I recently attended a local Crossfit box with a friend of mine who works out with me once a week or so. He likes the CF box as it is near his home and synchs with his shift pattern. Given that he works out with me, I thought it only fair to make the drive and work out with him every now and then.
My info - I'm 43 6' 3" 270lbs and closing in on a 500lb squat and 600lb deadlift. I can do a 20 rep squat at 275lbs and have been dabbling with the Oly lifts and press for some time.
I knew largely what to expect from a CF box so it was not an intimidating experience and they were nice people with a welcoming attitude.
Of course there was a WOD - 21/15/9 rep patter of 135lb cleans, elevated pushups and ring rows followed by a 1500m rowing machine. I was not so impressed with the warm up - they wanted a 400m sprint...for which I didn't warm up for...
The cleans were the hardest part - after 10 reps I went to doing doubles with a 30 sec rest to avoid lifting a fully fatigued rep. Given that the total was 45 reps it was the longest part of the workout.
I was asked the next day by several of my colleagues who are CFers what I thought of it. They wondered if I was "crushed" by the workout and how "awesome" was it?
I told them I was gassed and a bit sore in the shoulders from the cleans but otherwise it was physically nothing surprising. I think this shocked them a bit, they expected more of a "oh wow" feeling from me I guess, however I pointed out that any trainer can make anyone from Usain Bolt to a marathon runner gassed. It is hardly hard, especially if you hit them with exercises outside their usual routines.
The comment I made that shocked them the most was the I was BORED during the workout. Grinding out reps esp in that number against time is not mentally stimulating. When I lift heavy in my home gym I am concentrating on the lift, I am feeling my muscles as I move the weight, I work on my weaknesses in form and muscle control. I take my time in between sets to make sure I am refreshed enough to make the form and control the priority.
Doing multiple reps against time is simply a matter of grinding. It takes no thinking, it takes no planning or consideration, frankly a monkey can do it. Without periodisation of you lifts you are simply working on conditioning which anyone could do at home.
So the question I have for Mark and anyone else is - What the hell is the attraction of Crossfit? Why the Koolaid mentality? Why do those into it think it "so awesome"? Why do people pay so much for it?
There is nothing new here. Conditioning has been around since the stone age
There is no way to grow as a lifter by doing WODs except in very basic technique and in muscular and cardiovascular endurance.
Most of the time you often don't do the same exercise for WEEKS, how can you get better at a movement unless you do the movement?
There is endless repetition in a fatigued state that does not promote an intellectual process of lifting
I am perplexed.
Where does the Koolaid come from?