were. I didn’t even realize how expensive it is!! It does seem a little weird they wouldn’t publicize their prices, but oh well. I’ve heard the bashing of endurance sports is pretty common….there are been numerous incidences (and emails) saying that running is bad blah blah blah. I’m sorry but have they SEEN Kara Goucher or Ryan Hall. Clearly they are in shape and don’t Cross fit. I think Cross-fit is great for motivating people and helping them get fit, but the “cult” like mentality and constant bashing of running really turns me off (because lets be honest, my passion is running). Don’t even get me started on Paleo….no peanut butter = one VERY unhappy college student.

    • Tanya says:

      Thanks Kailey! As I said, I REALLY liked the workouts and there are several positives about it. Some folks just want to get all upset because I point out things I don’t like as well!

  20. Kari @ bite-sized thoughts says:

    Thanks so much for this thorough post! I don’t think CrossFit has hit Australia in the same way it has hit the States (yet…) but it is certainly building. I didn’t know that much about it so this was a really helpful review. It’s unlikely to be something I’d want to do even aside from the cost, but that is quite exorbitantly expensive!

  21. Jeff N. says:

    Full disclosure: I am a CrossFit proponent and a CrossFit trainer at an affiliate. I usually don’t post on blogs, but I feel like I have an opinion on the matter that I would like to be heard.

    CrossFit isn’t the greatest strength and conditioning program out there. CrossFit isn’t the only way to fitness. You are correct to say that people who believe that are narrow minded. In my eyes, choosing how you spend your time training or in a gym all boils down to how you define fitness. Marine fitness requires one to be able to march mile after mile carrying a 60 lb ruck on their back over varying terrain. Triathlete fitness requires one to turn their body into the most efficient machine possible in 3 different sports. Olympic lifting fitness is using your body apply an extraordinary amount of force in a split second. CrossFit fitness, by their own definition, is increased work capacity over different time domains and different movement, or modal, domains. And then there are the endless amounts of skill sports that require you to not only be fit (in a lot of cases), but also possess a tremendous amount of eye-hand (or eye-foot, or eye-ball) coordination and skill. Being fit absolutely means different things to different people.

    You make some very good points in your post. The end all, be all, CrossFit is the only way to elite fitness, cult-like attitude that is pervasive in some CrossFit gyms and internet forums is off-putting. I’m sorry for your bad experience with individuals who bash other forms of fitness and other sports. Individuals who participate and compete in any sport or athletic endeavor have my utmost respect. It blows my mind the degree to which people can push their limits when competing. Membership to CrossFit gyms is generally expensive. Later on in my post I will try to explain the greater value that I see that is delivered by being a part of a CrossFit community. Also in defense of the membership cost: “Box” owners are not supported by student fees or alumni donors, yet they are trying to equip themselves to deliver the kind of quality experience and environment that a D I athlete would get at, lets say, the RAC. The equipment, space, and dedication required to deliver experiences like that isn’t cheap, and thus membership costs are greater than big chain gyms. And finally, yes, a lot of kipping before one has the requisite shoulder AND core strength and/or mobility can lead to negative results. I think (at least I hope) that this is getting more recognition and more emphasis is being given to safely being able to complete the movements before ratcheting up the intensity and trying to set world record workout times.

    As far as the programming goes, I agree with Nathan. To program a fitness schedule that meets the needs and goals of individuals ranging from their late teens into their 70’s is a daunting task. Most CrossFit gyms are trying to increase athleticism in the broadest sense. There are plenty of offshoot CrossFIt programs that have put emphasis on different aspects of fitness, which are FAR from random. If you want to increase your Olympic lifts while maintaining a solid general physical preparedness base, try outlawcoach.wordpress.com. If you want to increase your times in endurance events (running, rowing, swimming, biking, triathlon), while maintaining a solid general physical preparedness base, try http://www.crossfitendurance.com. These websites, as well as CrossFit.com and many CrossFit gyms around the world, post their workouts for free, as well as posting instructional videos and discussions on all things fitness. Again, what it all comes down to is fitness goals.

