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You Don’t Like Crossfit? Get Over It

If I had my way, I would eliminate all future internet articles that focus on these three topics:

1. Running will kill you. Lift weights instead!
2. Carbs make you fat. 
3. Crossfit is dumb because I say so.
Luckily today I will only write about option #3, so let’s get started.
I will preface this article by stating that I am a 285lb Strongman that never wants to even think about doing a kipping pullup or metcon again in my life. That being said, the prevalence of Crossfit-bashing articles have become nothing less than tedious, and contribute nothing to the strength world that hasn’t already been said hundreds of times, usually by the same people. If you are like Mark Rippetoe, your ONLY contribution to the strength world these days is writing over and over how you think Crossfit is just so dumb! It’s dumb and I hate it, because it’s dumb!! Now, that isn’t to say that there aren’t some things in the Crossfit world that make my face cringe and my groin hurt, such as this:


What the WAT?

 

Yea, there aren’t really any words to describe the stupidity of the competition event pictured above, but you know what it is? Growing pains, as Crossfit finds its groove as it tries to become a sport in its own right. Every sport has them, as they try to iron out what works and what doesn’t work. In Crossfit’s case, it will probably take a little longer than usual, because it is a sport that revolves around competing in unknown events that you probably haven’t trained for. If people want to partake in that sport, good for them! I can think of a lot worse habits to pick up than Crossfit that will kill you much quicker.

As someone who has spent the last four years studying theology, no argument against Crossfit appears weaker to me than the “Crossfit is a cult” argument. Being a cult does not inherently make something evil or detrimental, and before you throw the C-word around, think about this: What cult in America causes its members to don face paint every week, spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars annually to spectate, cause city-wide riots, spend countless amounts of money on alcohol, and generally distract us from the real world?

That’s right: Football is without a doubt, the biggest cult in our country, yet most people have absolutely no problem participating in or spectating with an almost religious zealotry. In reality, any sport, even strength sports, can develop cult-like tendencies. The bottom line is, who cares? If you hate Crossfit because it is a cult, this photo sums you up quite nicely:

 

Crossfit is dumb because I choose to not do it!

 

Simply based on observation online, it never fails that most of the individuals who claim to want to “increase the growth and the awareness of their sport (PL, SM, WL) are the EXACT SAME individuals that will incessantly post troll videos with hundreds of comments that revolve around bashing other strength sports, and even their own sports, for not doing things the way THEY want them to be done. Think about all of the factions of Powerlifting: How long will you argue about squat depth, what is raw, bench arch, and suits before you realize that YOU are holding your own sport back from progressing. No one wants to join a sport where the vocal minority are nothing more than online divas. Powerlifting in the Olympics? Fat chance unless you can all pull your shit together.
Another way that Crossfit is bashed is from the health and safety standpoint. Again, it is very easy to call something dangerous, when you are on the outside looking in. People like to claim that “Crossfitters are a chiropractor’s best clients”. According to who? One chiropractor you talked to? Maybe two? Do they represent all chiropractors?
Yes, Crossfitters may go through wear and tear in their sport, but think about it this way: a race car sitting in the garage may require no maintenance, but it also isn’t going anywhere. Wear and tear is normal across all strength sports, and let he who is without stiffness or injury cast the first stone. Do sedentary people need to be doing snatches and kipping pullups in their first WOD? Probably not, but I won’t hold the entirety of Crossfit responsible for the irresponsibility of the minority of new Crossfit coaches. 
Sure, some Crossfit events do look pointless, dangerous, and even comical. So what? In Strongman, we do some of the goofiest events ever conceived, yet no one is outside our homes with pitchforks and tar. Why is that? Because we don’t get as much attention from mainstream media as Crossfit does. I think it really boils down to: “Hey I am stronger than this Crossfitter, but they get more attention than me. It’s not fair, look at me!”
While I never want to do Crossfit again, I challenge all non-Crossfit strength athletes to think of another fitness movement with thousands of gyms around the world, where we can bring in our Strongman equipment, have a big open floor to do whatever we want, and most importantly, not be surrounded by treadmills, mirrors, and “no deadlifting” signs. LBEB lifters are eternally grateful to all the Crossfit gyms that have let us use their space in the past, because without them, we would be screwed.  
If you truly want your sport to grow, embrace all of the people that are introduced to your way of lifting by Crossfit. Gyms and coaches who put their heads in the sand when it comes to Crossfit are gyms and coaches that will struggle greatly to make ends meet, for the most part. Adapt or Die comes into play greatly here, and if you just can’t bring yourself to embrace thousands of potential new athletes for your sport, then perhaps you are the problem here.
It is time to end the repetitive Crossfit-bashing articles, mainly because they don’t convey any new ideas, they are just click-bait, and they present a very biased view of the sport that could easily be said about the rest of us.
Competitive Crossfitters, like us, are not participating in their sport solely for health reasons. No one wants to win a gold medal, or be the world’s strongest person for health reasons, they want to win. If I was about 100lbs lighter (and not terrible at Crossfit), I would do kipping pullups until the sun set if it gave me a chance at winning 500,000 dollars. The sooner we start to embrace these people, the sooner we won’t have to compete for first place, and MAYBE win a jug of protein if we are lucky.

