Monday, March 15, 2010

F**K CrossFit!

I know I know, this is going to offend a few of you faithfuls out there. Oh well!

Here is my 2 cents on this subject matter. Are you ready? Ok, here we go...

First off I had looked into opening my own box a few years ago, before it was so mainstream. But,because of the costs associated with being affiliated and obtaining a bunch of certs, I wanted to research it further. Of course some of the video footage is cool, but it's all over the place... By that I mean, doing a work-out repeatedly over time is going to cause a decrease in times. If you train at anything, you will learn how to adapt or improve in ways of accomplishing your goal. Does this mean you have become more fit? Not neccessarily, it can mean you have learned how to do things faster which does not mean better fitness...

So, after talking with owners of other gyms I decided to step back from being affiliated with any gym, and to just open my own! Does this mean my gym is better than all Crossfits or any other gym for that matter? No. I believe there is a place for all gyms. There is no such thing as one thing for everybody in the fitness industry. My clients are a select group of indidviduals that are looking to improve at athletics (for the most part). We cater to Athletes and we train our clients as Athletes. Is it right for everyone? It depends on the individual. All clients have goals or areas that they need to improve in, to become better. Just because you start your own gym, does not mean what you do is a sport. Crossfit is NOT a SPORT!

I'm sick and tired of Yuppies walking into my gym and asking me, "Is this like Crossfit?" F**k you, no it's not! What we do here is Specific to what the client wants and needs. There is no general WOD (work-out of the day) posted on the wall for every client to perform... How would that make sense? And there is no standardized weight for Males and Females to use. Now honestly, how in the f**k does that make any sense? We tailor our workouts to the individuals and their sport, and we strive to teach proper Technique at all times. There is no room for bad technique...NONE! If I have my youth athletes performing exercises incorrectly, I will be sitting in my gym by myself with no clients. But, this is acceptable in a C-fit box, aka Crossfit Slop.

Why in the world is Crossfit crossing over into sports, for example Crossfit Football. You know why, because there is money to be made, $$$ and lots of it! Let's just say Parents of a 13 year old football player are working out at a C-fit box, how would you get the whole family in the door to pay you more money? They already have C-fit Kids Cert.($), so they create a football Cert. ($) now the whole family can come in at once or thru out the day. Crossfit has so much f'n money now that they could care less if a box closes, because they make a ton on Certifications every weekend and turning out 40 new L1 certified people who dream of opening their own box. It is a money maker, and it started near the Silicon Valley where there was plenty of money to be had in the beginning. Now it is global, and is planting it's seeds into areas that need more specific training, rather than general work-outs...

Money is the name of the game, and it is a Huge Cash Cow! How can I compete with Crossfit Football...? Easy, I don't conform to changing what and how I do my training. Of course I am constantly learning and bringing new and creative ways to get my clients great results. But, I will not compromise my values and sell out to join or affiliate with the masses because it's "cool" or "new". My clients deserve better. I am totally pissed off that the target market of CrossfFit is everybody and anybody with a pulse. There are no boundaries, if you don't believe me check their site. There is a cert. for everything from Kettlebells to Gymnastics, Olympic Lifting to Nutrition, Running to Powerlifting! WTF!!!!! Many of these certs. have nothing to do with each other, and as they will soon find out that just because you are certified, does not mean you are capable of training the masses. It takes time in the trenches and trying different methods on yourself before one can truly teach anything. A weekend is good, but more is needed in the subject matter before one can truly understand.

Does Crossfit affect my business...? Barely, but I am all for competition, and I don't claim to be an expert at everything or just one thing. Like I said earlier, I am constantly learning. I have struggled and kept going without any affiliation to any name or HQ or title behind my name. For this is what I truly love doing. Training myself and others to become Bigger Faster and Stronger. That is my job and I love it! I'm not doing what I do for the money, I do it for the satisfaction of knowing I am doing it to help will be a by-product. I have no intention as of now to open another Strong 101. I just want to grow my business as large as I can for now and see where it takes me. Because of the service I provide I will not sacrifice my clients well being in order to make a quick buck. That is what I believe separates our gym from a Crossfit box. I don't care how many clients show up, as long as they are dedicated and want to be trained, I will train them. Quality over quantity suits me just fine.

I can go on and on about what I don't like about Crossfit, but I will leave you with this article from an ex-affiliate. Greyskull Elite Strength and Conditioning.

P.S. please pass this on or comment at the very least, and leave me your opinion on the subject matter. Thank You!



AuthenticStrength said...

Dude, this was THE BEST post you've made because it's 100% true and one of the most annoying things about the entire fitness industry. Is there a time and place for some of the WOD's or whatever? Of course. But it's a cookie-cutter routine, end of story.

Well done, Mike!

AuthenticStrength said...

Actually, all of your post's are right-on, but this one bugs the shit out of me.

briga training said...

I get you man! I'm a CrossFit owner (still, not sure for how long). When we affiliated, three years ago, things where still kind of, is totally wacked!

We have always been different, since where not just a CrossFit gym. We have and still train constantly with Mike Mahler, Ken Blackburn, Steve Cotter, Jason Dolby and of course Jon Hinds. Every year at least twice a year we train a few days with Mark Phillippi and I also train a few weeks a year with John Hackleman, to stay in tune for my fighters training.

That's our difference! We're always learning, always looking to make ourselves better coaches. That has been lost in the CrossFit world. Any asshole that has money can become a "coach" and open a box.

I've seen guys that can't do any of the movements themselves and neither can they teach them...still, they're CrossFit Coaches!