    If you join a CrossFit gym with a 1:20 half-marathon, and only train with the gym WODs, then that half-marathon time will suffer. But many other aspects of your fitness will increase. Similar results will occur for a power-lifter with a 700 lb back squat. But what if someone feels that being fit includes a 400 lb back squat and a 1:40 half-marathon (I can dream, can’t I?). Or, what if it means a weekend snowmobiling in the backcountry, pulling out sleds stuck in snow, and still being able to ski lap after lap with plenty of air in your lungs and strength in your legs. Or being able to shoot your elk a long ways from camp because you and your friends have the confidence that you will be able to haul out the quarters without running out of strength. CrossFit (or CrossFit-style) training relates to people with goals such as these.

    The mere existence of CrossFit has created a platform for individuals to re-evaluate what it means to be fit and what it means to be healthy. Let me reiterate, it a platform for INDIVIDUALS to evaluate, through their fitness goals, what it means to be fit and healthy. CrossFit, more than anything else in the fitness sphere that I’ve come across, sets a stage for lifestyle change. From creating an environment where an individual can come in and be surrounded by positive people trying to enact positive lifestyle choices, to opening a discussion centered around thinking about eating and nutrition as a fuel for your body instead of merely a comfort, to introducing the general population to wonders of what the human body can do for you if you learn how to move it and treat it correctly. Bringing these ideas to one place instills in people a thought process and lifestyle that is sustainable over the course of an entire life. The amount of people who I’ve personally seen have had their lives changed through a healthy dose of “functional movement” is overwhelming. P90X, slim fast, jenny craig, zumba classes, and “insanity” dvd’s have all undoubtedly changed lives. In those, however, I fail to see the same sustainable changes that are made and supported through CrossFit communities.

    In a sense I am trying to defend the CrossFitters who told you that “You get so much more than a standard gym.” I like to think that people join a CrossFit gym, or start using CrossFit training, and before long they attain a certain set of tools. The tools can be used however they like. Whether it is taking proper movement form that they learned in at the CrossFit gym into their own workouts at home or at another gym, or thinking of nutrition in a new light, or re-evaluating what fitness means to themselves, most people at least walk away with something, or by getting hooked on CrossFit and coming back day after day to improve their fitness and work toward their goals. CrossFit is influencing how the greater population views fitness. From what I’ve seen, it has impacted countless lives for the better. I defend it not for its claims on elite fitness, but for its ability to enact meaningful change on the human condition. (And also for helping me realize my strength and fitness goals).

    Thanks for posting, Tanya. You made some very accurate points and criticisms. For everyone out there, think about your specific goals and pursue them. Research the aims and goals of CrossFit. They might align with what your views of fitness are, they might not. In any case, as Tanya mentioned, if you try a gym, be prepared to get pushed out of your comfort zone. Who knows, once you get out of the zone, you might like what you find.

    Cheers,

    -Jeff N.

    • Tanya says:

      Jeff,

      I love you for taking the time to write at all of that out. Agree completely with your comments!

      Well, except for 1 point…nothing will ever compare (in my mind) to the RAC weight room. The combination of that gym, my strength and conditioning coach, and my super strong/fast teammates pushing me on is a high bar for any facility/program to reach. But maybe I am just missing college and Laramie! 😉

      Thanks so very much for taking the time to write all of that out for me and whomever else happens to read it.

      Tanya

      • Jeff N. says:

        It is very hard to recreate the atmosphere created on a collegiate team in a collegiate facility. No doubt about that. I played collegiate soccer as well, albeit DII, but I know exactly what you mean when talking about being around teammates who push and motivate you. A bond is forged through all that pain and suffering in the name of getting that extra edge on your competition.

        And that is what precisely drew me to CrossFit in the first place. As you pointed out in your original post, the competitive environment is something you enjoyed about CrossFit. For me, it has brought back the competitiveness in me that I was left without after I graduated and could no longer play collegiate athletics.

