Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Are you training or just trashing yourself?

First, this is not directed at the Crossfit community, so calm down. I've seen several people get great results from CF when properly employed. What I've been seeing lately is more and more people just trashing themselves doing 'a bunch of stuff' until they almost pass out, and calling it a 'crossfit-type workout'.
If I were to show you a workout that was hard but didn't destroy you, and made you stronger, faster, and built your endurance, then I showed you another that smoked you but you made little progress on... which would you choose? Lately I've been running into more and more people who think they have to do the latter. It's almost as if this mentality is taking the place of the old bodybuilding mindset that you need 40 exercises to hit the biceps properly.
My question would be, is this getting you anywhere, or is it just a clever workout?
"Hey, let's do 30 deadlifts, 5 pull ups, and a 50 yard dash for time until we puke!"
Well, that's cute, but is it getting you anywhere?
Meaning you should pick a few things to test. They might be a 3 mile run time, a max deadlift, and max pull ups. Any combination of whatever is fine, but you need a way to measure progress. Sort of like how we use the SSST and a max press on Rite of Passage. If you do your tests and aren't getting anywhere, you have your answer.
The goal of training should not be to smoke yourself all the time. The goal is to progress in your chosen event.


  1. Good point! CF has some great training ideas, the problem is that it seems like most people aren't really following the 'program', or whatever you want to call it. Even if people followed the main site WOD on a regular basis they would likely have some success - but you know most people just get sucked into the allure of the 'met-con' workouts, or just throw some stuff together, like you said, and call it crossfit! It's fun, you feel smoked, but is there really a point?

  2. Hi Jordan, could you explain "CF done properly"? I am a xfitter who is trying to incorporate some HS KB work into my programming. I totally agree with having an event to measure yourself.

  3. Hi Scott. The main thing is going to be technique. I think Crossfit's Achilles heel has always been that it incorporates a lot of high skill movement, for higher reps, for time. This is a problem. Practitioners have to have the wisdom to say "I'm not sharp enough on the deadlift to do it for 21 reps.' Same applies with olympic lifting, kettlebells, etc. Don't race to snatch a kettlebell. If you know your swings aren't tight yet, there's no reason for you to be trying to snatch a kettlebell. A good rule of thumb is if you're doing kettlebells, powerlifting, or olympic lifting in running shoes, you don't have good technique yet.