Sunday 10.28.12

CrossFit, Cross-Fitness, Cross Training, does it really matter?
CrossFit Football posted this picture on their Facebook page on Tuesday with the simple inscription, "Where did this happen?"  The conversations that ensued under the photo included many comments, everything from "CrossFit is a horrible program", to "This is the stuff that gives CrossFit a bad name", and "Why would CrossFit allow this to happen?"  When I see this kind of dangerous programming shown in the picture, I can't help but to agree at times.

I like CrossFit.  I've been weightlifting for about 15 years and have studied and tried many different programs.  CrossFit is the one program that I feel has worked for me longer than any other.  I continue to PR all the time, almost 6 years since starting this program.  CrossFit the program and methodology is amazing to learn about.  But it definitely takes work to learn to program correctly.  That is why you might often see many of the coaches at The Compound doing different workouts then what we put on the website.  We are trying and learning new things, and try to provide you with the best stuff, the stuff that works!

CrossFit runs an affiliate program, instead of a franchise.  This affiliate program allows us to use the CrossFit name legally, but also allows us to run our program completely free of any oversight or input from CrossFit Inc.  I love that freedom, although at times things like what is going on in the above picture may occur.  That is life.  That is when it is incumbent upon you, the client, to make smart decisions about where you choose to CrossFit.

When I first certified in CrossFit, they ran 3 or maybe 4 seminars most weekends, and certified about 100 people in each seminar.  These people became Level 1 Certified CrossFit Trainers and were then able to affiliate with CrossFit and train people using the CrossFit name.  At the seminars, CrossFit Trainers told us to go out and learn and begin teaching friends, anyone, so you can become a better trainer.  They did not say, go out and professionally open a a business because we were all expert trainers now.

This photo to the left was taken from last Monday.  That weekend, there were 14 seminars to certify new Level 1 trainers.  There are over 4000 CrossFit affiliates worldwide now.   It seems like most people think a Level 1 certification means they can start a gym, whether they know what they are doing or not.   CrossFit's philosophy in this matter is that they have no say, and they will let the better trainers and gyms rise to the top.

I don't know if that philosophy is working or not.  Many people think that while there are many great CrossFit gyms out there, the bad ones are giving the good gyms a bad name!  Frankly, I think it's CrossFit's business and they can run it if they want, but I am writing this because I want you guys to know and to look for differences in CrossFit gyms.  Become better more informed CrossFitters and you will be able to train for a long time making PR's in the years to come.

In Vacaville alone, there are two CrossFit gyms, a CrossFitness/ Cross Training knock off gym, and several Bootcamp type training programs that claim to teach crossfit style methodology. Maybe they do, maybe they don't.  Maybe they are CrossFit certified, maybe they aren't.  Maybe they have over 50 years of combined fitness training like The Compound does, or maybe they don't.

I don't know and I don't care.  What I care about is giving you the best training possible every time you step into The Compound.  That's it.  We program movements that are safe, useful, and effective to your athletic improvement.  We network with some of the best gyms around; CrossFit One World, Diablo CrossFit, Catalyst Athletics, and of course CrossFit Inc. etc. to bring the best training philosophies we can.  We enjoy utilizing CrossFit, but we know that CrossFit is not the end all be all training program and there are many other great programs that are around.

We will not program random workouts for no reason.  If we program something and you are unsure why we did it, we expect you to ask.  Our trainers will provide you with an answer.  If you see something that you feel is dangerous (it is probably not if its from our gym....or it's only dangerous if its performed it incorrectly), ask and we will explain it.  That is how you become a better, more informed CrossFitter.

If you go to a competition and you see something being done like the picture above, forfeit your entrance fee and don't hurt yourself for a local competition.  Last year, one of our Masters Competitors suffered some serious injuries after a competition.  I was there watching and I saw them doing single joint bodybuilding type movements FOR TIME.  This may not sound bad, but coming from a bodybuilding style background of training, I felt uneasy believing the propensity for injury was high because of the single joint movements being done too intensely.   When form breaks down during single joint movements, it is potentially more damaging to that single joint than if he had been working compound or multi-joint movements.

After seeing more competitions, it's becoming obvious that every gym out there is trying to come up with the NEW, GREAT, PERFECT WORKOUT that will be the next "Fran" or "Helen".  They seem to forget that those two workouts are the most basic workouts.  The more basic the workout is, the better you are able to work on proper form and speed/ intensity and therefore you can get a better workout.

For example, why work Hand Release Push Ups, when most people can't even do regular push ups properly and they are better for your fitness anyways?  The "hand release" portion was only added in the CrossFit Games to make it easier to judge.

It's incumbent upon you to understand and research what is best for you.  We try to provide information every class, on our website, through links to the CrossFit Journal and other fitness magazines and articles.  It's up to you guys to read it and understand that each gym, trainer, or training program (even if it looks the same) is NOT created equal.

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