What is wrong with CrossFit?

Before we start, I want to put on record that I’m a big fan of CrossFit and it’s methodology! Although I don’t

train at an affiliate, I train for CrossFit and have even entered a CrossFit competition. This being said I’m not blind to the things that are wrong.

What is CrossFit?

CrossFit is defined as… “constantly varied functional movements executed at high intensity”

So what do I think is wrong with CrossFit?


…When it’s done PROPERLY!

But when it’s done poorly, it looks terrible and increases the risk of injury substantially. This can be said for any training style, but the fact that there is so much to work on and some of the movements are highly technical while being performed at intensity, it increases the likelihood that movement patterns are going to break down unless time has been spent on mastering basics.

Now true CrossFit methodology says that the fundamentals should be mastered before moving onto the higher skill movements and encourages scaling workouts so that the stimulus and movement patterns are correct. Most CrossFit Boxes will have Fundamental sessions that members have to complete before they can start going to the CrossFit Classes! Unfortunately though, some boxes don’t enforce the fundamental classes before letting people go into the classes. This can cause people to be put off as they are being thrown straight into a high intensity class with movements they’ve probably never done before or aren’t very confident in performing as well as increasing the chance of injury to that person.

Next lets address one of the biggest gripes that people have with CrossFit…

Kipping Pull Ups

The kipping pull up or butterfly pull up are high skill movements (if you don’t believe me, try doing 10 in a row) they take hours and hours of practice to master and then even longer to master the technique while under fatigue. Far too often though people start attempting them before they can even do strict pull ups. This is not CrossFit. Learn the basics, drop your ego and get strong. If you are guilty of this then I suggest you scale back to the basics. If you cannot perform at least 5-8 Strict Pull Ups then you have no place trying to learn Kipping or Butterfly Pull Ups.

Next is Ego.

Ego is found in every part of life, from training to work/home life, but unfortunately I see too many people doing workouts RX when they should be scaling in order to work at the prescribed stimulus. If this person is training in a CrossFit affiliate then that is the coaches fault as they haven’t explained the stimulus well enough e.g if the workout is Fran the stimulus is to sprint through the work. However if this person is training on their own then I highly suggest they speak to a coach or find a programme that explains what the stimulus of the workout is and the importance of working on strict strength/ weaknesses.

So lets finish on something positive!

CrossFit does so many things very, very well, so I’m going to list a few:

Community based - Unlike your commercial gyms where you can walk in, complete your workout and leave without talking or interacting with a single person, CrossFit encourages interaction with fellow members and coaches. As a result of the tight knit community accountability and enjoyment is increased which leads to improved results!

Functional Movements - The movements and exercises used in CrossFit will help improve overall health and movement outside of the gym and therefor improve day to day life! As a rule I make sure that every client of mine does at least 1 Push, 1 Pull, 1 Squat, 1 Deadlift, a carry and finally some kind of monostructural (ideally a run) within their training week.

Constantly Varied - Ever get bored of the same old gym programme, working 3 sets of 10 on the same exercises etc.. Not with CrossFit, part of the methodology is that each workout is constantly varied. For someone like me this is great as there is constantly something new to learn and get better at as well as working on things that I enjoy.

These are only 3 of many positives, but I’d be here all day listing positives.

Thank you for taking the time to read today’s blog. If you disagree with anything I have said in this Blog then please send me a message! Lastly if you have enjoyed reading and learnt something new then please share!

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