Manual Birth of a Hero: Metabolic Conditioning for Superior Athletics and Conditioning

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Is the elderly woman who works out with me every morning annoying? And would you like to know something else very interesting? Do I talk about it with my boyfriend who also does Crossfit? Do I get back from a workout and tell my roommate who barely works out that I got a PR on my deadlift and can finally do 10 pull-ups in a row? Because that would be pointless. You say you weight train, do you get excited when you hit a new PR?

Do you tell anyone about it? My wife is addicted to crossfit, and does it every day. After her workout she is all over FaceBook watching other people work out. I am happy that she has found something she loves. However she keeps injuring herself, to the point where she is in worse shape in my opinion than before she began.

Hi there my name is Sean and i work as a substitute teacher here in England. I recently graduated in Sports Coaching Science and have managed to get work teaching different subjects in schools. Last week I was covering a maths class when some kids asked me what subject i did at university due to it being obviously not maths. I said that I specialized in Physical Education when a girl asked if i liked Crossfit She said that she had started crossfit and was addicted! I immediately explained that crossfit isnt probably the best thing for her to do and has she thought of doing an actual sport like soccer or something.

I took the scientific route when explaining to her as to why i think it was bad; these points included lack of periodization, poor form and lack of proper coaching. I didnt want the girl to be totally upset and i did in fact pay crossfit a compliment by saying that it has made olympic lifts more popular than the olympics have in the last so many years; it has gone off the course of progression though. It turns out that i know a few of the guys who workout at the her gym I refused to call it a box. I asked if a certain guy goes to crossfit and if he was still fat? The lesson finished and the girl left feeling challenged but did not appear to be upset after our discussion.

We walk into a restaurant when im immediately starred at by a group of adults wearing tight clothing without the justification to pull the clothes off. Im eating food with the family having a good time and still the angry stares continue. This guy in his late thirties starts puffing out his chest saying that i have upset a friends daughter who goes to the same gym as him.

He goes on to say that the guy who is still fat is a dear friend and him and his group of mates dont appreciate the way i spoke about him. I immediately point out that i have nothing against fat people i was merely pointing out something take a look at me im a fat guy myself. At this point he went on to say that my views on crossfit were offensive and that both his daughters compete nationally if i could go back in time i would of said that wouldnt be hard seeing as it such a minority activity i refuse to refer to it as a sport.

The conversation finished with him informing that i had damaged the young girls views on physical activity and that there was a complaint going against me at the school and they would be asking that i do not teach there ever again. If you have read to this part of the message i really appreciate it. I admire what you do and the last thing i would of wanted to do would be upset a young person regarding their choice of physical sport. Im actually worried that i could lose my livelihood due to this obnoxious cult and its views.

Any advice or help i would greatly appreciate. Erin, I find it interesting that you felt the need to back up this blog with another. Like you had something to prove. I am a crossfitter, runner and I have played in national sporting competitions. I have been doing crossfit for almost 4 years and I have never experienced anything you mentioned. I am sad that you never had a good experience and can see how you would not like it, I do not however find it very professional to write a personal opinion based on two experiences when you clearly have not done any research.

Not a very quality clinical trial! Probably best you stick to modelling. Going to just a couple different Crossfit gyms in no way gives you the knowledge to make a universal statement that all Crossfit gyms and Crossfit coaches are the same. Plus, using Google to find several articles with a negative connotation of Crossfit is something my seven year old has the ability to do.

Move on and discuss something that you do agree with and that does inspire you so that maybe you can encourage people that follow you. I would suggest you go and talk to successful gym owners and head coaches. Instead, I will continue to learn, research, program specifically for my athletes, and keep blowing past my personal fitness goals all the while supporting the world of CrossFit.

That pretty much says it all right there. Crossfit may be anti-science but crossfit fanboys and fangirls try to make up for it with every emotionally loaded rhetorical trick in the book. Thanks for writing this article, Erin! I was once a soldier in A-stan serving living, eating, and fighting along SF. The Army made a piss-poor decision to use PRT and it made it even worse with crossfit.

I do not even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was good. Simmons, who holds a Master of Science in Biology, has worked with many trained athletes and […]. She had many interesting things to say. Here are […]. I am an avid crossfitter and am not annoyed or angry with your comments at all. On the contrary, your article is very thoughtful and well written. You raise some very good issues with the sport and the way crossfit in general is run as a business. I do believe that coaching expertise and gym quality varies from facility to facility.

If a coach shames you for wanting to modify a workout, I would not recommend going back to that place. I stay healthy and injury free doing crossfit by practicing body awareness. If a WOD is too difficult for me, I modify it to my fitness level. I go slow and focus on my form more vs lifting heavy weights or completing the high reps. I often use lighter weights than what is recommended. I have been known to not finish a workout at all or be the last in my class to complete a WOD. I ignore the competitive crap you often find in the crossfit community.

As for the soreness, after crossfiting for over a year, the soreness post-workout seems to be rather mild now. I suspect if you had stuck with crossfit, you too would have experienced less pain over time. I do crossfit because I enjoy it. It gives me the energy and strength to enjoy my life to its fullest capacity. And yes, it is not for everyone. Kenneth Alleyne joined […].

Your humoristic style iis witty, keep it up! They showed clients performing what looked like maximal Olympic lifts with poor technique, which yes I know is affected by load. However, regardless of load, the technique used appeared to be lacking anyway. These lifts are highly technical and need to be taught correctly.

I saw a post recently that went further in to detail as to why these lifts are not suitable for all and how they are being used incorrectly in Crossfit so I wont go in to much detail, but it boils down to the high number of reps used for an exercise that is typically used for powerful explosive actions.

