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To CrossFit or Not to CrossFit?

robingmurphyrobingmurphy Posts: 306Member, Premium Member Posts: 306Member, Premium Member
When I get back from vacation in September I'm going to change my workout routine. I want to keep active (cardio) in the fall/winter and increase my strength (weights). I'm considering either joining CrossFit OR doing the weight lifting routine that Mike Matthews recommends in Thinner Leaner Stronger plus taking a couple classes at the Y for cardio when it's chilly out. Background: I'm already reasonably fit - run (slowly) several times a week and do a little weights lazily. Any thoughts about pros/cons or which path might be better? When I mention CrossFit to people they tell me it has a high rate of injury... I'm not a fan of injuring myself...

Replies

  • puffbratpuffbrat Posts: 2,500Member Member Posts: 2,500Member Member
    Why don't you try it a couple of times of see what you think?
  • MikePTYMikePTY Posts: 3,431Member, Premium Member Posts: 3,431Member, Premium Member
    Almost all boxes will offer you a free trial class. I'd take one and see what you think. Some people love it, others not so much. Only you can decide for you.
  • TrechechusTrechechus Posts: 2,847Member Member Posts: 2,847Member Member
    CrossFit looks fun as hell and I would totally be all over it if the cost weren't so prohibitive. A reputable CrossFit gym will start you with classes to teach you correct form and how not to hurt yourself.

    Also, if you're looking for something different that combines cardio and strength, might I recommend looking into a local roller derby league? Most leagues will teach you from the ground up, including how to skate if you don't already know how, and it's a great workout, not to mention an amazing community. :)

    I workout at home, and am building a home gym with PowerBlock adjustable dumbbells and I use fitnessblender.com's workouts. I have bought a few of the programs, because it just makes it more convenient, but you can totally put together your own schedule using their free videos.
  • ChieflrgChieflrg Posts: 8,042Member Member Posts: 8,042Member Member
    I would only do crossFit if I planned on competing in crossFiit so I could hone the skills needed to be competitive.

    If my goal was strength, there are way more better ways to do so.
  • firef1y72firef1y72 Posts: 1,539Member Member Posts: 1,539Member Member
    I don't do actual crossfit, but I do do a lot of crossfit style workouts with my PT (and on my own as I keep a record of my favourite workouts), and I love the style of workout and the competitiveness of trying to beat the number of rounds I did last time, or the time it took me.
    But I also have sessions with my PT where we solely focus on form and I strength train separately. The crossfit style is simply another tool in our arsenal to improve my general fitness, strength and running. Not sure I would ever use it as my sole form of exercise
  • MikePfirrmanMikePfirrman Posts: 1,069Member Member Posts: 1,069Member Member
    Chieflrg wrote: »
    I would only do crossFit if I planned on competing in crossFiit so I could hone the skills needed to be competitive.

    If my goal was strength, there are way more better ways to do so.

    I know you're a powerlifter and I agree wholeheartedly with you about peak power. But CrossFit is more about endurance power/strength. It is totally different and it's a special type of strength. They did a marathon of indoor rowing on a C2 two years ago at the CF games. The winning time was like doing 150 lb deadlifts, 20 times a minute, for 2 hours and 30 minutes straight. I know some competitive powerlifters and they won't touch the rower because they feel it hinders their peak power. But most decent rowers, for instance, would crush those individuals on a race on an indoor rower, which is like moving weight each stroke.

    Endurance strength adapts and reuses lactic acid and you train to stave off lactic buildup. Powerlifters are not built for endurance strength. If you don't train for it, you're not good at it. CrossFit is about Fitness. Not to be confused with sheer Power for short periods. Crossfitters must balance cardio and strength and keep their peak as high as it can be while protecting their ability to do X amount of work over Y amount of time. Which creates the AMRAP (as many reps as possible) a necessity. That is my biggest issue with CF. The possibility that AMRAP will create an environment for injury. Doing work until form might be compromised is never a good idea.

