PDA

View Full Version : Crossfit (Sort of) Works


Oliver Gould
05-03-2010, 01:47 PM
In the interests of dispelling my own biases as best I can, I have to give some credit where it's due. I did Crossfit for slightly over two years at some very well-run affiliates with great trainers and communities. Prior to that I had competed in point-fighting Tang Soo Do and done a little of my own training, but I was highly un-athletic. Crossfit-style training did improve my fitness, but it stopped well short of enabling me to achieve the goals I had in terms of athleticism, strength or physique.

Dan John says all training is cumulative - I believe he's correct. While I've made far more S&C progress with a mixture of strength training and running than I did with Crossfit, serious improvements in strength and speed aren't really the point of GPP - GPP is just the general preparedness that allows one to go into a sport without glaring weaknesses. If that's the standard for Crossfit, then the program works - in four years of high intensity training, including the last two years moving back into combat sports and training with high % of 1RM consistently, I haven't had a single chronic injury, muscle imbalance or overuse problem. So my point is that you don't have to continue doing Crossfit to benefit from it so long as you continue in some type of athletic endeavor. If fact once you reach a certain point it's probably best to move on. I know Crossfit bashing is a common sport here and elsewhere online (I do it myself, honestly), but I wanted to post up to share a sober perspective on the program from someone who used it extensively, dismissed most of it, but did realize some peripheral benefits over the long term.

Gant Grimes
05-03-2010, 02:14 PM
There's nothing wrong with the ingredients. It's the recipe that leaves much to be desired.

Ganine Vanalst
05-03-2010, 02:56 PM
There's nothing wrong with the ingredients. It's the recipe that leaves much to be desired.

As do the Executive-, Head-, and Sous Chefs.

Tyler Micheli
05-03-2010, 03:12 PM
And so we choose to dine at a different restaurant.

Grissim Connery
05-03-2010, 06:49 PM
just curious, was your running program more sprinting/power based, or was it more long distance/endurance based, or both?

Oliver Gould
05-04-2010, 05:05 AM
Grissim, my running is a 4:1 ratio of endurance to sprints - even more than many other sports, boxing requires a huge amount of practice and we do quite a few rounds at high-intensity. Any more from the running work would be over kill, I use it as recovery and to get the cardio boost (the idea that you can get all the cardio you need for serious conditioning from interval/sprint work was one of the biggest holes in Crossfit honestly, equally flawed as the idea you can gain significant strength on random days of deadlift singles).

@ everyone else, like I said in the original post, I'm no fan of Crossfit (especially not Crossfit Inc., except for the fact that they provide some of the net's best unintentional comedy via the "At the Whiteboard" series), but I do think that, if you throw away the "Elite" fitness crap, the pseudo-sport and the bad attitudes, the program could be a good fit for a beginner athlete who isn't in a strength/power sport (in other words, who would benefit more from increasing strength and body weight) to build a good GPP base. I feel well served by the base I developed, bu I'm curious on other people's thoughts - how would you tweak the process of building a good GPP base?

(also, I'd just like to point out, many, many of the people who have succeeded with the combo of strength training and short HIT conditioning started with a Crossfit style GPP base, which has certainly had some effect on how the subsequent training effected them).

matthew brewster
05-04-2010, 05:36 AM
[QUOTE=Oliver Gould;75243](the idea that you can get all the cardio you need for serious conditioning from interval/sprint work was one of the biggest holes in Crossfit honestly, equally flawed as the idea you can gain significant strength on random days of deadlift singles).
[QUOTE]

I have to say with my little knowledge of strength and fitness this is something i suspected, and anecdotally i can say is correct.

Before i had to stop training for a few months, after 2 years of CF type training, i found i had got much much better at intervals and also better at crossfit.
Because of this i thought i was in great shape, my times were coming down in all workouts but when i put my fitness to the test in a game of football (the proper game of football where you use your feet :D ) or the bleep test at work the results proved otherwise.

i found i gassed far to early and could never understand why. I think i was trapped in the idea that because i was getting better at metcon training i was a stud at everything -

matt

Grissim Connery
05-04-2010, 07:04 AM
back when i was doing a lot of metcons, i did the same thing where i tried to play some other sports. i pushed way to hard thinking i had some awesome conditioning. truth is that you're going to gas at some point no matter what.

i think a big part of learning a sport is learning when to conserve energy and when to blow your load. the majority of grappling is learning how to chill out in the first place. ideally you would never use much force. realistically though, you only use your energy when you've actually got something worth using it on.

Brian Stone
05-06-2010, 08:52 AM
I agree with most here re: cardio / LSD type training. It's not terribly popular around here, but I find when I consistently do it I generally have a better sense of well-being and overall health throughout normal daytime activities, which can include lengthy bouts of lighter stuff outdoors (i.e. life). *shrug* At this point, I just try to do what I find works, and I've found this works for me.