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Also, we sponsor hot Crossfitters


32 thoughts on “You Don’t Like Crossfit? Get Over It

  1. Hey man great article, I feel sorry for the people who now have to write about what they don’t like. Very shitty lives they must lead

  2. Great post! I think this relates to so much more in life then just CrossFit! Thanks for your motivation!

  3. Thanks for this!

  4. I also support hot crossfitters, nutting wrong with a sport where shirts are optional:) Great article!

  5. I know all my friends will love my new dress, especially my husband, he couldn’t believe the price either. Thanks to the seller, the dress came in earlier than expected.
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  6. Loved reading this! All in all I have think many crossfit moves get applied everyday in many fitness routines. It is silly to say you don’t like WOD or it is stupid when you do HIIT. What ever motives people to move and get healthy is a win win.

  7. Awesome post, shared on my Facebook page! — Ericka @ The Sweet Life (sweetlifeericka.com)

  8. Click, click, boom. Well said, and exactly what I’ve been telling people for years when they ask me for the first time about CrossFit trolls. Now I can just point them to your article.

  9. LOVE it. All I read is how many people got rhabdo due to crossfit. My box has a chiropractor that goes to it and I work in a chiro office. We support crossfit as well as any other sport.

  10. Thanks for your love and support!

  11. I can see why people either love or hate crossfit. I will admit, the last while crossfit has done more for Olympic weightlifting than weightlifting itself in North America. My biggest problem with crossfit is doing high number of reps for complex movements. The wear and tear will add up. Also, the rates that crossfit boxes are charging is silly, lack of hours and flexibility they offer is a problem.
    If crossfit wants to get more respect here are some of the things they should do
    1) Stop having goons like Dave Castro be the front and center of the sport. Poor representation there
    2) From my experience, be more flexible to people outside the crossfit world that would like to use crossfit boxes without being charged an arm and a leg. I am not going to pay $150 dollars a month to Oly lift with very limited flexibility to workout. Negative PR right there for the crossfit cult.
    3) If someone bashes crossfit , the industry in general gets super defensive. Case and point Elgin Mones (Exercises in Futility) had a lot of videos ripped of his youtube channel due to him bashing crossfit. Crossfit decided to use youtube/copyright rights to shut down his channel. It looks like you are legitimizing Elgin by doing this and making him stronger.
    4) Crossfit needs to have legitimate and qualified people running crossfit and their competitions, not some backyard warriors or volunteers. To me at times I wonder if the higher ups really care about crossfit or the money they are making from it.
    I am not 100% for or against crossfit. I think there are worst things out there than crossfit but some things need to change so crossfit can progress and get the respect it wants.