        You mentioned diet in your post. And I see that you are a registered dietitian. I know everyone responds differently to different foods, and there’s probably no one-size-fits-all nutrition program. If possible, I would love to see a post that outlines a possible nutrition program for athletes whose goals are to gain strength while keeping their body fat percentages down (I know that’s kind of a broad scope, maybe it’s the holy grail of nutrition to figure out how to do that for everyone?). Either way, it would be cool to see a plan from a real RD as how to best maintain gains when training with a CrossFit style (or any other rather intense) fitness program, with CrossFit style (strength gaining) goals. Macronutrient ratio’s, recovery, how many times a day to eat, etc. would all be cool to see. It’s your blog, though, just a suggestion!

        -Jeff

        P.S. Of course your missing Laramie! Who wouldn’t??

  22. Heather C says:

    Great post, Tanya! This ” Is Crossfit a good workout? Yes. Is it the end all, be all, pinnacle of fitness? No.” and the “Nutrition advice from {random Crossfit Instructor/Paleo-obsessor}” is a great way to sum it all up. I love how you broke it down and were positive about what you DID like, and these workouts might be ideal for some people (who have a much larger budget than most), but it’s just an Option along with everything else.

  23. cakesandmorebynora says:

    Great blog. Very good points. One point i would like to make is that every CrossFit gym has its own personality and training style. Every time some one sees CrossFit, they assume it will be the same thing at every CrossFit facility. CrossFit’s are all affiliates not franchises so they can be run however the owner of that specific facility would like it to be run. I personally bring out the speed ladder at our facility and train agility. I have had Crossfitters from different gyms say they have never done that at their CrossFit gym. You have to really do your research and try every CrossFit gym, speak to the owner, the coaches and other members to see their views and thoughts on fitness to see if you are on the same track.

    • Tanya says:

      Thank you for your comment. I can see how all CrossFit gyms are not the same and like most things exist on a spectrum. Sadly, living in a small town means only one CrossFit gym option. Although I don’t like city living, it would be great to have so many different options available and be able to find a gym that fit more with my fitness mentalitiy and was aligned with my goals! 🙂

  24. A Modern Girl says:

    Great post. I’ve heard the buzz about CrossFit, but I don’t know anyone who’s actually done it, so it was really interesting to read about your experiences.

  25. Sarah says:

    I am so with you. I LOVED certain things about crossfit when I tried it (and got a LOT of flack for it from some of my friends), but am really turned of by the lifestyle/cult-ish attitude and was especially turned off by the trainers pushing Paleo, and then couldn’t even really tell me why when I pushed them for answers (they obv have no nutrition background). But love the back to basics training.

    • Tanya says:

      Good point. Like you, I view the competitive atmosphere as a great thing, but hadn’t really thought about how it may not be a positive for everyone. It could be overly intimidating for some I suppose!

  26. Sarah Downs says:

    Hi Tanya!

    Loved this post! Completely agree! I tried crossfit a couple of times last year and it was a great workout! But the the paleo and cost part didn’t really fit into my Grad student/dietetic intern lifestyle, which I am sure you understand! 🙂

    -Sarah Downs

    • Jeff N. says:

      Hi Sarah,

      Any tips on what type of diet would be most conducive to compliment a fitness training program like CrossFit? Or any high intensity interval type training with the goals of increasing base cardiovascular endurance while increasing overall strength and power?

      Thanks!

