My Three-Year Relationship With CrossFit

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.

  • GK

    Nice observations. Are you familiar with OPT and his direction of training independently for longevity versus the sport of crossfit? 

    Good stuff.

  • Starting my 3rd year of CrossFit just recently, I’m starting to see it as a sport now too. Yes, I still have a long way to go with my strength, speed, and overall fitness, but what makes it fun is going into it with that sport mindset.

  • Hi GK, I’ve surfed into the OPT website but I’m not overly familiar. His methodology is something I’d like to learn more about, though, as I’ve head good things.