I am rapidly approaching the three year anniversary of my relationship with CrossFit. Admittedly, CrossFit has been one of my best girlfriends, except for the part where I don’t get laid and it makes me pass out occasionally. Like with any girlfriend, it has its up and downs. Here are some insights and observations from three years.
* I approach CrossFit as a sport rather than a fitness tool. That’s another way of saying I want to dominate WODs.
* I don’t usually dominate WODs. That’s not an insight, just an observation.
* For the first two years I used CrossFit as a training tool to supplement rowing, my primary sport at the time. CrossFit is superior to all other cross training I’ve done in rowing, including some sophisticated programs at Division I colleges. If I was coaching a crew team right now, I’d replace our land training with CrossFit and a strength training plan wholesale.
* Extending that, I’d program rowing sparingly for 6 months out of the year. The rest of the time would be strength training and getting my athletes superhuman strong. I want the guys deadlifting at least 450 and back squatting 350.
* Endurance sports (rowing, running, etc) make you really weak. Being weak sucks.
* On the flipside, regular CrossFit is haphazard in how it addresses aerobic capacity. When someone says their metcon sucks, that’s a dumb CrossFit way of saying they have shitty aerobic fitness. Admittedly, I talk about my metcon in this way.
* I did my first CrossFit competition in January of 2011. I was hooked. This basically caused me to quit rowing and take on CrossFit full time.
* CrossFit can get you injured. I’ve had more injuries in three years doing CF than in 12 years rowing.
* CrossFit is about as dangerous as any serious sport. I think it’s as dangerous as playing full court basketball.
* High rep box jumps and recycling are risky. It’s a great way to injure your achilles. We need to stop programming high rep box jumps.
* If you’re going to do box jumps, do just a handful of reps and jump high. The point should be the explosiveness, not the volume. Why not a WOD that features 5 reps box jump per round on a 30+” box?
* I’ve met more people with torn labrums and blown rotators in the last year than is sane and holy. Something has got to be done about that.
* It’s a young sport…in it’s infancy, really. In another 10 years a lot of the kinks will be worked out.
* Community is the most important aspect of the sport. I’ve adopted my gym community as my new tribe and primary social circle.
* I’ve found this social circle to be an evolution on my previous social circles, with better networking, more opportunities outside of the gym, and better friendships. That to me has been a powerful blessing.
* My gym community has inspired me to surround myself with men and women of high character.
* I love the clean & jerk and snatch. Doing those lifts just makes me feel right.
* I like that there are competitions all the time and everywhere…there really is something for everyone if you want to compete.
* Participating in CrossFit for the last three years has convinced me that getting old doesn’t have to suck. It’s a myth that as we age, we’re supposed to lose strength, slip into decrepitude, and lose vitality. The solutions are out there.
* We are all born athletes. Some of us spend a lifetime getting back to that. Or never get to it.
* Embrace your inner warrior and kick ass.
* Get in the fucking gym already.