Not All Crossfit Gyms are Bad

Posted: May 22, 2012 in Uncategorized
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Lately I have been bashing the Crossfit scene quite a bit. I want to clarify a few things first. My “bashing” of Crossfit is more of a means of educating people of the potential dangers and also to get information out there for athletes looking to improve sport specific performance. There are more efficient ways to get bigger, faster, and stronger. With that said if you move properly and want to do Crossfit, by all means go for it. The workouts are fun and the community atmosphere is second to none. The crossfit community needs to realize what it has going for it and needs to stop boasting about elite fitness and being the best at improving athletic ability. It does neither of those two things, but it gets people to enjoy going to the gym. If they amrketed themselves that way they would do much better then they already do. If you do choose to do a Crossfit program make sure you check out a few first because some are better then others.

For example, in Worcester, MA where I reside there are 2 affiliates; Crossfit Centermass (CFCM) and Crossfit Worcester (CW). An example of a CFCM workout was a 5-3-1 RM bench press to start off followed by 10 rounds of 10 ring dips and 10 burpees. This workout is a ridiculous amount of volume for all the same muscle groups. It is a good way to injure your shoulders and increase the chances of rhabdo. This is not the only workout I have seen like this there. There was a team workout that began with each person doing 30 wall ball shots. This is a squat with a medicine ball toss. After that the workout was as follows; 2 rounds of row 300m, 30 box jumps, 30 kettlebell swings, 30 push press, Lastly each athlete performed 30 225lb deadlifts. This workout consisted of the same hip movements for an exaggerated amount of time and to finish with moderately heavy deadlifts is just not good for anyone. If you did not get hurt doing this, I can guarantee form was not ideal and you are definitely not getting stronger from performing this move tired. I personally know the people over there and they program the workouts with the best of intentions. The lack of education in the Crossfit community is scary. Those workouts are high risk with low levels of rewards.

The other Crossfit gym in Worcester is simply called Crossfit Worcester (CW). Their programming is completely different from the other Crossfit gym. They typically begin each workout with a lift after a dynamic warm-up. This allows each athlete to lift heavy enough to elicit gains as well as do it while they are fresh to avoid injury. From there it goes into a conditioning circuit. For the majority of the posted workouts I have seen there are no Olympic lifts rushed through for time and they are focused around controlling your body throughout various movements. As an example today’s workout is a deadlift after a warm-up followed by 3 rounds of 20 pull-ups, 30 kb swings, 40 sit-ups, and 50 double unders. There is no heavy weight being lifted while fatigued, muscle groups being worked are varying, and this will make you sweat and give you the typical Crossfit feeling. CW’s workouts also tend to be shorter in duration. This allows people to come everyday without becoming overtrained and suffering from overtraining symptoms such as weight gain, increased appetite, sore joints, chronic fatigue, and lack of progression. The other thing I like about their programming is they have 2 skill days. Last week the skill day was rope climbs and pistol squats. Everything we do in life and sport requires us to do it on a single leg. Walking is a single leg exercise. Not many Crossfit gyms pay any attention to unilateral training and seeing CW focus on it is a nice change of pace. In my professional opinion if you are in the Worcester area and have your heart set on Crossfit then Crossfit Worcester is the better choice.

Crossfit is no different then any other bootcamp or group training program. There are risks, uneducated trainers, etc in all of these areas. I can’t even watch the Biggest Loser because of what they do to those people! That is not quality training. When choosing fitness program to take part in make sure you do your homework and seek out educated and qualified trainers, your health and performance are relying on it.

  1. What I didn’t like about cross fit was the lie of the large weights. It looks so heavy and so big but you go to pick it up and its 2 10 pounders that look like 35’s. when you see people post pics on fb of their conquest its like What??? Im pretty sure your just shoulder pressing 20 pounds, way to lie about it!! It is very fake to me

  2. eeryan says:

    There are actually 3 affiliates in the Worcester area. From what I have seen the third programs workouts in a similar fashion to both CFCM and CW, yet there was no mention of that box.

  3. Dave says:

    @ Fitness and Healthy Living Tips

    Those large 10# weights are bumper plates, made from rubber. They make them in 10s, 15s, 25, 35s, 45s, and maybe even 55s. Yes, they look more impressive than small metal weights, however, they are also safer than plastic or metal weights when considering lifts overhead, and are also much easier on floors when dropped.

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