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.