If you want to read the post you can find it here. It even made it to the Huffington Post. It got a lot of people fired up. Hi Erin, I just saw your post so I apologize for being a little late to the game. You make some very good points and I think you will agree that nothing is truly black and white. I am also a former D1 athlete and I have had plenty of doubts and concerns over the years about crossfit.

That said I am a crossfit convert — it took some time and some missteps along the way though. My journey has been long and complex but I can sum up my transition as follows: Crossfit, as practiced in your traditional crossfit box, or as displayed in the daily wod at crossfit. There are some incredible coaches that are thriving right now in the crossfit community that have amazing backgrounds and have worked with athletes from all walks of life not just crossfit.

You are doing yourself a disservice if you do not seek one out to get a peak behind the curtain. Their prescription will look very much like the programming you experienced as an athlete and almost nothing like the traditional crossfit programming you describe in your post. NFL football players do not practice football by running into each other at full force like they do on game day. There is a huge difference between testing and training.

There are a few really good coaches out there. He is expensive but he is flat out the best and he will absolutely have your best interests in mind and he will understand your concerns perfectly. Spend a year with him and you will have a revelation. And just so we are clear, I do not work for him and I do not benefit in any way by making this recommendation. I do not care if you post this on your website. He has been my trainer now for some time and I know first hand that this guy is legit theory and practice.

Either way, good luck in your future endeavors! Sir the fact that you still require a personal trainer is evident that you do not understand exercise in relation to the human condition. Certainly at some point one understands the mechanics, techniques, principles and simplicity of exercise. Its not rocket science. A weekend certification is just about right when it comes to all the online certifications worth.

But as it stands fitness like everything else in this media driven culture today is dumb downed. More crossfit gyms than every and more obesity than ever. Did you ever wonder why? Well for one it is evident that what we are doing is not working yet we continue to repeat expecting different results…insanity…yes?

I wish your comments were backed up by research rather than a brief experience and supposition. Deadlifts can be done safely. When I started CrossFit 3 years ago I was recovering from a stress fracture in the radial head of my left femur. I also was diagnosed with osteopenia. I have been running marathon distances for the past 20 years. I no longer have osteopenia and all the measured bone density is in the normal range.

The difference is 3 years participation in Crossfit. I also believe that it is dangerous for people to use a brief experience to condemn a practice that has benefitted so many. I will be participating in CrossFit for as long as I can. After 3 years I continue to improve. I must also mention the sense of community. Nothing wrong with those but it you want community and support, think CrossFit.

Gyms cannot call themselves a CrossFit gym unless they pay to become affiliates and have coaches with at least a L1 cert. Hardly worthy of being a trainer, yet those at the top of the Crossfit pyramid are making bank off of it. Am I qualified to be a strength coach? Hell no. Those Crossfit games were embarrassing.

I understand that bad form and bad coaching happens in any and every sport. But for it to happen on the grandest stage of the game and it gets deemed to be good form, that is inexcusable and it only highlights why so many people have and will continue to hurt themselves with Crossfit moreso than other sports.

I highly suggest you educate yourself on guys like Kelly Starrett. There are underqualified coaches everywhere and in every sport, CF is no different. Again, take a few minutes to educate yourself on Kelly Starrett alone and he might change your mind a little or at least get you to thinking that not every single coach or trainer is focused on intentionally harming their clients in the name of fitness, as you accuse them. I love to run and have been running mostly for fitness since high school.

Any time I ever attended a camp or a conference led by top running coaches, you know what they told us? Girls cross country has more injuries than high school football. People get hurt running all the time. So please, just consider that the next time you want to make a broad, all-inclusive attack on CrossFit. Your sport is not without hazard either.

It, like any other sport in the history of sports, is not without flaw. Neither is running. Neither is golf. Or yoga. Or tennis. Or water polo. Apparently, this woman hates Crossfit. And I am generally […]. As a Strength and Conditioning coach and bodybuilder I have seen every fitness and nutrition fad since the early s and their is no archetype for something as stupid as CF. Why do instant experts always want to reinvent the wheel and why do the disciples always get the arrogant attitude before the dust or spinal injuries have settled and what is trade markable about this cult like circus?

Agreed with you! These crossfiters will learn a lesson not now, when they get older and they start having joint problems, they get so mad when they hear the scientific truth. I did some physical therapy, mixed it up with yoga; until the pain was bearable enough for me to do my daily job and shores. When I stopped doing PT, I replaced it with Crossfit and running, and continued doing yoga alongside.

After about 1 year and a half my back pain has gone away completely, and I continue doing Crossfit, running and yoga every week. With this combination I have seen improvements in different aspects of my life, I am stronger, faster, more flexible and more so, I am pain free. I changed my approach to crossfit after an injury due to these very things.

I still love crossfit. Well he already has! Prolonging any explosive movement over a length of time is like forcing a Square peg down a Round Hole. You may have the benefits in the short term but in the long term you will destroy your own skeleton. Do you have respect for someone like Jason Khalipa? Can you give an example of a dangerous crossfit workout? Because I have seen some workouts on your site that were high intensity. I know that if I showed someone who does cross fit some of your workouts like the sprint workout they would just assume it is a cross fit workout.

Russian are okay! It just all comes off as sounding like a jealous ex girlfriend. Of those, 7 are strictly bodyweight movements, and four more include props such as kettlebells and medicine balls. So is it O. Erin, I really enjoyed your article. I also see many people doing exercises with poor form and know that there are many injuries that can be prevented. I have several personal questions unrelated to Crossfit, whenever you have time for a response:.

I am a competitive ultimate frisbee player rehabbing season-ending knee surgery. Mainly as an ultimate player I need explosive strength in my legs as well as good cardio endurance, and I often focus on track workouts and cycling for training. However, I am still unable to seriously work on my legs at this point. I am therefore focusing on upper body work less crucial, but obviously still important to being able to sprint, jump, dive etc.

