Crapping on CrossFit (again)

The CrossFit Craze continues to provide LOTS of material for the rest of us to laugh at:

Honestly the only part of that video that wasn't hilariously funny was the bit where the weightlifter failed to put up that Atlas stone. That wasn't funny at all- I sincerely hope he wasn't hurt.

I want to make it clear that I will never mock a true lifter- and that bloke was unquestionably one such. I have the highest possible respect for real lifters and strongmen, especially the natural ones; these are men to be admired and applauded for their immense strength, their discipline, and their willingness to literally do whatever it takes to achieve their goals.

As to why people like me mock CrossFit- true lifters dislike CrossFit because it takes everything that is good and great about the iron and reduces it to some sort of absurd fitness craze, while stripping out all of the critically important stuff about safety, good form, and sensible rep ranges.

The point of CrossFit is not to get stronger. It isn't a training program, it's just exercise; in fact, the top CrossFit athletes don't actually do CrossFit workouts of the day (WODs) to compete for the CrossFit games, they actually follow structured training programs to get themselves ready for the grueling nature of the competition.

CrossFit, if done right, is a great way to get fit. But it's not a great way to get strong. The strongest CrossFit athletes are in fact weak compared with real strongmen or powerlifters.

Take a look at what Johnny Candito can do at 187lbs bodyweight:

Johnny weighs about as much as me, and is considerably younger than me- I think he's about 23 right now- and yet he can squat 500+lbs for a giggle without problems. I'm struggling to squat 365lbs. I respect the hell out of him for his ability to do what he does.

Here's the thing, though- how many CrossFitters do you know who can squat even 275lbs properly?

Candito got to where he is today by sticking to the basics and grinding out the reps in the gym, day in, day out. No stupid nonsense like handstand-walking or Kipping "pull-ups" or sandbag slams or tire-hammering- just him, the iron, and sheer cussed willpower.

These are things that CrossFit won't teach you. The best CrossFit boxes will teach you how much fun it can be to train with other people (though I personally don't agree- after all, I think that "most people are only tolerable well boiled and with lots of salt"), how far you can push yourself (before you puke or get rhabdo), and how to maximise your rep count within a certain time limit.

All well and good- but not useful for real strength. True strength is not a timed sprint, it is a difficult, often painful marathon.

And if you've ever seen their idea of "deadlifts", well... just close your eyes and look away, because it's horrific:

On a related note- I was walking back to the place where I'm staying from work yesterday and saw an ambulance racing along to get to someone who needed help, which is a pretty normal sight in any big city. However, this ambulance ended up doing a U-turn at the next intersection and, for a few moments, looked like it was going to pull up outside of a CrossFit gym over on Houndsditch. For a minute there, I thought that the CrossFit fad had claimed yet another victim on his way to becoming Mayor of Snap City.


  1. Ha! That loser Olympics video is good fun.

    I don't go to gyms. It's too bad I'm not English, because that makes a fine excuse! But, no; I'm lazy and naturally strong and get my rushes elsewhere.

    That being said: I watched that video with my hand on my head, just expecting Snap City with each lift. That first, uh, 'chick' that did her deadlift looked like one of the more potent forms of deluded moron that I've seen this year. And that's an accomplishment.

    If she's looking for a REAL superpower, Common Sense would be her best bet as a start.


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