    1. Dammit, I just typed a nice detailed and constructive response and the comment-posting-gremlins fumbled the delivery. Sigh. Lightning round:
      1-yes
      2-no; having a non-paying member there takes a hell of a lot more from a business than you realize (insurance, someone being there extra hours, time or space away from paying clients or the behind-the-scenes work it takes to run a business, etc). You’re bringing your boat to Jiffy Lube and telling the mechanic “hey I just wanna use your tools after hours or when you’re not looking.” *IF* they try to work out a deal with you, respect their side of things.
      3- the pissing match on both sides is pointless, agreed. Love this article for that reason.
      4- Very valid point but harder than you might thing. CF HQ is not in charge of locally owned boxes. If they aren’t sponsoring or collecting money from a competition then they can’t tell adults what to do with their own equipment or spaces. Would be cool if they offered consulting or liaison services to smaller scale competitions, maybe?

  12. Thanks man, this helped calm me down! I tried explaining the varying levels of Crossfit to someone the other day because as a female coach, I help many 50+ women get back into shape, no olympic lifting involved – and now they can move independently, or pick their kids up (whatever it may be) with no pain! I also work with people who literally cannot get themselves off the ground – if they fall, what can they do?? I help get them to a point where they don’t need to go into a nursing home or have life-alert. They literally would not listen and were just asking dumb questions (that were easily defend-able, had I had the time and energy to even respond….) Yes, poor coaching and poor programming exists, but it exists in every sport and it is frustrating that people just stuff their fingers in their ears and go “lalalalala” while you try to tell them this. There is no point arguing or explaining to people who “hate” it and they obviously don’t live happy lives. Again, thanks for being my vent!! 🙂

  13. Great article, very well put and simply stated.

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  15. So much butthurt about butthurting.

  16. What a bunch of bullshit waste of an article. Rip explained in great detail his point of view regarding crossfit and you just refuse to understand the arguments. Butthurt.

    1. Yes, you do sound butthurt.

  17. “Have a big open floor to do what we want?”
    Last time I checked you CANT do what you want, Crossfit is GROUP exercising, so you’re just wrong. Oh and by the way, it cost 3x as much as a typical gym

    Secondly, Football players are in remarkably better shape than *any* Crossfit athlete and yes, strong man. Brb bench 225-31 times then run a 4.7 40 yard dash. Sorry, none of you fuckers are doing that. Football deserves every dime it gets, Crossfit does not. It doesn’t have drug testing, isn’t used to train any national athlete, professional athlete or endorsed by any sport. Olympic coaches have came out and said Crossfit is retarded and science backs it up with proof it doesn’t build muscle better than bodybuilding/powerlifting and cardiovascular health better than running/swimming etc.

    Finally, there’s nothing wrong with treadmills. If you got on one, you’d lose a 100lbs and maybe realize there’s no correlation between Crossfit and “running” or Crossfit and “being in shape.” A powerlifting routine and using those treadmills you don’t want to be surrounded by will put you in better shape than Crossfit anything. The mirrors are for looking at your form, something Crossfitters and apparently strong men don’t care about.

    You’re basically butthurt and honestly must be retarded to attempt to defend this.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Re: football players being in better shape than Crossfitters.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Sygbjkv0EU&feature=kp

    3. It’s painfully obvious that you have no clue what you’re talking about.

    4. 1) I have many hours of open gym time to allow people who may follow their own program or supplement mine to get work in that they want to get in. What you experience in your local gyms does not translate into what gyms in other places may do. As for cost, yea. You can pay 50 bucks a month to spin your wheels on the elliptical or do your own lifting program or you can pay 150 bucks a month for small group training. My gym maintains a 7:1 athlete to coach ratio in its classes. Thats a pretty damn good deal, if you ask me.

      2) Its amusing that you bring up the NFL and mention that crossfit isnt endorsed by any major sport, casually ignoring that the New Orleans Saints using crossfit workouts in their training made some waves last year. MMA fighters (both amateur and professional) endorse Crossfit as a training program and the New Zealand All Blacks use crossfit in their training.

