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Post by aquadump » Sun May 22, 2011 11:44 pm

Does anyone belong to a CrossFit program or have opinions about it?
All I know about CrossFit is that it is expensive (but no idea the exact amount) and that I agree with the concepts. I know I have the intrinsic ability to work out so I'm more interested in a "pay-as-you-play" place to go when I want to focus on technique or when I'm feeling more social.
I'm planning on going to a couple gyms nearby to get a better feel.

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Post by Robert Muir » Mon May 23, 2011 12:25 am

I haven't joined it, but JD Roth @ GetRichSlowly can't say enough about it. He said that it runs around $200/month and that for him it was worth it.
For me, I'm not as social as he is, so I would rather spend the money on P90X videos and work out in my own garage.

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Post by m741 » Mon May 23, 2011 12:50 am

I believe you can find crossfit workouts online on some of their blogs. Of course, you lose the social pressure and the training for at least some of the exercises. But you save money. Frankly most of the workouts seem arbitrary and if you had a pool of 25-30 exercises you could create your own. Here is the crossfit site, which contains the workout-of-the-day:
For instance, one day was 'run 1 mile', another day is 6x 50 squats+25 ring dips.
I believe among some personal trainers crossfit has gained a reputation for being cult-like.

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Post by jacob » Mon May 23, 2011 1:25 am

I used to do some crossfit 5+ years ago. They post the workout of the day (WOD) on Then you can post your time or whatever in their forum if you like the competition. It works on a 4 day on, 1 day off schedule. The philosophy behind crossfit is to randomize workouts so you become wellrounded.
There are some philosophical disputes amongst other hardcore systems (RKC, RMax, Gym Jones,...) as to whether randomization is a good idea. It's pretty hard to dispute that while crossfit may not be the best fitness program to support some other sport, it kicks ass when it comes to random crossfit like workouts---obviously.
Also, crossfit sets the bar high. They have a table of what they consider beginner, intermediate, advanced, and elite. Back in the days, I fell mostly in the intermediate level---this is probably where most college level athletes at the varsity level would be. Most people would not even qualify for the beginner level.
Is it worth it? No more than a personal trainer is worth it to you. A personal trainer is not worth it to me because 1) exercising is not rocket science; and 2) I can get off my ass without paying someone to tell me to just fine.
You may want to pay to learn the olympic barbell lifts which I believe are sufficiently advanced so as not to try to learn them from a video. Or you can just substitute kettlebells like I did, get a pull up grip for the door frame, ...
If you don't want to substitute, it may be worth to pay for access to the equipment. A noncrappy home gym can easily cost $2000. Also regular McGyms discourage people from camping at the pull up bar while hammering out 100 reps.
And yes, crossfit used to be badass (back in 2004-06 at least) but then crossfit gyms sprung up everywhere as PTs found out that crossfit was profitable. Thus many got the certification even without much experience---you may be trained in the olympic clean and jerk by someone who only attended a workshop/certification. The quality apparently varies somewhat more these days than it used to. That said, my info is dated by several years, so maybe things changed again.

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Post by jakio » Mon May 23, 2011 3:47 am

I'd like to strongly second Jacob's comment about Olympic lifts and coaching. The injury rate is high with crossfit for a number of reasons; coaching is one of them. I have noticed that many devotees value pain and brutalizing workouts to be an end in themselves instead of means to a goal, and I believe this wastes valuable energy and personal resources. Results and pain are not directly linked in weightlifting.
I believe that to economize money, time, and mitigate the risk of expensive injuries, a basic weightlifting routine plus some cardio and kettlebell work will provide much better overall results.

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Post by aquadump » Mon May 23, 2011 6:44 pm

Thanks for the feedback, everyone. I'll try changing into CrossFit Workout Of the Day. I didn't know there was a WOD "feed," if you will. My other consideration is time, getting to and fro the gym.
I like the density program, but my one criticism of it is that I don't like the specialization involved. I do recognize that there are advantages and disadvantages to each approach.
I have a 35 lb kettlebell and a pull-up bar so perhaps I can mix and match to get in 3 WODs a week, to cross train for running.

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Post by JohnnyH » Mon May 23, 2011 8:05 pm

Approx 50 hours and $200 a month? 600 hrs and $2400 a year?... Seems pretty ridiculous for the average person.

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Post by akratic » Mon May 23, 2011 8:21 pm

Whenever you don't have the equipment for the WOD on the feed, consider substituting a random WOD from this list

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Post by aquadump » Tue May 24, 2011 3:34 am

That list looks familiar. I think you posted it before. If so, thank you much for reposting it!

