Why Crossfit Is The Worst Way To Train But The Best Way To Stay Committed.
For 6 six years, I juggled MMA, firefighting, personal training, Crossfit, and fatherhood. I was burning the candle on both ends with a flame thrower. This high amount of stress kept my body in a continual state of fight or flight, until one day I was jogging in preparation for a fight and my heart started skipping beats.
Then over the next couple of weeks, it wouldn’t stop skipping beats. I would wake up in the middle of the night with my heart thumping like I was running full speed. I knew that changes had to be made or I was going to inadvertently kill myself. I had to take a real long look in the mirror and decide what was really important in life. After weeks of contemplation, I kept coming back to health, family, and freedom.
That’s when I decided to leave all the stress behind and open a small business ( lol ), or what you know today as Live Free. At the time I thought that Crossfit was the best way to combine community, health, and development, and I still do but over the years I have learned a lot about sustainable health and I have seen firsthand the inherent flaws that long-time Crossfitting presents.
My journey through the world of health and wellness has taken me from the heights of glory to the depths of despair and back again. During my journey, I have learned the positives and negatives of each workout style I have pursued and through trial and error, ( lots and lots of errors )I have developed my own hybrid system that focuses on building muscle, maintaining cardiovascular health, active recovery, and by extension of these 3 pillars, the holy grail of fitness, longevity.
I tell you this because as a Crossfit gym owner you would think that I would subscribe exclusively to Crossfit workouts, but as you can probably tell from the beginning of this article that is not the case.
I can tell you from experience that traditional Crossfit define as, Constantly Varied, High-Intensity, Functional Movement is bad for your health, especially when paired with young inexperienced coaches.
In fact, all it takes to open a Crossfit gym is 3000$ and a weekend certification. That means any John, Cindy, or Fran, can open a gym with ZERO coaching experience and you would unknowingly be putting your long-term health into the hands of an amateur.
The biggest issue I have with Crossfit workouts is that they are too intense for 99% of the population when done on a daily basis. Most coaches don’t understand body mechanics, volume, rest periods, and how to blend them effectively. This leads to a high rate of injuries because people use bad technique, unnecessarily heavy loads, and have an unhealthy focus of competing against others while being in a race against the clock.
Take for example one of the recent Crossfit open workouts. Heavy deadlifts (225 for men and 155 for women) and burpees. This workout requires people to do over 100 deadlifts and 100 burpees in under 10 minutes. For one a deadlift shouldn’t be done for high reps at a heavyweight in a short period of time due to the nature of the movement, the muscles used, and the long-term repercussions of injuring your back.
A serious back injury can be debilitating, extremely painful, and affect you for the rest of your life, yet the powers that be over at Crossfit thought it was a good idea to ask millions of people to give it a go.
This is extremely irresponsible in my opinion and frankly outright dangerous. The number of athletes that will injure themselves from this trash workout will number in the thousands, and continue to push people away from what Crossfit can be, a great way to train, meet friends, and have fun. That’s because most coaches won’t tell people they aren’t fit enough to do this Rx and they should be scaling the weight down to something closer to 40% of their max instead of trying to do a weight only 1% of the population can actually finish the workout with. I have yet to see one person in our gym actually finish the workout in the allowed time period.
Over the years I have actually pushed people away from the gym because I tell them the truth. You aren’t that guy pal. If you are over 30 with a full-time job and getting less than 8 hours of sleep, you have no business competing in Crossfit. People actually get offended when I tell them to go lower in weight or advise them to take a rest day. The addiction to the adrenaline rush of a “good” workout is much more powerful than common sense. Trust me I still spar at 43 and get hurt most of the time.
Do you know what’s more important to your health than a good Fran time? Getting good sleep, building muscle mass, and training without major injuries for the rest of your life. In fact, doing high-intensity workouts daily disrupts your sleep and ability to build muscle because too many high-intensity workouts destroy your endocrine system and cause long-term hormonal issues that affect your quality of life.
Show me a person with a full-time job that has done Crossfit for over 5 years and I’ll show you someone with a list of injuries who now has to consistently modify the Crossfit WOD to allow them to train regularly.
Show me a coach who does the WODS they program for the class? I bet you don’t find one, because they can’t do it every day. So why do they program the workouts the way they do? Because if they program the workouts in a healthy, sustainable, and safe way, people will say they are boring and bored people leave the gym for the next sexy thing.
The truth is that training for building muscle, burning fat, improving cardiovascular function, and making active recovery a focus is not as fun as ripping your hands on the pull-up bar. Creating lasting positive change requires patience, dedication, repetitive movements, longer rest periods, better warm-ups, longer cooldowns, and consistency above all else.
That is what separates Live Free from the pack. We make Crossfit more individualized and focused on long-term health.
My mission in life is to help as many people as possible put HEALTH at the center of their life and build around that. Crossfit with all its faults gives me the best chance to do that because it allows me to program workouts that I know work and gives people the support, accountability, and enjoyment of doing it with friends and under supervision all while spreading the cost out among many people.
Little by little, I am converting people over to my hybrid system that focuses on building muscle, burning fat, improving recovery, and creating long-term sustainable results.
In only 8 weeks this program has done what these people haven’t been able to achieve in months of training with traditional Crossfit. Build muscle, get stronger, lose fat, improve endurance and enhance longevity. It’s not always as exilarating as Crossfit, but sure is a hell of a lot more effective and sustainable.
To learn more about our 8-week program email me at John@livefreecommunityfitness.com and let me help you become stronger than ever!