Love thy enemy part II

Posted on January 13, 2012. Filed under: Exercise | Tags: , , , , |

After my writing on Planet Fitness.  I started thinking of what other “enemies” to fitness there are out there.  Thus came the obvious thought…




Now personally I have nothing against CrossFit.  A friend and colleague owns a CF gym, and I look forward to visiting him in March.


I really have only 2 issues with CrossFit in general

  1. There is no standard of coaching.  Unless your CF affiliate already understands the mechanics of proper form and structure in lifting going in to CF, they are not going to learn it from them.  CF certified coach is  never formally tested in any of the lifts they learn, and and still passes. Which makes choosing a CF gym about the same  as playing Russian Roulette.  Yes the odds are in your favor, but if you lose you lose big.
  2. CF fan-boys in general are ignorant and annoying.  Please note I didn’t say CF athletes or coaches.  At least, the majority of them have an understanding of the roots of exercise.  For example, I do what would be considered complexes.  First I used Javorek complexes.  And now experiment with Russian complexes.  It used to be when people saw me do this it was “circuit training,” now it’s CF training.  anything outside of traditional sets seems to be CF.  And that is just really annoying to explain over and over.


For the record CrossFit (CF) is a trademark.  It is not a form of exercise.  No more than Tae Bo is a form of kickboxing.  Cross-training has existed for centuries, except back in the day they called it exercise, manual labor, and occasionally surviving.


There are many articles out there which crucify CF.  There are aspects they should be commended for.  Namely the importance of intensity in a workout.  In a way they are the exact opposite of Planet Fitness.


Numerous studies have shown that even when doing the exact same workout.  Same number of exercises, sets, reps, etc.  If one person does it faster with less rest than the other person.  The 2 groups will see equal rates of strength increase.  The faster or more intense pace will result in greater fat loss, and improvement of endurance (1,2)


Next CF emphasizes lifting weights not only does not make women bulky, but instead lean, strong and confident.  A message I’ve been trying to get across for years.


Finally the importance of a support group.  Many Cf outsiders call CF a fitness cult.  And anyone who argues against that, well hasn’t been paying attention.  Face it, among the hardcore CFers, if their leaders told them to where hawaiin shirts, grey tennis shoes and eat applesauce laced with tribulus, they would do it.  Bear with me, that is not completely a bad thing.


With all our social media people forget just how completely disconnected society has become.  We don’t interact, touch, feel the energy fo our fellow man.  Cf channels this energy in to a ball of vibrant teamwork encouraging you to go past limits you may have set for yourself.  Which is a beautiful thing.

Being a part of a good team or group is an amazing feeling.  I have only had a few cases where I have got to experience it, and I hope to create the same in my own gym  some day.  When everybody is on the same page you feel like you can do anything.


So what can we learn from our CF radicals

  1. Everybody can lift with intensity.  Man, woman or child.  Just make sure it’s relative to the persons level and needs
  2. More group training.  I am a big fan of semi-private coaching for client.  The energy is so much better, and clients see faster results when they do it.
  3. Have a belief in both your self and your fellow gym mate that you can do more.  Just do it with some common sense.


I have no intention of starting a CrossFit gym.  Doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate a bit of CF attitude.  😉


Keep Fitness Groovy,

Coach W

1)Paoli et al, Effects of three distinct protocols of fitness training on body composition, strength & blood lactate. J Sports Med Phys Fitness, 2010 Mar;50(1):43-51
2)  Keller AR et al, Metabolic costs of reciprocal supersets vs traditional resistance exercise… J Strength Cond Res. 2010 Apr;24(4): a043-51

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[…] mentioned before that there are definite positives one can take from understanding the growth of CF in previous blogs. Since then I have noticed […]

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