If you’re not part of CrossFit the general rhetoric is to bash it and it’s not hard to do with the endless list of CrossFit fail videos, gimmickry and cult like behaviour that surrounds it. This is not about that. CrossFit doesn’t have to be the bad, excessive injury riddled mess that many make it out to be. It’s also not anything radically new. People have been doing that style of training for a long time. What sets it apart is that it was systematised and organised and a culture was created around it. Which brought a community of people together. Most of the problems you see in CrossFit is a bad coaching problem, which is one that is present in the whole of the fitness world, it’s just more prevalent in CrossFit because its popularity and because people want to cash in on that. CrossFit is popular, people want to do CrossFit, therefore unscrupulous people want to make money off that demand, but offer substandard coaching which leads to the fails. I can go into more detail on this, but that is not what I want to address.
What I want to talk about is the good CrossFit has brought to the health and fitness community. Primarily what it has done is it challenged the health club/ commercial gym model of fitness. The aesthetics based training model, which has its foundations in bodybuilding. It has shown people that training is not just bodybuilding or going to a commercial gym and doing the circuit. It has popularised strength sports like weightlifting, powerlifting and strongman with the everyday person and made it more accessible to everyone.
It opened up the door for people with an alternate view of health fitness and lifestyle. Without CrossFit; movement culture, paleo nutrition and adventure racing would not have gained in popularity as much as it did. CrossFit is that outlier that pushed the boundary and other similar movements benefitted from it. Shoes for example, how easy is it to get a pair of durable, minimalist zero drop training shoes these days compared to 5 years ago. It’s so much easier because there is a platform to promote the benefits of good training shoes and a receptive audience. For companies, there is a consumer base to market to. That makes it viable to produce these products. Paleo nutrition products are readily available these days for the same reason. It’s getting easier to get pasture reared meat and organic produce and farm fresh dairy products all for the same reason … CrossFit. Yes there are other factors involved like the ease with which we can share information because of the internet, but there has to be people who want to consume the information. They have to be directed to it. CrossFit is the gateway drug to better lifestyles, but like drugs some people overdosed on CrossFit.
I’m not promoting CrossFit, I myself would not do CrossFit. I do a lot of CrossFit type things in my training, but that doesn’t make my training CrossFit. CrossFit is not bad, bad coaches are bad. Everyone is always quick to hate on CrossFit and I’m not above taking a jab at CrossFit (anyone who knows me, knows how I feel about kipping pull ups and the excessive wearing of red triangle branded clothing), but I see the good not only the bad. I have benefited from CrossFit as have many other coaches and people. So if you want to hate on something lets hate on bad coaching and standards. At the end of the day the responsibility is on the individual. You are responsible for your body, what your coach says must make sense to you, what they make you do should make you feel better. If that does not happen then ask questions. You are your own responsibility, stop giving ownership to someone else.
CrossFit has benefitted health, fitness and movement culture
CrossFit isn’t bad, bad coaches are bad
Own your shit, you are responsible for you.