Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Things I Hate About Crossfit, Part Deux

It's That Time Again

I figure it's about that time again...time for me to rant and rave atop my beloved soap box.  If you haven't caught part I of Some Of The Things I Hate About Crossfit, you should go read it, because it sets the tone.

So without further ado, here is the continuation of some things I hate about Crossfit:

 6) Glassman On A Pedestal

This is one that's bugged me from my inception into Crossfit---I had found thee most effective system I had ever come across, it was kicking my ass daily, and I wanted to know everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, about it.  Where it came from, who invented it, the source, the guru at the top of the mountain.  Then imagine the discordant short circuit my brain went through when it became obvious it was a short fat man that used big words and dropped a lot of f-bombs.  Wait...it WASN'T Greg Amundson?  Seriously, for the longest time, I thought it was.  I mean, dude is a badass athlete, ripped to the gills, was showing up in every Crossfit Journal article at the time...I just assumed when folks were talking about "Greg", it was Amundson.  Alas, no.

  Ok, physique, athletic ability, and dietary habits (or lack thereof) aside, there MUST be a reason people talk about Glassman like he's some omnipotent deity.  Yup, he uses big words in his diatribes.  Coined ye old "across broad time and modal domain".  Ok, great.  But WHAT THE FUCK?  Something just didn't sit well with me.  And still doesn't.  And the "Drunk At The Chalk Board" series ain't convincing me otherwise.  And I'm not even kidding about the title.  My suspicions were recently confirmed by folks I don't even know when I walked into a conversation about that very series. I've watched that painful series twice, and am still boggled as to why it was even posted.

Redemption: I will give him this: He is the mastermind behind the juggernaut that Crossfit has become; everything from the "Girls" to the GPP-to-Stopwatch, to open-source info, to ease of affiliation.  Can't take that away, ever.  Plus, I came across a pretty damn good article on core training while digging through the Crossfit Journal from 2003.  Author?  Glassman.  Ahh, the good old days.

7) Dot-Com Programming

I've got a few personal beefs with the dot-com; first off, actually trying to find any info on the "how" "why" "who" just doesn't happen.  Much like my naive impression of Crossfit's founder, I assumed a lot of thought, planning, and wisdom went into the dot-com programing.  After all, think of ALL the soundbites where athletes that stated "Gee Whiz, I just do dot-com, it's the best programming out there".  Jump forward a couple of years.  News flash:  Top CF athletes do NOT do dot-com, and soccer moms do NOT do dot com.  Who does dot com?  I don't know.  The randomized, chaotic mess of stupid volume metcon screams "Cortisol!!!!  Get Your Cortisol!!!!  By The Bucket!!".   Yes, the "girls" are fun benchmarks.  Yes, I get the concept, and respect, the Hero wods.  Yes, I get scaling and substitutions. (Can't do 30 muscle ups for time?  Aw, hell, chicka, just do 120 dips and 120 pullups.  Its just that easy).  I also get periodization, specificity, and individualization.  And I haven't come across an affiliate page in a looooong time that uses dot-com. 

Redemption:  Ok, so dot-com put CF on the map, and a whole ton of folks started to learn more about different levels of metcon.  Dot-com from 2002 vs 2010?  Yeah, two different beasts.

8) The Firing Of Robb Wolf

The stupidest thing CF has ever done, and they are still reeling from the aftermath.  While the true reasons behind the departure of Wolf as the main Crossfit nutrition SME (Subject Material Expert) will never be known, it's fairly clear that Robb is a stand up guy that held true to his principles.  He brought a HUGE amount of knowledge to the masses about nutrition and athletics, and (as everyone who knows me knows this well) it's the essential flip-side to performance, health, and longevity.  Nutrition is everything.  Athletics is nothing without it.  Robb knows this.  Does Barry "I-Can't-Take-My-Own-Advice" Sears know this?  Christ, besides the Drunk At The Chalkboard series, I haven't watched a more painful series on nutrition.  I've never liked the Zone, and all it's ever been is a form of caloric restriction with (possible) adequate nutrition.  Ok, I'm digressing, but I get pretty fired up about this point.  I haven't watched the series with Dr. Scott Connelly, but I'm hoping it'll be good.  I bet HQ is, too.

I had the luxury of seeing Robb present one of his last CF Nutrition seminars (it's a SEMINAR, not a CERTIFICATION), knowing that he had recently blasted the Zone.  Yet he presented the material in a professional, unbiased way.  Thank GAWD he still cranks out a wealth of info weekly via the Paleolithic Solution.

Redemption: None.  Do not pass Go, Do Not Collect $200, Go Straight To Hell.  It should also be mentioned the loss of Rippetoe, Everett, Twight, and de-affilation of Dallas and Mellisa (among others) is boggling to the mind.  Conform or be Cast Out?  Looks like the boys from Rush pegged that one with their lyrics nicely.

9) Level 1 "Certifications"

Okay, shooting myself in the foot with this one, but it's gotta be done.  A level one "certification" is no more than this:  A two day seminar of lecture combined with group teaching, with a t-shirt thrown in, all for the low low price of $1000USD. (1500 Canuck bones, at the time, for me.)  After the weekend?  Hell, you can open a Crossfit affiliate, just fork over $2000 more.  Yup, you're good to go!!!  Holy quality control issues, Batman.  Props to the HQ instructors, as they are probably thee most organized group I've seen trying to hit up a large variety of folks with the basics in a short amount of time.  But it just scares me that this is the level that you need to run an affiliate. Theoretically, one could pay, sit at the back of class, not take part, and bust open a box the next day.  And people wonder why Crossfit gets a bad rap???  Level-1 is a mere awareness course.  Hell, there was a guy sitting next to me that had never done a wallball or put a barbell over his head before.  On the same hand, there were folks with multiple (actual) certifications and degrees and sub-3 minute Fran times (um, not me on that later point, ha!).  At the end of the weekend?  We we all level-1 "certified".  This goes for every other CF education...cert.

Redemption:  Lots, because this weakness is actually one of Glassman's mastermind moments: Easy level 1 has enabled the exponential (albeit quality-uncontrolled) growth of Crossfit.  Also, Level-2, from what I hear, has an extremely high failure rate based on rigorous testing.  Rumor mill states that in the future, all Level-1 coaches will have to undergo testing.  Totally not confirmed, but I very much look forward to that.

10) LuLu Lemon.  On GUYS.

Ok guys, lets have a nice sit-down talk about this.  LuLu Lemon rocks.  I mean, thank the f-ing GAWDS for LuLu.  Why?  Because it turns the most mundane, boring female ass into a f*cking work of art.  And I'm not even joking.  I don't know if it's that strategically placed horizontal strip, the material, or what, but it's magic.  This, as it stands, is a fact.  Couple a Crossfit gal with Lulu?  S'all good, hombre.

What is NOT cool is guys wearing Lulu.  Why?  Well, lets hit on a few points:
  • It's LULU.  It's LEMON,.  It's a girls name coupled with a fruit.
  • The symbol looks like a UTERUS.  C'mon now.
If it was called "MiMi Mandarine" and it had a some fancy rainbow symbol, would you wear it?  Fuck!  No!  Women's name?  Fruit?  Uterus?  I don't give a shit if it's the best godamn pair of freakin' yoga pants you own, and your girl bought it for you.  Wear that shit at home.  I also don't care if OPT is sponsored by LuLu, or if you have a 450# deadlift.  IT'S JUST NOT RIGHT.
Redemption For Guys:  None.  You're ghey.  That's GEE-ATCH-EE-WHY.  Ghey.  Not gay, 'cause that's just fine by me.  But GHEY.