I have not worked out in months in general surgery and have never really focused on upper body work before. I have been working in the gym times per week in addition to rehab exercises at home and in the pool. As per the recommendations of a friend, I have begun most of the new exercises I am doing with 3 sets of 15 repetitions at a reasonably light weight that challenges me some by the third set. He has recommended that I gradually transition to 5 x 5 at higher weights. Do you agree with this?

Also, do you have a rough guideline of how many weeks I should spend at 3 x 15 before increasing weight and moving to 4 x 8 or 5 x 5? Is there an ideal number of days to work out per week in your opinion? I will be a senior in high school this fall. Protein shakes are everywhere and almost everyone has tried at least one or more fab diets. Now I have never been overly athletic, fit, and possibly even in the best health. I like pizza, and ice cream, and a multitude of other probably-not-so-healthy things.

And I wanted to get in shape this last spring. So I thought. They had a zero hour workout in the mornings but I usually got home from work at about or 9. So I usually got to bed somewhere in between 11 and midnight. And I am not a morning person anyways and did not want to get up at 6 am to go be miserable and cranky and sore. However I quickly learned that though there was only one day in between Tuesday and Thursday, there were four between Thursday and Tuesday.

And my muscles lose memory fast. Each Tuesday I was having to start all over. Then I would sore and miserable and walking like a duck at work on Wednesday, then go and try and bust my butt some more on Tuesday. And all we did was lots of reps with lots of weight.

Then for the WOD it was some insanely impossible thing that I could barely do. And they timed it! So you were supposed to go as fast as you could. And no one noticed or cared! I thought they would know what they were doing to help me get fit safely and in a healthy way. But all I was feeling was sore and honestly way worse mentaly, physically, and emotionally than when I was used to being the lazy fat girl.

This article described perfectly what was going on in my high school weight room. Erin makes a lot of valid points in her article. Being that she was a former collegiate athlete, coach, and trainer, she definitely has knowledge of fitness, training, and competition. Crossfitters also surely benefit from the camaraderie and sense of belonging to these gyms as well as the training. In my own experiences, I feel like I was duped into joining a crossfit system when I had moved and needed a local gym to perform my workouts. I had gone a full year pain free, no treatments, no narcotic painkillers, so I felt pretty good and up to it all.

Yes, this was a pretty pricey membership. I specifically remember on day 1 doing deadlifts heavy from the get go and tweaking the heck out of my back, but like the proud former Marine and Soldier I was — I soldiered on. I had no problems at all with stamina because I was a former athlete and military man, but each day I was in grueling pain trying to accomplish those workouts.

I have two bulging and herniated discs, and a whole host of other issues, and after about two weeks I could not take anymore. You cannot be doing deadlifts and crossfit workouts! It definitely threw me off my rocker for a while, but I learned my lesson! Lessoned learned was deadlifts, deep squats, thrusters, and a few other things are not good for people like me with lower back issues. You see, she was so engrained with that gym and culture that she refused to let it go…even at the expense of severe injury.

That is where the brainwashing effect that the author mentions comes into play. Anyway, to each their own and live and let live. Finally, the author mentions training smarter, not tearing yourself down, and honoring recovery. There is a reason why many athletes of very intense sports do not crossfit and that is because they need their bodies sharp and injury free for competition. Also, the Pentagon is outlawing crossfit gyms on bases because soldiers that need their bodies to make a living are no good for battle if they are injured.

How bout their joints and their spine? I am not nearly the athlete you are but I think your analysis is spot on. Lifting should be done with constant attention to proper form. From big injuries like disc herniation to little ones that will nag and nag you for years like joint bursitis, going fast without concentrating on the muscles will leave you putting too much pressure on your joints, bones, and ligaments.

I mean a careful, controlled, well executed lift. Once a week, I do deadlifts and I love them. Testosterone starts to wane after 30 and I think it is important for men to do some strength training. The deadlift works everything and in the right proportions. I was an athlete before I was ten years old, doing gymnastics, ballet, swimming, playing softball, basketball and running track. Tabata sprints are a perfect example. One gains strength, speed and can achieve tremendous fat loss, if that is your goal.

On another note, I injured myself in a gym, only to end up in bed for 2 weeks, and go to the ER 3 times before an MRI revealed that I had a herniated disc, 2 pinched nerves, Cervical Osteoarthritis and Bursitis. As I said, I do still enjoy sprinting, running and walking but as I age, I enjoy more peaceful and relaxing exercise such as Yoga good for the mind, body AND soul! Best of luck to you. One thing I want to point out is that your coach in college told you to do olympic and powerlifing as part of your training but you had never done a single deadlift prior to your visit to a CF box?

Do you even know what oly lifting and power lifting consist of? I have been doing Crossfit for one year. I am in my mid thirties and have been involved in athletics my entire life. I was also a collegiate athlete. The major issue I have with your article is the generalization you are making about all Crossfit programming, gyms, and coaches. I truly feel blessed to have the gym and experience I have had this past year.

We have very regimentied programming that is consistent for months and focused on a various aspects of fitness. The skill and strength are consistent by day of week and we write down personal progress and goals. We are also encouraged to do extra challenges that focus on mobility and conditioning and typically have a nutrition component. Unfortunately, I have had 7 knee surgeries all stemming from an injury playing basketball.

I have not had full mobility in my right knee for at least 5 years due to arthritis and was told my next surgery will be a full replacement. I am proud to say with focused strength and mobility training offered by my Crossfit gym I can consistenly squat will a full range of motion with or without load. Even better — my pain is manageable. I am no longer on a daily regimine of anti-inflammatory medication.

