Below is Pat Flynn’s most recent blog on Crossfit. This was sent to me today by my good friend and trainer Dana Hantel. Dana also has some great observations so her comments are included, below the blog by Pat Flynn. Read for your health and safety;
“Since early youth I have taken an especial interest in the subject of the Canadian goose, and how I might someday kill them all. This omnipresent god of annoyance, this bastard creation of undignified existence, this thing that simply should not be, was no doubt inflicted upon society for the sin of Canada.
I do not mean to say that geese serve no purpose in the ecosystem; I simply mean to say that their purpose is not useful or relevant. Their existence is a reminder that not all animals plodding the turf of God’s green earth are born of necessity. Some were put here by accident, others to be simply a nuisance—like CrossFit.
Yes, but the principal annoyance of the goose is not the goose itself, it’s the goose’s poop; as the principal annoyance with CrossFit is not CrossFit itself, but the coaches. Both are ubiquitous, all-pervading, and everywhere.
Since young adulthood I have taken an especial interest in the subject of CrossFit coaches, and how I might someday live to see them all done away with by education.
Put simply, if a coach cannot get a client results without injuring them, or smothering them in metcon, then they can conclude with confidence that coaching is not what they were intended for, and should get along to moving pianos, or selling car insurance.
I took a great interest, initially, at the idea of CrossFit. The idea that one organization, namely one man, might educate all of America on Olympic lifting, gymnastics training, metabolic conditioning, and all other forms of wonderful movement and kipping pull-ups.
But I was also disquieted by this. America’s a big town. And most of us Americans don’t move very well. And so I feared for my country, and I was not wholly put at ease by the surging momentum of CrossFit and its ever-popular acceptance, but rather, was increasingly disturbed by the enlarging number of instances where people were not getting educated, but getting dead.
But I’m incurably inquisitive by nature, and to a degree even meddlesome, so I did not discard it completely on those grounds—people die all the time. As well I remained curious to the method—the idea of mashing everything together, and focusing little time on the particulars, and racing everything against the clock. It was a fascinating approach, and it held my interest for quite a while, but a number of worrisome questions came up in my mind.
At what point, when racing against the clock, does movement devolve into mush? And when it does devolve, what will be the consequence(s)?
Is it prudent to do Olympic lifting for time? Is it necessary? Is it prudent to do box jumps for reps? Is it necessary? Is it prudent to do kipping pulls ups? Is it necessary?
When people’s kidneys fail, in what fashion (or according to whose taste) do they pile the bodies, and does the time it takes to circumvent a carcass count fully against one’s Fran time, or is it fairly deducted?
Two of these questions I have answered satisfactorily for myself, but as for the last one I remain curious.”
Pat’s comments can be applied broadly, not just Crossfit.
For instance, I love how he emphasizes quality over quantity/speed, as well as his word choice: “At what point, when racing against the clock, does movement devolve into mush?” This “mush” is a problem in gyms and studios and on trails, I think … ordinary folks feel the need for speed and epic calorie burning at any cost. Quality movement just isn’t emphasized among the masses–nor is genuine strength.
And I love that Pat asks if movements are “prudent” and “necessary” when so many fitness pros and casual exercisers are concerned with novelty, variety, and trendiness more than effectiveness and safety. Again, I encountered lots of people who did extreme, unhealthy stuff that wasn’t prudent or necessary, even though their only goals were general health and fitness! Now, I’m all about pursuing passions, including extreme/dangerous sports, but why is a grandma with achy knees doing box jumps? Are box jumps her passion? I think not…