Thursday, August 27, 2015

Why I Hate CrossFit - Part 1

Everyone is always asking me what I think about Cross Fit, so I'm finally going to give my opinionated answer.

10 Whiteboard of Randomness and WOD's

The White Board, it's where coaches write a bunch of random exercises and call it a workout. Basically you select 5-6 workouts, give them a number of reps and sets, then name it after a woman.

"Have you done Nancy?! It's tough! "

"Psshhh, that's got nothing on the Mildred."

If I write 100 jumping jacks, 25 burpees, 20 situps, 30 walls balls, then run a mile, it's a WOD but it doesn't mean it's a great workout. I literally just wrote some shit down and you did it.

Wow, this must've taken a lot of thought.

A bunch of fitness companies and bootcamps are guilty of this, but Cross Fit are the people who got this popular so they're the ones I'm going to pick on. People tell me how exhausted they are after Cross Fit, so it must be a great workout, right? I can make you exhausted moving furniture into a house with no elevator or AC, doesn't mean it's a good workout. You can get tired doing anything.

Even when they don't use the white board it's still random. I've seen them use a lottery wheel to select their workouts, I've seen them use Bingo! If you're wanting to screw around on a free day, go for it. But for a consistent workout this makes no sense. Proper programming requires specificity to get your end goal.

It's a trend of the worst kind.

9 Paleo

First of all, why a caveman diet? Why? Are we now seeking the Fred Flintstone body now? Should I order some Stegosaurus ribs that tip my car over?

Second of all, who wants to live a life without carbs if you don't have to. Here's an idea, eat a well balanced diet, with 10-20% junk food, and see get results while having fun doing it.

Truth is nobody knows what are ancestors ate. We do know, that they ate whatever they could to survive, so a true caveman diet would be eating anything they see to keep existing. For some reason people think neanderthal means six pack.

They've even turned it into a business selling paleo diet pills, paleo whey protein... once again WTF?! What's next paleo bread? ........ What?!!! I was just joking around. Seriously?

This goes really well with Vegan Steak.

This diet is nothing new, it's been around for a long time. Just a new spin on an old diet. Low carb, Atkins, paleo, call it what you want.

The diet can work and has for many people, because it's basically just a food restriction for people who have trouble controlling their carbs. So now people get their glucose from protein instead of carbs. By over eating protein, the excess protein is turned into glycogen (what carbs turn into) in a process called gluconeogenesis. Great word to use if you want to sound smart.

Paleo is a diet without proof, without logic, and lies solely on anecdotal evidence. While it may get results for some, it's purely a food restriction.

8 Workouts

Kipping, kipping everywhere. Kipping is where you use momentum to swing or throw yourself through a movement you're not strong enough to do. I've seen kipping pullups, kipping headstands, kipping dips, even kipping bicep curls. And you wonder why there's so many injuries in cross fit.

The general population has no business doing most of these exercises in Cross Fit. Snatches, Cleans, Box jumps, are sport specific exercises that focus on explosiveness in order to help the athlete with their given sport. Even worse is the high volume that's done in Cross Fit. These are exercises meant to be done at around 3-5 reps MAX, which is why so many people get injured doing Cross Fit. My friends who are strength coaches for schools and colleges hate Cross Fit for all of the above reasons.

The exercises are very hard to get good at and learn, and done in a group setting most can easily learn wrong and get injured. Speaking of that...

7 Injuries

High Volume jump off box jumps screwing up the Achilles tendon, fatigued wall balls messing up the lower back. improper snatches tearing rotator cuffs,  half squat thrusters blowing out the knees, wrenching shoulders from swinging a kettlebell all the way overhead, shoulder impingement from kipping pullups, I'd name more but believe it or not I don't feel like talking about Cross Fit all day.

Rhabdomyolysis, where you throw up from over training, is excessively prevalent. So prevalent they embraced it and made it their mascot, Rhabdo the Clown. Which, I'll admit is brilliant marketing. But I would've probably gone for something more boring like restructuring the programming to not cause cause rhabdo.

I'm inspired, how about you?

Yes, people injure themselves bodybuilding and power lifting all the time. Power lifting too heavy and not doing regular de-loading causes injuries, over training and improper form causes injuries in bodybuilding, but dong Cross Fit right still creates injuries. The high volume, frowned upon technique and exercises are asking for injuries. But don't take my word for it, try it yourself.

6  No End Goal

Cross Fit has a goal of making you fit, but what is fit? It's a vague term. When I see the goals on the boards, it's things like, "Finished the Bertha in under 8 minutes!", or at best lifts this much more now. But what focus are they making at achieving that exact goal when you're doing WOD's?!

WOD'S.... Workout  of the day? Great for variety, not great for getting exact results. You want specific proper programming. If you're doing a different workout for every day what do expect to happen.

This is how you structure a workout, and why Rippetoe left Cross Fit.

If I'm trying to get bigger and stronger legs I don't look online at a one size fits all WOD to up my squat max?! Just like I wouldn't look up a random online swimming exercise before 500 meter swim meet. But for some reason, this is what's done within Cross Fit.

But Wait There's More

But Steven, how do these "Athletes" do so well at Cross Fit games and look like Fitness Models. Great question, and I'll answer that and much more next week in part 2. In the mean time I'll be busy losing friends on Facebook for sharing this post.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Vacations Make Me Lean

3 Simple Rules that get me Leaner every Vacation

By Steven Farmer