I am pregnant with my second child and crossfitting while pregnant am even more impressed with my gym and coaching. Workouts have been tailored to my needs and I literally have zero pregnancy symptoms. I also have not gained a pound nearing the end of my first trimester. From a fitness perspective, I am stronger than I have been in my life. I do think my cardio was better when I was playing collegiate level soccer, but is the best it has been since those days.

I also try to fit in my own cardio days per week for 45 minutes only because I enjoy it. When I first started I was very sore and eased into the programming starting with attending 3 days per weeks. I also was not inactive before Crossfit and have seen huge results and gains this past year.

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The biggest thing for me is the first time in life I am not completely obsessed with how my body looks. I have shifted my focus to instead concerning myself with what it can do. As I see improvements in my strength, mobility, an overall performance I feel confident, happy, and healthy and it carries over in every aspect of my life. So before you generalize an entire way of fitness that is working for so many people and spread inaccurate information please do more research.

There are good gyms, good coaches, and great results happening at Crossfit gyms everywhere. Hi Erin — I have rewritten what I wanted to say about Crossfit. I posted similar thoughts yesterday but this says it much better…can you delete the previous post and just use this instead…if approved? We have been Crossfit devotees for two years now and CF 3 to 4 times a week. In April he showed me your article, and I must admit while reading it my objections came fast and furious.

How could something I loved so much be bad for me? I filed away your well researched opinions to think about another day. You see I was starting to have some doubts about this method of training but was not ready to address it head on. I started CF two years ago to enhance my performance in biking, running and to help my overall fitness as I approach I have been an endurance athlete for 25 years…Upon joining CF I quickly fell in love with it. That has not been the case this year. I am tired, beat up and injured.

My biking is sluggish, my running is slower but worst of all is being injured. My first injury was a Achilles Tendon injury that I have been working through. The second injury is way more serious. She demonstrated what I should do to get the bar off my back while in a deep squat.

I felt a lot of pressure from her that I needed to learn how to do this. I should have insisted that I practice with a PVC pipe. I tried again and did not get out of the way fast enough…the 75 lb. I now have trouble doing most simple life movements. I am in physical therapy for a severe lower back strain. While I sit at home sidelined, your article so neatly tucked away in my psyche has made its way through my denial.

I have reread it may times. I am also reading what others in the field of sports training have to say about Crossfit. Everyone knows that those who push the limits; run, ride a bike, lift weights, ski, or have a active lifestyle can get injured…with or without Crossfit. However, I do agree with the critics that certifying as a Crossfit Level 1 Trainer in a weekend is a huge weakness in the Crossfit business model. Looking back, I am wondering why I handed over my safety and training to people who just took a weekend course and got a certificate?

I do think that the athlete and the trainer have a shared responsibility for safety and correct form. I signed up. I accepted the risk. While I am very concerned about those issues in Crossfit, not only for myself but for my friends who love Crossfit; I am asking another important question. After two years of consistent Crossfit training why were my performances diminishing? Why have I been sore, tired, and fighting injuries? I know that nutrition and recovery are huge factors in performance.

I do not think these were issues in my case. I eat clean, have a low stress lifestyle, and work in recovery days. I am beginning to think that Crossfit does not work to help train an endurance athlete. I think the jury is out on others who just Crossfit and nothing else. All of this saddens me because of the wonderful people I have met at Crossfit. I feel a sense of community when I walk in the door. I believe our coaches care and try to make sure everyone is safe. However, in a class of 25 with one coach and varying levels of competence, fitness, and ego, one person cannot watch or help everyone.

For example, our gym was doing the Hatch Squat Program a very intense Oly program. Our coach was across the room and did not see this at all. I am sure this scenario is being repeated world wide everyday in Crossfit. My experiences have lead me to have concerns about a one size fits all approach WOD even with scaling.

For me, constantly varied has left me a weaker cyclist and runner. The high intensity has not built the aerobic conditioning and base I was hoping for. And finally, my functional movement patterns were not corrected and have lead me to chronic hip pain under that strain of high intensity work loads that varied each time I went to a WOD. Having said all this, and no I am not crazy , I am not sorry I did Crossfit! Thanks to Crossfit I fell in love with Olympic lifting. Thanks to Crossfit I have become a tougher athlete mentally.

Thanks to Crossfit I learned that being just a runner and cyclist is not enough to be fit and that I need to incorporate strength and agility training into my life. My back injury is super scary and I want desperately to heal and be okay again, but I look at most setbacks or challenges in life as a opportunity to grow and to learn. I learned a lot in Crossfit and I loved it. When my back heals will I return to Crossfit?

Probably not. For me the risks are just too great. But I will take what I learned with me and be thankful for the experience. Great article! Just ask my knees, back, neck, and shoulders! Thanks again for the article! I just re-read your post and feel compelled to comment. First of all, I am not a super athlete with years of professional training or experience. Through my journey from unhealthy, unfit and out-of-shape to fit and healthy I have experimented with a variety of fitness programs including big commercial gyms, professional running coaches, long-distance cycling groups, personal trainers without years of formal education, personal trainers with extensive training and of course CF.

Without a doubt my CF experience was the bottom of the barrel.

You simply cannot take an average person with no lifting experience and teach them to safely handle a variety of weight lifting maneuvers in a just few minutes. And you definitely cannot keep adding weight just because a person is strong enough to lift it. After just 3 months of this ridiculous regime I had knee troubles, back pain and all sorts of other problems that had not plagued with me with any other program. But like most people with a competitive bone in their body, I choose to suck-it-up rather than acknowledge that there was something terribly wrong with that approach to fitness.

