T Nation

Your Experience with Crossfit


These days about 1 article in 5 of this site is about crossfit. Personally I am a regular gym goer who does his thing and I am not attracted to it. I just fail to see what crossfit can do in the long run that regular heavy training can't do. What's the deal with it and who does it?


Regular heavy training has its drawbacks and that is where crossfit comes ahead. The most basic case is strength training hits a plateau fast where your time would be better spent getting better at other things, from a productivity standpoint.


A lot of folks from crossfit are competing in amateur strongman competitions. Seems like a good base.


I have a friend who now competes in both. But he began as a powerlifter. He developed his base with heavy lifting, was successful at that, and now he is winning all of the crossfit competitions that he participates in.


There are pros and cons to most training platforms (crossfit, powerlifting, body building, long distance running, etc..)

With crossfit, coming from a more powerlifting focused training and dabbling in muscle growth, I noticed a lot of really bad form/break down of technique/form when focusing on the speed of the movement. I noticed at the place I went to, a lot of people went in there with a "I'm going to do the most weight the fastest" type of mentality, regardless what was recommended by the trainers/coaches. There's a high turnover rate amongst crossfit enthusiasts I attributed to the aforementioned mentality. They burned out too quickly or developed nagging injuries.

That said, there were some things I worked on that improved my overall performance; plus it helped me recover from a nagging hamstring injury and increased my mobility. However, fuck kipping pull ups, what a fucking joke that was.


Crossfit is a brand, a company, a style of competition, a family of training strategies, a definition of fitness, a style of gym, a brand of gyms, a certification for trainers, and arguably a social club, a fashion style, a diet, and an overall lifestyle for some people.

I won't respond to all of those aspects, but I'll pick a couple. As a style of competition, Crossfit is great. As was mentioned, it's a suitable crossover for most strength athletes in light to moderate weight classes.

As a gym style, you're looking at most of the equipment for any strength sport. The downside is Crossfit gyms are often 3 to 5 times more expensive than other gyms. A year of dues will buy you most of the equipment you need as long as you have space for it. Ultimately, you're paying for the brand, the instruction, and the social aspect. If the instruction is good, it may be worth it, but quality will vary.


Waiting for Derek....


everyone always talks about how injurious Crossfit is, but I don't buy it. Everybody I know who takes any sport (let's not waste time arguing that definition) gets injured eventually. It's all part of the game.

I think Crossfit is an ok way to train


4 out of the last 100, actually.

If we factors in the blogs, that's another 3 out of 10. So, in all, about 6% of the site's content is about CrossFit. But hey, who's counting.

I'm pretty sure you're not really looking for a discussion and just wanted to rant about an imaginary issue, but I'll bite. I'm also presuming you either haven't actually read any of articles about CrossFit, didn't understand them, or just didn't want to hear what they were saying.

One of the most obvious features is that most CrossFit training has a kind of built-in cardio component, so you're essentially guaranteed to be doing cardio without necessarily having to plan on doing additional cardio work like you would with "regular heavy training." On the surface, that makes traditional CF more "fat loss friendly" than "regular heavy training."

Another noticeable feature of CF is the frequent variety, some would say too frequent. Using a variety of exercises and implements (barbell, bodyweight, kettlebell, dumbbell, medicine ball, sledgehammer, etc.) can be a plus for "all-around" development, but can also be a negative in terms of reinforcing technique and developing exceptional strength in a given lift.

It's not the best training method for all goals, obviously, but I do agree with the bigger-picture idea that CrossFit, as a whole, has gotten a ton of women into barbell-based strength training and steered them away from brightly-colored vinyl-covered dumbbells. The CF Games have also brought some positive light/public interest for weight training in general, even though training for the CF Games vs CF HQ WODs vs the average CF box WOD gets pretty confusing.


Guy sounds like a great athlete. I started strongman with a powerlifting base, which was awesome for raw strength, but if I tried to do any gymnastic ring work in crossfit I'd most likely blow out both of my shoulders.

And oh my god if I ever tried to do a snatch, haha.



I've used crossfit for a weekly conditioning workout. It's way more interesting than what I would probably come up with. And it's a way to engage in friendly competition with others on a regular basis. It's something I don't get out of powerlifting because I don't lift with anyone who puts up the weights I do. Whereas if I go to a crossfit class, I'll rarely finish first.


How times have changed, when I joined this site about 6 months ago the same question would have had 20 pages of answers already, each explaining how badly Crossfit would give you dick cancer.


I was thinking about adding Crossfit style conditioning to the end of each workout, any suggestions? I was think about just doing abbreviated WODs. I don't have any Crossfit experience.


usmc - Do a google search for the Crossfit Girls. You should easily find a list of workouts with chick names (Fran, Karen, etc.). These are mostly short intense workouts which would make an excellent finisher to your lifting, if you haven't already burnt yourself out. I've been toying with the idea of modifying my current program and dropping the accessory work in favor of a WOD after the main lift, at least for a couple months so I can get back in shape. My buddy's CF box in Virginia was set up similar to this if I recall - I've done some of the WODs, but I've never trained at a 'box'.

As to the cost of training at a CF gym, I used to give my boy a hard time about the monthly price. He had a good point - his gym (and most, from my understanding) had a certified CF coach at every class who was not working out with the class, but walking around correcting form and answering questions, basically running the class rather than just sitting at the front desk while the attendees tried to complete whatever was on the board. He and his wife were also USAW level 1 coaches, so from what I saw they enforced a much better standard of form than the stereotypical CFer. They also banned the 'butterfly' or kipping CF pullup thingy from anyone except very experienced trainers who were prepping for competitions.

So, yeah, kinda pricey, but you were getting a bit more than just a gym to lift at for that price. And you can add in the social aspect,etc. of it, which some people like. I've always trained solo, so whatever gym I'm lifting at I'll stick in the earbuds and ignore people as much as possible. I've tried getting my wife into lifting for years, with limited success. When she tried out CF at my buddy's gym, she liked it right away. Her point was that she always felt out of place in the weight room, because everyone was doing something different. At CF, everyone was doing the same workout, albeit tailored to their current level. Might not be for everyone, but like Chris said above, it has done more than anything else to dispel the old myth of 'getting too bulky' if a woman touched anything other than the pink dumbbells.


Pick a few of the shorter benchmark WODs from the site and go to work. There are a few that you can knock out in around 5-10 min after some practice.

Fran, Grace, Elizabeth, Diane, Isabel, Jackie, Amanda, and Helen are good choices.


Cool, thanks man.

This is pretty much why I was toying with the idea myself.


5-10 minutes is exactly what I was thinking. I'll check them out, thanks.


I'm gonna do Fran, Lynne, Grace, and Sgt Michael Roy (CrossfitCVI . com has "hero" WODs) setup like so:

Main lift
1 accessory

Sgt Roy is:

5 rounds timed:
225 deadlift x 15 reps
20 Box Jumps (24") x 20
Pull-ups X 25


Sounds like fun :slightly_smiling: 5 rounds of 25 pull ups though.... can you do that? I can't. That WOD would probably take me 45 minutes. If you can do it in 5-10 minutes, I'm impressed.