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Calling All Crossfit Advice

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  • Calling All Crossfit Advice

    Hi Everybody,

    I'm considering joining one of the three Crossfit boxes near me and would like the unbiased review from, who better than, the Primal Peeps.

    Did you hate it and quit after a week? Did you love it so much you went and bought your own franchise? And everything in between. I want to hear it all.

    I know the subject has come up in passing on some other threads (Usually slanted one way or the other e.g."terrified of crossfit") I want the whole truth. Both sides and the middle.

    Some concerns/questions I have that people might have an opinion and/or facts about.

    1) Are all Crossfit boxes pretty much standardized or is each an individual approach?
    2) I have heard that the group pressure can sometimes make people push beyond their capabilities and get hurt
    3) I have heard that the timed workouts can sometimes lead to sloppy form and getting hurt
    4) Do you have to be with a trainer at all times or can you go in and just use the equipment by yourself?

    So, bring it on. I appreciate all your feedback.

  • #2
    Can of worms opened:

    Whats wrong with crossfit?
    The Champagne of Beards

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by RichMahogany View Post
      Can of worms opened:

      Whats wrong with crossfit?
      Thanks for the link RM.

      Wow. A lot of hate going on over there at Starting Strength. (That's just doing a random sample every hundred pages or so of that 535 page post). It also seemed like a lot of reposting of the reposted reposts.

      What I would really like to hear is people's first hand personal experiences with it. Feel free to hate, just first hand account hate.

      Comment


      • #4
        Well, I have my thoughts on it, but I haven't had the displeasure first hand, so I'll keep them to myself.
        The Champagne of Beards

        Comment


        • #5
          I love it.
          1. I have no idea. I joined mine because of a Groupon and they are awesome people. We seem to do a lot of strength training. 2 days a week have no "WOD" type work out and are just plain weight lifting. I assume programming varies.
          2. Yes, I think this can happen, but for me I need to push harder and it is helpful. No one is ever "mean" in pushing you where I go. And I know when I first went they flat out told me "completing 3 of 5 rounds would be great". I did all 5. Slowly and was cheered on.
          3. That's up to you. Yeah, I do sloppy ass burpees, but I take anything with a barbell seriously. No one tells you to deadlift faster. But yeah, you need the discipline to make sure you do them right. I work out with a woman who does everything perfect and is always last, but her first burpee looks like her last.
          4. There are times of the day we can just go do the workout or whatever. Not sure if that is the case everywhere.

          I think in terms of needing to "keep up", "be fast", and "use the assigned weight" varies.

          I have a feeling a lot depends on the quality of where you go.

          http://maggiesfeast.wordpress.com/
          Check out my blog. Hope to share lots of great recipes and ideas!

          Comment


          • #6
            1) I think there are some basic things that are common to most Crossfit boxes, but I don't think Crossfit HQ imposes any kind of standard on the franchises. The common elements include Olympic lifting and other exercises that people do at all CF boxes (like kipping and butterfly pullups, handstand pushups, burpees, box jumps, double unders). Other than the common elements, things could vary quite a bit, I think. Others here may have more insight because I've only ever been to my box. But my box focuses a lot more on weight lifting than on conditioning. Other boxes may include more conditioning workouts.

            2) I think this depends on the person in question. Being in a group environment definitely causes me to push myself harder than I otherwise would, but I think that's a good thing for me. I don't think I've ever really pushed myself beyond my capabilities. I don't have that big of an ego. But I can see this happening, maybe, to someone who has a big ego and who feels like they have something to prove.

            3) This is possible, but you don't have to make that mistake. I'm usually pretty good at not becoming too sloppy when doing Olympic lifts (because they're so freaking complicated) even as part of a timed WOD, but I have missed box jumps and hurt myself (not seriously, thankfully) because I started to rush through them at a time when I'm already tired (near the end of the workout). But this need not have happened. It was my own stupid problem. (Yes, our coach was yelling at us to get another round in before the time ran out, but that's what coaches do--they yell at you to go faster, but you have to know your own limits and not act like an idiot. I know that I'm not super coordinated, especially when I'm tired, so rushing through box jumps was a stupid thing to do.) This last time (which just happened last Friday) it hurt badly enough that I hope I've learned my lesson and will refrain from rushing through box jumps in the future.

