Monday, April 14, 2014

Thank You, RC Science

WHILE THE CURRENT study is by no means exemplary (frankly, it sucks), it is still far preferable to the anecdotal evidence rampant across the Internet. What's truly needed is a longitudinal study that tracks CrossFitters from various demographics and levels of experience over a long period of time -- at least six months.
"This should not be difficult to do, given the vast popularity of the sport," Strength and Conditioning Research's Chris Beardsley wrote.
While we wait for that, both CrossFit's opponents and proponents need to be more reasonable. CrossFit, like any form of exercise, is not without risk. But the benefits far, far outweigh them. CrossFit coaches and trainers need to look out for the health of their athletes, and take care not to push them beyond the bounds of what is safe. That means dialing back intensity, when necessary, and ensuring that participants always utilize proper lifting form. Dying for fitness just doesn't make much sense. Getting fit and living to one's fullest potential; now that does.
I wonder about what it means when they say "coaches shouldn't push."  In my experience, CrossFit is the opposite of the "drill instructor" model.  Coaches don't push, they set the stage and let the athletes choose their level of exertion.  Encourage?  Heck yes!  Reward and acknowledge outstanding effort and courage?  Frock yes, like you read about.  Celebrate PRs?  DUH!!  But the point of the CrossFit system - measuring the work and noting improvement over time on benchmark workouts - is that the coach doesn't have to "push" athletes.  The athletes take their own stock of how hard to work each day based on a multitude of factors no coach could ever know.  How much water did they athlete drink the 23 hours a day they are not in the coach's arena?  How have they slept and eaten?  Did they have a bad day at work?  A family issue?  A bad hair day?  A coach in CrossFit isn't getting paid to "push" they are getting paid to help you move well, in a group setting that is intrinsically motivating, and to help you celebrate your wins.  
I appreciate the write up in "real clear science" but saying "CrossFit coaches and trainers need to look out for the health of their athletes" is like saying "the sun needs to come up."  Really dude, that's all you have to say?

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