We're actually expanding and opening a few new gyms, without any of them being a CrossFit Affiliate...we don't need it. Fuck, they need us! They need more "real" gyms, not the ones they're producing every weekend with their Certs.

I'm with you man, I get your point. We still work because we fill all those "holes" in the CrossFit game, with what we've learned over the years and our training with those excellent coaches I mentioned. If not by that, we'd be a pussified gym like 80% of the CrossFit Affiliates.



John McEvoy said...

I agree with about 90% of what you have said and the same goes for in the greyskull article but theres more to be said.
The last paragraph you wrote about loving your job etc is probably word for word exactly how I feel as I'm sure is the same with a lot of ppl in this industry.
I currently work at a CF box and I too have dreams of having my own place one day.
Regardless of how many people rise up or step away from this cash cow it will keep growing and moving forward. Yes it has faults, as does any program but as a whole and what it has done for the fitness industry is remarkable. OK there are a lot of videos out there of ppl with shocking form etc but dont assume that all box's or even the majority of them are like this.This movement is creating people who are starting to live to be fit and healthy. They strive to achieve more from them selves and realize that hard work and dedication pays off. I'm sure that this will translate into their lives outside of the gym and in turn will encourage the people around them to do the same.
Personally I have made tremendous gains as have my own personal clients through the implementation of crossfit but thats having had the privilege of having personalized programing. This is a fault within CF, simply having a WOD and everyone does it.
Having said that it is 100% better than people going to the local globo and reading a magazine on the treadmill or doing bicep curls in the mirror. The basis for the program is awesome. Every one needs to squat, pull and push. I'm sure I dont need to go into detail about benefits of this etc but your clients results will be determined as a result of your programming and how you choose to run your box.
And wheatear you like it or not, this thing is becoming a sport and it will only continue to get more coverage and become even bigger.
There's no need to be angry about it or saying F**k you about it, simply do what you do and don't worry about it.

Imperial Training said...

Mike you're the man! lol You know my view on this. I think you love what you do and your passionate about that. Keep it that way bro! You are always walking the walk and learning more that's what makes you so great. That's why Strong 101 is bad ass! CF peeps are passionate about their stuff and thats cool for them. The cream rises to the top and we train a rare breed remember that. I have sent my athletes through to CF's and they workouts and they shit all over the wods. What's that say? My "athletes" are better than people who train for "general " fitness . That's why they train underground not mainstream. But people who want to be better than what goes on at the commercial gyms let them have their light and the CF's they deserve a place too. If they want to take it up a notch they will come see you. And I agree with the statement that some are some CF coaches that are great and the hate the way that CF is going.

Doug Fioranelli said...

Man if I had a dollar for every time some one asked if what I do at my gym is CrossFit I would have gold plated dumbbells. Nice write up Mike

Project Swole said...

I say make Crossfit work for you rather than working for them. Doesn't anyone see the value in being both CrossFit and independent? I'm thinking about a gym where CrossFitters can go to get a CF workout, where fighters can go to train for both conditioning and skills (boxing, kboxing, bjj, wrasslin, aikido, etc...), where strongmen can go work on their odd object lifting (truck pulling, tire flipping, atlas stones, sled dragging, etc...), where powerlifters can go to powerlift (deads, squats, glute hams, presses, and all manner of equipment allowing them to do so), where bodybuilders can go to pose in the mirror after every set with their shirts off (... ok, maybe not), where teens can learn and build a resistance training foundation to last a lifetime, where women can go train like they are supposed to: heavy and hard, shit I'm even in support of having a licensed yoga instructor on hand at all times to provide REAL yoga classes for clients.

I know what I'm talking about is essentially being everything to everyone, which is nearly impossible, but moderation is the key and I feel strongly that athletes should open their minds to all other forms of training. I spent a month in a CrossFit box and learned some decent stuff, including the fact that full-time CrossFit training is not for me, but that WODs can be used effectively for a ton of clients in a wide variety of ways.

In conclusion I can't express sincerely enough the importance of learning as much as possible about every methodology out there, taking what you can use, and tossing away the rest. And hey, isn't that exactly what Bruce Lee did with jeet kune do?

Thanks for the great post!


intravertbm said...

So I see posts like this all the time from people who suck at CROSSFIT or just had a bad experience with it. If you do it correctly and dont go to a ".com" Crossift gym you will no doubt become a better athlete. Lets face it 99% of the reason most dont like it is because its too much work, people want a great body but dont want a strict diet or to put in the time it takes to achieve that goal. People just wanna look good but could give a shit less about being fit or healthy!!! I used to be like everyone else when it came to working out. Do some cardio lift some weights rinse and repeat, until I was assigned to SEAL TEAM 5. Apparently ALL of the SPECWAR community had been doing Crossfit long before it went mainstream, why.......Because it fucking works!!!!! You wont see NAVY SEALS doing bro curls in the mirror or looking at their abs, but you will see them doing workouts that would make a football player puke. Crossfit Football doesnt really have anything to do with the sport, sport. It has to do with the fact its for the "big boys", regular Crossfitters wouldn't be strong enough to do the Football workouts. Theres also Crosspit for MMA fighters, and a long list of different things that are all just variations of Crossfit. Not all Crossfit gyms are "LEGIT" I agree, it isnt a perfect business, anyone in it for the money can get a level one cert, pay the dues and open a box. But let face it, if you walk in that gym and dont do your research first......youre the idiot, it isnt Crossfits fault. I work out at a Strength and Conditioning gym that also does Crossfit, and there is a difference. If the so called coaches there dont actually know how to program Crossfit workouts, you probably dont want to pay them to go there. Heres the deal man, a fool and his money will soon be parted. Do your homework when it comes to Crossfit and you wont have a shit experience.