T Nation

Crossfit vs MEF


#1

Well I already asked if people think if Crossfit is dangerous, but anyway there is a debate going on in FT Bliss about banning Crossfit from morning PT on post. The people that are pushing for this are the trainers at the MEF gym on Ft Bliss next to Soto Gym. They are trying to say that Crossfit has only one plane of motion and causes injuries from overtraining. They are also trying to say that a soldier athlete will benefit more from MEF then from Crossfit.

My old unit was a test subject for the MEF program and an example workout looks like this;
12 exercises: 135lb deadlift, 135lb squat, 135lb barbell row, box jumps, medicine ball twists, trx fly pulls, Incline 50lb DB press, lap run with 12lb medicine ball above your head, TRX atomic pushups, TRX lunges, shuttle run. For first 12 exercises they had us do each one non stop for 1 min with 30 sec to switch exercises till we got back to the first exercise then it switched to 45 sec non stop exercise with 20 seconds to switch until again you get back to the first exercise then it went to 30 sec non stop exercise with 10 seconds to switch until you finally finished the last exercise then you are done.

They would stick with the same exercise and would have us do them mon-wed-fri and then switch to new exercises the following week. Personally I thought it was stupid and most people's run time got worse. But then again pushups and situps went up alot. But anyway any comments or opinions on the above?


#2

1) What is MEF?

2) What's wrong with the typical PT work? I know it leaves a lot to be desired for strength but it's good for endurance and I've found a lot of their exercises are pretty good mobility builders....and pretty decent for working with a shitload of people in locations where weights may not be available.

Honestly, to me, it sounds like they're spending a lot of time on this when it could be used for other more martial things.

FTR, I'm not a fan of crossfit and I don't like what you described either...


#3

MEF is Mission Essential Fitness. Basically the Army hired a bunch of civilians fitness gurus to come up with a workout plan to make soldiers better. The whole argument started because the gym my squad goes to is filled with douchebags that are shitbagging out there and just standing around not doing anything. Well across the street is a MEF gym that has alot of free weights and is pretty much empty.

Well when my squad leader went in there to see if we could use it they said we had to do MEF. Well he told them that we do SEAL Fit Crossfit in the afternoon. They flipped out saying that Crossfit is too dangerous and only uses one plane of motion. They also said that they were pushing to have it banned onpost. Like I said I was one of the testers at my old unit and I didnt like it. But the funny part is wouldnt MEF be considered a form of Crossfit???


#4

MEF sounds awful. Neither something like that, nor Crossfit really make sense for a military application. Running, rucking, prowler and sleds, weighted carries, and big lifts like squat, press, chins, and deadlift will take care of things.


#5

Here is a link that will describe more about MEF http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CBYQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.blissmwr.com%2Ffunctionaltraining%2FMission%2520Essential%2520Fitness%2520Orlando%2520Presentation%2520II.pdf&ei=dcVNTqaaMYaesQKT8LHEBg&usg=AFQjCNF38VhtTyrLyo3_hsKGhvTuHlfu4g


#6

Well we do ruck and do a type of strongman workout I made up: In full kit, 100lb Sandbag front/back carry 50 meters, 45lb sled drag sprints 50 meters, Tire flips, smaller tire clean-press, Water Can Farmer's walk, hill sprints. We run monday, tuesday do the strongman workout and do crossfit wednesday, thursday and ruck friday. We do SEAL Fit workouts in the afternoon mon-wed and friday. I also lift on my own at night.


#7

Sounds like you're hitting it quite a bit. To me, MEF seems really similar to Crossfit or any other conditioning and I'm sure has it's place, I guess my issue is that too many people in the military seem to want to just do a high intensity workout, and they think that will take care of their running and rucking and everything else as well, so good to see you're doing the boring stuff too.

Nice gym, btw. We have two that are similar at Bragg, but not quite as big or as nice. It seems like the Army is starting to shift to that type of base gym.


#8

The gym is sweet and has everything I need. But it is crowded with too many douchebags that are shitbagging it out. Personally I think MEF is modified Crossfit. I think the Army wanted a program designed to help lazy soldiers get fitter but didnt want to pay Crossfit or get sued for using their workouts.

So they created their own program to solve all the above problems. But the problem is once the Army organizes something they make it SUPER STUPID and ruin it. They should just put some stuff out to NCOs and let them use it to their own liking.


#9

I'm confused, how does crossfit only have one plane of movement?
The MEF workout you described looks like it could be a crossfit workout on its own anyway.


#10

This. Out of all the legitimate criticisms one could make about Crossfit, that is just bizarre.


#11

That is the point of this discussion they had no legitimate points to make. But again I think its just the Army trying to not get sued by Crossfit and not wanting to pay them for this program so they altered it.

We went to the MEF gym today for a tour. The gym is SICK as hell. It has weight Logs, 50 different weighted tires, shitloads of free weights, shitloads of bumper plates, chains, farmer's walk bars, ropes, heavy ass medicine balls, weight sleds, at least 20 squat racks, about 10 benches, 4 reverse hyper machines, some weird as rollers and harnesses for truck pulls which they said they are working on getting a truck donated soon.

I convinced my squad leader to make peace with the trainers and we decided that we will do MEF in the mornings and the trainers agreed to allow us free reign in the afternoon in the MEF gym. The gym was practically empty and is just too good to pass up in my book. The Army needs to build more of these types of gyms in my opinion.

But your right it is modified Crossfit they are just attacking Crossfit to seperate themselves from it due to legal issues I think.


#12

Well that sounds like an awesome setup. Glad to hear some people out there have access to facilities like that!
In the end, I wouldn't care much what the title of the training program is, as long as it fits my goals. Sounds great!