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Post by Mike B » Fri May 27, 2011 12:09 am

I'm actually a crossfit coach at an affiliate. I started out as a client, but got my L1 certification over a year ago and have enjoyed the $300 change in my monthly cash flow that comes from teaching 3 classes a week. There's lots of info (and mis-info) in this thread, I'll try to take on a little.

Affiliates are expensive. Typically $100-150 a month. There are lots of explanations for this online, basically it tends to weed out people who are not passionate, and makes for less work that the coaches have to do. I would rather coach 10 people each paying $100 than 100 people paying $10.

Depends on the gym. I've met certified crossfit trainers who shouldn't be allowed to take care of a houseplant. I've met others who are passionate, intelligent, and work hard to be the best coach and teacher they can be. In my experience, more fall into the latter category. I try to fall there myself. I spend hours each week doing research, reading about technique, and watching videos of other coaches I admire to learn from them. Unfortunately, anyone who can pay $1000 and take a really simple test can become a L1 Certified instructor, so you do get meatheads who emphasize intensity over technique. If they had paid attention at their $1000 certification class, they would know better. We have some people come in who have been doing it on their own (off the mainsite...see below) who have bad technique that sometimes borders on downright dangerous. They may be strong and have excellent work capacity, but almost universally their technique and output can be improved significantly with a bit of coaching.

The main site posts a workout of the day (WOD) every day. The recommended weights/moves/rep schemes are intended to challenge the most elite athletes in the world. Some of the people who contribute to the programming are Olympic athletes, Olympic coaches, Professional MMA fighters and coaches, Exercise scientists with PhD's, and many other very smart people. Some of the lifts (snatch, c+j) are very challenging and do require quite a bit of instruction.
The best part of working out and working at an affiliate is the community. We have sports competitions (volleyball tournaments, football tournaments), bbq's, and tons of other fun stuff because it's a large group of energetic fit people.
The competition aspect of crossfit I feel is a big negative. It encourages poor form, injuries, unregulated supplements, and a lot of hurt feelings. A big part of the original crossfit method was that it was something you could do your whole life, and would keep you healthy with an emphasis on overall wellness rather than absolute performance. Now the emphasis seems to be on pushing yourself past the limits in order to be a better exerciser than anyone else. There are a few people in that category at my gym, but the majority fall into the category of "I just want to look good in a swimsuit and have fun after work instead of watching TV."
Sorry for the huge wall of text, but as you can see I'm a cult member and feel very strongly about all this. I believe in theory that the randomized crossfit method is incredibly effective in theory, but in practice sometimes gets bastardized into something that makes the community at large look bad.

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Post by elai » Fri Jul 08, 2011 8:04 am

What I like about crossfit gyms is that it's set it and forget it effective exercise. You don't get bored, it's a community of sorts, it's not monotonous, you don't have to schedule things, you don't have to plan your workouts, you work out hard, it's relatively quick, and it's only really self-competitive. You do get stronger. In short crossfit is good for people who work 10 hour days and just want to exercise and not worry about thinking or planning it. I like it because it basically gets a guy like me to exercise regularly, and if $200/month will get you to exercise regularly, it's well worth it for the health benefits. Think of it as a sport that focuses on fitness alone. Or joining some sort of sports academy. $200/month for school isn't bad at all.

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Post by rjack » Fri Jul 08, 2011 11:18 am

I have not done Crossfit, but I have heard from others that it has a fairly high injury rate. I think it is better suited to 20 or 30 somethings.
For anybody above 40 (that's me!), I would recommend Starting Strength which only requires a barbell, rack and bench: ... ength_Wiki

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Post by Mater » Sat Jul 30, 2011 2:08 pm

I don't do crossfit, however, I work around plenty of military folks who do and they all love it. Matter of fact, I haven't heard any negative feedback on it minus the cost.
What I can give you better advice on is 1) just about any organized fitness program that keeps you moving within your limits will give you some positive benefit. If you're moving, you're probably living. 2) I've done the P90X program twice and am halfway through the Insanity program now. Crossfit seems to be a mix of these two. If you can afford it ~120$ for each program (P90X/Insanity) you can do them on your time schedule at home or in the garage or even at work if you can find a suitable space. These programs teach you a lot about the fundamentals of fitnes (strength, flexibility, cardio) and teach you how to eat a healthy, balanced diet. I have been an intermediate athlete most of my life (35yrs old) and these programs have brough me to a new understanding of fitness. I like having a video to motivate and pace me and a program to complete and pace me as well. If you were "savy," I'm sure you could even get a copy of these workouts for free.
In the end, it's more important that you do something rather than little or nothing. The great thing about these programs is that they are complete and teach or reteach the fundamentals of fitness. After doing these for several months I find myself much more confident about fitnes in general and how to eat a healthy diet. This has led to me creating my own workouts and diets to more closely meld with my lifestyle/goals.
Good Luck! Mater

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