We’re all guilty of it. You’ve done it before. I’ve done it before. Prejudice: Passing judgement on something without knowledge or experience of it.
Our brains are wired to make hasty judgments, especially on things that fail to adhere to our currently held paradigm. You can understand how fitness professionals might reflexively cringe away from something as alien as CrossFit. I know that was my first response.
My second response, however, was to wonder how this unorthodox approach to fitness was producing fitness levels that surpassed the old standard tried-and-true fitness programs. I began to explore, first reading Greg Glassman’s very thoughtful articles to better understand the thinking underlying his unique approach. And then, when I saw the unexpected logic to his methodology, I began, tentatively, to sample some of the programming for myself, measuring the fitness outcomes. And was blown away by the results!
That was nearly 14 years ago. I still struggle to believe how far I’ve come and that, at almost 47 years of age, I’m still enjoying fitness gains through following the CrossFit programming.
These days most people in the fitness industry have heard of CrossFit and have an idea of what it is. Unfortunately, most of the time, their idea is completely wrong. The thing they’re imagining is not CrossFit. And to be fair, unless they’ve actually experienced it, how could they understand what CrossFit is? What we do is so far removed from their frame of reference that they don’t have the conceptual tools with which to understand it. Keep in mind that exercise science has yet to agree on a working definition of what “fitness” even is.
That’s why fitness trainers can be caught doing ridiculous, ineffective movements and calling it fitness. Without a way to define fitness, there is no way to measure which movements produce fitness and which don’t, so any old thing will do. CrossFit’s astounding success owes greatly to our ability to precisely define fitness and measure which training modalities best produce the desired effect.
The majority of fitness trainers are intelligent, well-intending people labouring largely in the dark. CrossFit shone a light into my life and illuminated my way to real fitness. If you read the three articles linked in this post you will already understand more about fitness than most fitness professionals. And there’s no need to take Glassman’s word on faith. Like any great theories it can be proven by testing and measuring results. That’s how I got to where I am today.
User Warning: testing the CrossFit methodology will lead to a much fitter and happier you.