How CrossFit Workouts Can Help You

I like to think of the development of an individual’s training philosophy as a work in progress.  A good trainer or coach reads and learns all he or she can, uses the methodologies that are most appealing, scientifically proven, and effective to him or her, and throws out the ones that don’t work, have a high risk-to-benefit ratio, or just plain suck.

Although the jury is still out in the strength and condtitioning community on CrossFit, I think we can benefit from a lot of what they have to offer.

Here’s an extremely brief overview of the CrossFit philosophy – visit www.crossfit.com if you want to learn more:

CrossFit workouts are based on high intensity, compound movements.  The whole idea behind CrossFit – building a ‘balanced’ athlete – means that Crossfit workouts are, by nature, varied.  One day you might get 8 sets of one on the back squat for your entire workout.  Another day you might get one of their tradmark ‘met con’ workouts where you perform a series of multi-joint movements – typically for time.

A couple of bad things I’ve observed: inconsistent attention to proper form and inappropriate intensity levels.  By inconsistent attention to proper form – and again, I say this with limited exposure to their system – I mean that some ‘CrossFit people’ seem to be sticklers for great lifting technique, but some don’t at all.  Take a look at a few videos on the crossfit.com site and you’ll see that perfect form is far from being used on a consistent basis.

With high intensity being another one of CrossFit’s big selling points, and while I think high intensity workouts are great, in fact, required for on-going progress, intensity is something that needs to be gradually introduced, especially for beginners.  Without a doubt, people do too much too soon with CrossFit and end up doing damage.  And the trainers and coaches are, unfortunately, many times the ones to blame.

Although the CrossFit training system is not perfect, there are some good things we can take from it.  The constantly varied nature of their programming and the high intensity of their workouts are two great take aways and are things  that can help us reach our fitness goals faster.

What do you think of CrossFit?

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