            4) I think most boxes have "open gym" time when there's no class, but you can go there and work on whatever by yourself.

            In general, I think CF boxes can vary quite a bit as far as the quality of the coaching goes. So if you start at one and find that the coaching sucks, you should switch to a different one. Even at my box, the quality of the coaches vary. Some of them are better than others.
            Last edited by diene; 06-18-2013, 12:24 PM. Reason: mixed --> missed

            My journal

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            • #7
              There are times when I think, hmm, I could save money and just go to the gym and do the same thing.

              But:
              1. I have really good people watching and spotting my squats and keeping an eye on my form at Crossfit so I can push myself weightwise. I can also try things like cleans and jerks etc. that seem like an otherwise bad idea.
              2. I genuinely like the people I workout with. I like seeing them.
              3. Sometimes the WOD looks nuts and I know that if my friends weren't there, and the coach wasn't there, I would not do 150 push ups or 3x 120 meters of walking lunges. I'd plod along on my mile run.

              I used to do a more "boutique" fitness class- HIIT training and I hated it. The woman who always taught at my time was annoying, and never ever pushed us to do more weights. I also didn't really like the people. So I think how much you like group fitness really depends on the people around you. I used to go there with all the lululemon chicks.... now my crappy tshirts make conversation instead of getting the stink eye.

              Bottom line, I love it. It may not be the optimal workout, but I love going and feel like my progress has been great. I've seen a lot of people come and go over 8 weeks, and the ones that stick it out really seem to like it. My advice is to try it for a month and use common sense. If you start to feel bad or sore, stop or slow down. If your form is getting bad, pull some weight off.

              http://maggiesfeast.wordpress.com/
              Check out my blog. Hope to share lots of great recipes and ideas!

              Comment


              • #8
                You might like this: The Older Woman's Guide To CrossFit | PaleoNonPaleo

                Comment


                • #9
                  'Nother question someone may know. Do you pay month to month or do they make you sign a long contract? (perhaps this varies by box too.)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I think you'll have the option of paying month to month or signing a six-month contract at most places. I say most places because these options are available on Zen Planner, which is a web portal used by crossfit franchises, so it's probably pretty standard. You get a discount if you sign the six-month contract.

                    At our box, you can cancel the six-month contract if you give them 30 days' notice. The contract just means that they get to automatically charge your credit card every month. But this part may be unique to our box, not sure if other boxes allow you to cancel your six-month contract.

                    My journal

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I tried the mainsite WOD (this is the workout provided by the CrossFit HQ) for a few months back in the day. My thoughts on CrossFit based on my experience and in general:

                      - There is no programming behind CrossFit. Now, CrossFit proponents will extol that as a positive, you know, perpetual "muscle confusion", doing everything thus being good at everything, that whole shebang. However, after your initial adaptation occurs, say after 6 months, the lack of programming will become more and more of an issue. Why? Your body needs smart stimulus to adapt and get better, not random stimulus.
                      - Related to the first issue, the higher potential for injury. Many workouts, for example, are very shoulder intensive, thrusters, kipping pull-ups, sumo deadlift high pulls, overhead kettlebell swings, jerks, etc. This type of constant abuse of key joints increases the risk of injury, especially if you sacrifice form for time, which brings us to the next points...
                      - No standard behind the coaching. I can spend a few grand on a brief CrossFit certification course, and I am allowed to open my own CrossFit affiliate. How do you know your CrossFit coach knows what he's talking about? Because he is friendly, and because he owns his own gym? Because he has a CrossFit certification, which costs him money and a few days of time?
                      - Tendency to sacrifice form. Now, some will undoubtedly say "my box is good, we always teach form over time!". However, when you combine complex movements, such as the clean and jerk, and slap time constraints on them, form will breakdown. A popular CrossFit workout is 30 clean and jerks for time. This is dumb. Clean and jerks are lifts designed to help with the expression of power (fast expression of strength), not to develop muscle endurance. When you combine explosive technical lifts with fatigue and a desire to complete the workout as fast as possible, the chance of injury goes up significantly.
                      - CrossFit HQ is a cult that thinks puking and injury are badges of honor. Go to crossfit.com. Look at the alias of the user that posts the official WOD. "Pukie". Great. Then there's the infamous Uncle Rhabdo, a cartoony clown with an IV and spilled over guts and organs. Because when I think of fitness, I think of life threatening health issues and failing kidneys. Unprofessional at best, reckless at worst.
                      - I injured my shoulder. Somewhere in between the one arm dumbbell snatches and the pull-ups, it started hurting and I could not do pressing movements for a month. It has been fine ever since I quit CrossFit, but that was the only time I was injured and could not do certain workouts in my life.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by upupandaway View Post
                        Oh, that was hilarious and a little frightening. Thank you. I think.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Her descriptions of the later sessions are less terrifying!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by quikky View Post
                            I tried the mainsite WOD (this is the workout provided by the CrossFit HQ) for a few months back in the day. My thoughts on CrossFit based on my experience and in general:

