Will The Real CrossFit Please Stand Up!!
As the sport of CrossFit evolves, we are noticing that some of the required movements, skills, and weight loads are changing to be more challenging and difficult to achieve, but that’s because as CrossFitters we are getting better every year. Unfortunately, in the midst of this evolution many of our fellow athletes have formulated that CrossFit is all about ‘Olympic Lifting’. I recall a time when Olympic lifters laughed at CrossFitters, but today you will find hundreds of Olympic lifters now participating in the sport of CrossFit. According to Greg Glassman, founder of CrossFit, Inc., he describes CrossFit as “ a vehicle to promote general physical preparedness.” What does that mean?… that at any given time you should be able to run, climb, lift, swim, jump, etc. Through training functional movements in a sports like matter, CrossFit is able to promote general physical preparedness which includes the following key elements: Cardiovascular and Respiratory endurance, Stamina, Strength, Flexibility, Power, Speed, Coordination, Agility, Balance, and Accuracy. By combining gymnastics, plyometrics, conditioning training, cardio, and of course olympic lifting, and many other fitness elements, CrossFit has been able to prepare millions of people for everyday living and performance training. The problem with our evolution, there is a portion of our community who only believes that you are only crossfitting if you have a bar in your hand, or you are performing some of the ‘hollywood’ moves displayed at the CrossFit Games. Greg Glassman suggest that we DO NOT ‘specialize’ in one modality. He encourages us to specialize in all aspects of movement. Ideally, this is not truly attainable but our goal should be to get better in every physical element. You may be great at gymnastics or you may be an amazing runner, but you should strive to get better in those modalities that you may not be so good at. The point is that CrossFit is about all forms of physical movement – hiking, climbing, throwing, rowing, running, jumping, and yes resistance training and power lifting. It’s absolutely ok to love olympic lifting, but by no means should it be the principle component of CrossFit. Just say, “I’m an Olympic Lifter”. The wonderful thing about Olympic Lifting is that is transfers to other physical modalities and to that end it is important element to help us perform, but by no means should be at the top of the pyramid in CrossFit. As CrossFitters we should keep an open mind to all aspects of training and not just focus on one or two elements. For example most CrossFitters weren’t thinking of swimming until it was introduced in the 2012 Games, nor had anyone considered using a pegboard until the last Games, and now Rogue is selling out of them. It’s only natural that events in the Games set a trend for new movements, but as CrossFitters, I mean ‘true CrossFitters’, we must embrace all aspects of exercise.
By focusing totally on Olympic Lifting or making it the epitome of CrossFit, we scare away general everyday people from our sport. And since the average person only has 1 hour, maybe 2 to train, and they only focus on Olympic Lifting there is no time to improve in other skills. We must realize that we are not all Game athletes, even if we aspire to be so. In 2017, most of those athletes in the upper percentile that make it to Regionals or the Games are training at a level most of us cannot, nor would our everyday lives allow. Those that are intimidated by the bar feel that CrossFit is not for them, when actuality CrossFit is specifically for everyone. Because of this misnomer Boxes are losing members and/or the potential to grow their Boxes. As we evolve we must be open to experience and pursue the whole sport of fitness, and not just olympic lifting. I respect every element of olympic lifting and I am the first to endorse that it has helped me be a better athlete and has kept me fit – but it is in conjunction with the other physical components that we come to the full and complete ‘definition of fitness’.
Will the real CrossFit please stand up!!!
Submitted With The Utmost Passion for Fitness