What is your opionon of Crossfit

Monday, July 20, 2009

Crossfit Propaganda

Here's more evidence of the propaganda the Crossfit is pumping out. Disguising an add campaign as a movie... Every Second Counts

Monday, May 18, 2009

Crossfit Mindset

You can take a look at this video to get an idea of the mindset of those who participate in crossfit.


Saturday, May 16, 2009

The Trouble with Crossfit by Jason Silvernail DPT

Crossfit (www.crossfit.com) is a relatively new and very popular fitness fad that has many dedicated participants. In order to understand Crossfit as an exercise program, you must rationally look at its strong points and weak points without regard to the overzealous manner in which it is sometimes promoted. Understanding those with a minimum of emotion and with an eye toward a fair assessment is my goal here. Only by this sort of assessment can you put this method in its proper perspective and use it appropriately if you decide to do so.

The Base – Circuit Training
Crossfit is a type of circuit training. A circuit training regimen means moving from one exercise to another with a minimum of rest until a designated number of stations has been completed. The stations can be either a strength-building exercise (like a pushup or a squat) or a cardiovascular exercise (like jumping rope or a rowing machine). Finishing one station and moving to another can be driven by completing a certain number of repetitions, a given amount of time, or a certain amount of work as calculated by a cardio training machine. This method of training differs from more traditional strength-building or cardiovascular training. In circuit training, you are using a lower load than that used for typical strength building and a higher intensity but shorter time than that used for typical cardiovascular training.
Other programs built on the circuit training concept include Curves for Women, Gladiator Conditioning, BodyPump-Style fitness classes, and many Kettlebell-based programs.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Circuit-Style Training
Circuit training has many strong points. Using this mode of training, you can train both your cardiovascular fitness and your muscular fitness with one workout. You can also train your anaerobic (short, intense effort) energy system for tasks that require all-out effort, which often is neglected in traditional resistance training and cardiovascular training programs. Circuit training can burn a tremendous amount of calories as well, which may be why it is recommended for weight loss programs, such as Curves for Women. Circuit training can give a balanced, general type of fitness that does not rely too much on cardiovascular capacity or muscular strength – so it is by design a nonspecific approach. Sports or activities involving short bursts of high-intensity effort, such as wrestling, gymnastics, and American football often incorporate circuit-style training, as the energy requirements of those activities closely mirror the energy requirements of training in the circuit style. Almost any athlete or individual interested in improving their fitness would do well to incorporate circuit training into their regimen, to some degree.
Circuit training does have disadvantages. Most importantly, it does not provide good specificity of training. Specificity is a core principle of exercise prescription. Specificity means that if you want to be good at a certain activity, you should do that activity in training. For example, if you want to do more pushups, then the training mode that will help the most is actually doing pushups. You can’t expect your progress with bench-pressing a barbell to make your pushups ability improve, because the activities are different. Those participating in a particular sport with particular movements and activities that need to be mastered will not be well served by using only circuit training in their program. To improve at a certain sport or activity, the movements and activities involved must be specifically trained. For example, a wrestler needs to be able to duck down and “shoot” in to his opponent in order to pin him to the mat. Training that specific movement is important if you want to improve your wrestling ability.
The nonspecific nature of circuit training is such that it will not improve strength or build body mass as well as traditional strength training (because the loads are too low and the volume too high), and it will not improve steady state aerobic fitness as well as traditional cardiovascular training (because the intensity is too high and the duration too short).