      -Jeff

      • Tanya says:

        Hey Jeff,

        So I know you touched upon this question before. Not ignoring it (well, yah I guess I did), just totally wrapped up in the grind/dark hole of work.+ plugging away at PhD while still trying to find time to do things like shower…but anyways. As important as solid nutrition is I just don’t buy in to the “1 right way” mentality. Put a vegan body builder and an omnivore body builder next to each other. Can we spot who is who? Probably not. Same thing in lots of sports/diet patterns. The issue I (and most RDs) have with the paleo diet preached at most Crossfit facilities is that it is just that: Preached. And by folks whose only “education” is random websites. I love the “eat more natural foods” drive. I hate the “peanuts are deadly because they are legumes” and other statements made without suporting facts. I also dislike the, “humans evolved eating this, so we should eat this way now” argument. We did not evolve eating chicken raised on farms, or even fruits/veggies that resemble what we see in the produce department now. There is also anthropology evidence that legumes were eaten before the paleolothic man was around. I tend to reply to that comment with snark along the lines of, “they also didn’t sleep on a pillow top matttress, so maybe you should give that up too”.

        But back to the question, what IS a good diet strategy? It is not novel and it is not sexy and therefore doesn’t sell books. Consume adequate grams CHO, pro, and fat from a range of foods in order to maximize vitamin/mineral/phytochemical intake. Appropriate g/kcals will be individualized to sport/training level and weight/body comp. The International Olympic Commitee has recs published for various training levels, which appear to be the most evidence and performance based. When I am not frantically typing on my phone while making lectures I will post the links to them! P.S. – When did Laramie get a crossfit gym?

  27. Jeff N. says:

    Thanks for the response, Tanya! Great to hear some good information from someone in the field of nutrition and diet. I was recently pointed to this TED Talk which discusses our ancestors diet from one anthropologists perspective.

    And then a response to the talk by one of the primary proponents of the Paleo Diet

    http://robbwolf.com/2013/04/04/debunking-paleo-diet-wolfs-eye-view/

    I’m not supporting one side or the other. And I by no means have the knowledge of human body to understand how different foods are digested and where all the nutrients go or anything like that. I can only talk from experience (which, in my mind, is probably the best to go off of.. if something works for you, then you’ve solved your own problem!). Reading about the Paleo Diet made me for the first time really think about what I was putting into my body. It made me understand that there are some food products that some humans are allergic to. If a food product adversely affects one’s health, then that individual should probably stop eating it. Do all of us have bad reactions to legumes? dairy? gluten? No. But you should find out for yourself by experimenting to see how your body reacts both mentally and physically. My second awakening when it came to diet was the amount of macro nutrients and source of macro nutrients that one should put into the body. A popular name for this is the Zone diet, and it gives a person another way to experiment with quantities and sources of food that will give them the proper amount of carbs, fat, and protein as well as all the vitamins and minerals necessary. Ratios recommended to begin with are 40% carbs, 30% protein, 30% fat, through experimentation these can be tweaked to find the optimum diet for every individual.

    I’m actually not sure why I’m writing this all out. Maybe I’m looking for validation from RD’s, because yes, I have learned most of this information through CrossFit circles. Have you heard of the Zone diet and do you have any thoughts on it? We did a Nutrition Challenge at our gym and we based it on the zone. In 6 weeks the participants (about 50) collectively lost over 300 lbs of body fat and we collectively increased our lean muscle mass.

    We opened the gym in Laramie at the end of 2011.

    I appreciate the continued discussion!

    -Jeff

  28. David says:

    I go to a local gym where people do Cross-Fit on their own without supervision. I am not saying that supervision is needed, but I see so much bad form and joint abuse that I am afraid some of these Cross-Fit addicts are going to have some seriously debilitating joint injuries (knees, elbows, rotator cuffs) because their form is bad even if the energy level is high. The main reason I will not do Cross-Fit is that I have many of those injuries (from sports in which I was trained well). I do not want to compound problems just to keep up with a frenetic pace. Somehow, I think some common sense and some standardization of that stuff would be a good idea :).

  29. martvic21 says:

    Just wanted to say that this was an awesome post. Glad you decided to write it because it’s awesome. I was getting all into it when I was in the Nutrition section silently screaming “You tell em! You tell em!”

