Crossfitters--Updates?

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johndoe
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Crossfitters--Updates?

Post by johndoe » Fri Oct 21, 2011 3:09 pm

I've been reading the old posts from people about Crossfit and was wondering if they'd care to update their thoughts on it now that some time has passed. Have you guys kept at it? Have your thoughts changed on it? Have you found something better for functional fitness?

My wife and I are going for an intro free workout at my local CF tomorrow, but after that they require you attend between 6-12 personal classes to learn the exercises and such before you're allowed to attend regular classes. This would be fine, but at $80 a pop for the two of us for each class, it is going to be pricey. And then after that it's going to be $245 a month for both of us, which isn't cheap. I'd love to hear to of you longtime CFers opinions before dropping this sort of change.

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Re: Crossfitters--Updates?

Post by gimmejr » Sun Oct 23, 2011 10:26 am

What kind of shape are you in now? I dont do crossfit I just use the stairmaster, run and bike. I think eliptical is a waste of time but thats just my opinion. I also workout with weights 5 days a week. Check out youtube workout videos, its free.

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Crossfitters--Updates?

Post by the_alias » Sun Oct 23, 2011 12:06 pm

I started CF late July, still at it. I love it and have seen a big difference. I can't comment on cost as I'm outside CONUS, it is more expensive than regular gyms.

Do your research:
How many per class? More than 15 and only one coach - that is bad.
Look at coach qualifications: are they only CF certified? IMO they should have more than that - is there genuine Olympic lifting teacher and class?

CF is great, it does have flaws if you get bad coach.

I'll try to post bit more from pc.


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Re: Crossfitters--Updates?

Post by flanker71 » Sun Oct 23, 2011 12:29 pm

Never did CrossFit due to cost but have done P90X and Insanity Asylum and can say they work. Just like anything its all in how much you put in though. I play Rugby 6 months out of the year and both programs helped me take my fitness to that next level. My department is sending me through a personal trainer program so I've had to go through every program we offer here at work. Insanity, P90X, TRX, KettleBell. You name it. Each one has its plus and minuses. You just need to find the one right for you.

Personaly I have a hard time giving money to someone just to have them hell at me and tell me to jump up and down repeatedly.

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Re: Crossfitters--Updates?

Post by the_alias » Sun Oct 23, 2011 12:40 pm

ZS cracks me up sometimes - OP asks for opinions on those who do Crossfit and how they have found it.
2 of the 3 replies so far have NEVER DONE/DON'T DO CROSSFIT.
:lol:
flanker71 wrote:
Personaly I have a hard time giving money to someone just to have them hell at me and tell me to jump up and down repeatedly.
Firstly - Welcome to ZS! How about posting an introduction! What position do you play?

Secondly - CF uses a lot of olympic lifting - I'm paying my CF coaches to help me get this right and help me with form. It isn't just boot camp shouty experience!
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Re: Crossfitters--Updates?

Post by flanker71 » Sun Oct 23, 2011 12:57 pm

I guess I should of clarified that. I am not currently doing CrossFit due to cost. I have attended 3 classes in a formal gym and have done CrossFit inspired workouts for a few years now. All I was getting at is if he's worried about spending that much money he might want to try some alternatives. There is a reason there isn't a one size fits all fitness program. Everyone is different.

Oh and I have been playing as a strong side flanker for the last 2 years and was a fullback and wing before that.

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Re: Crossfitters--Updates?

Post by the_alias » Sun Oct 23, 2011 1:01 pm

flanker71 wrote:I guess I should of clarified that. I am not currently doing CrossFit due to cost. I have attended 3 classes in a formal gym and have done CrossFit inspired workouts for a few years now. All I was getting at is if he's worried about spending that much money he might want to try some alternatives. There is a reason there isn't a one size fits all fitness program. Everyone is different.

Oh and I have been playing as a strong side flanker for the last 2 years and was a fullback and wing before that.
I knew there was more too it! Thanks for sharing your experiences.

I agree I think a cost benefit analysis is what the OP should do - one thing I would say CF does well - if you luck out with like minded people it is really fun social side as well which one just doesn't get working out alone.

Strong side flanker eh, I used to play scrum half.
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Re: Crossfitters--Updates?

Post by johndoe » Sun Oct 23, 2011 1:44 pm

To answer the questions, I've been working out regularly for about a year, absent a month where I slacked due to some international travel. I've lost a large amount of weight, but have a significant about still to lose. My routine has basically centered around lifting weights (mainly the compound type exercises, not isolation stuff), various indoor cardio at the gym, and hiking. The reason Crossfit was interesting was its emphasis on functional fitness, as that's my goal. I've been thinking about Crossfit for a while but am considering it because I'm volunteering at a fire department as an EMT, and in January they want me to go to fire school, and in May take the CPAT physical test. So basically, it's a good time to intensify my workout.