                            - There is no programming behind CrossFit. Now, CrossFit proponents will extol that as a positive, you know, perpetual "muscle confusion", doing everything thus being good at everything, that whole shebang. However, after your initial adaptation occurs, say after 6 months, the lack of programming will become more and more of an issue. Why? Your body needs smart stimulus to adapt and get better, not random stimulus.
                            - Related to the first issue, the higher potential for injury. Many workouts, for example, are very shoulder intensive, thrusters, kipping pull-ups, sumo deadlift high pulls, overhead kettlebell swings, jerks, etc. This type of constant abuse of key joints increases the risk of injury, especially if you sacrifice form for time, which brings us to the next points...
                            - No standard behind the coaching. I can spend a few grand on a brief CrossFit certification course, and I am allowed to open my own CrossFit affiliate. How do you know your CrossFit coach knows what he's talking about? Because he is friendly, and because he owns his own gym? Because he has a CrossFit certification, which costs him money and a few days of time?
                            - Tendency to sacrifice form. Now, some will undoubtedly say "my box is good, we always teach form over time!". However, when you combine complex movements, such as the clean and jerk, and slap time constraints on them, form will breakdown. A popular CrossFit workout is 30 clean and jerks for time. This is dumb. Clean and jerks are lifts designed to help with the expression of power (fast expression of strength), not to develop muscle endurance. When you combine explosive technical lifts with fatigue and a desire to complete the workout as fast as possible, the chance of injury goes up significantly.
                            - CrossFit HQ is a cult that thinks puking and injury are badges of honor. Go to crossfit.com. Look at the alias of the user that posts the official WOD. "Pukie". Great. Then there's the infamous Uncle Rhabdo, a cartoony clown with an IV and spilled over guts and organs. Because when I think of fitness, I think of life threatening health issues and failing kidneys. Unprofessional at best, reckless at worst.
                            - I injured my shoulder. Somewhere in between the one arm dumbbell snatches and the pull-ups, it started hurting and I could not do pressing movements for a month. It has been fine ever since I quit CrossFit, but that was the only time I was injured and could not do certain workouts in my life.
                            Okay, so we lucked out and somebody else shared my thoughts who meets your requirements for first hand experience.
                            The Champagne of Beards

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I share the belief that there is no programming behind crossfit WOD's... crossfit football (CrossFit Football | Strength & Conditioning for The Power Athlete) is the best I've seen and it is still random at times.

                              I think the higher rep (12-15) range is better for women where crossfit usually goes (if not higher), and studies have shown it is better for overall strength & muscle increases. On the flipside I believe the 3-5 and the 6-8 range (depending on exercise) is best for males.

                              I appreciate crossfit because it gets girls into the gym lifting compound barbell exercises. I think it can honestly get them "addicted" to the world of weightlifting, and set them up for future success. But longterm I personally can't recommend it

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