  30. Matt says:

    Seems like most of the people who have commented on this blog have never tried crossfit. Here is why i like it:

    1. Quick, intense workout. Like most people with a job and a family, I don’t have time to spend on endurance training for hours and hours. Plus, I get more reps in one workout than most body builders do in an hour of training. I’m usually in and out of the gym in 30 minutes.
    2. Safe. I think it is funny that runners and tri-athletes claim that crossfit causes injuries. Have you ever met a runner or triathlete that didn’t have injuries? I’ve been doing Crossfit for 4 years and have had zero injuries. Like everything else, you have to be smart about what you attempt to do. If the crossfit workout is too heavy, scale it back – just like they say on the crossfit website.
    3. Flexible. I create my own crossfit workout by switching between a few of the better known crossfit sites (there are about a million of them) depending on what I want to concentrate on for a few months. The main site (crossfit.com) becomes a little too easy after you have been doing crossfit for a while. I also keep the workout flexible to suit my needs and limitations. For example, I have bad knees (from running) so instead of jump rope or high impact exercises, I do box jumps and step off the box after the jump. I also have to bike when they call for a run. It is so flexible, I was able to do wods (workouts of the day) two days after my last three knee surgeries by modifying the workout. Again, thanks to running for the bad knees.
    4. Results. I was a strength and conditioning coach, then an endurance athlete, then a weightlifter and i have become fitter and stronger in the last four years (now 44) than I have ever been. It’s due to the intensity and the work in all areas of fitness, like endurance and strength. With no cycling training, I have gone for long bike rides with my buddies but they fall out when they try to crossfit with me. Besides, I really like the way muscle looks on me.
    5. Interest. I’m sorry, I just can’t do the same old thing over and over every day. Crossfit gives me variety, from a 5k one day to a metcon the next day. Keeps me stimulated.

    I agree with a lot of points that have been made, like the fact it is too easy to get certified and many crossfitters try to force crossfit on others. I used to but realized its not for everyone. To be successful at crossfit, it takes a certain type of Type A, disciplined, results driven maniac. I just happen to be one, but realize that it’s not for everyone. I’m happy for anyone that gets results and looks good. If you don’t have a fitness or athletic background, probably starting with a personal trainer is the best call.

    • Tanya says:

      Hey Matt,

      Thanks so much for commenting! Certainly agree with your points. The Crossfit causes injuries comments isn’t something I get hung up on as a negative about it like others do. Like you- lots more injuries from other workouts/sports than Crossfit (both as a result of overtraining and just freak accidents)

  31. Kirsten says:

    This is absurd. Many crossfitters are triathletes and there are currently more of these ‘hate’ comments about crossfit than any other form of exercise. Reebok picked up Crossfit and started marketing it so you can blame them for its sudden rise and catch phrases. The community is amazing and supportive and yes, anyone can do it but like all other programs the coaches insist you scale the workouts. I suppose Zumba is a cult too???? Some people are enthusiastic about becoming better at the movements, stronger, faster…. Some are excited to get a pull-up of any variety, strict or otherwise. My crossfit gym costs approx $10 per class which is what I was paying to go to Zumba. There is Olympic lifting, strength, gymnastics, and yoga classes available within the crossfit classes. There is an “on ramp” or elements class that farmiliarizes new people on very basic movements, like squats. It’s not just people being thrown into a class they are unprepared for, lifting too much weight with too little form. We work and talk about form every day. Positive reinforcement and support is invaluable in this community and so it’s easy to see why you wouldn’t want to be involved. Much Aloha!

    • Tanya says:

      Hi Kristen,

      Thanks for stopping by. I;m a bit confused by some of your comments. It doesn’t seem like you read everything I had to say. Particularly, your last comment – as one of the things I said I really liked about CrossFit was the supportive community!

      I am jealous that your gym is so cheap compared to other CrossFit gyms. I would totally go and join a WOD 1x/week if costs were that low here. My friend’s gym has $5 Saturday drop in classes and I went with her while visiting last weekend and it was a great way to switch up my structured, progressive, overload program!