      Crossfit is nothing more than a brand name slapped on high intensity circuit training. Which is used by professional sports programs around the world.

      As for olympic coaches saying its stupid, thats fine. Im a USAW coach too. I like. So is Brandon here, he seems to think its fine. Danny Camargo and Mike Burgener says its good. I think they’d know. Dmitry Klokov tends to enjoy it. So does Jared Flemming. And Spencer Arnold. As for building muscle, Glenn Pendlay is on record saying olympic lifting is so good at building muscle that he’s having trouble keeping his athletes in their weight classes. And he’s got science on his side too.

      Sure, its not gonna bulk you up like bodybuilding but thats because the aims of the programs are different. One is a sport about putting a shit ton of weight overhead and the other is a sport about using a shit ton of weight to make you big.

      3) Youre right, treadmills get a bad rap. I prefer to go for a jog outside but hey. Whatever. But guess what crossfitters do… run. Often.

      Like, I get the impression that you think Crossfit is only what you see on the games. Or its only the benchmark workouts like Fran and Grace and Fight Gone Bad.

      In a well programmed gym aimed at the general populace, that stuff is rare. Really rare.

      But hey, keep flapping your jaw about something you’ve obviously got no experience with.

    5. BJ Penn tried to use Crossfit for MMA, gassed in the ring against non-crossfit fighters and got his ass kicked until he abandoned it. Greg Glassman says on the crossfit website that crossfit is more effective at building muscle than bodybuilding. your argument is invalid, and the guy who wrote this article only gives a shit how many people he impresses in the gym. Fuck working out to get fit.

  18. This comment has been removed by the author.

  19. Lets take these points on
    1- Just like everything else, that youtube video was junk. Annie did no do a single complete push with correct form. No one had their hand underneath her screaming “All the way down!” as well. Total joke if you believe that.

    Lennon
    1-“Many hours?” What does that mean? Gyms are 24/7. Also, a typical Crossfit gym are the cheapest to set up and yet their membership cost the MOST. Some gyms are going to cost $50 a month, but that $50 will get you 24/7 access, 10-125lb dumbbells and machines. No comparison. Hell a YMCA membership also gives you access to pools, basketball courts etc(real sports). Actually my home gym has more options available than a Crossfit gym.

    2-The Saints brought CIRCUIT TRAINING into their OFF SEASON training. The name Crossfit is just thrown around to be thrown around. When the NFL uses it as a test in the combine, you might be able to talk. There is no pro athlete that trains only with Crossfit, yet every other athlete trains with everything BUT Crossfit. Until someone who holds a championship in the UFC trains only with Crossfit, I don’t want to hear about “MMA Success”.

    3- “As for building muscle, Glenn Pendlay is on record saying olympic lifting…” Yes, OLYMPIC WEIGHTLIFTING.
    Where the fuck do you get Crossfit = Olympic Weightlifting?
    Its not. Last time I check, no one from the olympics had to do reps of 20 something under time and finish it off with kipping pullups to earn a gold medal. You are an idiot. No one would come to your fucking gym to teach Olympic Weightlifting, so you call it Crossfit to make money and attempt to teach Olympic Weightlifting, be honest.

    4-“Shit ton of weight overhead” – Crossfit recommends a typical 160lb Crossfit man use 95lbs for the WODS.

    5- Greg Glassman does claim that Crossfit builds muscle better than bodybuilding. Crossfit also claims in their lawsuit its better for fitness than traditional exercise. Both are false.

    6- “Crossfit is nothing more than a brand name slapped on high intensity circuit training. Which is used by professional sports programs around the world.” Circuit Training has been around for decades and has intelligent programming. Also you can do Circuit Training anywhere with anything at any gym. You don’t have to pay $200 a month to Circuit Train. You’re also not under the “clock” with circuit training as well.

    By your own admittance then you could save $100 a month and get equal(probably better results) by going to a gym and just doing circuit training and using actual pull ups and dips in the process(you know, to be functional).

