I know it may sound like heresy to most of my colleagues in the RKC community, or those who follow strict Oly and Power lifting protocols, but you know that I back up my statements with common sense. So allow me to quickly review why the usual beef with Crossfit is slightly amended.
THE TROUBLE WITH CROSSFIT
Mind you, this is not the isolated opinion of yours truly, but stems from observation, knowledge and experience. I’ve trained/converted many a crossfitter into well-performing athletes, equally if not more adept at a variety of high performance physical activities. I was able to have clients who couldn’t deadlift much or pull-up other than “assisted kipping pull-ups” (whatever that disaster is) to deadlift twice their body weight in a matter of months, or go from zero pull-ups to multiple weighted pull-ups. I’ve taken others from not being able to pull off an obstacle course to complete one and rank in the upper percentiles for their age group in Crossfit-type events.
The trouble with most Crossfit routines is they are time-based instead of skill based. Too much randomized work, not enough time for adaptation. That’s great if you already are a well-rounded athlete. But this turns you into a jack of all trades, master of none.
CONSISTENCY BRINGS RESULTS
For the body to achieve the adaptation you seek, you must be consistent in your training approach, no secret there. You’re not going to win a squatting competition by doing leg extensions or leg curls, or if you barely ever squat as you would in competition.
SO WHERE DOES CROSSFIT FIT?
Once in a while, you can have that decadent slice of cheesecake, the extra unhealthy beverage, alcoholic or not. At the other end of the spectrum, you have that special event, like the Tough Mudder or Warrior Dash, which requires you to operate like a soldier in a hairy situation: run, climb, push, pull, throw, dodge, swim, fall etc… How do you prepare for such an event? Well, consistently incorporate such exercises into your routine. Routine is key, it means consistency, adaptation, following a designated path. Now, once in a while (once every couple of weeks), do something odd, off the beaten path. Finish it, record not just your time, but how you feel (your Fatigue Index, your ability to move afterwards -even the next day-, your level of exhilaration for having completed the job). If you can’t find something to do, like a race, go on to any Crossfit site and randomly follow their WOD (Workout Of the Day), or choose one from their list. Yeah, you can redo it later and beat your time, or, to avoid boredom, do a different one.
BUT STAY CONSISTENT IN YOUR TRAINING…
…as if no event was planned, and base it on your goal, whatever it may be. You will be ready anyway, any day. Well, except maybe if you have to complete a full Iron Man, which sounds like a Crossfit workout from hell. But that is achieved through consistency and preparation, not random acts of fitness.