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What is Crossfit?

Posted Dec 25 2010 5:24pm


Well, according to their website definition: "CrossFit is the principal strength and conditioning program for many police academies and tactical operations teams, military special operations units, champion martial artists, and hundreds of other elite and professional athletes worldwide.

Our program delivers a fitness that is, by design, broad, general, and inclusive. Our specialty is not specializing. Combat, survival, many sports, and life reward this kind of fitness and, on average, punish the specialist."

Before anybody gets judgemental or questions whether I know what I'm talking about, I've done Crossfit. Lots. I've done the "WOD's", or Workouts of the Day. I've done Fran, and Lynn and Nutts and all the other affectionate names given to the not-so-cutesy Crossfit workout routines. Lastnight, my workout was 10x10mph sprints on the treadmill at 12% grade, with swing squats and single leg deadlifts after each (granted, it is the off-season at this time).

I have worked out in a Crossfit gym, underneath their mascot "Pukie the Clown" , and I have puked. Been there, done that. And here's the problem with Crossfit.

If the highly anaerobic and power/strength demanding Crossfit workouts are performed in a typical carbohydrate depleted state by a triathlete or endurance athlete who is engaging in heavy bouts of aerobic training simultaneous to Crossfit involvement, the result is poor form and increased risk of injury during the actual Crossfit routine combined with sacrificed biomechanics and hormonal imblances from Crossfit-induced soreness/fatigue during any subsequent aerobic swim, bike or run sessions.

In other words, aerobic athletes and triathletes cannot have their Crossfit cake and eat it too.

If you're a Crossfit enthusiast and Crossfit gym attendee, or use the Crossfit websites to get your WOD's, and you're blindly adhering to the program while also doing 2-3 swim, bikes and/or runs during the week, then you're either A) not performing to your capacity in the Crossfit workouts, and thus getting mere fractions of the "intense" Crossfit benefits or B) performing to your capacity in the Crossfit workouts, but then performing ugly and half-assed aerobic training sessions because of soreness and fatigue.

In either case, A or B, I guarantee that if you're doing a "proper" Crossfit program and combining it with a "proper" triathlon or endurance training program, there is absolutely no chance that you are giving your testosterone:cortisol ratios or inflammatory response to exercise an adequate time to recover, which results in increased immune system lowering risks, increased risk of soft tissue injury, and increased risk of overtraining syndrome.

So what's the solution?

Whoisben * Please come back for part 2 tomorrow and the answer.

Ben Greenfield has been coaching athletes for over a decade from the website , and is author of the modern triathlon coaching
manual, "How To Be A Triathlon Coach", at .

Follow on twitter @ everymantri or view latest videos on YouTube .

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