  32. Selena says:

    Thank you for posting this. Nice to know someone else noticed the negative aspects of Crossfit. I’m just coming out of a one year contract with a Crossfit box and I am not renewing. While I recognize the positive aspects of Crossfit, the arrogant, elitist attitude is what drove me away. Going into to Crossfit I was at 12% body fat and this was accomplished on my own. I think I’ll continue to be just fine on my own with my marathons and circuit trainings contrary to what some Crossfit fans may think.

    • Tanya says:

      Hi Selena,

      Thanks for your comment. I’m glad to see others who have tried it out realize it isn’t the only way to be fit! 🙂 Best of luck with the marathons!

    • DisappointedInMinneosta says:

      Selena – I agree with everything you posted. I’m returning to my own training, circuits and again the fun and freedom of distance running.

  33. TT says:

    Thank you for posting this article! I am a crossfitter and I also can only barely afford the $125 per month for 2 classes a week being a mother of two. Don’t even ask me how my husband feels about it….just happy we are still married! Well to say the least it has paid off, I shed 25lbs in 3mos and hubby loves what it has done for me. The one thing that I can truly say bugs me the most is the cult like feeling. I have a very busy schedule managing 2 kids, self employed and work long hours. Furthermore I just moved and now my box is 30min away. Soooo there are times when I am unable to make it during their scheduled class times due to conflict and I find myself missing a lot. Well that’s life right? So why do I get a guilt vibe from the group when that happens? I hate that! I appreciate being held accountable, not feeling guilty because I have to still manage my career household and sanity…oh and WOD on schedule! Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love my gym and the coaches are amazing! But I can do without the clickiness… and do what we do, and go where we go, eat how we eat, and if you don’t then you suck feeling. So for short… I really do love crossfit… I don’t love the cost, the click (cult) feeling. Furthermore, I have tried Paleo and do notice a difference in how I feel. Have I been faithful to the Paleo diet during my 3mo weight loss? No. I do like a turkey sandwich on whole wheat once in a while! So will I go total Paleo while doing crossfit…NO. Will I still eat a well balanced healthy diet and try some or most meals Paleo during my week…OF COURSE! Will that hurt me….ABSOLUTELY NOT!

  34. DisappointedInMinneosta says:

    This is a late reply, but I just stumbled upon your blog. My area has some excellent CF gyms with knowledgeable and attentive coaches that I’d highly recommend. Unfortunately the one I attended did not maintain it’s excellent status. I was promised to get “so much more” for my money than I can from a “global gym”. Interesting because after one month of my membership, I no longer received my monthly check in to see how I was progressing and a monthly skill session that was a perk to my membership level. To top it off, after winning the Whole Life Challenge contest which was 56 days long, the owner did not follow up the prize that I worked and trained so hard for. I’m still waiting for my prize…

    So if one decides to join a CF gym DO YOUR RESEARCH! Not just posts of reviews because they only ask the happy members to do that or members who are still in the honeymoon phase of CF excellence will post praises. I know, I was one of them and was very star struck in the beginning. If it’s a long term contract, seriously consider it before you sign the line. I had to cancel my membership because my elbow is trashed from repetitive movements (tendinosis). The only way to get out of the contract was to get a medial letter to cancel my membership as I had to sign a 14 month contract to get the affordable price of $179 (and that’s with a fire dept discount). I have 20 years of strength training experience and did not suffer injury from my programming. Less than one year of CF, I have 2 chronic injuries. Mind you I’m competitive with an athletic history, but I should have been more cautious before joining. I paid price for rushing blindly into the glamour and fame that Crossfit is the best thing for fitness.

  35. Jared says:

    In crossfit, programming is everything. I’ve worked out at three boxes now. Two were good, one was way more effective than the other. The box I’m at now is terrible. Very random WODs, everything super metcon. No flexibility or gymnastic work. Core movements like once a week. I plan to leave soon, so I’m not going to change horses, but yeah.

