This thing called crossfit!

In June of this year I wrote 2 posts on a training method called CrossFit. In the first one I talked about the history of CrossFit and in the second one I shared a video highlighting some of the concerns around CrossFit. Since then there has been increased exposure of this “latest fitness trend” which is being marketed as “the sport of fitness”. I get questions everyday about CrossFit so in this post I am going to answer some of them:

  1. What is CrossFit?: CrossFit define it as “Constantly varied, high intensity, functional movement.” Pretty broad you may say! Well yes you are right. What CrossFit has smartly done is taken a number of different sports and physical disciplines and put them together into “CrossFit” which they are now marketing as the sport of fitness. Still a bit confused?Don’t worry you are not alone. So anything can be CrossFit? Yep you got it and that’s the funniest thing these days. If I do a burpee and then row after it, apparently it’s CrossFit, even though I may have been doing that for years. Take Litvinovs training for example which he was doing in the 80’s. Squat then run….well that’s CrossFit isn’t it! Hardly surprising that CrossFit define what CrossFit is so broadly. It’s anything really…
  2. Is is good for me?: Well, well, well. Is it good for you to get involved in moving more, challenging your body and mind, enduring a certain extent of physical suffering all with the aim of increased performance in life?Yeah sure that is totally awesome and if CrossFit is ticking those boxes for you then brilliant, desired result achieved. However as always there is another side of the coin here. A huge issue that I see with CrossFit is that they “prescribe” weights for their workouts. Now sure it’s down to the instructor to make sure the clients safety is not compromised but often they fall short. The amount of injuries I have seen through CrossFit and its users striving to complete the workout at the prescribed weight is frightening. This is the caution. You may have heard about CrossFit, you may have seen guys and girls on TV or You Tube compete at it but please understand that these people have trained and been exposed to these exercises in the CrossFit or similar environment for some time, so jump in but jump in gently. Done without compromising the clients safety yeah sure it’s awesome for you.
  3. Is InnerFight CrossFit?: Ref point 1 above. The InnerFight program addresses the strength of people, delivers workouts that combine a number of different exercises and elements and is a whole load of fun. Could it therefore be classed as CrossFit? Yeah sure it could. However do I personally agree with all the CrossFit principles and as a franchisee does incorporate these in the InnerFight programs? No of course not. I program the InnerFight workouts based on research, experiences, a variety of different training methods, the clients goals, fun and most importantly results. I understand that everyone is different and has different goals. I have endurance athletes that need to get stronger, so we put them on strength programs. I have clients that want to get physically fitter to perform better in life on the whole so we make them stronger and give them an awesome level of conditioning and of course I have people that come to me with specific goals such as to compete in CrossFit (as I have done) so we prepare them for that. Everyone is different, has different goals and so I help them to smash those goals through the InnerFight programs
  4. Does CrossFit have an eating program?: This is perhaps one of the things I find funniest about the whole scene. Yes CrossFit suggests an eating plan (not one they have developed but again one they have taken and put on their “recommended” list) in fact they kind of fluctuate between two eating plans. In their certification they examine people on The Zone Diet written by Barry Sears but most “CrossFitters” seem to be following a Paleo diet which a guy Robb Wolf is at the forefront of but Rob is a guy who fell out with CrossFit some years back and has done very nicely for himself being the “Lone Wolf”. The bottom line here is that there are huge advantages to both diets and I have seen some awesome results from people being on both. I used the Zone diet for a short time but found it overly complicated. Paleo is somewhat more straight forward. The funniest thing these days is that it seems mandatory that if you do CrossFit from a CrossFit “Box” then you also eat Paleo and you talk about Paleo all the time and you post pictures on all social media telling people that you eat Paleo and do CrossFit. I have no issue with telling people what you are up to nor posting pictures on social media about what you eat (you can check mine out on Twitter Facebook Flickr or Instagram) But what really makes me laugh is that these people are rocking around with their pictures from their Paleo and CrossFit lifestyle and are in terrible shape. Seems then didn’t have to work for those badges.

To wrap it up, as I wrote in my first two articles on CrossFit. It is the bringing together or a number of great sporting disciplines and physical training methods under one banner. Do it properly and safely and you will get good at it and have an improved life. But also understand that the same applies for a number of physical training systems. No InnerFight is not CrossFit and no just because you post on social media that you eat Paleo and do CrossFit it doesn’t mean that you are killing it.

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InnerFight founder Marcus Smith is a high performance coach with a wide array of clients on all matters related to performance. For more information how he can help you increase your performance contact him direct at ms@innerfight.com

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