Now I love a crazy hard work out just as much as the next person. And I realize there are a lot of people out there who insist CF is the best workout around. In the meantime because of my experience and others like mine, I refuse to be a lab rat in this flawed experiment. Anyone who has read the L1 trainers guide to CrossFit can address and dismantle each and every claim made in this post. Go to crossfit. Great article. I used to crossfit all the time, and injuries came with it. Even as a year old guy they set me back.

I transitioned into regular Olympic and power weightlifting and away from the WODs and ridiculous Kipping pullups. The only thing crossfit did for me was introduce me into real lifting. I am interested to hear more about your view on dead lifting. I hear all the time that dead lifting is a great overall move, but nothing negative about it.

I realize it can be risky without proper form though. What are some good alternatives to dead lifts that you use? She had many interesting things to […]. Anyone that claims that every person, every box, every coach is unequivocally bad is obviously suffering from some serious narrow-mindedness. I am also disturbed by the undertone of jealousy and hatred in this- and a sad lack of proof that this is coming from a place of genuine concern for the well-being of others.

We have been Crossfit devotees for two years. In April he showed me your article, while reading it my objections came fast and furious. She demonstrated what I should do to get the bar off my back and told me I really needed to learn how to do this. I tried again and did not get out of the way fast enough…the 75lb bar landed on my lower back. I now have trouble doing most any simple life movement. I am reading what others in the field of sports training have to say. Everyone knows that those who push the limits; run, ride a bike, lift weights, ski, or just hike can get injured…with or without Crossfit.

It is not just that I am injured that is bothering me. I take responsibility for that. I am asking the question two years in why my performances were not improving and why was I sore and tired all the time? Also, I am finally allowing myself to think about some of the things I have witnessed over the past few years that have really bothered me. First let me say that I have met wonderful people at Crossfit. Our coaches TRY to make sure everyone is safe…but in a class of 25 with one coach and varying levels of competence, fitness, and ego, one person cannot watch or help everyone.

This is just one example. I now have concerns about a one size fits all approach WOD even with scaling. I now have more questions than answers. Thanks to Crossfit I fell in love with lifting. I look at most setbacks or challenges in life as a opportunity to grow and to learn. But I will take what I learned with me. I am thankful for the lessons learned. Is this a direct quote from somewhere, or where did you get this from? Because if Crossfit gyms really teach this then I am definitely never trying it.

You would have to be crazy to sign up for that right? Excellent article, especially the points about doing the powerlifts and Olympic lifts for time. I found very few facts in this article.

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While these pieces are increasingly common lately, and given the fact that everyone on the […]. My husband and I both have degrees in Exercise Science. He is a director of Corporate Wellness and I am a personal trainer. We both agree that your article is well written and on point. My joints are important to me now age 39 and I want them to remain healthy and functional as I get older. Thank you for also citing accredited sources on this highly debated topic. So True Erin! Arthur Jones invented Nautilus equipment. His son invented Hammer Strength. Need more proof of what works? That simple.

Even hired an individual coach. Third day i broke my tibial plateau doing squats for time. I had never broken a single bone in my body before that. My orthopedic surgeon used to play for Dan Riley.

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Repeat that. Not a single person had a single injury. Go ask your local orthopedic how safe cross fit is. Business has never been more booming…. Much of what you wrote is an old regurgitated sound track from other anti crossfit blogs. Like you I am a former division 1 athlete but unlike you I am not looking to garner a million people to follow my blog. Also I olympic lift and mix in some crossfit as a way to have some conditioning. I will first get this out of the way if I were still training to be a competitive soccer player would I do crossfit.

The answer is no because it is a GPP program. However I would use plyo metrics, oly lifts, and squatting and incorporate it into the backbone of a program. The truth is that anyone can get hurt doing any type of workout. If crossfit is so bad then almost all HIIT needs to be lumped into this category as well. P90x and everything beachbody needs to be out into this category. Anything that has to do with intensity has the potential to cause injury. Actually now that I think about running also has to be outlawed as there are more injuries through running than almost any form of excersize that exists.

A training program crossfit or otherwise is as good as the coach. So absolutely there are bad crossfit gyms, but there are bad gyms around period with poor coaching. That is actually an opinion not a fact. Overtime olympic and powerlifting has turned into a sport where the focus is on 1 rep maxes for the sake of competition. The lifts themselves are not inherently bad.

I have yet to witness it in crossfit. You can over exert yourself doing almost anything. It he documented cases of rhabdo in crossfit is almost non existent. Funny how a few cases 5 years ago still is brought up as an argument. That is like saying my iPhone has bad reception so the other 60million iPhones also have bad reception.

I could go on and on and debate this at greater length another time. My advice for anyone is do your research no matter what gym you go to. One persons poor experience should not deter others from trying it. Erin, Great article on CF. Each circuit focuses on 1 muscle and there are several reps in each. I take it twice a week. I lift weight that is challenging but not to the point where I struggle and lose form. You voice concern regarding high reps in this article so I was curious what your opinion is.

I own a CrossFit gym. Our busiest classes have multiple coaches on staff to provide optimal attention to our athletes. We have seen tremendous positive changes in our clients with very few injuries, and regular hold charity events for the community. Then again, we all know the health implications of being sedentary. Though, wow!! Like most other exercise routines, CrossFit has advantages and concerns. The workouts are fast-paced, challenging, and constantly varied.

If you are healthy and can endure grueling workouts, then give it a try. You also point out the lack of active coaching when you did your CrossFit workouts. My gym is great, and the quality of the coaching is outstanding. I can respect the fact that CrossFit may not be for you. In fact, even Dr. The bigotry is astounding. Shame on you. Being a box owner, I may be slightly biased. I am open-minded to all avenues to that end. A little ironic, no? I invite you to my box anytime. No judgements.

