Dear Crossfitters, please stop being such………Crossfitters!
Okay….I’m going to get on my high rant horse for a minute
If you have found and are reading this blog then you have probably already figured out from the link or from the website That I am an affiliate owner. I am a Crossfitter (and powerlifter, bodybuilder, powerbuilder etc etc.) I love Crossfit. I love it as a sport and I love it as a fitness methodology. One of the things I love most about it is that I am a prime example of it being infinitely scaleable. I am not young and have a host of nagging injuries. I have had my L-5 disc partially removed twice. I have have had surgery on both shoulders and have lots of anchors in my right. My shoulders are weak and immobile. My right meniscus is currently deteriorating. (all of this pre-dates Crossfit and is not a result of) I can still Crossfit with intensity and I love it. I scale. I scale frequently. So what? That’s the power of Crossfit. You can do it with your kid brother and your Mom right beside you in the same class! That’s awesome!
Having said all that there is something about crossfit as a culture that does and always will bother me. We thrive on community correct? We all claim it. We cling to it. We all love OUR box’s community. We all tell people what an awesome aspect that is. Communities are inclusive by definition. They create a “feeling of fellowship.” What communities are NOT is elitist. I have already stated that I love Crossfit, but I do not believe it is the way and the ONLY way. Does it include the broadest scope of fitness? Yes probably. Crossfitters get good at lots of things. We can run, swim, weightlift, sprint, control our bodyweight, and we get leaner and stronger doing it. THIS DOES NOT GIVE US THE RIGHT TO MOCK OTHER PEOPLE WHO CHOOSE OTHER AVENUES FOR STAYING FIT!!! Soak that up for a minute.
My gym was a strength and conditioning facility (and Thai boxing) for close to 2 years before we affiliated and made Crossfit a part of what we do. When we added it I had a lot of current members who were tentative and even unhappy about it. They weren’t afraid of injury. They weren’t afraid of it being a cult. They weren’t afraid of Rhabdo. They weren’t intimidated by really high level athletes working out in their space. They weren’t worried it was too intense. You know what I heard? “Are there going to be a bunch of douchebags running around half dressed and acting like they are better than everybody else?” Wow! Is this the image you want for your “community?”
It’s out there. It’s out there for a reason. Let me give you a couple of examples of the thousands of ways it is out there. I personally posted a couple of old gym mirrors on a local Crossfitters page for sale recently. Yes I realize that boxes don’t have mirrors generally speaking. I thought maybe someone who has a garage gym might want them or even someone who doesn’t want them for gym purposes at all might want them for something else. They are mirrors. What was the fist comment on the post? “Are those so you can watch yourself doing curls Brah?” HAHAHA….funny. Go fuck yourself buddy. If you don’t care for mirrors in your gym no problem. Don’t have them or don’t look in them. Easy. What you did there was make a small passive aggressive statement that speaks volumes of underlying elitist attitude. What you said was “Mirrors are for vain people who only care about working out for aesthetic appeal. Mirrors are for Globo gyms. Mirrors are for bodybuilders and fitness competitors and I can out snatch and out run both of them. I can crush them in Fran. I do it for the sport and to become the Fittest! Curls are for meatheads! I AM BETTER THAN YOU. CROSS FITTERS ARE BETTER THAN YOU!” Community. Hmmmm……
Just this morning I read a post where someone made a stupid comment about Crossfit being a “hobby” and not a measure of fitness. That is a dumb statement for sure, but the responses…… Jeez! My favorite, “You are probably one of those knuckle dragging meatheads in globo gyms standing in front of the mirror blah blah blah.” Weird…..I was a competitive bodybuilder for many years. I don’t feel like a knuckle dragger. My knuckles are at a pretty normal height and at a standard ratio to the rest of my body actually. I DO feel like I have a 138 I.Q. and a much deeper understanding of a broad spectrum of ways to build muscle, get strong, control diet, and change body composition in a short amount of time than the genius who knows that Crossfit is the ONLY thing on the planet worth spending a second of your time on. There are countless examples of this. The jokes about curls for the girls. The meathead voice imitations “Hey Brah. You doing pecs today? It’s Monday!” They even made fun of globo gyms (bodybuilding) and doing dumbbell laterals when I did my L1. “Why would anyone do dumbbell lateral raises?” he asked. I didn’t raise my hand and say “Maybe they want larger more rounded out medial deltoids?” I should have, but then I would be the meathead dick in the group right? It straight up pissed me off. I am not shy. I speak my mind and I felt as though I could not without being shunned that day. So I shut up. Be inclusive. Understand that different people have different goals. Different isn’t always right or wrong. Sometimes it’s just different.
