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Friday, March 22, 2013

Some Cross Fit Perspective


Casey Burgener is an example of a top U.S. lifter who is now involved in CrossFit.

We have addressed CrossFit on this site before. In the meantime it only keeps growing. We believe it has it's place and value. It is the for everyone, but there is definitely a place for it for those who understand and implement it wisely. We also believe that, like many fads, it is often misunderstood and misused. I don't see CrossFit dying out, like Exergenies, Nautilus, and Nordic Track....etc. But I do see it becoming more refined as the trendy wannabes are weeded out and real coaches adapt it to their athletes. Below is a good analysis by Glenn Pendlay, a top U.S. weight lifting coach and successful training entrepaneur. A lot of good weightlfiting coaches are now involved in CrossFit and it is becoming a mutually beneficial arrangement as interest and understanding of competetive lifting is growing and CrossFitters are developing better technique and more rational programs. For example, in the latest Utah state weightlifting championships there were over 90 lifters entered. The most ever and the majority were CrossFitters who were anxious to try. While some were clearly out of their league, others showed potential and all enjoyed the experience. Weightlifting in Utah has more people who are interested than ever before.


Glenn Pendlay on CrossFit

"As weightlifters, or those that use weightlifting movements in training, squat deep, and worry more about lifting more weight than about how defined our arms are (I would guess this describes most on t...his board)… what did we used to complain about?

1. No place to train with bumpers and chalk.
2. Getting hassled about dropping weight
3. “Trainers” at the local globo gym telling us squatting deep was gonna ruin our knees.
4. Girlfriends not wanting to squat because she is afraid she will get “bulky”
5. For the competitive weightlifters among us, getting asked “how much ya bench?” after telling someone you are a weightlifter.
6. Trying to explain what a snatch is to someone, usually ending with a pantomime then the words “you know, like they do in the Olympics”
7. If you ever tell someone, hey you should try it its fun, being told “oh no, I could never do that”
8. Being surrounded in any gym by folks that think eating red meat or fat is the enemy of good health or a good looking body.
9. Curls in the squat rack.
10. Pink dumbells.

So with Crossfit you get…

1. 2000 + more gyms around the country with bumpers and chalk.
2. Most Crossfitters would think you were weird if you DIDN’T drop weights.
3. They may debate where to put the bar on their backs, but they all squat deep.
4. Crossfit girls squat heavy and are proud of getting a rounder butt from it.
5. Most Crossfitters don’t bench press, they might ask you how much you squat instead.
6. Most Crossfitter’s snatch, those that dont certainly know what it is.
7. Crossfit is filled with people people who not only want to try new things, but are willing to work hard to learn and won’t be put off by falling on their butt a few times.
8. Crossfitters, as a whole seem to be proud that they not only eat meat, but are able to eat GOOD (meaning eat a LOT) and still look good because they train so hard. A couple cookouts at Crossfit boxes remain the only two times I have seen women bragging about how many ribs they ate. And not fatties. Young, in shape women.
9. Crossfitters are the ones who will make fun of YOU, if YOU do curls in the squat rack.
10. Crossfitters only use pink kettlebells.

Are their assholes in CF? I am sure their are, but off the top of my head I can’t think of many that I have met, and, there are certainly assholes in the weightlifting community also.

Are their elitists in CF? Yes, there are. But what is a common criticism of the weightlifting community? That we are elitist. And just like in CF, yeah, there are elitists among us. I don’t think its the norm, but they are there.

The fact that CF has exposed quite literally hundreds of thousands of people to weightlifting aside, do you know what I most like about Crossfit?

They appreciate what we do. I quite often find myself in front of a group of crossfitters with someone like Donny, or Jon, or Caleb demonstrating a heavy snatch or clean and jerk. And you know what, these people appreciate what they are seeing. They appreciate what it took to accomplish it, the work, the years of work, the athleticism, the strength and power. The years of pain, the sacrifice. And for these lifters, there is finally a community, a rather large one, that appreciates what they do, that admires them for it. And that is a beautiful thing. Especially when the average person watching someone do a 140kg snatch has about the same ability to appreciate it as someone who doesnt know how to play chess does to appreciate what they are seeing if they watched a Bobby Fisher chess game.

Weightlifting finally has a fan base. And it’s growing. And that is gonna open up all sorts of new opportunities for the sport.

I will leave you with one last thought. Donny Shankle has been able to drop most of his personal training clients, while finally getting the access to chiropractic, massage, etc, that was always financially tough to get when he needed it. Why is he able to work much less, rest and train more, and still financially swing all those little things that help him?

To a large extent, its been Crossfitters. Now I don’t want to ignore others who have helped, and even donated. But it’s the Crossfit boxes that are holding fund raisers for him, its the Crossfit websites that are encouraging their members to go to his blog and hit the donate button that are the most active in raising money.

You can certainly find the bad in anything. But I prefer to say the glass is half full. In this instance, maybe even 3/4 full."

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