As for the cost-benefit, I agree. That's exactly what I'm doing--trying to solicit opinions of long-time Crossfitters so I can gauge what sort of perceived value there actually is in it. I know you can do different routines and don't need to do crossfit, and I appreciate the suggestions for other routines, but I'm interested in Crossfit at this point. Thanks!

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Re: Crossfitters--Updates?

Post by johndoe » Sun Oct 23, 2011 1:50 pm

the_alias wrote:I started CF late July, still at it. I love it and have seen a big difference. I can't comment on cost as I'm outside CONUS, it is more expensive than regular gyms.

Do your research:
How many per class? More than 15 and only one coach - that is bad.
Look at coach qualifications: are they only CF certified? IMO they should have more than that - is there genuine Olympic lifting teacher and class?

CF is great, it does have flaws if you get bad coach.

I'll try to post bit more from pc.


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Great stuff, thanks! The coaches vary from Level I to Level 3 and most are working firefighters or healthcare professionals, but to my knowledge there is no genuine Olympic lifting coach there. There isn't a regular Olympic lifting class either, though perusing their past calendars it looks like they do run various classes on different topics somewhat regularly.

Class size I'm not sure. When I went for my private free workout I was there at the tail end of the previous class I would likely be attending most, and there were only 6 people plus a coach. I don't know if that's a normal size or not though, and probably should find out.

Thanks again for the suggestions on things to look for. I'm going to talk with the trainer again this week and find out some more info.

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Re: Crossfitters--Updates?

Post by ScottON » Sun Oct 23, 2011 5:20 pm

I've never did crossfit but have seen the reviews of several guys that do.

If you want that level of structure then go for it, but bear in mind that it is costly and with a little reading, some time, a gym membership and some motivation you can achieve better results on your own.

I would suggest that you check out : http://rosstraining.com/blog/

There is a wealth of great free information on there and any of ross's books are a worthwhile investment - about $30 a pop if I remember.

I would recommend Never Gymless - for primarily body weight, or Infinite Intensity - uses weights.

Check out his site, I learned loads from the free stuff on it.

I realise this sound like a marketing ad but Ross is the real deal, he answered several fitness questions I had before I had even considered buying his books.

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Re: Crossfitters--Updates?

Post by bennyG19 » Wed Jan 11, 2012 5:02 pm

I've been doing CrossFit since '07. I love it. I think it is great for getting you into shape for whatever comes your way. My wife has started to do it more and she says "outrun those zombies" & "gotta save the kitties from zombies" while we're in the garage!

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Re: Crossfitters--Updates?

Post by jnathan » Wed Jan 11, 2012 5:38 pm

I'll second the recommendation of Ross Training. His videos are excellent, and I hate him for his great genetics.

Like everything, just be a careful consumer and use your brain. If a workout of the day toasts your shoulder and 2 days later you're back to overhead pressing use your dipstick and don't injure your shoulder. I say this because many WODs are written without any respect to a WOD from 2 days ago. (I honestly think that there's a WOD generator out there much like the marketing speak generator people like to laugh at).

Just know that Olympic lifting is hard to get good at. If your version of the overhead squat has your torso bent forward rather than being upright, you're not performing an overhead squat, you're performing the largely useless and dangerous hawk squat. Crossfit doesn't seem to spend a lot of time on the more subtle details known as proper technique. This is a little unfortunate because Olympic lifting is extremely technical.

Anyone who tries to relate crossfit to being "pretty much the same thing as strongman" is lying.

-Jeff
ScottON wrote:I've never did crossfit but have seen the reviews of several guys that do.

If you want that level of structure then go for it, but bear in mind that it is costly and with a little reading, some time, a gym membership and some motivation you can achieve better results on your own.

I would suggest that you check out : http://rosstraining.com/blog/
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Re: Crossfitters--Updates?

Post by none1 » Thu Jan 12, 2012 1:31 am

I'd recommend also checking out http://www.crossfit.com/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;, and looking at all the WOD.

For example:
January 11, 2012
Wednesday 120111
For time:
50 Box jump, 24 inch box
50 Jumping pull-ups
50 Kettlebell swings, 1 pood
Walking Lunge, 50 steps
50 Knees to elbows
50 Push press, 45 pounds
50 Back extensions
50 Wall ball shots, 20 pound ball
50 Burpees
50 Double unders

Top crossfitters are doing that in under 20 minutes. Do you know what all those excersises are? Does your current gym have all that equpment? Can you motivate yourself to do all the workouts? If so, you can certainly "do crossfit" on your own, the site gives you WOD every day.

Do you need some technique training? Do you want to hangout with other fitness folks for fun and motivation? Then I think a crossfit class would be good for you. I do think crossfit would be good for a firefighter.