This animosity between fitness and strength disciplines is stupid!!!! These are all people that sacrifice. They all put in hard work. They all move their bodies. They are ALL healthier than the guy that never gets his ass off the couch! Most importantly you are comparing apples and oranges. Powerlifters don’t give a crap that you can run a 6 min mile in a circle around your local box. They can pick your ass up and throw you over the box! Bodybuilders don’t care about your Fran time. They think you are small and scrawny and that you dont know how to build or retain muscle. They think all your cardio is keeping you from making real gains. You don’t give a crap about oiling your body up and standing next to other almost naked people on a stage to be critiqued on your aesthetic appeal. Apples and oranges. Crossfit has less specificity than powerlifting and bodybuilding. Cross fitters are better at a broad scope of things. What you fail to understand is that the other two groups don’t give a crap. They want to be really good at one thing. And they are. You can’t out squat or out deadlift a high level powerlifter. You are smaller and less muscular than a bodybuilder. You don’t give a crap you say? Perfect! Let’s all not give a crap and stop mocking one another and instead respect and support one another. Find YOUR thing and kick ass at it.
This road goes both ways. Bodybuilders need to shut their stupid faces up too. No, a kipping pull up is not cheating. It’s not a strict pull up. It’s a ballistic gymnastics movement and it serves a purpose. Yes you are bigger. Great. Good luck when the Zombie apocalypse hits and your ass needs to run. You are now food. Big meaty food! . Powerlifters shhhhhhh. It’s awesome that your raw total is over 1500 lbs. That is strong as Hell. Now drop the weight to 50% and hit 30 squats and 30 deads for time. BOOM!!! That’s the sound of your heart exploding!!! You are strong, but you can’t move. (Also Zombie food) The most powerful, the biggest and most balanced physique, the most muscular, the best deadlift, really great at lots of different things, yadda yadda yadda …. apples and oranges. You have different goals. That doesn’t equate to right and wrong. Good vs evil. Yin yang. Just different.
The big picture is this, if you are going to claim Crossfit is the shit then support that claim with words and actions that are becoming of the community. Be inclusive. Be accepting. Be open minded. Understand that movement of the body is a common tie among all types of fitness endeavors and they all have worth. Zumba, water aerobics, running, gymnastics, weightlifting, bodybuilding, powerlifting, planet fitness (Yes I have my little jokes. I still think it’s awesome. Just get the most out of your $10. Beat the system!) globo gyms, treadmills, walking, hiking, barre, pilates, yoga etc. etc. All these people are working their asses off and doing something. THAT is one big community. Rather than thinking of the Crossfit community how about we just start thinking of the “Fitness Community” or even the “Movement Community.” Be solid representatives of the sport of fitness. Help Crossfit grow by being open and welcoming. You know why attendance in churches is diminishing at a rapid pace with each generation? Because people are tired of being told they are wrong. That they are going to Hell if this isn’t exactly the way they are doing things. Don’t be that church!!!! Stop preaching the fire and brimstone of Crossfit.
Now I know a lot of you are reading this and thinking “It was just a joke.” “I was only kidding.” I know. I get it. I am easy going. I like jokes too. Having said that let’s also remember that lots of racist and sexist jokes get made with the same “I’m only kidding” sentiment behind them, but are you? Are you sure? Just try to be inclusive and open minded. It goes a long way. I never hear negative talk like this in my box/gym. If I did then I would be certain to nicely say “Zumba? Not my thing personally, but hey good for them. They are moving and that’s awesome! We should all do what works for us.”
Go forth and lift all the heavy things! J.K.H.
Isolated movements aren’t the devil and they aren’t worthless. The strongest powerlifters in the world recognize that stronger biceps mean better pulling power. Stronger triceps mean better pressing power. If quads are weak your squat will suffer. If hamstrings are weak your deadlift will suffer. Etc etc. They find the weak links and they isolate to solve the problem. Guess what else? Snatches and cleans start with a deadlift and get stood up with a squat. And that jerk???? It’s a press. Genius…I know.
Also….. “I want to wake up and look like shit tomorrow!” said NOBODY ever. If a more muscular body and a more sexually appealing physique matters to you then good for you! At least you are honest. Rock it. Try to remember fellow Crossfitters…. the bodybuilders and powerlifters are not the ones running around sweaty and shirtless wearing booty shorts and sports bras. Wanting to look good doesn’t have to be a crime.
Anybody want to buy some gym mirrors? Your biceps will look gnarly while you are rockin’ out those concentration curls Brah!!!!