A friend of mine (whom I highly respect) forwarded this to me today, and this was my response to him. I don’t think any different of him, and I appreciate his views fully, but I also believe in what I’m doing and have seen great results. Cheers mate.
After reading that article, I have this to say–
It’s a well written article and points out the things that are both good and bad about Cross Fit. The issue I have with the article is that most of the “bad” things come down to the person and knowing their limits.
Cross Fit isn’t for everyone, but that’s also part of the reason I put this blog out there, to show REAL people what it’s like to do this. I’m not a couch potato who’s never done anything, and I don’t think this is the best workout regime for everyone, but everyone needs to look at themselves and see what they want. For a guy my size, I’d probably surprise most people with what I can do, and I’m not trying to brag about that. I’m not trying to gain huge muscle mass, though I have gained muscle obviously, I’m trying to lose weight and train my an-aerobic system as much as aerobic…that’s why I love this.
As with most sports, coaching is crucial. I’ve trained with a LOT of different coaches and trainers (many of whom were fantastic and are stills friends) and I can say with 100 certainty that I’ve never had the technical training that I have with Heather (known in other posts as Coach Crip). Even with my lifts last night (which is posted below in “Meet, Diane”), she saw that my form was giving way to speed and without hesitation she forced me to drop weight off my deadlifts. As far as goals and tayloring things, Heather does that too. Almost every time we’re there she asks us what we’re trying to achieve and why, keeps us focused. In fact, in January there is a group of us doing a personal challenge where we’ll get weighed and measured, as well as discussing progress and challenges after every workout (this we do most days anyways). It’s as much about accountability as the workout.
When we finish a WOD and yell out our times at the end, Heather does write them on the white board, but I can’t tell you the last time I actually looked at someone else’s time, good for them if they beat themselves but I’m competing with myself when it comes to that. If I get tired, dizzy, thirsty, or short of breath in the middle of the workout, I take a quick break. She’s there to motivate us but always says that we know ourselves best and knowing when to take a break and put your ego aside is a massive part of the growth involved in this.
I enjoy working out with realistic people rather than egocentric hot heads who are out to prove they’re better than me, that’s why I don’t enjoy working out at typical gyms. The strutting, the posing, the flexing…that shit doesn’t happen at CrossFit 403 (though I can’t speak of other boxes!). We’re all friends and we’d all rather see our friend happily achieving their goal than getting hurt. One of my workout teammates, Scott, hurt his lower back and hasn’t been able to workout in a few days. He still showed up last night and while I was doing hand stand pushups next to him while he was doing stretches, he was counting them off and encouraging me to keep my form, get that last one done. To me, that’s what this is about. Injuries happen in every sport too, so it’s impossible to say one is worse than the other.
There’s even one guy who is arguably the fittest guy there, the guy we all look at and say “he’s a cardio freak of nature” and I’ve seen him stop his own timed workout to correct my form on lifts so that I didn’t hurt myself.
I could totally see how people get amped up and the ego sets in, forcing competition, I’m as competitive as they come but I’ve learned to become more competitive with myself. As for the author’s comment, first paragraph on the last page, that he was embarrassed to be beaten by a group of women—that’s his own insecurity. That’s his problem. I’ve been beat by women too, and I’d bet Heather (who is half my size, at most) could out lift me on most things simply because of her form…she practices what she preaches.
There are two sides to every coin, but as always, if you spend that coin without investigating your options, you’ll probably have buyers remorse.