I have done a cross fit session. I have done a TRX session. I've done various areobic classes and some yoga ..... they lol at me in yoga class, /sigh. :) I have lifted weights and worked out for over 35 years. I've been a wrestler, swimmer, and competitive powerlifter. At age 42, I weigh 290 lbs. I can run a 6:30 mile, but, at my weight, can't really run long distance or too often, knees and back start to hurt. I rep 405 lbs on the bench press for 6 reps. I have worked at it some, but don't have the wrist flexibility for all of the olympic lifts. I have been "doing fitness" for a long time.

I am a big fan of "stability work", dumbell bench press on an excercise ball, pushups with hands on playground or medicine balls, much of the TRX work.

I am a big fan of "dynamic" work, explosive stuff, press or squats with bands, medicine ball throws, sled drags, box jumps.

I am a big fan of ... ? calisthenics? jump rope, burpees, jumping jacks, kettleball swings etc..

So, I've only done ONE official 10 week crossfit session, BUT, I've had a lot of excercise experience, and have done "crossfit type" stuff for years.

Much of the excersises I've done for years I did in the crossfit class I was in. The pace of the class was way more intense, much higher sustained heart rate, than I do on my own. I often workout for 3 hours at a time, averaging over 140 HR. Both the crossfit and TRX classes I was in had me over 165 HR for most of the hour long classes.

I note that the official crossfit site has the WOD each day. They are short, very short. Official crossfit is very short, very intense. Many of the crossfit classes I have seen are way way longer workouts than the official crossfit site is all about. Many of the crossfitters I know do not train crossfit exclusively, most often have other workouts they do. (many run)

IMO (JUST MY OPINION, based on those I've known and some things read on the interwebs forums) I believe many of the avid long time hard core crossfiters overtrain and have more injuries than I would expect from just reguarly doing the official WOD.

I have not competed in powerlifting for about 5 years now, and much of that time I've been mixing powerlifting and crossfit type functional strength. I believe for a firefighter, crossfit would be much more applicable than powerlifting.

I like the crossfit "philosophy" of mixing different excersises, and rotating your current sport every few years.

Note, there are a lot of other "functional strenght" outfits besides just crossfit, Pariesi Speed Schools, GymJones, etc.. Both the speed schools and GymJones can prep you for a fitness test much better than just signing up for a crossfit class, but, they are multi hour per day deals and expensive. (but might be worth it to pass a fitness test that leads to more pay at work)

GOOD LUCK!
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Re: Crossfitters--Updates?

Post by bennyG19 » Thu Jan 12, 2012 7:18 pm

I love CrossFit but yes, you can definitely get hurt or overtrain. Just use your head and don't do something stupid. I got hurt doing deadlifts for time in a workout and learned a valuable lesson, "Don't do deadlifts for time!!". 70sbig.com is also a great place for workout advice. They hate on CrossFit all the time for the dumb stuff that CrossFit does. I personally do a mix of high weight/low rep strength training and CrossFit metcon workouts.

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Re: Crossfitters--Updates?

Post by johndoe » Fri Jan 20, 2012 6:52 am

I forgot all about this thread. A little update...went through the onramp courses and was really impressed with the focus on form and technique. Been going to classes fairly regularly now and am hooked. I do throw in a non CF day where I focus on strength training (benching, pressing, back work, etc) and try to hit at least a day or two where I work on stairs. I've noticed a lot of improvement, and since I'm now in my fire class I can say that CF seems to be a perfect fit for the drills we do there--they're basically Crossfit while wearing an SCBA.

It certainly is a humbling experience though. We were working on thrusters the other day and I just saw in awe at this "girl" who was outlifting all the guys in the class. Some of these people are just amazing. :shock:

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Re: Crossfitters--Updates?

Post by d1chet » Sun Jan 22, 2012 3:36 pm

I wished the mainsite would give a strength and daily WOD ala Crossfit Football, but that's what it (CFFB) and Crossfit Strength Bias are for I suppose. I feel strength is more important than anything in terms of bare-bones functionality (applications from the gym applying to real life situations). That said, if you do the mainsite WODs and still have the energy on rest days to do a strength workout, you need to honestly ask yourself if you're really giving the WODs 100% effort.

I like Crossfit Football and Strength Bias, also like Gym Jones and MilitaryAthlete, though you have to pay for the latter 2. Still considering biting the bullet and purchasing a Gym Jones subscription. I'd choose any of those before Crossfit mainsite WODs.

There's also a thread in the Crossfit forums that lists some affiliates that have good Strength + METCON programming (I'm currently trying to find it)

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Re: Crossfitters--Updates?

Post by bennyG19 » Sun Jan 22, 2012 3:41 pm

http://crossfit-strength.com/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; is great. So is the 70sbig strength and conditioning program. 70sbig.com is one of my favorite reads.

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Re: Crossfitters--Updates?