Crossfit’s Appeal
Crossfit often appeals to those who are unsatisfied with traditional strength and cardiovascular training programs, those whose sport or job requires the kind of anaerobic workout that circuit training provides, or those who are looking to burn the most amount of calories in the shortest possible time. As we have seen from the discussion of circuit training above, this mode of training in general and Crossfit in particular can provide a wide range of benefits. Those who are not training for a specific strength or cardiovascular event, who need intense anaerobic fitness, and those who are interested in generalized fitness improvement across several areas may benefit especially from circuit training and/or Crossfit.
Often Crossfit devotees will argue that other programs do not have the anaerobic intensity of their workouts and don’t provide the kind of fitness that they are interested in attaining. On balance, they are correct in these assertions. Circuits certainly can provide very high intensity workouts that stress the anaerobic system very well, and provide a kind of stimulus that most traditional weight training and steady-state cardio programs cannot match. The popularity of Crossfit with military, law enforcement, and fire/rescue personnel is easy to understand if you imagine the generalized fitness required for these jobs and the need for anaerobic fitness capacity.

Crossfit’s Disadvantages
Crossfit has some specific disadvantages other than the ones mentioned for circuit training. These disadvantages are the Workouts of the Day, their intensity of training, and safety issues with exercise form and fatigue.
Crossfit workouts are disseminated typically using the Workout of the Day, or WoD. These are posted on the Crossfit website. The WoDs are a somewhat random listing of different exercises, usually done by time or by repetitions. Examples include the “Murph”, which is a one-mile run in a vest followed by 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups, 300 body-weight squats, and another one-mile run, done as fast as possible. The problem with the WoD format is that they are not tailored to any specific need or participant and may involve many or only one exercise, often done in large volumes. This kind of programming is a one-size fits all approach, and while the site and many Crossfit trainers claim that the workouts are “scaleable” for those less fit, any group exercise is bound to be too easy for some participants, and too hard for others. This risks overtraining and ignores many of the well-established principles of program design. Any poorly planned program will usually fail to deliver on fitness goals, and pure intensity cannot substitute for a well planned and executed conditioning program. Programs and workouts as seemingly random as Crossfit’s WoDs violate many principles of program design.
Crossfit workouts are known for their intensity. While intensity is important to improvement, it must be done in a safe way. Encouraging novices to work at intensities beyond their capacity can happen even by accident when training in a group session, especially when the workout intensity is not scaled for individual participants and there is peer pressure to continue past what any given individual can safely handle. This is true of any workout in general but may be a particular concern in the circuit format. Overuse injuries and even Exertional Rhabdomyolysis can occur in these settings, and a lawsuit involving the Crossfit exercise regimen and a trainee with “Rhabdo”was reported by the Navy Times here: http://www.navytimes.com/news/2008/0...ssfit_081708w/. Crossfit’s unofficial mascot (who also appears on Tshirts) of a dying clown known as “Uncle Rhabdo” may indicate the appearance of an unserious attitude toward providing a safe, as well as effective, exercise environment. This attitude, if it exists, is unacceptable.
Explosive, Olympic-style weightlifting, including overhead lifts, is an important part of Crossfit and an excellent way to build explosive strength and power. The load and above all, the proper exercise form, is crucial for a safe and effective use of these exercises. Placing such lifts in a circuit format, where different participants use the same weight for lifts and/or where lifts are done while fatigued and rushed for time, is a recipe for an injury and is not an appropriate way to coach or use overhead lifts. Many of Crossfit’s WoDs call for using explosive lifts in this way, which is in violation of the recommendations for teaching Olympic and overhead lifts published by organizations such as USA Weightlifting and the National Strength and Conditioning Association.

Circuit training can be an excellent way to condition, and many Crossfit affiliate gyms have coaches who are well aware of the limitations of the approach and have modified their programs accordingly. Given the limitations I discuss above, I cannot in good faith recommend Crossfit in general, but if you do choose to participate or find a coach who understands the limitations of their programming, I recommend the following guidelines. Start slow and be properly hydrated. Circuit intensity needs to be worked into slowly so you know your body’s response. Dehydration is a serious risk factor for Rhabdo. No explosive or overhead lifts for time or in a fatigued state. No exceptions. Keep your injury history and your personal fitness goals in mind. Good conditioning and meeting goals comes with sensible programming, not random workouts. Remember intensity cannot replace good programming.