We see this increasingly in both programming and supervising execution. Rarely now do we see prescribed the short, intense couplets or triplets that epitomize CrossFit programming. Rarely do trainers really nitpick the mechanics of fundamental movements. I understand how this occurs. It is natural to want to teach people advanced and fancy movements. The urge to quickly move away from the basics and toward advanced movements arises out of the natural desire to entertain your client and impress him with your skills and knowledge.

Teaching a snatch where there is not yet an overhead squat, teaching an overhead squat where there is not yet an air squat, is a colossal mistake.

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In short, it retards his fitness. Would love to hear what you have to say back to this Erin! Any sport comes with injury, overuse, etc. I can tell that you are intelligent and have a passion for your craft. I guarantee that if we wife and I went to your gym we would love it and have fun and be fit. Are we wrong? No major injuries. Keep your fingers crossed. While I might agree that the Crossfit business model could use some upgrades, it would be a shame to throw out the benefits associated with this particular style of a training regimen. You quoted editorials and typical dot com websites and used them to support vague statements about the dangers of crossfit.

Crossfit is intended to be a means for measuring work capacity over broad time and modal domains. Regardless of what you think, Crossfit is not just about heavy weights with many reps for time. There are great things about crossfit as well as drawbacks. It all depends on what you want to do with your fitness. Where did you find that doing more than reps of an exercise is not good? Any articles or research? I thought you could use a compliment given all the hostility being thrown your way.

Now on to the more intellectual observations…. I initially had a reaction much like the rest of the CF community upon reading your article. From my experience, there has been a movement to address many of these criticisms. That sounds an awful lot like programming, because, well…it is. The benchmark WODs will still be run from time to time. Given that estimate, three one hour sessions would top the price of one month of CF. Given those options, I have to choose CF, and that may not be such a bad thing. Over time, the change may continue, and all of the criticisms that you have pointed out may be addressed.

The bottom line is that your article has sparked thought and that makes it successful. I look forward to reading your follow ups. Hi, I just wanted to say that you should not put every crossfit training facility into one box. I attended one gym where the training was very poor and I was getting hurt.

In my first WOD the instructor actually told me to slow it down so I did not hurt myself. The classes are capped and the trainers are with you the whole time. I would suggest you take a look at their website and actually speak with them. This video was recorded before you created this article. CrossFit is highly endorsed within the military community for a reason! Their training a lot harder and smarter than you, my friend. Stick to studying your fishes. Wow — Erin! Not so true.

My box is small and we get yelled at for improper form and trying to lift too much! In fact we are encouraged to scale back always!!!!!! Oh and people talk to each other at the box I know right! I read this and intially was in slight agreement with you, however as I read on it was clear to see that you were making your entire case based off of your small handfull of WODS and what you believe to be true.

Believe being the key word there. This entire article is based on your personal opinion. It is easy to google some quotes from articles from other authors and and ad them in. This post provides no evidence that you did any actual real research of your own. You make a false statement that all Crossfit Boxes are the same and that all Crossfit coachs are equally under trained and unprepared to effectively provide sound, effective and SAFE training to the collegate athelete or very beginner.

That is irresponible of you. These three very dedicated individuals are in constant concern for the safety, health and over all improvement of every athelete in that box. For you to say all Crossfit coaches are the same and untrained is an insult. While at I was never bigger, faster and stronger and with guess what! So it is ok for you or anybody else to have a preference on a particular way of exercise and fitness, it is NOT ok to speak out against one in a manner that is both uneducated and false. Running a marathon or better yet a triathalon can very dangerous to ones health.

Do you speak out and post against those types of fitness? I would venture to say not. You owe yourself that much. Finally you mentioned uncle Rhabdo. I wonder how much about Rhabdomyolysis you truley know.

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If a person gets Rhabdo then that is because they are one under hydrated and not ready for any physical activity and two made their own conscious decision to lift or work beyond thier capability and nobody is to blame but the victim, NOT the coach or trainer. So please think more and base your statements on facts not opinions.

I think a big issue is that most players honestly have no idea how hard the professional baseball lifestyle is until they experience it. This offseason, one of our most well-known MLB clients and I got on the topic of vacations. His logic was straightforward: too much missed training time, and too much travel. What are you going to say when a two-week family vacation comes smack dab in the middle of your offseason training program?

Be an awesome teammate, and learn conflict prevention and resolution strategies. In many cases, all these frustrations will be magnified by a game losing streak or the fact that everyone is sleep deprived after brutal travel circumstances. Nobody wants to play with or employ a jerk. Steve Cishek is a long-term CSP athlete and close friend of mine.

Be like Steve; try to find the good in people instead of chasing down conflict. There are some tremendous lessons on leadership and being an awesome teammate. Just read some of the replies to this Instagram post, if you don't believe me. A little reading material for our collegiate baseball development program guys. He was and more of an East-West delivery; they wanted to stand him up tall and bring his arm over the top. Those are massive changes — and it effectively ruined his first three years in pro ball.

The results were subpar, and things spiraled out of control because he had different pitching coaches all giving him different cues. This happened in part because he was a nice guy who never wanted to be perceived as uncoachable — so he got pulled in many different directions and wound up pleasing nobody, especially himself. There will surely be coaches who can help you a ton, and others who will make your life much more challenging. The best coaches I know never tell players what to do; they facilitate discovery by the player and regularly solicit feedback.

And, the best developmental organizations are very meticulous about making sure that clear and consistent messages and cues are related by the entire coaching staff. If you are hearing mixed messages from different people, speak up and get clarification; you will always be your own best coach. A lot of politics outside your control govern those decisions. This guy got demoted a level. Baseball is a great time, but sometimes a frustrating business. Good reminder to control what you can control.

The sooner you recognize that the only things you control are your actions and your attitude, the better. Make no mistake about it: there will be fewer people at your Gulf Coast League back field games than you had at your high school games. It might be a golden sombrero as a hitter or giving up seven runs in the first inning as a starting pitcher — but it will happen.