Post by none1 » Sun Jan 22, 2012 11:58 pm

d1chet wrote:..... I feel strength is more important than anything in terms of bare-bones functionality (applications from the gym applying to real life situations). ......
If I can do a lat pulldown or deadlift with TWICE as much weight as you, most folks would say I'm stronger. BUT, if at the same time you can do 10 pullups and I can't do any, I would claim that in a disaster where we both need to move quickly over under and through obstacles, you are better prepared, you have better "bare-bones functionality".


Part of the debate / thoughts of different schools is around what do you mean by strength? I have a powerlifting background. I know many folks who squat 2.5 to 3 times bodyweight, and bench 2 to 2.5 x bodyweight. Many of these same folks can't run a mile, and have very poor aerobic conditioning, but, for 1 rep max, they are the "strongest".

Crossfit, on the other hand, emphasis "functional strength" (as do many of the other fitness schools mentioned in this thread). I both agree and disagree with true crossfit philosophy. For example, I agree with the founder that while an 800 pound squat is impressive, a 600 pound squat + a 6 minute mile is much more impressive. I do not, however, agree with "momentum = strength" e.g. kipping pullups, which ages ago in gym class we called "cheating" pullups. :-)

I have moved beyond "strength is the most important thing" (I used to think it was the only thing :) ) and these days try to measure athletic prowess more broadly.
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Re: Crossfitters--Updates?

Post by Doctorr Fabulous » Mon Jan 23, 2012 6:40 am

Crossfit works. It works both in the sense that you are coached (which is great for lazy bitches like myself) and that it is more functional strength. Standby for case study:

The Personal Fitness Test has been the MArine Corpos standard of strength for decades. It emphasized pullups (max point=20 without dropping from the bar) crunches (100 in 2 minutes) and a pt-gear run (2.8-3.2 miles in 18 minutes) to gauge physical fitness and performance. Fast-forward to about 2005, when the number of heat and sports injuries were climbing due to the type of physical training and the goals. Marines wanted the bulging arms that get the ladies, and figured out that you get a better score by doing 20 pull-ups and a 24 minute run than doing 10 pull-ups and an 18 minute run.

Several high-impact workouts were compared, as were reports from deployed troops about the different obstacles faced (when's the last time a Marine ran 3 miles in combat with nothing but shorts, a t-shirt, and running shoes?) and decided after years of work that crossfit was the answer. Now called SemperFit, it's the primary way to help poorly performing Marines get to the level they need to be at, as well as training for the Combat Fitness Test, which emphasizes endurance under strain by combining weights, timed events, and being run in a (slightly) more realistic uniform.

Now the High Intensity Training gyms are opening at most major installations, allowing Marines to train more realistically for long patrols broken up by fast-paced engagements and diffcult terrain.

TL:DR if you want to train for bugging out, hiking, or that "usable" strength, give crossfit or one of it's competitors a try. If you don't mind running, hiking, and medium-weight-failure training on your own, you probably don't need CrossFit.
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Re: Crossfitters--Updates?

Post by johndoe » Sat Jan 28, 2012 1:30 am

d1chet wrote:I wished the mainsite would give a strength and daily WOD ala Crossfit Football, but that's what it (CFFB) and Crossfit Strength Bias are for I suppose.
That said, if you do the mainsite WODs and still have the energy on rest days to do a strength workout, you need to honestly ask yourself if you're really giving the WODs 100% effort.
As I understand Crossfit Football (and my understanding is, admittedly, limited), it involves doing a strength workout and a WOD as part of its core routine. Given that, isn't the idea that you can't do strength work and a CF WOD undermined a bit by the existence, and apparent success of CF Football? I certainly wouldn't go straight to a lifting session after doing a WOD, but I'll often hit an early morning WOD then lift late in the evening with no really noticeable deficits.

From my own experience also, I feel like I usually go 100% during WODs, but the most apparent "improvement" I've noticed is my recovery ability. For instance, on drill days in fire school we usually start the day doing a combat challenge type workout that can only be compared to a ridiculously intense hero type Crossfit workout. Usually after I'm able to catch my breath and the shakes and nausea stop :lol: I feel pretty good and am able to go at a good pace for the rest of the day. I know this goes against the conventional wisdom of some who claim that a WOD should leave you pretty spent for the rest of the day, but I can't argue with the actual experience of decreased recovery times I've noticed.

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Re: Crossfitters--Updates?

Post by johndoe » Sat Jan 28, 2012 1:36 am

none1 wrote: I do not, however, agree with "momentum = strength" e.g. kipping pullups, which ages ago in gym class we called "cheating" pullups. :-)
I agree 100%, but I think the idea behind the kipping pullup isn't that it's about pure strength, but also about body control and being able to use your body effectively in motion, which fits with the whole functional fitness philosophy.

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