Thoughts on “Why I don’t do CrossFit”

By: Marcus Taylor
There was a fairly controversial article making the rounds on social media criticizing CrossFit. Here’s a link – Why I Don’t Do CrossFit. While these pieces are increasingly common lately, and given the fact that everyone on the internet has a platform to share their opinions, I took exception to this piece in particular and had to write a rebuttal.
I agree with a lot of what you said. Lots of Crossfit gyms are started by people who like “fitness” and have the disposable income to take the thousand dollar cert and open a gym. Thats crazy but true. But I disagree with your blanketed statement that all crossfit gyms are dangerous. Lots of gyms properly coach body-weight, strength training and Olympic lifting. I myself am a Crossfit coach but I’ve studied under former coaches of the Greece and USA Olympic teams. I’m also NSCA-CSCS and NASM-CPT, as well as tons of other certs. I’m trained to develop a proper strength and conditioning program. The other coaches I work with (as well as myself) are USAW level 1 and 2 coaches and we NEVER program workouts with high rep Olympic movements because of the dangers you speak of and that I agree with. Lots of crossfit coaches seek out continuing education opportunities to hone their craft and provide their members with a program thats smart, diverse, and progressive. I hate that I am roped in with the bootcamp instructor that wants to all of a sudden wants to teach olympic/power lifting BUT thats life. Eventually, the cream will rise to the top.
Different crossfit gyms crossfit differently though. I have my members go through a 1-month EDUCATION process where they learn the basic movements (Strict Press, Front Squat, Deadlift, etc). The focus here is to learn and not just get a good sweat, if they cant properly complete a movement then we don’t have them do it and/or we give them a substitute to build that foundation. I later move them into a progressive linear strength training program where they track their sets and reps via a log. In Crossfit all of the workouts are suppose to be properly scaled for the individual. You don’t have someone doing muscleups on their first day or any day until they express the body awareness and strength needed which could take months or years. Some coaches forget that or don’t know how to scale. As a coach, if you don’t scale someone when you should then injuries will happen. “Do no harm” is the motto.
Here’s the deal…there’s Crossfit the “Sport of Fitness” and Crossfit the training methodology. For the general public the use of crossfit as a training methodology is great. If done responsibly it fuses the best elements of flexibility, mobility, strength training, kettlebells, gymnastics, Olympic & power lifting into a neat safe package. What happens is that lots of coaches at crossfit gyms angle their programming towards the “Sport of Fitness” where scaling for an individual isn’t accounted for. Fitness requires scaling with regard for volume, rep scheme and weight for each individual.
So to make such a blanketed statement from your limited experience of crossfit is kinda lame on your part. Example…I love music; however, I’m generally not a fan of country as a genre. I’d be ignorant to say that there aren’t any good country music songs. There are some that I like but most I don’t. I won’t say “ALL COUNTRY MUSIC IS TERRIBLE” because that’s not true. It would be more responsible to say that crossfit as a fitness genre isn’t your thing but there maybe some elements of it you like.
Also, you mentioned that you don’t deadlift or do kettlebell swings? How do you build your athletes posterior chain? The DL and all its variations are a cornerstone lift. Dan John, Mark Rippetoe, and Louie Simmons to name a few are highly revered S&C coaches and they heavily feature the deadlift for the athletes that they train. So what are they saying thats wrong?

Category: Blog