Some call their fathers or high school coaches. Some watch video and take notes on what they learned. Some keep journals. Good luck! Earlier this week, a crew from MLB. Today, the article ran at MLB. Again, you can check it out HERE. We're excited to announce our next Elite Baseball Mentorship offering: a lower-extremity course that will take place on August , at our Hudson, MA facility. The Cressey Sports Performance Elite Baseball Mentorships provide an educational opportunity to become a trusted resource to this dramatically underserved athletic population. The Lower Extremity Cressey Sports Performance Elite Baseball Mentorship complements our upper extremity course by introducing attendees to the most common injuries and movement impairments encountered by baseball players in a sport that combines violent extension, rotation, change-of-direction, acceleration, and top speed sprinting.

Core control and lower extremity function considerations will be applied to the throwing and hitting motions. This observation of live training on the CSP floor with our professional, college, and high school baseball players will allow you to experience firsthand our approaches to:. Suite Hudson, MA For details about travel, accommodations, and other logistics, please email cspmass gmail. We hope to see you there!

You might be surprised to know that I'm an "outsider" to baseball. I played up through 8th grade, but was actually a much better tennis player. Since they were both spring sports, the decision to go the tennis route was effectively made for me even though I loved baseball as both a player and fan. Years later, in my first three years of strength and conditioning during graduate school at the University of Connecticut, I actually spent most of my time working with basketball and soccer players. I still loved baseball, but hadn't really been exposed to it "from the inside. It just so happened that when I went to the private sector after graduate school, some of my first clients were high school baseball players.

They had some good results and my phone started ringing off the hook. I'd argue that if I had been an "insider" from the get-go, we never would have been able to differentiate ourselves so quickly. As an outsider, I had to do a lot of listening and observing. I had to ask a lot of questions. And, I was fortunate to NOT be married to personal biases of what baseball training programs should look like. Distance running for pitchers didn't make sense to me. It was absurd to hear that players shouldn't lift because it'd make them "bulky and inflexible.

This doesn't just apply to baseball insiders' perspectives on what players should look like, though. Rather, it also must apply to how strength and conditioning coaches - baseball outsiders like me - view what players should look like. The truth is that big leaguers come in all shapes and sizes. I've seen pitchers with inch vertical jumps who throw 95mph. I'm not saying that you should just "allow" your athletes to be unathletic, but rather that you need to recognize the following:. Maybe a hitter has tremendous sports vision. Maybe a pitcher was blessed with freaky congenital laxity joint hypermobility to contort his body into crazy positions to create better deception and get on top of hitters faster.

Maybe a pitcher has really long fingers that enable him to throw a great change-up or splitter. The point is that natural selection definitely plays a big role in success, and it's your job to make sure your training doesn't interfere. He is also clinically obese and probably has about pounds of body fat to lose.

Conventional wisdom says that shedding that excess body weight would make him a better athlete, but as I wrote with respect to CC Sabathia , that's a very slippery slope. That extra body weight may help him with absolute power development, and he may also be so accustomed to that larger frame after all these years that his mechanics might negatively impacted if you took a lot of weight off him, especially in a short amount of time.

I've actually seen this quite a bit over the years in athletes who have come our way to sort out their struggles: try to get a guy too lean, and you'll deliver a six-pack - and a poop arm to go with it. For Colon, fastball command and velocity is clearly more of a priority than flab or lack thereof. I'm not telling you that you should let your guys get fat. I'm not telling you that you shouldn't train them for strength.

I'm not telling you that we should just assume that the freaks will make it and hard work won't take a non-freak to the big leagues. I'm just telling you that you need to take a step back and consider exactly what makes an athlete a successful and b durable. Guys aren't getting hurt because they only deadlift and not pounds. There are such things as strong enough, lean enough, and flexible enough. If they don't meet the minimum standards and they aren't at the level at which they hope to compete, you need to improve these qualities. If they don't meet these minimum standards, but they're already competing at the highest level, then you have to be very careful about how you tinker with things.

Subtle changes are the name of the game, and extremes should be avoided. And, you should look for easy gains first. Improving a pitcher's cuff strength is a lot quicker and easier than adding pounds to his deadlift. Adding 10 degrees of hip internal rotation or thoracic rotation can make a hitter feel far more confident at the plate.

Getting 10 minutes of soft tissue work on a gritty shoulder or elbow can be absolutely game-changing for a pitcher who has thrown through chronic pain. These aren't the sexy training exercises or boast-worthy gains that make for YouTube videos that go viral, but they're the ones that can take athletes to the next level - or keep them at the highest level. I'll take a good serratus anterior over a good six-pack, even if it makes for lame Instagram content.

I'll take great end-range rotator cuff strength over big arms, even if it won't make the ladies go wild. Our athletes are still going to lift heavy weights, sprint, throw med balls, do plyos and agility drills - but it's all part of a larger plan where we appreciate them as individuals with unique needs.

If you try to fit baseball players into a physical mould that you've built in your mind, you'll waste training time as you study for the wrong test. And, more importantly, you'll miss out on key performance benefits and opportunities to keep them healthy. Don't forget pauses can be beneficial with single-leg training, too. Working pauses into your lifting can yield tremendous benefits, as they reduce contribution of the stretch-shortening cycle and force a lifter to work much harder to produce force from a dead-stop.

For some reason, though, they usually only get applied to "big bang" bilateral exercises like squats, bench presses, and obviously deadlifts. I actually really like to program pauses into single-leg work to improve carryover to what athletes really encounter in athletics and the real world. Here's an example:. Try the 1-arm cable rotational row from a low setting. I love incorporating rotational rows in our athletes' programming. Many coaches only program this as an upright variation where the cable is set at chest height. I think this overlooks the importance of athletes learning how to "accept" force on that front hip.