  36. Rich says:

    I joined my CrossFit gym for a 3-month period and paying $350, I found that, when I wanted to focus on using the ‘Open Gym’ (e.g. barbells for deadlifts, squats, press, kettlebells, the pullup frame on my own, etc) rather than join in with the WODs (which seem rather too cardio-based IMO – like someone posted above ‘random, super-MetCon based’), I was very quickly ostracized from the box and the members’ attitude to you ‘cooled’ somewhat.
    Not blatantly, I might add – but very casually.
    They definitely make you feel like an ‘outsider’ if you don’t jump in with everyone else with the same ‘Group Love-in’ attitude….

    Furthermore, any slightest comment or critique of doing things differently were quickly shot down (i.e. Russian vs USA kettlebell swing, the kipping-pull-up, ‘Globo’ gyms were derided and I didn’t particularly warm to the over-the-top ‘community’ feeling of this box (hugging, high-fiving, hand-shaking…ALL the time?)

    Plus, no-one liked it when I suggested that “you do realize Rich Froning looks like he does because he doesn’t do WODs or eat peanut-butter and drink milk all day…….don’t you?”
    (with just enough sarcastic tone in my voice to hammer the point home)

    I got very quickly bored with it all and decided that it wasn’t for me.

    • Selena says:

      I didn’t like the over-the-top community thing either. I wasn’t looking to make additional friends to have movie night or go grocery shopping with (really?). I just wanted to be in shape, and I already have a set of friends that I barely have time to spend time with. That aspect was strange to me.

      • Rich says:

        Don’t get me wrong, the whole idea of CrossFit works…just not for me.
        Now I’ve tried CrossFit, I realize my goals are more geared toward ‘globo-gym’ (my local, multi-floored gym of where I’m still a member of anyway, have set up their own mini-CrossFit floor with kettlebells, deadlift/press platform, pull-up frames, sled-push section, etc)

        But yeah, the CrossFit attitude I found bemusing at best, irritating at worst (like you said Selena, movie-night/grocery-day…or, upcoming for us this month, ‘CrossFit Picnic & Rounders Day’…yaaaaay!)
        The people were initially friendly, but it seemed like if you didn’t assimilate yourself into the group, you were frowned upon. Sure, people would help you, encourage you, but if you drifted off from the WOD/group ethic, they picked up on it pretty quick.

        Still, I do like Reebok’s cool CrossFit Nano training shoes – I got two pairs, lol!

  37. Michael King says:

    Agree to disagree. Lol. You obviously went to the wrong Crossfit ! As i did when i first tried it a couple years ago. I have over the last 30 years tried many different gyms and forms of working out. Crossfit by far is hands down the best. It has changed my life. I have never scene and felt faster results. At 55 i m in the best shape of my life thanks to Crossfit of Norwalk (connecticut ) I have had ACL surgery and rotator cuff surgey both about 15 yrs ago. I have had neck issues my whole life and still do. However none of it stops me from doing CF. i scale and adjust accordingly. If i start warming up on any given day and something hurts i do something else. Its that simple. As long as i workout. I leave my ego in the car and dont car if i m lifting the same or less weight as the 30 yr old woman next to me. I am committed and go 4 to 5 tumes a week. Its an hour without my cellphone anywhere near me. Lol.

    As far as a balanced workout you are definetly at the wrong gym. May not do alot of Back squatting but did squat cleans this week and front squats the week before as well as Thrusters.

    As far as kipping iit is my understanding and belief that kipping allows to do more quicker and as you are aware many of the workouts are high intensity and timed. Helping the cardio aspect of CF. and yes i can do dead hang strict. 13 is my best to date. Lol.

    I am not a Paleo nut. Although i do try to est fairly healthy i love a good Pizza once a week. And a real one. Not a gluten free ine or a salad pizza. Sundays i eat whatever i fel like. And if dining at someone elses home i eat whatever they are serving.

    I do not think Crossfit is the only way or the highway. I believe it depends on the individual. Bottom line us as long as you doing something whatever works for you.

    Thanks
    Michael

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