    So back to your competitive statement -- CF would train you to be better at things like Rowing, Mud Races and perhaps even Tri sports, mountain Biking, climbing and other sports that require endurance power (Rugby for instance).

    I think it's ungodly expensive for what you could train on your own with a Plyo box, heavy KBs, a rower and an Assault bike and own all of those things for the price you'd pay for one year of CF.
    edited August 13
  • ChieflrgChieflrg Posts: 8,042Member Member Posts: 8,042Member Member
    Chieflrg wrote: »
    I would only do crossFit if I planned on competing in crossFiit so I could hone the skills needed to be competitive.

    If my goal was strength, there are way more better ways to do so.

    I know you're a powerlifter and I agree wholeheartedly with you about peak power. But CrossFit is more about endurance power/strength. It is totally different and it's a special type of strength. They did a marathon of indoor rowing on a C2 two years ago at the CF games. The winning time was like doing 150 lb deadlifts, 20 times a minute, for 2 hours and 30 minutes straight. I know some competitive powerlifters and they won't touch the rower because they feel it hinders their peak power. But most decent rowers, for instance, would crush those individuals on a race on an indoor rower, which is like moving weight each stroke.

    Endurance strength adapts and reuses lactic acid and you train to stave off lactic buildup. Powerlifters are not built for endurance strength. If you don't train for it, you're not good at it. CrossFit is about Fitness. Not to be confused with sheer Power for short periods. Crossfitters must balance cardio and strength and keep their peak as high as it can be while protecting their ability to do X amount of work over Y amount of time. Which creates the AMRAP (as many reps as possible) a necessity. That is my biggest issue with CF. The possibility that AMRAP will create an environment for injury. Doing work until form might be compromised is never a good idea.

    So back to your competitive statement -- CF would train you to be better at things like Rowing, Mud Races and perhaps even Tri sports, mountain Biking, climbing and other sports that require endurance power (Rugby for instance).

    I think it's ungodly expensive for what you could train on your own with a Plyo box, heavy KBs, a rower and an Assault bike and own all of those things for the price you'd pay for one year of CF.

    Fact is any top end competive crossfitter doesn't train only cross fit. They use more traditional training for strength and also cross fit to hone skills which include endurance.

    I'm not try to dismiss your thoughts as I agree with many.

    I'm saying there hasn't one person who ever won cross fit games that used only cross fit to get there. They had a athletic back ground that involved traditional strength training first.

    Many powerlifters will train cardio, just not HIIT. I myself train with a rower or bicycle during certain blocks to build up my work compacity. Science has shown how effective cardio is for recovery of the big three lifts as well. It just has to programmed correctly within proper load management.
  • girlwithcurls2girlwithcurls2 Posts: 1,839Member Member Posts: 1,839Member Member
    That's awesome. It sounds like you found what works for you. I've never done Crossfit, but one of my adult kids absolutely loves it. It's the class aspect that she enjoys-seeing the same people, being part of a community. I get it. It's very cool that you are able to start to build up a home gym (Thanks Dad!!). Have fun!
  • BrianSharpeBrianSharpe Posts: 8,827Member Member Posts: 8,827Member Member
    I watched a documentary about the CrossFit Games and cringed at the horrible lifting technique and watching them flop like fish doing their pull-ups.
  • MikePfirrmanMikePfirrman Posts: 1,069Member Member Posts: 1,069Member Member
    I watched a documentary about the CrossFit Games and cringed at the horrible lifting technique and watching them flop like fish doing their pull-ups.

    It likely wasn't a strict pull-up but a "kipping pull up". I'm not a Cross Fitter, but it's different. I can't speak to form, as I'm not a power lifter, but I've seen both good form and terrible form in Cross Fit. For that matter, though, I've seen terrible form in many sports. I'm personally opposed to AMRAP (as many reps as possible) in any format. I'll take form over quantity any day.

    This article is a decent one on the Kipping Pull up you must have saw.

    https://breakingmuscle.com/fitness/in-defense-of-the-kipping-pull-up
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