By lowering the cable a bit, you challenge things in a bit more of a sport-specific manner - and, in the process, add some variety to your athletes' programs. Make sure put your intensive rotator cuff work after your overhead work. I recently reviewed a program that paired Turkish get-ups with cable external rotations. While both are great exercises, the last thing you want to do is fatigue the rotator cuff before you go overhead, where it needs to work really hard to keep the humeral head depressed relative to the glenoid fossa.

Likewise, be careful about doing all your cuff stuff early in the session, then progressing to overhead carries later. My feeling is that you just do enough to turn the cuff on during the warm-up, then train your highest stabilization demands e. Different strength qualities make different athletes successful. We have two athletes - both left-handed pitchers - make Major League Baseball debuts this week.

The first, Jack Leathersich, is a relief pitcher for the New York Mets, and he just has one of those insanely "quick arms. I think it's a function of his natural "reactive ability. The second, Tim Cooney, is getting a start in his big league debut today for the St. Louis Cardinals. He's not as naturally reactive as Jack is, but you could make the case that Tim is the strongest pound-for-pound professional pitcher we train.

I've seen him do Turkish get-ups with a pound kettlebell, and walking lunges with the heaviest dumbbells in the gym. He can make up for less reactive proficiency by falling back more on pure strength. I think this "strength reserve" also helps Tim as a starter, whereas reactive capabilities tend to fall off as fatigue sets in, which is probably why Jack has thrived as a reliever. This static-spring relationship closely parallels the absolute strength to absolute speed one I shared in the past.

The more "static" guys are strong and need more reactive training, which largely takes place on the speed end of the continuum. The more "spring" guys need to keep prioritizing strength as a foundation for effective stretch-shortening cycle function, as you can't display force quickly if you don't have enough force in the first place.

Today's guest post comes from physical therapist Eric Schoenberg, who is an integral part of the Elite Baseball Mentorships team. Regardless of your profession with respect to the baseball world, chances are that you spend a good portion of your days writing programs. Whether it is a home exercise program for a physical therapist, a training program for the strength and conditioning specialist, a throwing program for the pitching instructor, or a practice plan for a head coach, the quality of your programs can differentiate you from your competition.

Each time we host an Elite Baseball Mentorship , the topic of programming comes up in our wrap-up roundtable discussion. As professionals, our job is to add value to our services and give our athletes a competitive advantage over their peers. A big way in which we can do this is by writing great programs for our athletes.

It should be noted that writing such detailed and specific programs takes a lot of time and effort, but the athletes that we work with deserve nothing less. This article will outline examples of different programs that we write on a daily basis. There are many ways to subdivide programs to suit the needs of your athletes. In addition, it serves as a more logical way to group athletes together when an individualized program is not possible based on time, space, and resources — most notably in the high school or college team settings.

Next, age must be appreciated when considering program design. There are major differences between these age groups in terms of laxity, injury history, injury predisposition, activity tolerance, recovery time, and a host of other factors that must be considered when programming for your athletes. As an athlete gets older, the number of games played in a season dramatically increases and must be accounted for in their programs. The table below illustrates a breakdown of the age category:.

Lastly, we need to pay attention to season when designing programs. It is critical to appreciate that exercise selection needs to change based on season out of respect for throwing volume. In addition, the importance of adaptive changes such as decreased or increased ROM, pain, fatigue, weight loss, among others must be appreciated. Also, competing demands such as multiple sports in season, travel, schoolwork, and family commitments need to be taken into consideration as we create programs for our athletes.

If you found this information helpful in organizing your thoughts when it comes to managing the baseball players with whom you work, we encourage you to sign up for one of our upcoming Elite Baseball Mentorships. We have events in both October and November, and you won't find a more intensive baseball educational course. Today's guest post comes from yoga expert, Dana Santas.

Dana has built up an impressive client roster of professional athletes and teams, and it's no surprise, given how educated she is in applying yoga the right way. Yoga is a popular topic in the sports world these days. Undeniably, yoga can offer some amazing benefits for athletes. Otherwise, at best, yoga can be marginally helpful in sports, and, at worst, can actually be dangerous. These are the five biggest mistakes I see athletes, coaches and trainers making with yoga:. Flexibility without stability is nothing more than a recipe for injury.

Most tension in athletes is caused by dysfunction or compensatory movement patterns. Fix the pattern and you release the tension--without unnecessary static stretching like in the hamstrings example above. But I focus on using yoga for mobility, which--to me--means increasing stable, functional range of motion. When it comes to yoga, the variety of styles goes on and on Hatha vs. Ashtanga vs. Bikram vs. Yin vs. Power vs. Blah Blah everyone is making up their own version ; I even have my own style!

Athletes, coaches and trainers have to take the time to educate themselves about the techniques and rationales of the different styles before jumping into a class.

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Personally, I believe some styles should be entirely contraindicated for athletes. Yes, I know this is popular with athletes because they love to sweat. The deep, static stretches of Yin are intended to stretch out the connective tissue--including ligaments. As such, there's no law requiring any specific certification to teach yoga. So, anyone can buy a certification online. In fact, even the current gold standard of certification through Yoga Alliance only includes a limited number of anatomy hours, which can be entirely comprised of energy anatomy chakras, nadis, etc.

Despite this, yoga teachers are encouraged to manually adjust their students in postures. What happens when ill-advised instructors adjust students in classes? Simply learning to do a particular style of yoga as a form of cross training is like a baseball player playing basketball in the off-season. He may benefit from the cardiovascular exercise and even improve his agility, but nothing he does playing basketball is specific to him becoming a better baseball player.