    1. 1) 5 hours a day (at my gym) and I dont care if you get chalk on the equipment, throw bars, scream, grunt, yell, cuss whatever. You also get decent barbells, legitimate lifting platforms, plenty of open space and me. Sure, Im not the best coach in the world but I’ll more honest with you about your squat depth than you will be with yourself.

      2) Like I said, Crossfit is just a brand name applied to circuit training that includes oly weightlifting and gymnastics. Call it what you will but it does get used in pro sports. And OF COURSE its just part of their programming. Professional athletes train for a specific goal that cant be addressed effectively by a fitness routine that touts generalized “fitness” (in all the vagueness that word involves). The only people who solely train for sports with crossfit are crossfitters. And even then, a lot of them say they dont just crossfit.

      3) I mentioned olympic coaches because you did… anyway. Yea, Crossfit pays the bills. We are, after all, a crossfit gym and (honestly) we are first and foremost a crossfit gym. I coach a grand total of two people interested in learning olympic lifting only. Im cool with that.

      4) I was referencing weightlifting about the “shit ton of weight” thing, not crossfit. I just conflated (purposefully) the two because crossfit utilizes a lot of olympic lifting. That said, Crossfit The Sport does see people put considerable weight overhead, so hey. I mean, high olympic totals tend to translate into Games success.

      5) Greg Glassman claims a lot of stupid things. Please dont hold me accountable for everything he says when he decides to flap his gums after a few too many gin and tonics.

      6) Indeed, though I dislike the implication that crossfit workouts dont follow intelligent programming. Dont mistake “constantly varied” for random. At least not in my programming (man some gyms are bad, I get it. Some gyms are also really good). I make sure our workouts are planned to address specific goals over the course of every 3 month programming cycle. I take quarterly benchmarks, adjust programming and start over.

      I get that for most fitness/weightlifting/powerlifting/bodybuilding veterans crossfit can be a bit over priced. Especially when your familiar enough with your discipline to write your own program and follow it.

      But please, stop comparing apples to oranges in the effectiveness of crossfit compared to professional athlete strength and conditioning programs tailored to goal specific sports. No shit crossfit isnt as effective for football as a football specific S&C program. No shit its not as good at building muscle as a bodybuilding routine specifically geared towards mass gain. These are no brainers.

  20. Some of these comments are really funny.. the question is though, why do u follow this site if you hate powerlifting or crossfit?

    Some of you must be really bored and insecure to fight for your opinion where it’s clearly disregarded anyway.
    I have been training for over 20 years and never enjoyed it as much as the last 3 doing crossfit. I also value year opinion of LBEB.. which is why I’m here. AND I think Streaky has a rockin bod.

    So.. all your football S&C this and BBuilding that self inflated and insecure opinions can just piss off. We will continue to do what we love, regardless of how much some of you ‘disapprove’.
    Get a life..seriously.

  21. Seriously crossfitters don’t be so sensitive and get butt hurt when others call us out. Just ignore these comments and move on. By the way, most crossfitters I workout with don’t have any other talents (playing sports, other hobbies).I will never consider them athletes because they don’t know anything else other than lifting a barbell.

    There are lots of shitty gyms in the country (around 30%) who follow stupid programming. I don’t think people should waste their money to those gyms. Bad programming gets you bad results.

    I am a crossfitter as well but I think crossfit isn’t for everyone because of knowledgeless trainers getting a framed L1 certification and giving false hope to their clients.

  22. I feel a lot of the hate for CrossFit comes from people watching the games and thinking that that is CrossFit. It’s not. It’s a big flashy piece of entertainment and comparing the games to CrossFit as a whole is like comparing the NBA to the sport of basketball as a whole. The most common complaint I hear about CrossFit is about bad form. But, again, look at the NBA. Poor fundamentals is what critics constantly bark about pro-ballers but you wouldn’t assume that all basketball players lack the basic fundamentals. Because the NBA and the rest of basketball are two totally different beasts entirely. One is for entertainment and the other is for sport and enjoyment. Just like the games and the rest of CrossFit. Just my $0.02.

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