15.3 was the last straw. When Dave (thinks he’s a rockstar) Castro announced 15.3 and placed Ring Muscle Ups first in the workout I was immediately concerned for the hundred thousand plus people who will be throwing and twisting themselves about trying to get their first muscle up, and subsequently 6 more. I have introduced a ton to folks to CrossFit and now I’m going to have to talk them out of this workout and ultimately to quit CrossFit.
Then it happened. With a smug look Castro looked into the camera and said “Remember, support your local box.” I was instantly infuriated as it all made sense now. CrossFit HQ does not give a shit about finding holes in our fitness, they are laser focused on creating holes in our wallets. Money trumps safety! I knew at that moment I would never call myself a CrossFitter again.
From the beginning, CrossFit brought us all together by introducing competition. It turned working out into training with metrics and external motivations. I felt like I now had a real sport.
It’s been a few years now and the results have been absolutely incredible. As I’ve said many times I’m in the best shape of my life. I can run 5 miles in 40 minutes, run 100yards in 11.2 seconds, walk on my hands, deadlift nearly 400 lbs., I can even do backflips. Most people would agree that’s pretty good for a guy inches away from 40.
Upon doing some soul searching last night, I realize I have been incorrectly attributing this success to CrossFit. The reality is, I’ve been self-programming all along as have all my CrossFit friends. We modify the site WODs daily by introducing some running, rowing, or other things we feel need additional work. The programming they present to the world via crossfit.com is absolutely irresponsible and fits nobody’s needs. Yesterday the WOD was run 1.5 miles. Cool. Just about everyone can do that. A few days prior it was the Bowen which includes 21 deadlifts at 275lbs along with a truckload of other work. Obviously that will need to be scaled for most normal people but that’s left up to you to decide.
Remember a moment ago how I raved about the wonderful competition and metrics that this sport brings? Exactly. Most of the boys I lift with will error on the wrong side of that “should I scale” decision and try to do the workout as RX’d to test their metal. That’s how people get hurt and I don’t blame CrossFit HQ for it. Ultimately it’s always up to the individual to know their limits. But just like the girl texting the young man who committed suicide in MA they do bear some responsibility for saying “hey, do this” to a bunch of excited competitive young men and women.
Simply put, intense cross-training gets results, you don’t need these money grabbing yahoos and their ultra-expensive affiliates. Many different disciplines can stress the body in different ways. Olympic lifting, distance running, gymnastics, sprinting, strongman/powerlifting, swimming, and biking are all great for you. If you do them really hard on a regular schedule, you will see incredible results. It’s a formula as old as time and surprisingly, it’s a very cheap way to train.
I was really having a hard time with this CrossFit break up today. It has been a big part of my life for many years now, but after really letting it sink in today that I’m single again, I’m excited to set some new functional performance goals to test my fitness. Since I’ll no longer have the Open, I’m in the process of setting new goals like dunking a basketball, running a 2:30 half mile, mastering forward and back flips, and freestanding handstand pushups.
I’m more excited than ever to be a Cross-Trainer!